Definitely Pumpkins

About six weeks ago I posted about some plants coming up that I wasn't sure what they were going to be.  Fast forward to today.  I know now they are pumpkins.  But what kind?
I'm fairly certain they are New England Pumpkin Pie Pumpkins.  They aren't very big and if they were Jack O Lantern Pumpkins then they should be much larger.  I think this particular plant might be more than one seed.  I had planted some seed and it never came up so I replanted it.  Then I had the sprinkler system fixed and now it is getting regular watering.  I hope it is more than one seed.  Can you imagine if it was only one seed planted and the plant got to be this huge?  It's taking over that section of the backyard.  It's like that kids book The Great Green Turkey Creek Monster.

The Four Year Sock Project

In May 2009 Bryan and I took a trip for our first wedding anniversary.  We went to wine tasting in the Willamette Valley south of Portland, Oregon.  We tasted wine, walked around some very nice small towns, ate great food, and tasted more wine.  In one of the small towns we went to I drug Bryan into a cute quilt shop mostly to admire what others can do.  But right up the street was a yarn shop!  Of course we had to go in and being the good husband he is didn't argue.  (I also went into bike shops with him though...).

This is the conversation that happened while in the yarn shop as I was touching all the yarn:
B: you should make me a sweater.
J: (laughing) why on earth would I make you a sweater?  You don't wear sweaters.
B: I would wear it if you made it.
J: (laughing) no you wouldn't.
B: you should make me something.
J: seriously?
B: yes.

At this point we consulted the shop lady and it was decided to make Bryan and pair of socks.  I had never knit socks before and certainly thought they looked difficult.  She pointed me in the direction of a very easy sock pattern, Knitting Pure and Simple Beginners Sock.  Bryan and I decided on a grey sock yarn.  I bought double point  needles and cast on.  It took a couple of months to finish one sock.  I had to go into my LYS to get some direction on the heel, but for the most part it was a pretty easy sock. I then started on the other sock.

Fast forward to the present.  I had to go back to my LYS to get direction on the heel, but I finally finished the sock!  Bryan now has a PAIR!  The socks are a little big so he is going to use them as slippers (we all wear crocs in the house).  The lady at the shop assured me that one skein of yarn would make a pair of socks.  As I was finishing the first sock, I was sure I was going to run out of yarn on the second sock, so I switched to the all grey color.  I'm never a good judge of yardage.  As it turns out, I did have enough to finish the second sock, but just barely, so I'm glad that I used the other yarn.  Maybe I should have kept knitting and then used the grey after all the other was used up.  We are both ok with how they are though.

Knitting socks wasn't too bad, but it will be some time before I'm brave enough to try them again.  I would also like to learn to make two socks at a time so it doesn't take me that long to finish a pair of socks ever again.  If you have an easy (or favorite) sock pattern that I can put in my ravelry queue, please let me know.

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share books and knitting (& crocheting).  I haven't really been working on any new knitting.  I decided to stitch together the squares I received as part of the square swap group on Ravelry.    One person dropped out and so I have to make my own square to fill in.  Actually, I 'll have to make one small rectangle and one large rectangle.  You can see that all of the "squares" are different sizes.  I didn't try to put them together by color, but rather by size.  After I make my squares and stitch the whole thing together, I'm going to crochet a border around the edges to finish.  Then I will drop it off at the local Project Linus drop box.  
I finished the book Starting Now by Debbie Macomber.  I liked it, but I thought the end was wrapped together too neatly.  I do like her books and wasn't disappointed by this one.  It was an easy read.  I just started reading City of Bones by Michael Connelly on my ipad.   Too soon to judge that one yet.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday.


A portrait a week for a year.
This week:  Corrine at the park playing on the dragon.  We had just listened to Puff the Magic Dragon the day before.

Freezing Rhubarb

The rhubarb plant was taking over.  I decided it was time to fill the freezer of rhubarb for pies and muffins this winter.  (I really must do a better job of taking before and after shots).  Before I pulled some rhubarb I could not get to the compost bin.  And that is how much is left of the plant!  

C and I trimmed the leaf end outside and then went inside to wash the stalk and trim the other end of the stalk.  I cut the rhubarb into half inch chunks and put them into a large bowl.  Then I dug out my handy dandy sealer and put 3 cups of chunked rhubarb into each bag and sealed them up.

I've always done 3 cups per bag because it has seemed like a good starting point for recipes.  When the bags of rhubarb are defrosted, there is a lot of moisture.  I usually snip a hole in the corner of the bag and then squeeze out the excess liquid.   That method has always worked for me.  I'm not sure if there is a better or easier way.  If anyone has some experience with that I'm open to suggestions.  

Shared: Independence Day Challenge.

My First Knit

Rather than bore you with the same project I'm knitting and the same books I'm reading, I thought I would share with you my first ever knit project.  

Back in the day, I was in 4H.  I learned how to bake & cook, I had a Hereford heifer named Rosie that I raised from a calf, & I learned about gardening both veggies and flowers.  And I learned how to knit.  This was the poncho project I entered into the Franklin County Fair in Kansas when I was ??.  My mom thought seven or eight.  I thought six or seven, so we'll go with the average and say seven.   My mom keeps it in the trunk in her basement with some of my other school aged goodies.  

I can remember mom making me knit so many rows a day in order to finish the project by the deadline. Looking at it now you can totally tell it was made in the mid 70's.  I still like the color combos, but it is a super scratchy acrylic yarn.  At least modern acrylic yarn is much softer.  
I did win a ribbon on my poncho, but I can't remember what place I was in.

And that was the start of my knitting addiction.  Yeah, there were some years there in the  middle when it wasn't "cool" to knit but I'm glad those days are long gone.

The Weekend

Ah, the weekend.  I'd say that nothing much was accomplished this weekend and that would only be half right.  On Saturday I ran the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon.  Yep.  I got up at 0430 on Saturday morning to run 13 miles.  What was I thinking?  It was not my best half, but it was not my worst one either.  I finished and that was what I had hoped for.  Although about mile 7 I wished I had brought my phone so I could call hubby to come pick me up.  And had I trained to run 13 miles I'm sure I would have done far better.  The most milage I had done prior to this race was 4 miles!! I just didn't have the time and shoulder surgery put a crimp into training.  Next year.   Next year I will train for this race.  That is my goal. 
After the race we came home, I tried to take a nap, but it just didn't take.  This past week the cleaning and organizing bug hit me.  I've re-done the laundry room which also doubles as my office and crafting room.  Bryan and I have also started re-organizing the downstairs living room.  We decided we have too much stuff so we wanted to simplify and de-clutter.  Plus Corrine's school is doing a fundraiser when school starts.  Basically any items that you would donate to Goodwill or ARC they will take and the school gets a percentage of the weight of everything the school turns in.  So I started to go through our stuff.

I was pretty sore on Sunday.  I've been worse though so I was kind of prepared.  I had a date with a slow treadmill and the foam roller at the gym.  I rolled for about 15 minutes.  Boy did that hurt.  But if felt good after.  I could feel the stiffness in my hips and the sides of my thighs melt away.  Then I walked on the treadmill for 15 minutes at a slow speed just to keep the stiffness from coming back.  I can actually go up and down the stairs now.  Which is good because I continued to clean and de-clutter.

A friend of mine is having a bake/art sale this coming weekend as a fundraiser to raise tuition for her fall semester in school.  She is an artist but on disability so this is how she can pay her tuition and buy the supplies she needs.  I volunteered to bake goodies for her bake sale.  On Sunday I made cookies.  I plan to make some sort of zucchini bread and a banana blueberry bread.  And if I have time something with rhubarb.

So.  Did anyone else do something crazy over the weekend?  Hope you all have a good week.

The Garden This Week- - Aug 9th

We've had some unseasonably cool weather here in the Denver area.  Like in the 60's and 70's.  It's nice for the people and big black dogs.  My garden however... those heat loving tomatoes are not sure what is going on.  This little tomato is a volunteer from last year.  It is growing in the area that we referred to as the "tomato jungle" so I'm not sure what kind of tomato it will turn out to be.  Right now it is growing gangbusters while some of the others are just blah.  I'm a little concerned that I won't have ripe tomatoes for tomato sauce.  And that just scares me.  
volunteer tomato
We did finally get some broccoli.  I think the cool weather has helped with that.  The cucumbers are coming in as well.  Our first lemon cucumbers are growing and we are anticipating munching on them!
lemon cucumber
This past week I pulled the rest of the beets and pickled them.  Hubby loves his pickled beets and that is the only reason they are growing in the garden.   The bibb lettuce bolted ages ago, but I've left in the garden to pick for the chickies as an evening treat.

Random Thoughts on Thursday

Some of the thoughts running through my mind today...

* I go back to work on August 19th.  My shoulder still hurts a bit.  Maybe I am being impatient and it will take a lot longer to completely heal.  But I am ready to go back to work.  As much as I have loved being home everyday, I am not a good stay at home mom.   I am lucky in that my full time job is not really full time at all in the sense that I work 8-5 M-F.  I don't.  I can work nights, weekends, early mornings.  Really whatever works with our schedules.    There have been a lot of changes at work and that makes me a little nervous.  I'm sure I'll get the flow of things quickly enough to feel comfortable.  

* Funny.  Now that I am going back to work, I am finding all kinds things that needs to be done around the house.  Cleaning, decluttering, reorganizing.  Things I totally could have done while being home for three months.  OK, the first six weeks I could barely lift anything, but you know what I  mean!

* Buffett is healing quite nicely from his ACL surgery.  He must be walked on a short leash to pee in the backyard.  He is still confined to the house although he thinks he can do all kinds of things he shouldn't do, like run and jump.  It is frustrating for all of us to see him think he can jump on the bed when he really can't.  

* C has really been into Angelina Ballerina lately.  And high heals.  Oma bought her some Cinderella shoes that are now her "dancing shoes".  Which is hilarious because she can hardly walk in them let alone dance!  I wish I had video! 

Yarn Along

It is Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly knitting update.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share books and yarn.  Not much going on in the knitting world here.  I'm just working on my August square for the square swap.  I feel like this past week has been so busy and we've had no time at home.  
 And on the book front...again so busy with little time to read.  Would you believe that I'm still reading the same two books.  Yep, Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (although I do only have 30 pages left of that one) and Angel's Flight by Michael Connelly.  I just go these two book in the mail.  I belong to paperbackswap and these were two of my more recent choices.  But.  I've got to stop going to the library.  We went on Monday to turn in C's summer reading list and claim her book prizes and a book I have been wanting to read was on the shelf.  So what did I do?  Yep, checked it out.  And when do I think I'll get it read?
Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!


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