Random Thoughts on Thursday

*  October=more leaves in my house than on the tree.

*  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Plexus is offering a Buy One Get One sale on their Breast Check Kit.   The Breast Check Kit was featured on The Doctors.  Buy one for yourself and get one free to share with your sister.  Your daughter.  Your BFF.  You can order HERE.
*  The ladies are getting a new chicken coop.  Or condo as Bryan refers to it.  We've had all summer to work on it and of course now that it is getting colder outside we are trying to get it put together.  More on that when it's together and I can take pictures.  

Happy Thursday my friends.  

Knitting This Week

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 yarn.  I worked on several projects this week mostly the purple sweater for C's school fundraiser.  I finished the back and started the left front.

On Monday I had a bit of time before I picked C up at her school so I stopped at the new Goodwill store.  I was generally disappointed with the store- I'm not sure if it's because it is new and not fully stocked or it is was a Monday and they had a busy weekend, but the store was not stocked and not organized at all.  I did however score some awesome yarn!

That's right!  I got four skeins of Cascade 220 for $1.99 each!  And it's a color I love!  I've already been searching for sweaters or vests to make with it!  I also got this skein of Abuelita yarn for $1.99.  I will use it to make something for C.  I'll definitely check back to see what kind of yarn they are stocking.

Knitting This Week

It's Wednesday and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along.  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  I decided to make the Funky Grandpa with my Rhinebeck yarn. This is fingering weight yarn from O Wool.  I had never heard of or seen it but fell in love with the colors and knew that I had found what I was in search of.
 Since we were at a yarn festival I got a lot of knitting done on the Maisie sweater for Miss C's school fundraiser.  I am in the middle of the back and in an inch start the decrease for the arm holes.  The yarn is still not my favorite but I'm getting the hang of knitting with it.
Yes those are kitty paws...
 Since I am doing a spending zero challenge for the month of October through the blog Living Well Spending Less I decide to read her book.  It is called Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup.  I am also reading Outcast Dead (on my ipad) by Elly Griffiths.  It is book six in the series.  I got a lot of reading done during the trip.  And it's easy for me to read on my ipad and knit mindlessly.

Happy Yarn Along Wednesday!

Rhinebeck Weekend

Last Thursday the mama's (The Dragon's) and I left for New York and the 2015 New York Sheep and Wool Festival! Hello to the insanity!  (I didn't even take a picture of the craziness, but I heard there were 40,000 people there on Saturday).

On Friday two of the mama's took a design class and the other mama and I went sightseeing.  We drove down and toured the grounds of both Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill estate and FDR's childhood home.  Then we took a tour of the Vanderbilt Mansion.  The grounds of all three were gorgeous, the leaves just coming into color (not quite peak, but stunning) and all were very impressive.

The Vanderbilt Mansion was one of the smallest and "cheapest" of all of the mansions built by a Vanderbilt.  It had 14 bathrooms!  When Frederick Vanderbilt died in 1938 he left this estate to his wife's niece.  But she didn't want it and tried to sell it first at a price of $350,000.  But due to the times, no one bought it.  She reduced the price to $250,000 (which in those times was A LOT of money, but I can't help think that since my house is over that in todays money I would have bought it in a heart beat).  And still no one bought it.

FDR suggested she donate the house and it's contents to the National Park Service and it opened to the public in 1940.

 Saturday was the day!  First day of the festival.  We got there about 10:30 and it was Cuh-razy! We got spilt up pretty much right away.  My plan was to walk around, do a little reconnaissance and then decide what to purchase.  It was a tad overwhelming.  It was hard to get into booths and feel the yarn.  But I did manage to walk through three buildings and mark my booklet to know which places I wanted to return to later.

I got to meet up with Donna.  I love this whole blog thing.  I consider everyone a friend from the blogosphere and it is so exciting to actually meet in person.  I spent the afternoon with Donna and her friend walking around the rest of the booths.  It was a chilly day and I kind of wished I had finished my Sylvi sweater, but I was rocking the Hitofude.
Donna & me.
 Donna made mention that Sunday is a much calmer day.  She was spot on.  It was easy to walk around and I was able to go back and make my purchases.  I was torn about what to buy though for the sweater I decided to make.  So many choices!  Ultimately I decided to only buy yarn for my sweater.  I was going to purchase yarn to make Miss C a sweater as well, but in the end I couldn't bring myself to spent upwards of $60-80 on yarn to make a sweater for a 4 year old.
The Dragons with Miss Babs.
I didn't venture too far into the Miss Bab's booth (either day) as it was pure insanity.  My friends waited in line for over 45 minutes on Saturday to make their purchases.  I was able to feel it and it was very nice.  I'll do my ordering on line!  Miss Babs was kind enough to take a photo with us on Sunday.

Stay tuned for a yarn photo.  I'm still downloading everything and unpacking.

Knitting This Week

It's Wednesday again and that means it is time for the weekly yarn along  I'm joining with Ginny and everyone to share yarn and books.  Last week I finished my Hitofude.  This week I started Maisie .  It is a pattern from Debbie Bliss.  I am making this cute little sweater for Miss C's school's annual fundraiser.  

I bought this discontinued yarn at a new crafting thrift store in Boulder.  It is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan.  Quite frankly I can see why it is discontinued.  I don't like knitting with it.  It makes my fingers hurt and it splits easily.  But I love the color and it was cheap.  

 I read Full Body Burden last week.  It is a double story.  It is about the Rocky Flat Nuclear Weapons facility.  It is also about the authors life growing up downwind of Rocky Flats.  Honestly I read this book to know more about Rocky Flats.  I grew up in the mountains "upwind" of the plant.  We drove by it all the time when going to Denver.  We knew what was going on in the plant, but I had no idea of how much was covered up.  I  was pretty shocked at the history of cover up.  There was a big trial in Denver (which I don't remember) and there is still a gag order in place.  Crazy.
Happy Yarn Along Wednesday my friends!

End of Summer Garden Sauce

Don't mind the messy kitchen, it was baking day!
OK, it's Roasted Tomato Sauce.  I've been gathering what's left in the garden and slow roasting it in the oven.  This particular batch of sauce has Roma tomatoes, Red Siberian tomatoes, Yellow Jubilee tomatoes, a few cherry tomatoes, peppers, and onions.  (one earlier batch had squash chunks roasted as well).

There is no recipe for my sauce.  Once all the veggies are washed and chunked into whatever baking dish is available,  I drizzle olive oil over the veggies, then sprinkle salt and sugar and the herbs I have on had.  The it all goes into the oven.  I roast it until it looks right to me (usually a couple of hours).

Once I've pulled it out of the oven I let it cool down for an hour or so then dump the whole thing into the blender and puree it.  Each batch has been just a little bit different depending on what (and how much) is ripe.  I have jarred each batch and then water bath canned them.

Which means we'll be eating a lot of pasta this winter!  But there is nothing like homemade sauce in the middle of winter.

31 Days of Spending Zero::Update

Week one of the 31 days of living well and spending zero challenge is in the books.  How'd we do?  I thought we did really well until I got home from work yesterday.  I didn't think it was too difficult this week to not spend any money.  But I worked seven out of the last eight days.

Like most people we live paycheck to paycheck so when payday rolls around we usually have most of the check already accounted for.  This week was no exception.  I got paid on Monday and paid the bills that were due from the 1st-15th.  I shopped at Target and Costco and bought ONLY the items that were on my list!!!  That was a major score for me.  Have you ever gone to Target and only bought list items?  It's difficult.

One of the challenges this week was a pantry clean out.  I dug through the pantry and freezer and made lists of what we had on hand and will try to meal plans around that.  I also went to the grocery store for perishables.  My grocery budget this week was $30.  I spent $33 and was impressed that I got everything I needed!

I got home from work yesterday to find that my husband had purchased a new bicycle.  Ugh.  So I'm a little bit frustrated.  Apparently he is not on board with the challenge.  We've also paid for a new tires and a hefty car repair bill.

I put money aside back in April for my Rhinebeck trip with the Dragons (Bryan calls our crafting group that because as he says we sit around and "spew fire").  My challenge for that will be to stick to the budget I set up!

I'm excited to see what week 2 has in store!


This photo by Miss C
I did it!  I finished my Hitofude.  I cast on a little over a year ago.  I knit this sweater off and on for the whole year.  There always seemed to be something more important to knit (baby & Christmas gifts).

Last summer I searched for weeks for a yarn that I liked.  I found this Quaere Fibre on Etsy.  It is merino and silk.  And oh so soft.  The color is Butter!

I'm excited that it's finished in time for Rhinebeck.  And I hope the weather is warm enough to wear it at least for a little while!

A HUGE Challenge

I signed up for, what possibly could be the scariest challenge. EVER. I'm excited and very nervous. Have you ever gone a whole month where you only paid the basic bills and didn't buy any extras?  I haven't and that is probably why I am in debt up to my eyeballs. 

I have taken Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class twice. Once with my husband and then the second time because we missed crucial information due to previous commitments the first go. He's not totally on board with it yet so I'm hoping this jumpstarts a little desire to be debt free on his part. 

I sat down tonight and did a rough budget of things that we need to pay and some items we've committed to paying for. (Rhineback was budgeted for back in April so that's a go). I think to start with it will be a challenge for us to stop eating out and maintaining a weekly menu. 

Also Starbucks and impluse items at Costco and Target are an issue. I'm going to make a list and stick to that list!  Check out 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero to find the challenge. There are over 60,000 people signed up so far.

It is my hope that this challenge plus the accountability both here on this blog and with other bloggers (and participants) will lead to some lifestyle and budget changes.

Happy Friday Friends!


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