Thursday, August 30, 2007

Fall into Autumn Questions

I know the swap registration doesn't open until September 1, but I'm psyched and ready to go!! So, here are my questions !

1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been doing it? I have been knitting for a couple years off and on--I don't do anything fancy yet--I'm working towards finishing my first pair of socks and I am taking a sweater class the middle of September. I also crochet. I learned to do that 21 years ago and have made several afghans and face/dishcloths.

2. Have you made dishcloths before? Do you use them yourself, give them as gifts, or both? Yes, I have made several crochet clothes. I have also made some knitted ones that turned out pretty good.

3. What's your favorite cotton to make cloths from? What cotton would you like to try that you haven't before ? I really like peaches and cream cotton--it's inexpensive and you can get it in the discount stores. I haven't tried anything else, but peaches and cream has a double worsted weight that I saw in Mason Dixon knitting that looks intriguing. I would also like to try some of the organic cottons, I just haven't found a place that sells them locally and never get around to ordering them.......

4. If you knit, do you prefer circular or straight needles? For all, do you prefer wooden, metal, or plastic needles? I like anything--straight or circular are great. If I'm traveling, circular are easiest to pack. If it is a home project, I have a collection of straights in just about any material. I like any kind of needle--I'm not picky at all!

5. What are your favorite colors? Any colors you don't like much? I love reds, oranges, purples, blues....I'm not a big peach person. I use it sometimes, but sparingly.

6. What do you like best about Autumn? The smell of the air, the falling leaves....

7. Pies: Pumpkin? Apple? Pecan? All of em? or No Thanks! ALL of them!Never met a pie I didn't like. I am packing the proof on my hips!!!

8. When you were a kid, were you the one who couldn't wait to get started with school , or the one who overslept on the 1st day? I am a late sleeper, so I always had the excuses worked up before the first day even approached!

9. Do you celebrate Halloween? (The real key here guys is especially knowing if you have an aversion to the holiday or little goodies/decorations associated with it, given the time frame of the swap) I love Halloween and all that goes with it--ghosts, goblins, etc and the fall leaves etc---it's all good!

10. If you had to choose just 3 edible 'goodies' to eat for a full year, what 3 would you choose? Anything chocolate, anything coffee flavored and caramel...hey, since they all start with C, does that count as one?

11. Do you have any pets? Kids? Husbands who seem like kids? ;) 4 dogs, 5 cats, 3 kids and a husband that puts up with me......

12. If you were to describe a particular yarn that shares traits of your personality, what would it be and why? Alpaca--I'm soft, fluffy and expensive (just ask hubby).

13. Do you use your cloths mostly for dishcloths, or as facecloths? I have sponges for the sink. I like to use things handmade for my face since there is a lot of time and effort in them...that being said, I do use the first try samplers for dishcloths sometimes...

14. Favorite Fall Holiday: Halloween or Thanksgiving and why? (Feel free to share another fall memory if you do not celebrate either of these holidays) I love Halloween --I like giving out candy and carving pumpkins.

15. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should know about? Nope--unless you count penicillin, but I think that isn't going to be an issue here since it is a dishcloth, not a pharmaceutical swap ;-o

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Good Book

I really like this book! I hope you can access it just by clicking on the picture--in a perfect world, this will happen instantly...however, since you are in my crazy life, maybe not so much...You should have seen me trying to upload the button for the Fall into Autumn dishcloth sway. As you can see by my sidebar, success was not in the cards. I hope this works better!

When the humans are away....

I am home from work today with some kind of blucky-yucky bug...I finally had to get up because the dogs kept coming to the bed and looking at me then leaving the room--then doing the process over and over again....I think they had a party planned for today and were checking to see if the humans had left.....either that or the trash can was looking really tempting and one was the assigned lookout. It's hard to tell what the cats had planned, but I doubt they would give a darn if humans were in the house or not.

I did accomplish at least a couple things---laundry is washing and a pot roast in in the crock pot. Both things do not require my attention. Oh, and I called Twist and signed up for their sweater class....I went to the store yesterday since it is on my way home from work and I forgot they are closed on Mondays. I do like the fact I could just enroll from the convenience of my home and not have to drive down there today...As you can tell, I have a problem resting when I am sick.

We have had such miserable hot weather lately! I am really not a hot weather person--I never have been, even when I was thinner---and anything in the upper 90's makes me wish for Fall and winter! We are supposed to get cooler weather starting tomorrow and I am excited. I love Fall!

I have managed to knit a little on a scarf I am working on for winter, so I have accomplished a little knitting today. Twist is offering a lace knitting class which is really tempting. I may just have to sign up for it when I go pick out my class supplies. I love lace shawls but have never been able to learn lace on my own. This may be the answer. The class actually teaches beading and lace since you make a lace cuff with beads. They look like they'd be fast gifts. September is going to be a good knitting month. I have knitting classes on three Saturdays--And one of those Saturdays I'll be at the shop almost all day----no, don't make me hang out around yarn for a day...with a credit card.....

End of post note--I am apparently easily distracted today. I left the computer on to put a load of clothes in the washer and there it has sat for approximately 2 hours while I :

1: Did my homework for my Japanese class tonight.
2. Baked and frosted a cake--I came really close to forgetting it was in the oven and didn't hear the timer--it's cooked but luckily I caught it while it was still edible...I frosted it while it was warm to keep it from getting dry. Chef ADD is me! I'm glad I wasn't doing anything involving fire!
3. Emptied and put up the contents of three boxes.
4. Started a load of towels in the washer.

I think this is all nervous energy because I am not used to being home from work....Either that or I am finally getting over the actual process of moving and ready to settle in. Finally!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fall into Autum swap

The Dishcloth Swap aka. "Fall Into Autumn" exchange will open on September 1st and close September 8th at Midnight, EDT! This should be fun! I am working on figuring out how to post the button so suggestions are appreciated on how to do it! I am such a slow learner--where is a teenager when you need them?!

This has been my day!!!

I saw this one on Prairie Gumbo's blog and had to laugh!!! It sums up the past 7 days for me in one picture!!! I LOVE this picture---hope this made you giggle like it did me!

I needed the laugh, so thanks to Prairie Gumbo! I hope I haven't just violated some major code of blogging by copying this, but it was too good not to share!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Two-fer day

Two posts in one day--aren't you just lucky!

Above is a picture of one of my best buddies and a quilt we were working on. This picture is from a while back--I hadn't posted it until now...She did hers in flannel. I think she was better at getting her template pieces the same size...I got really good at improvising and "scooching"....We are both still working on our quilts. My quilt is the one I had my son holding up in a previous post....

I am contemplating how nice it would be to have wood floors downstairs right now. Our 17 yr old dog has been getting progressively worse about remembering the difference between inside and out and I have no idea what to do about it other than keep the carpet shampooer out and ready.Suggestions are welcome!I think she is in the beginning or middle stages of Alzheimer's. We have to stand right beside her in the yard or she forgets where she is at--and often she just walks in circles until we stop her...Keeping her outside is not an option since she doesn't see very well and panics if she thinks we are not there. Plus the fact that it is entirely too hot for a senior dog. I realized the other day that she is older than my twin boys. I know eventually she will pass, which is going to be hard for all of us--the boys have never known life without Kaysha.

We didn't get a huge amount accomplished today--as a matter of fact it is 10 p.m and I have not gotten out of my pj's all day....I did get the downstairs shampooed and vacuumed and cute man got a couple boxes unpacked--we have set a goal to have everything in it's place and a place for everything by the end of September. I figure if I do one box every other day, it will get done...As much as we threw away, I think we can still offload more. Probably a lot more..
I did get my math assignments taken care of, finally. I am taking a math class online from the local community college and it was quite a fiasco getting myself in today.....I'm sure it will be like second nature by the end of the class. Some people swear by online classes---my vote is still out. I like the face to face of classroom interaction, but I'm loving that I don't have to drive the really long distance to campus and saving gas is a definite plus...I guess there are trade offs to everything.
I am reading two books on organizing---I am hoping to glean the best from both for a system to get things organized around here. It seems like ever since I started working, things have fallen farther off track. I did take both books suggestion and got a planner...It has definitely helped keep me on schedule and I don't feel like I am forgetting somewhere I'm supposed to be anymore. I was getting to the point where I would just panic because I thought there was somewhere I was supposed to be that was important, but couldn't remember...this has been a major stress reliever! It helps keep me from double booking or making commitments if the week is already packed with events.
Goals for the remaining days of the month: (If I post them, I am more likely to get them done..strange, but true)
1. Get one box unloaded each day.
2. Put a cleaning schedule in writing so everyone knows who does what, when...

Family Weekend

It didn't take him long to figure out how to dig in!
My niece and Auralis (I am quite sure I misspelled his name...again) picture is Brittiny, son and boyfriend, Ricardo (Auralis's dad)

We went to Stillwater (Oklahoma) this weekend to attend the birthday party of my niece's little boy. I can't believe a year has passed. Shame on me for not seeing this boy since he was born. I had a staph infection when he was a newborn and was NOT going to risk him getting ill--even months after I got a clean bill of health-it took several months to get myself back to some sort of normal--I was very paranoid about making sure every bit was gone....and then life got busy, as we all know it does.

It was a hoot watching him tear into the cake once he figured out what it was. I'm sure he couldn't figure out the crowd of adults and other kids standing in a circle watching his every move....Unfortunately my camera (Vivitar Vivicam 8300s) is not the most user friendly camera, so most of the pictures did not come put completely...However, it was fun to watch him. These pictures were taken at my niece's home.
I was hoping to visit a fabric store in Perkins while in the neighborhood, but we got there at 3:30--the shopped closed at 3:00...figures. Maybe next trip. I am going to make sure we go to Stillwater at least once a month from here on out...
We did get to visit my sister and her family in their new house. They have just moved from the Dallas area to Stillwater so my brother in law could take a teaching job at the local Vo-tech. I'm sure her kids are in for some culture shock after living in Dallas all their lives...We went running around the campus (OSU) for a little bit--things have really changed. There is a new stadium being built--it looks like a stadium on steroids!! There has been a bit of controversy with the college lately. They seem to forget they do not own the town and made some really heartless decisions. At first the city supported the decision and forgot about the citizens--then they created a monster and had to knock the university back to their cage...the university forgets sometimes that while they are a major part of Stillwater, they do not own the town....At any rate, it was interesting to see the campus and how it has changed since I attended and hubby graduated. I did get to go by Aspen coffee company and pick up some really good coffee--so that was a almost a consolation prize for missing the quilt shop...Next time we go back I want to walk downtown and window shop. When Eric and first started dating, we would walk downtown in the evenings after the stores closed. As a single parent, I had no money to buy, so looking when the stores were closed was a good thing. We usually took Brandon with us, so he had run of the sidewalk and Eric and got to stroll together. There was a time when the downtown was really struggling, but it seems to have bounced back...that was good to see.
On the knitting front, I am really hyped about next month! The LYS (Twist) here has a sock class that I was lucky enough to have signed up for before it filled--and then there is a beginning sweater class that I am going to rum down and pay for tomorrow. It will teach the basics of construction using a pattern for a kids sweater----I AM SOOOOO GLAD WE HAVE A YARN STORE THAT TEACHES FORMAL CLASSES. I love our other yarn store also, but I do like going to classes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Many Blessings

Today was a day that I fully realized that I am truly blessed. I got to the office and one of my co-workers had slipped the most wonderful cigar box on my desk while I was gone from the office on Friday. I adore cigar boxes-some of them are true works of art. I will take a picture of this box and post it tomorrow. It really made me happy! I know some people can't figure out why they bring me real joy, but they do! Thank you Kym!

Another blessing I realize is my oldest son's grandmother. Even when things went south---WAYYYYYYY south with sperm donor, oops, Brandon's biological father, Martha and I managed to keep a relationship apart from that chaos. She has been a North Star in many instances.

And my mom in law Carol is a blessing too. We get along well and although I am sure I confuse her sometimes, she graces me with understanding and doesn't judge. I tend to be a free spirit and she just lets me go. I often say I have benefited from her adversity as a single parent of 4 children in a time when women just didn't get child support when fathers ran off--she did a superb job raising her kids and as a result I have someone who is a superb father and husband...oh yeah, and when she and I went to Texas last weekend, we didn't need a bail bondsman--I'm not sure if she was sad or relieved..only kidding. So far in my life I really haven't had to be bailed out of anything....should I put that on the list of things to do when I turn 60?

My parents are blessings too---I can guarantee that I caused every grey hair on their heads...let's just say I was a headstrong child and leave it at that!

Tonight, look around and find blessing wherever they may be. They can be large or small. Often the small ripples are the foundation of a wave. Look for the ripples....and realize even when things are hard, you have blessings.

Monday Morning Eye Candy

Here is that wonderful bush/shrub that I saw in Texas. I was playing with my camera and found out I can transfer pictures to the card--I don't need the cable. Unfortunately I did end up deleting a bit in the learning process, so I guess more Texas pictures will have to wait until November. I was told this is called Mexican bird of paradise and they cut it to the ground each winter....I am going to start some seeds and see what luck I have with it here in Kansas. I'll probably have to plant it in a large pot and let it winter over in my garage...we'll see. It is a stunning plant though!

OK, I guess I need to head to work...Have a great day!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Quick Post Before Bed

This has been a spectacular weekend--I did not accomplish a single thing on my To Do list, but it was pretty relaxing. Hubby, the boys and I went to a hobby store today and then spent the day just hanging out at the house. I did get some cookies baked for the week and even made enough dough to put some in the freezer for future batches.

I really intended to work on my one patch quilt this weekend, but time slipped away and it didn't get done. School starts for both hubby and I this week, so it is going to be busy from here on out for the whole family. I have a math class online from the local junior college that I have assignments due each week in addition to other things...I have never taken an online class but one of the girls at the office swears by them. It does make it easier to juggle family schedules when I can be home doing my class. The Japanese class that I am enrolled in requires that I actually attend class, but I expected that. I am excited about the start of the semester. I had laid out because we were paying for oldest to go to school full time and my schedule just wouldn't fit one more activity into it. This semester, oldest is waiting to establish residency in Iowa and then he will enroll full time, so we have some wiggle room in the budget. The boys are both playing football instead of one in football and one in soccer, so that eliminates trying to get to two different practices and games at the same's all about simplifying. I even started using my day timer again to eliminate the panic of feeling like there is something important I am forgetting...
So, I will close for now.
Good dreams and great coffee to you and yours!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Recap of the week...

I got back from Texas at 2 a.m. Mondy morning. I had to be at work by 9:00a.m.... Needless to say, most of this week has been a sleep deprived blur! My big goal for the week was to make it to Friday without screwing up any important paperwork. I am happy to report that I did not screw anything far as I know. However, this morning was spent sleeping in and doing as little as possible. It has been great. I had a large chore list for today, but that may get pushed off to tomorrow or tonight. Right now, I am seizing the day for me to relax!

I took gobs of pictures while in Texas, but guess who left the memory card in the computer at home. DAMN! When I finally find the computer cable, I will download some pictures. The homeowners across the street from my sister in law have the most incredible tree/shrub in their yard that absolutely pulled me across the street to find out more about it. Hopefully I will have the pictures to load when all is said and done. The neighbors said they got it in Arizona and it was called a Mexican bird of paradise. While I am sure that is not the horticultural name, it is spectacular!! They were even graceful enough to share a handful of seeds. It may not grow this far north, but I fully intend on giving it a try.

My mom-in-law and I got to do a little outlet mall shopping in Gainsville and Hillsboro. I was sad to see that Gainsville had very few shops left--it used to be a major destination. Hillsboro was better, but I found something at both places. The big haul was actually from the grocery store. In Texas you can buy wine in the grocery store. Great wines from both well known wineries and from local wineries. I was looking for Texas wines and was not disappointed. I try to buy wines from each state we visit whenever possible and a community cookbook, although I only got the wine on this trip. I will seek out a community cookbook next time we go. I think Carol and I are going to try to do some of our Christmas shopping there. Hopefully by then the roads from will be fixed. From the time we hit the southern end of Oklahoma right into Temple, it seemed as though every 10 miles had major construction. I was sooooo tired of orange pylons, I was about to scream!

It was great to see my sister in law and her family. It did make me consider how few times a year we visit family. It seems as though the year passes so quickly that there is no time to do any visiting! We are going to Stillwater this coming weekend for the birthday party of my niece's son. He is turning one year old and this will be the first time we have seen him. The sad thing is they only live 3 hours away.....Our family used to have really big "get togethers"--it seems like life has gotten so hectic, we've pretty much stopped. I want to start making sure we get together again. I'm sure it won't be on the scale that we used to have since most of my brother's kids are usually not there (nasty divorce) but it would be nice to see the ones that do attend.

I got new fountain pens in the mail today...I love fountain pens! I have spent half the day writing letters. I usually do not get a response back, as most of my friends do not participate in the art of writing letters, but I still enjoy it. Penmanship my favorite class in school. When I was in school it was taught for more years than it is now. We also had a manners class and a phone manners unit. Both of these REALLY would benefit students today!!!And some adults I know!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Happy Thursday

Is it just me or has this been a longggggggg week?! Along with 100 plus degree weather, it has just been a long week....I go to Texas with my Mom in law this weekend so hopefully I'll have some good pictures to post when I get back.

I did finally go over to the junior college and pay for the Japanese class and the math class that I am taking this Fall semester. The bookstore does not have the required text for my math class --which makes me nervous since class starts on the 20th---but at least the whole class will be in the same boat. The Japanese class is an intro class, but it is going to be pretty involved from the look of the text. I was worried that my schedule would leave the kid at home without an adult but it all turned out great since Cute Man's Tuesday night class was not to be. Turns out that this class in combination with hubby's other class was not what the advisor would have suggested since both are really hard graduate level classes. Tuesday was the only night I was worried about, and it took care of itself...actually it got taken care of with a little prayer for assistance from above. It's funny how it works out when you simply say" Please help this work out..."

And what do you have planned this weekend? Please leave comments -- I love hopping to your blogs when I read my comments. I have found some absolutely fabulous blogs this way....

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Funny Book!, while I am trying to figure out how to get the picture of this book, The Fourth Bear, to come up on my blog, just click and go there....I saw the book at Barnes and Noble and read a little of it and rolled! It's a hoot.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Knitting mojo is back.....

After going to Twist (the new yarn store in Wichita) on Friday, I got my knitting itch going again. I picked up a couple skeins of Berroco Cotton Twist and have started on a cotton scarf for Brandon's girlfriend. I found the magic scarf pattern on Crazy Aunt Pearl's website and it is sooooo easy. It is fun to watch as the basket weave pattern emerges. I did discover that my cats have an affinity for the tips of my Lantern Moon needles. You know, the ones that cost $25 and more ?!!! My love for my cats is getting thin..... From now on, the needles are definitely going in the holder points down!!! Unfortunately the pictures do not capture the brilliance of the colors...a new camera is definitely in order -- soon.

Cute man and one of the boys has been at the baseball stadium since 5:00 yesterday, so Mark and I spent the day playing. We went to see the movie "Ratatouille"--it was cute. I also made him go to a couple fabric shops with me--he was a good sport. It's good to be the queen.....only kidding....maybe...

I did find the neatest blog site today entitled Lazy Gal Quilting. Not only does it have fiber, the pictures of the architecture are heart stopping! Her pictures are the next best thing to being on the streets and museums of France!

Crafty Fun Weekend

Thursday was the second and last hand applique class at Picket Fence Quilt Company---I learned to do stems and leaves. The stem part I think I can do again, the leaf part, only time will tell. I am completely addicted to the little hearts that I have been appliqueing in muslin though. I am planning a quilt around the ones I've done well and will continue to applique until I have enough for a quilt. The hearts are an easy project to take along. While I was at the quilt company Thursday waiting for others to arrive, the owner gave me two demos of some possible new addictions. One was Russian needle punch. Although it looks easy enough, I may have to take a class....the other was this completely awesome purse that I've seen at a couple quilt shops lately. It is a matter of layering, quilting , binding and sewing -- I was shocked at how easy! These are going to make really fast Christmas gifts!

I got to FINALLY visit the new yarn store in town, Twist. If you have a chance to get to Wichita, make plans to visit. The owner is really friendly and they have some wonderful yarns. I signed up for a sock class that starts in September. I actually know the two girls teaching it from the Wichita KIP (knit in public). Anyway, Twist has tables and comfy couches for hanging out and knitting. And they are close enough to my office that I may have to start wandering over there when I get off work. My camera is charging right now, so I will post pictures of some yarn I had to buy once it charges.

Speaking of charging. I am starting to think a new camera is in order. Laura, at Sugar Bunny Boulevard was gracious enough to share what type of camera she uses for the awesome pictures she takes on her blog. Check out her blog--it's great reading. There may be a new camera in the house come Friday......

Cute man and one of the boys (Jeremy) are at an all night, all day (3 day) baseball tournament (Baseball Around the Clock). They are going to be pretty darn exhausted by the time they get home. Jeremy was pretty psyched about going, let's see of he and cute man ever want to see another baseball game again after this adventure......Mark and I have been hanging out at the house but are planning to take in a movie and a little shopping today. It's going to be a fun day!

DRIVE-BY SURF ALERT: Ever heard of a kumquat? I was surfing blogs (drive-by surfing?) today and came across a link to this gem check it out, there is even a little ditty that shows you how to EAT a kumquat...and a place to buy them (in November only)...I may just have to order a 10 pound box and make kumquat preserves.....hmmmmm...kumquat....giggle. See what happens when you leave a bored fruit namer in charge? Maybe the guy that named this is the same one that named the platypus....