Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stars

Our pool is all put together and running now. We even got in it this afternoon. Best of all, I managed to master climbing onto the inflatable lounge we bought.

I am going to be SO happy when we get our little turkeys out of the house. All the cheeping and poultry odors are going drive me crazy. The cheeping could be worse. They could be guineas.

In gardening news: I will be harvesting peas very soon. Our first big harvest from the garden this year. I love the watering all being automatic. Things are growing so well. The place where I have noticed the most dramatic change is in our hanging baskets on the porches. Oh my goodness are they ever lush looking. They look fantastic. I have never had baskets that look that good.

Yesterday, I did my shopping. We got Daddy a new tv and he loves it. I was not going to try to hide it from him until Sunday. It was too big. When we got home, Knitter #2 asked me how we were going to hide it from him. I am pretty sure that she was looking forward to wrapping it. She loves presents even if they are for other people. Getting them and wrapping them for other people is almost as fun as getting her own to unwrap. She wanted me to make him lots of clothes for Father’s Day. I don’t think she believes that he doesn’t like new clothes as much as she does…

And speaking of new clothes:



These are the fabrics I picked out for our 4th of July dresses. I am using the same pattern for the girls’ dresses. They are nearly the same size. I am going really fancy for my dress. Just because I never go the fancy route for myself. My dress has boning, a lining, and ruffle inside for some body. I think it is going to be fabulous. It better be fabulous.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Father's Day Presents

I think that for the 4th of July this year, I will make us girls some dresses. Hopefully I can find some cool looking red, white, and blue fabrics. I don’t really want us to all look the same, so 2 or 3 different fabrics would be nice.

Father’s Day is also coming, so I have find some good presents for Brent. I promised him more pajama bottoms, so I need to sew them up this week. Men can be hard to buy for. For several years he’s been asking for a bigger, better tv. It didn’t help when the one we had quit on Thanksgiving. He got an old motel tv from a work buddy, and it works great. But you have to turn the sound down and change it to channel 3 every time you turn the thing on. Or I could find something I want/like and buy it for him. I have a good father’s day tale for you all. A few years ago, I bought him an ice cream maker because he was going on all the time about all the fun he and the girls could have making ice cream if only we had one. And how many times has he made ice cream? Yep, big fat 0 times. I have made some fabulous ice cream, though.

The leveling of the yard is coming along. Every time I go to town I come home with more stuff for the pool. Today it was chemicals, an air pump for the top ring, and an extra filter. The kids want to buy every pool toy they see and a few non-pool toys. They think every toy on the aisle with the water toys is for the pool.

The coolest thing happened at the pool today. A little boy who lives a few miles away comes up to me and asks “What are you making?” I reply “A bag.” And then he asks “What kind of bag?” I found that very amusing. I told him it was for shopping so I could put my groceries in it. He was then satisfied and went and told his parents all about it. They own the sheep farm just down the road.

A bit of sad news. I had to tell the kids they can’t collect eggs anymore. I found several smashed eggs yesterday. Now I have to go back to collecting them.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Something I Finished!

Last week, I got the most wonderful idea for breakfast:



Last night I whipped up the dough and put these together before I went to bed to be ready to bake first thing this morning. I have never settled on a dough for making cinnamon rolls. Sometimes I just make bread dough and add a bunch of sugar. For these, I used a dough recipe from my mom’s old Fleischmann’s yeast booklet. It uses eggs which is a plus around our house these days.

This morning I became quite guilt ridden about all the fabric I have laying around. A few days ago, I got this fabric in the mail from Cia’s Palette:



The green floral prints are for a skirt for me. All the rest of it is intended for the kids. Anyway, I felt pretty ashamed of myself with all this fabric that I can no longer hide from myself. First, I finished my new red top:



I love this thing. It was inspired by a top I saw online. I used Simplicity 3887 and altered it to suit my taste. I have used the pattern before to make a top that I like. However, this red top is my new favorite article of clothing. I tried it on after having to strip down to fit a dress, and have worn it all day. It is very comfy and looks great on me. The dress I was fitting was one I had some glitches with last month. It has very fun construction (no side seams) and I can’t wait to get it finished and wear it. When I get the dress done, I intend to sew up some curtains for the living room before starting a new project. I have had the fabric for the curtains for 3 or 4 years, it seems like I just need to do it.

This sewing and embroidery are about the only things I have been able to do the past few days. Every once in a while I over use my right hand doing something and inflame my thumb joint. It then hurts like you know what to pick up things and sometimes I can’t even knit. Tonight it seems to have recovered, but I am not going to push it. I hate having to ask Brent to open canned goods for me. I feel like such a wimp.

Friday, June 12, 2009

First Bloom!

Well, in case anyone has been wondering what is going on around here:



The peonies are blooming for the first time ever. I planted them a couple years ago. I love peonies.

Swimming has been going much better since Tuesday. Now I have a way to bribe the kid, too. We bought this:



And Brent has been busy doing this:



We haven’t got a flat spot on our property, so we have to make one for the pool. And I have to get busy learning how to take care of the pool with the chemicals.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Crying Kids, Gardening, and Projects

We are going to the pool every day for the next 2 weeks for swimming lessons. There is nothing quite like being the only parent with a kid crying and refusing to get in the pool. Even when their classmate pleads with them. Knitter #3 loved swimming yesterday and wasn’t getting in the pool on a bet today. I had to go back in and talk with her but she still wouldn’t get in. I finally told her that I was going to sit down and she would have to stay. Eventually the pleadings of little Lexie and an instructor finally got her in the water. Lexie is a little darling who has been in preschool with both of the little knitters. Knitter #2 takes to everything and #3 is finicky about everything. #3 is one of those kids that manipulates their parents into holding their hand for every little thing until they are 13. I felt kind of bad just walking away from a crying kid today, but I felt like I had to or she will never develop any independence. She’s the youngest and she knows it.

I can tell that our gardening season is well under way because I am having problems getting everything watered. Most of the garden is doing fabulously. Some of my ¼ inch soaker hose isn’t doing the job, though. I think I read once that you can’t run it over a certain length. I don’t know what that was or if I might have dreamed it, though. I was very happy to see this morning that my pumpkins are sprouting up and growing. I love growing pumpkins. Tomatoes may be delicious, but pumpkins are just downright fun.

The other day, we went to the mountains and I got this out to work on :



And then I started this one:



And to prove I am still a knitter:



This is the shell edge for the patchwork tortoise. I am doing it according to the pattern this time just to prove to myself that I can be a blind follower if I need to be.

AND. I have a semi-languishing crochet project. It is a super adorable butterfly afghan that I am making for the girls. I am actually planning to make 2. One of them prefers pink and the other purple. This is a project to use up a lot of old white acrylic that has been laying around for years. I am pretty sure that every bit of it is older than the kids. I am going to try to do it all from stash, but I might have to buy some yarn for the butterfly bits. We’ll see.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Thunderstorms, Anyone?


We are currently in the midst of a week long celebration of thunderstorms. It has to be a celebration because it goes on every afternoon and evening. Thursday afternoon I went to water and feed the birds and saw the pronged end of a string of Christmas lights arcing to a metal strap on the coop. Pop, pop, pop I could hear it. Just like when a grasshopper would get fried on the electric fence when I was a kid. It was freaky. There were no electrical cords leading to the thing, but it was getting it somewhere. We decided there was a lot of electricity in the air. While I was running the water, Brent suggested maybe there was going to be a lightning strike in the back yard pretty quick. I decided we all needed to go indoors NOW. There never was a lightning strike, but the cord is no longer arcing.

Here is some fun news:



Our turkeys finally arrived! So far, they are all still alive. Maybe I better go check them. They are Naragansettes. Hopefully, they all live to see Thanksgiving dinner. Some of them will enjoy it more than others. I guess I really want all but 1 of them to live to see Thanksgiving dinner… My plan is 2 to eat, 3 to keep. Providing they survive to adulthood.

Today I took the drastic step of cutting out some squares for a quilt. I found a book of quilts for kids at the library a while back. There were two that I decided I wanted to make for the kids, so I am starting with the easier one. While I was cutting out all the squares I was thinking about all the scrap quilts I could make with the vast quantities of remnant fabric I have. And I could tie them all with the vast quantities of yarn that I haven’t been knitting up…

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sour Cream and Other Things

Today I made sour cream for the very first time. Cream, milk, and buttermilk left to sit and become sour cream:



I mixed it in the bowl and then poured it into a mason jar and put a lid on it. A few weeks ago I did the best possible thing. I bought some plastic lids that you put on canning jars. I didn’t even know they existed until I saw them in the Ball canning book the week before I bought them. This shows how terribly observant I am when I am out shopping.

Brent has high blood pressure, and I read an article about cutting the excess salt out of your diet. It is so hard to not get more salt than you really need. Being a typical man, he likes just about everything that he should cut back on right now. He never had high blood pressure until a few months ago. So, no more salty snacks around here. Not even for me. I want to cut back on our sugar intake, too. Another thing hard to avoid.

Today, I have been working on finishing my red top. I have a new goal to be able wear something I’ve made for myself every day of the week. Technically, I probably have that many garments in my closet, but I want more choice. Maybe the answer to my jeans problem is to find some heavy denim and make my own. I’ve made several pair for myself, so I have the process down pretty well.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

More Whining About Jeans

Today, I finally managed to get my current biggest stressor taken care of. With the help of Brent, I got the drip system laid out and going in the garden today. My plants will not die. Today was cool and rainy. Not the kind of rain that benefits a garden, mind you. Just the kind that keeps things cool. A great day to spend outside finishing off a project. I can’t wait to convert more of our garden to raised beds because then we can make the drip installations permanent and not have to redo every bit of it every year. Best of all, it is part of our automatic irrigation system. I feel so free now.

Sarah commented on how every time she finds jeans that fit and wear well, something happens. I have to agree with that. I used to love Victoria’s Secret jeans, and then they started making them out of light weight denim and raised the price. My favorite jeans were Levi’s and I can’t find them where I live. I keep wondering if they are the same as they used to be. So many jeans are cheaply made these days. I bought some Gap jeans online one time, and they were really disappointing. It makes me nervous ordering them online and not knowing what they will be like.

I have been getting a bit of knitting done lately. I’ve been working on another Patchwork Tortoise and a felted hat. This time around, I am going to make the edge of the shell on the tortoise just as the pattern says. I think life will be much easier that way. I’ll take a picture of the parts pretty soon. This one is lime green for the main color and I think it is going to look very cool.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Monday...

A couple weeks ago, a quilting magazine caught my eye in the fabric store, so I brought it home. Friday night, I finally picked up and looked through it and found this gorgeous bag:



I found these fabrics at the fabric store, and intend to get on it soon. After I buck up and get my current favorite things finished.

Today was Monday. Everything I did turned to pot metal after I got home today. I had to take my dog to the vet for a pre-dental appointment this morning. That went very well. He didn’t even try to bite the vet. Good boy! After I got home I went out to continue putting a drip system together and decided I need to do the porch first. So I tried to put a battery in a small timer. Attempting to remove the battery cover, I stabbed myself with the screwdriver I was using. Then I put the battery in wrong and it wouldn’t work. Almost burned my fingers removing the battery. Brent then helped me hang the hose and we had a dripper that was spraying all over. We couldn’t fix it. And that was when I decided I needed a nap.

Do any of you out there have a favorite brand of jeans? I’m looking for some jeans that don’t wear out in a few months and fit well. My very favorite pair of jeans bit the dust a while back. I felt that at my age, my bottom shouldn’t hang out of my jeans. They are in the rag box, waiting to be salvaged into something. I really miss them.