Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

A day late is better than a month late. Seems I just haven't had time to update the blog. A few weeks ago our over-the-stove microwave quit working after 12 years of service. It let out a big boom while heating some soup one day and then just quit. Our house is over 30 years old so does not have one of those kitchens where everything is high up, but that's just fine for me since I am short in stature. The kitchen fits me just fine. However, it does not fit the new larger over-the-stove microwaves. After much measuring, shopping, measuring and deciding, I picked out a replacement that was as close in size as possible to the dead microwave. That was the easy part. Here is what the kitchen still looked like after DH and DS installed not one, but two microwaves.The first microwave would not do a thing. It appeared to be just as dead as the one we pulled out after the boom. After the second microwave came home and before it was installed, DS plugged it in. This one worked! So far, so good. DS and DH once again tackled the installation (these things are not light weight). This microwave had a problem with the attaching hardware on one side. It just would not hold. Another microwave to repack and return to the store. DH came home with the third microwave. Turns out there is some truth to "the third time is a charm". On Thanksgiving morning, DS and DH installed the new microwave. It was used yesterday evening to heat up some Thanksgiving leftovers.The end of this story has not yet been written. The new microwave will need to be removed to replace the cabinet above the stove with one that is shorter so that the microwave can be higher above the stove. It is a good thing I am short or I wouldn't be able to operate the stove at all with this new larger microwave in place. For the time being, we will work with it this way and in the winter DH and DS will install the replacement cabinet and re-install the microwave. Hope the cabinet installation goes smoother than the microwave process.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with both "kids", the girlfriend, the fiance, and Dozie the dog. What a perfect way to count our many blessings.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall, Fishing, and Fiber

Fall is in the air. While shopping at Kohl's last week, I picked up a fall dishtowel and fingertip towel for my kitchen. Of course, that meant I needed to knit a fall dishcloth to go along with these. When I am at my kitchen sink, I am definitely reminded of fall with the cloth and towels and the view out the window - leaves everywhere.




DH spent a few days fishing with some friends at Cape Hatteras, NC last week. It was a relaxing time for him and he even caught fish. One day they caught enough fish to have a huge fish dinner. This was part of that dinner.

I had plenty to amuse myself while he was gone and that included some knitting. The week prior there were several appointments, which meant sitting around waiting rooms, which meant the need for some mindless knitting. So, I knitted a couple of scarves for the battered women's shelter. I will add these to some already made. I also knitted a couple of washcloths for the little hygiene packets I make for the battered women's shelter.


In an earlier post, I showed off the socks I finished. While in the sock-knitting mood, I pulled some more sock yarn from my stash and cast on for another pair. I made good progress on these while DH was off on his fishing trip.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Finished Socks and New Fall Aprons


My socks are finished! They fit perfectly and feel wonderful on my feet. I will enjoy wearing these. Not a clue why the picture is sideways. That's not the way I photographed my feet yesterday evening, but is is the way blogger wants to upload the photo.

I have been sewing this weekend, too. I wear an apron when I bake and cook and needed a new fall apron. The two aprons I've been wearing alternately both reminded me of summer - watermelon print on one and blueberries on the other. Yesterday when I finished sewing the apron, I had hubby snap a quick photo. His usual hangout on the weekends is either the garage or the yard, so I settled for being photographed outdoors in the apron.

When I bought the fall fabric last week, I just couldn't decide between two of them. So, today I made another fall apron, but this one will go to my daughter. I know she follows the blog sometimes, but hopefully the apron will arrive in the mail before she sees it here on the internet. Here are the two aprons.







Saturday, October 10, 2009

Even Closer

I am working on the toe decreases on the sock so I am definitely on the home stretch. Several folks have expressed an interest in the yarn used for the socks. It is a merino/nylon blend from Ellen's Half Pint Farm. http://www.ellenshalfpintfarm.com. It feels wonderful and it has been a pleasure to knit with this yarn. I bought the yarn several years ago at the Michigan Fiber Fest. I am not sure which colorway I have and since I bought it so long ago, it may not even be a color still offered. I can say that I had the worst time picking just one color at that time. They were all so gorgeous!

Hopefully, later today I will post a photo of the finished socks!

Friday, October 9, 2009

So Close to Finished

This has been a good week for finishing things. My previous post showed the finished prayer shawl and 4 pairs of slippers. Today was a raw and rainy day, which I decided was a perfect day to pull out some socks that have been languishing on the needles for too long. One sock is totally finished. The other was at the point where I have turned the heel and decreased back to the original number of stitches so all I need to do is knit along till the foot is long enough. Not too difficult, considering I have small feet. I made great progress today. To make myself accountable, I am posting the "almost finished" photo here. Hopefully, by the end of the weekend, I will be able to post the FINISHED sock photo.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Some FO's, A WIP, and One Less Car

This week in a frenzy of finishing, I completed several projects that were in the almost-finished status. I finished a prayer shawl that has taken me much longer to knit than it should have. I kept setting it aside to make something else. I also had 4 pairs of children's slippers almost finished for the battered women's shelter. They only needed the sewing up and weaving in ends to transform them to finished. Below is a photo of the finished slippers sitting on the finished shawl.

I recently spent a week at Dad's house and stated a prayer shawl to work on while I was there. I always seem to pack more knitting than I actually get accomplished, so this time I took just one project. Of course, given how long it took me to finish the above prayer shawl, I was not in danger of running out of knitting during that week. The prayer shawl currently on the needles is from the book, A PRAYER SHAWL COMPANION, by Janet Bristow and Victoria Cole-Galo. It is called "Ribbon-Trimmed Shawl", but I am not planning to put the ribbons on mine. I think it is turning out quite nice as it is. Below, is this shawl in progress.
My other accomplishment of the current week, was using Craigslist for the first time and selling our extra car. My car-selling efforts were helped immensely by hubby, who is a detail-oriented kind of guy. He keeps the cars maintained, cleaned, and waxed on a regular basis and really put forth the effort to get this one ready for sale. (Think Q-Tips and toothbrush.) Here is hubby washing the windshield for one last time before the new owner picked up the car.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Burning Out On Baby Knits

I have been busy working on compiling a pattern booklet of baby knits for our knitting guild's September program. I am working along with a friend/guild member to present this program next week. We have divided up knitting of samples so every pattern in the booklet with have a photo. I have finished with my knitting part, except to complete one other item to show at the program. The booklet is in good shape. This morning I finished typing dividers, printing out most of the pages, and will tweak a few this afternoon. Then, tomorrow afternoon we hopefully will finish so it can go to the printer. Photo below shows some of the baby knits I've been working on. The blue item in the back, is still on the needles. The rest are finished and photographed.


I happen to think this little guy is just adorable.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day 2009

It is hard to believe that Labor Day is here already. The summer has flown by me. Today was a productive day. My guys did some tree trimming. I baked several loaves of bread and worked on finishing up some baby knits for a knitting guild program this month. They will be donated to charity following the program.


There are more baby knits, but I'll save them for another post.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

She Is So Darn Cute

Isn't that the cutest little face?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fishing Photos

As an update to the last entry (describing our camping trip), I have uploaded fishing photos to my Webshots album. Link to the right of these posts. Check out DH and his fish in the Wakely Lake album.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Now I Am A Camper

The subject line may be a bit misleading. Perhaps I should just say, "Now I have been camping." Last weekend was my very first camping experience. DH came home on Wednesday evening with the idea that this would be an adventure for the two of us. He has plenty of camping experience and I had NONE. In a weak moment, I agreed. The next few days had me wondering what I was thinking when I said, "YES".

We camped at Wakely Lake, which is not far from Grayling, Michigan. Fishing in this lake is limited to June 15 through August 31, no motors on boats, artificial lures only. It was very serene, peaceful, and quiet. As one fishes, one does not have to worry about the fish being chased off by jet skis and motor boats. There are 4 rustic campsites. We were able to snag one of those and it was a nice, private camping area. Perfect for a first-timer. The weather cooperated and I actually had fun. DH checked the weather forecast prior to suggesting this "adventure", knowing that if it rained all weekend, he would probably never get me camping again.

Here is our campsite:
Proof that I was there:
And, one of the many fish caught by DH:
I will admit that it was a fun weekend. Already, DH is talking about the next time we go camping. Hmmmm, I still like B&B's. But, I would go again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Toby Keith

Sunday night was wonderful!!! Thank you to a friend and coworker of DH; we had tickets not only to the Toby Keith concert, but also the meet and greet. Above photo shows us meeting Toby Keith. After that, we enjoyed a fabulous concert. That man puts on a fantastic show. I loved every minute of it. The next morning, we realized just how old we were getting as we both felt like we had cotton stuffed in our ears. I guess it takes these older ears longer to recover from a loud concert. What a great night!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More Cotton Yarn

The UPS man just dropped off a box of Peaches and Cream yarn in some of their new yummy colors. One of these is called "Trick or Treat" and will be perfect for DD Emily's kitchen. I also ordered a burnt orange solid for that same kitchen. Fortunately, I have an empty plastic bin and have already secured the new yarn. PERFECT!



I finished a cloth using Bernat Handicrafter "Queen Ann's Lace". There are lots of other projects on the needles that I will post another time. For now, I am off to fondle the new cottons.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Meeting Dozie

Emily and Steve adopted a puppy. She is just adorable as you can see in the family photo above. That's Steve, Emily and Dozer (affectionately called Dozie). Friday Len met Dozie while he was there working on the house with Steve. Yesterday I went along for the work day so I could meet Dozie. What a little cutie!!!

There are lots more photos of Dozie on my Webshots album. She has her very own photo folder there. (Link on the right.)
Dozie had a very busy day with all that entertaining and cuteness. She is full of curiosity and constantly moving.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Books, Books, and More Books

I should be banned from the library or show more restraint. I love books and I love to read. The photo above is the stack of books I currently have checked out of the library and ready to read. There is no way I'll get all those books read by the time they are due, but I won't go without something good to read. I have finished THE WHITE TIGER by Aravind Adiga. It is the July selection for my book discussion group. I liked the book a lot and look forward to the discussion.

I also finished (on my Kindle) reading THE 8TH CONFESSION by James Patterson. This is the newest in the Women's Murder Club mystery series. Good, fun reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Now, the dilemma is which book to start reading next. I actually went to the library this morning to pick up ONE book that was being held for me and came home with THREE. Any serious reader knows that if you enter the library to pick up a book, your body just gravitates toward the new book area and your eyes are drawn to those shelves. So, that's how two more books came home with me.

I am leaning toward starting THE WORLD IN HALF.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Double Knock-Out Roses

Somthing to brighten up a rainy day. My Double Knock-Out Roses are a sight to see. I love admiring them and smelling them, too. This rainy day will be good for catching up on some things inside the house and of course, will help water these lovely roses.

I am listening to THE WHITE TIGER by Aravind Adiga on my iPod in preparation for my book group's July discussion. Currently reading HOME SAFE by Elizabeth Berg and enjoying that one, too.

I was in a new-recipe mood yesterday and made a big pot of Mexican Vegetable Soup. Yummy! A bit labor-intensive, but delicious and made a good quantity to have some for another meal and some into the freezer.

I should have some knitting photos soon. In last week's sorting and cleaning out frenzy, I rediscovered a bin of yarn from my Mom's stash. This contained lots of single and/or partial balls of bulky-weight acrylic that I am turning into children's hats for my community service knitting endeavors. I would like to stash bust this entire bin of yarn by knitting lots of hats. I've had some fun with color combinations and can't wait to share the results in a photo.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lighthouses, Travels and More

We are back from our trip to a family reunion in NC, followed by a couple of days at Nag's Head, followed by a mini-reunion/remembrance ceremony weekend in Arlington, VA. I have a fixation with lighthouses so the time at the beach was spent viewing 4 lighthouses, photographing each of those, and climbing the Cape Hatteras lighthouse (pictured above). The view from the top was spectacular. The climb involves 248 iron spiral stairs, but was worth each and every one of those steps once I was at the top.


We spent some time driving around the area and viewing the other lighthouses. We saw the Roanoke Marshes lighthouse, the Bodie Island lighthouse, Currituck Beach lighthouse, and Cape Hatteras lighthouse. Photos in my Webshots album (link to the right of this post).


On Thursday as we were driving toward Duck and Corolla to view the Currituck Beach lighthouse, I spotted a sign and asked Len to stop for a photo op. Being the good sport that he is, he made the stop and even removed his cap to better emphasize why we were stopping to snap a photo. Emily has been known over the years to affectionately refer to her Dad as "Baldy". So, Emily, this one's for YOU!




Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some Family Times

My Dad has been here for a visit and it has been wonderful having him here. We had some nice family time over the weekend, with all the "kids" here, too. Here is a photo of Grandpa, Emily, and Rob.Here's one of the three "kids".

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cookbooking and Knitting

Not much knitting going on lately, except for some dishcloths. The big reason for lack of knitting time, is FINISHED and I am pleased with the results. This is the family reunion cookbook I've been working on for the end of May. Here is the finished book, with a sample of the great recipes contained in the cookbook. This is the Buttered German Chocolate Pound Cake, one of the recipes submitted by Cousin Jane. One bite and we knew why it is a family favorite at their house.Just so this post has some knitting content, here are some of the finished and in-progress dishcloths of late.
My Dad is here for a visit and we are enjoying having him. He and hubby are attending the annual Fly Fishing Club Banquet this evening. We went to the nursery today and picked up some tomato plants, which DS has already planted for me. Now, to be patient and wait for those cherry, grape, and pear tomatoes.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Reversible Two Needle Hat

Quick, little knit. This is the Reversible 2 Needle Hat pattern in the children's size. The yarn I used is called I Love This Yarn! and is from Hobby Lobby. The colorway is #612 - Retro Modern Ombre. The hat pattern is very easy; just a two-row repeat. You can find the pattern at www.cheapknittingpatterns.com/homepage/downloads/NP12.pdf


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stripes

I have been knitting some washcloths/dishcloths
using some of the Sugar and Cream "Stripes" in my stash. Quick, easy tax season knitting.



Tax Season Is Finished

Tax season is finished! The granny square afghan is finished in time to beat the deadline. Our knitting guild took up the challenge to provide blankets for the children of a Michigan National Guard unit deploying to Iraq in May. These will be items of comfort to the children whose parents are deploying. Many members of the guild knitted, crocheted, and quilted blankets for this cause. We also came together with others to have a fleece blanket making marathon. What wonderful things can happen when we work together with others who want to share their talents and abilities. Here is the granny square afghan I donated.

Monday, March 30, 2009

There Are Predators in Our Midst

These are the Predators. They actually look kind of cute; not at all scary. The idea is that fish will go for them. I do not have proof of that since Len tied these for a youth fly fishing event that is sponsored by the Michigan Fly Fishing Club and has not actually tried to catch fish using these little guys. The club was asking some members to donate about 20 of their favorite flies so they can give each of the youth attending the class a selection of flies to start them off right for fly fishing. Len chose the Predator as his contribution. Cute little buggers; aren't they?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STEVE!

Happy Birthday, Steve!! Today is Steve's birthday, but we celebrated with him on Sunday. Above photo shows Steve ready to dig into his strawberry pie. Since he is such a wonderful guy, he shared the pie with the rest of us.

Hope the birthday is a special one, Steve.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ramling Rows Jacket

I have finished the toddler size Rambling Rows Jacket. This is a Cottage Creations pattern and was so much fun to knit. Here is a close-up photo of the buttons, which I happen to think are perfect for this little sweater.




Monday, March 9, 2009

Finally Some Small FO's


Last week was a busy one at the tax office, but I did manage a small FO. I finally have finished some dishcloths for Emily's kitchen. They were knitted using Peaches and Cream "Licorice". The round one is the "Crazy Daisy" pattern from Sew Funky. The square diagonal one is "Another Favorite" from Harvest Moon Designs.
The new dishcloths will be at home in Emily's kitchen, pictured below.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Snow/More Baking

This has been a winter of snow here in Michigan. When it snows, my thoughts turn to baking. I was working at the tax office on Saturday (Valentine's Day) and we were planning a little celebration for the office so Friday evening I baked cookies. The photo below was taken on Sunday afternoon to show the few remaining cookies from the ones I kept for home. The ones at the office were also enjoyed and devoured.


On Saturday I mixed up a batch of Refrigerator Raisin Bran Muffin batter. On Sunday I baked a batch of muffins. Yummy!! Not much knitting last week or over the weekend, but I need to make a scarf as a little thank you gift for DH to take to Chicago when he returns there next weekend. I am off work today so perhaps some actual knitting photos soon.