Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for the weekly yarn along.  Books and knitting, two of my favorite things.  I've been working on my Summit wrap that I'm making for a Christmas present.  But I also started the Sweet Memories Cowl designed by Jacinta over at Embracing It All.  A good friend had her birthday at the beginning of October.  About the middle of October I decided that an easy knit giftie was in order.  This weekend I finally got around to casting on the cowl with some soft stash yarn.  However, I'm not knitting as fast as I thought I would.
I'm reading Devil's Highway.  A friend read the book and gave it to me and it's been in my pile of books for ages.  It is follows a group of men from Mexico who pay money to a coyote to smuggle them across the border in Arizona.  All of them are looking to make money to send it back to their families in Mexico.  From what I've read, they were looking for money, not to stay in the United States.  They all had plans to go home to their families.  Basically the guide gets lost and most of the men die of heat stroke.  The author pieces the story together from border patrol reports, survivor interviews, family stories and legal reports from INS.  It's actually a pretty fascinating read.

I'm also in need of some help.  A good friend is having a baby in April and I'd like to knit a baby present.  I usually make blankets.  But after having a baby and being inundated with blankets I think I'd like to branch out.  What are your favorite knitted baby gifts?

Thank you.  Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Mom Brain

They are not kidding about this mom brain thing.  If I don't write it down, it's not happening.  I've got my little notebook with my lists and to-do's.  I've always had the notebook for jotting down things, but I've become quite reliant on it.  It's quite frustrating.

For example: Corrine's 2011 Halloween costume was a duck.  I had planned on taking it to the consignment store.  At the beginning of October when we were getting down the boxes of Halloween decorations I was sure the duck costume was in the box with all of the yard lights.  Nope.  Not there.  Couldn't find it anywhere.  Bryan kept asking if I'd looked in certain places and while I was sure I had looked, I looked again.  Driving.  Me.  Crazy.

Two weeks ago some friends came to visit with their nine month old.  I've been giving them Corrine's clothes that don't fit and we had a box ready for pick up.  We were sitting around the living room and I asked them what Ruth Ann was going to be for Halloween.  They replied, "the chicken costume that you gave us."  I said, "oh the duck" and in my head I said, "well, $hit."  After they left I called Bryan and I told him I found the costume.  I had no idea that I'd given it to them.  Oh well.  I'm glad Ruth Ann will wear it.

People keep telling me it gets worse as the kids get older.  I'm already at a disadvantage since I'm an old mom.  I'm in trouble.

The Weekend

There wasn't really a weekend for me this week since I worked Saturday and Sunday.  There were snipets of family time though.

On Friday-
*a friend was in town and we got together with other friends who we don't see nearly often enough.

On Saturday (before I left for work)-
*we took Corrine down to the neighborhood shops for trick or treating.  (She doesn't eat candy, it's for us!)  She is Abby Cadabby the fairy from Sesame Street.
She wasn't sure what we were doing putting wings on her back and poofs in her hair.

On Sunday-
*dropped Corrine off at The G's on my way to work.  I'm having some mommy time in a hotel in Portland Oregon.
This is the view from my room.  As you can see, it's a typical Pacific Northwest kind of day.  I'm kind of grateful because now I don't feel guilty for hanging out in my hotel room playing on the computer, listening to Pandora, knitting and getting ready to watch The Sound of Music.  My kind of relaxing Sunday afternoon.  (Although later, I will turn on the TV to watch some football before bed).

Have a good week!

Techincal Difficulties

I've been having techinical difficulites with the wireless modem at our house.  I first noticed it back in July when it seemed to take forever to load certain web pages.  Facebook, for example, could take up to five mintues to fully load the log in page.  I would enter a website and then go do something else in the house and come back a few minutes later.  I'm on my computer more than hubby is on his because I'm home more.  He said his speed was fine and that is must be my ancient iBook G4. 

I fully believe it until the beginning of August when I took my computer on the road with me to do some on line training for work.  The second I signed in to the Hyatt wireless every pages I visited loaded in seconds. I was able to surf to my hearts content.  That clued me in that it was not my computer.  I got around to calling Century Link (Qwest) for some help.  The very nice lady fiddled with a few settings, I fiddled with some web pages and we declared it a fix.  I enjoyed some faster speeds than I had been used to (although not lightening fast) and had some quality computer time. 

When we returned from Europe, I noticed the speeds had again dropped to less than dial up fast.  So I called again and spoke to a not very nice, condescending, jerk of a customer service rep.  He did not help me and basically told me that it was a my problem and not theirs. 

Bryan finally had some work to do on his computer that required him to sit there and he realized it was going slowly.  He called Century Link on Monday.  The tech agent called me and we reset some settings.  Turns out our modem is bad.  My inside voice said some not very nice things (since I've been dealing with this for months) and my outside voice said "thank you very much for helping me get to the bottom of this." 

Hopefully our new modem has arrive and is set up. 

The post coming to you from the computer in the lobby of the Milwaukee Sheraton. 

This Moment

This Moment.
A Friday ritual.
A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week.
A single, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want pause, savour, and remember.

Yarn Along

Welcome to Wednesday!  It's time once again for the weekly yarn along.  Books and knitting.  Two of my favorite things.  I'm moving along quite nicely on the Log Cabin Blanket.  I'm now on color block 16 which is this bright watermelon color.  I'm trying to not repeat any colors (although towards the end that may be impossible) so I have to use this color.  I know it looks orange in this picture, but it is really a bright pink.  I tried inside, outside, flash, no flash to take this picture and it just doesn't convey the true color.
I also finished a crochet project I've been working on.  It's a crib size baby blanket made entirely out of scrap yarn from many years of baby blanket projects.  My plan is to donate this blanket to the Linus Project.
I just yesterday finished The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo.  I highly recommend  this book.  It was a great story that was told from the perspective of five generations of women.   I can now read another library book that has just been sitting by the bedside, waiting patiently... It is Where We Belong by Emily Giffin.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

It's Done!!!!

I'm calling it finished!  I have been crocheting this baby blanket out of scrap yarn from years of baby blankets that I made for all of my friends.  I made up the pattern.  Really there is no pattern.  It is a single crochet row of color.  The tails at each end make fringe.  I put the colors together however I felt like it.
There is no more than four rows of the same color at any given time.  Typically I put two rows together.  It fits perfectly in Corrine's crib.  That is why I decided it was done.   There is a lot of baby yarn left over so I'm certain that a new charity project will be on the hook or needles soon.  I am donating this to the Linus Project.

Actually one of authors I love to read, Debbie Macomber, has a charity project that she collects knit and crochet projects for.  It's called Knit 1, Bless 2.  She collects completed projects that her readers send to her and she donates them to three different charities and the Linus Project is one.  I signed up to donate several projects last year since I had so much yarn and was at home for the first three months of the year.  But having a new baby and trying to knit did not go so well together.  That is why I'm excited to be able to send her two blankets this year. 

The Weekend

Yay for the four day weekend.  Bryan works 12 hour days.  Three days one week and four days the following week.  So we actually have a four day weekend every other week.  We try to actually have the "weekend" together as a family so we can play, but sometimes it is just easier for me to work on his days off to save on day care.  Not so on this weekend.  We played.  We-

  • went to the mountains and hiked for two days... (and left before the snow came in on FR!).
  • made apple pie
  • raked leaf piles and played in said piles
  • threw leaves for Buffett to chase and laughed till we cried
  • took Henley in for his quarterly blood donation
  • swapped homemade goodness at the October food swap
  • knit and crocheted the evenings away
  • happy hour on Friday with good friends 

Have a great week!

Apple Impromptu

Corrine and I took the boys for a walk the other day.  One of the neighbors was giving away bags of apples.  Corrine very excitedly said "apple.  apple"  She does love her apples.  Anyhoo, we've gone through all of our apples, so now we'll work on the neighbors apples.

I made an apple impromptu.  I think it is kind of like an apple cobbler except the topping isn't a biscuit topping it's more of a batter.  The recipe is from The Pillsbury Family Cook Book.  I think the book is from the 60's.  It was my  moms.  The cookbook has definite seen better days.  It is a binder type of book and the pages are all dog eared and falling out.  She gave it to me when she found the same cookbook is practically mint condition at an indoor antique mall.  One of these days I'll sit down and put the pages in order with the little hole stickies to keep them from ripping out again.

Apple Impromptu-
4 C peeled, sliced apples
3/4 C sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
1 T butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 t vanilla
1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder

Preheat oven to 400.  Place apples in a well greased 8 or 9 inch baking dish.  Combine 1/4 C sugar with the cinnamon, sprinkle over apples.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cream butter and gradually add the remaining 1/2 C sugar.  Blend in egg and vanilla.  Add flour and baking powder.  Spread over apples in pan.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  Serve warm or cold.

We always make a double batch of the topping.  Goes well warmed with vanilla ice cream.

Obviously this batch is not a 9 inch pan.  My 9 inch baking dish had brownies in it and feeling lazy I just added some more apples and tripled the batter portion of the recipe.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it's time for the weekly yarn along.  Books and knitting.  Two of my favorite things.  I think it was a very productive week for both.

I'm more than half way through The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo.  The story is five generations of women basically living in the same house.  They are being studied by a geneticist because the matriarch is 112 and he thinks since she has lived so long and so well she may hold the key to aging.  But she has a secret.  I think I know what it is, but it hasn't been revealed yet.  We'll see if I'm right.  The story is told in sections- each woman has her own section- and by flashbacks and what is currently happening.  I think it is a very good first novel.

I was able to get lots of knitting done.  I worked on my Log Cabin Blanket which was nice because it is keeping me warm while knitting.  I've also been working on the shawl for my sister in law.  The pattern is called Summit.  Now that I'm in the rhythm of the pattern, it's actually pretty easy.  The hardest part is dropping the stitch to unravel to create the link between the sections.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Indian Summer

Last week it was 80 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday.  By Friday it was in the 30's.  Saturday saw rain in the morning and spitting snow in the afternoon.  Monday it was back in the 70's.  I love October!

I was out of town and had hubby cover the tomatoes and peppers that I hadn't had a chance to pick.  When I got home I bundled up and picked the ripe ones in the cold and wet.  I recovered the plants in the hopes they would be okay.  They weren't.  I pulled the plants today.  I'm bummed but I think we got plenty of goodness anyway.

I love the warm days and cool nights.  I love snuggling under the warm blankets with the kitties (because according to Bryan we have to wait until November to put the down comforter on the bed).   The dogs are loving the days because it isn't too hot for them.  We are getting back into a routine of afternoon walks.
I wish we had more red trees, but they are not as common here as they are on the east coast.  We do have beautiful yellow/gold aspen groves.  Word is that because of hot dry summer the leaves won't last as long and won't be as pretty.  What I'm not loving about the leaves is Henley bringing them into the house on his fur.

Hope you are having a fabulous Indian Summer too!

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday and that means it's time again for the weekly yarn along.  I look forward to Wednesdays to see what every is knitting and reading.  Besides it keeps me on task with my own projects.

Books and knitting.  Two of my most favorite things!  This past week I checked out two books at the library even though I was already reading two books.  New library books trump the "already sitting on a shelf forever books that looked good at the time."  I read Debbie Macombers new book, the Inn at Rose Harbor.  A nice easy read, but a good escape.  I feel like the characters in her books are my friends and I'm anxious to find out what happens next.   This week I checked out the Roots of the Olive Tree.  I read about this book from Cassie.  It was written by a friend of hers.  I haven't started it yet, it's in my tote bag for work tomorrow.
This past week I also started the shawl for my sister in law for Christmas.   Once I got in the rhythm of the pattern it was easy enough.  It was getting to that point that I found difficult.  Thank goodness for you tube!  
I also worked a bit on my log cabin blanket.  I need to go through my tub of scrap yarn to find some more colors for the blanket.  I'm on color block 14 of 22 and I'd like to make it all the way without duplicating colors.  I'm not sure if that is possible or not.  

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!  

Chickens and Bees

Chickens and Bees!  I don't have either.  I want both.  I've got room for both.  I've got a site to place bees all picked out.  I think it would be perfect.  I'm considering a site for chickens.  Both would make my little homesteading in the city a bit easier.

I fully expect to have bees next spring.  Chickens are a whole other story.

I just read Keeping Chickens by Ashley English.  And we recently visited a friend of my parents who has chickens.  Corrine could hear the chickens as we walked through the backyard, but the look on her face as we walked through the chicken coop was priceless.  Too bad I was carrying her and didn't have my camera out.

I have a list in my head of pros and cons of keeping chickens.  The top of my list of course is eating eggs that I know exactly where they came from.  And the eggs don't get any fresher than walking out the back door and gathering them.  I like the idea of being self sufficient (although we aren't nor will we be), but this is a step in that direction.  Actually if I am honest eating fresh eggs is the only pro on my list.

There are two cons on my list and they are equally big ones.   We have two big dogs.  As Bryan questioned what would I do if Buffett got to the chickens?  He said (and probably true) I'd cry like a baby.  The other important consideration to take in is my  job.  Who's going to take care of my chickies when I'm on an overnight trip?  And we do love to travel.  It's one thing to have a pet sitter for the fur kids, but would she take care of the feathered ones as well?

I've given the care issue a little thought.  A type of chicken co-op.  I think work in exchange for eggs is a good deal.  Corrine's babysitter grew up on a farm and is familiar with that type of work.   I should discuss it with her first before I go ahead making plans.    That leaves the dog issue.

In the meantime we are getting fresh eggs from a co-worker of Bryan's.


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