Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Couple More

Technically its the last day of the Project Spectrum so my Saturday Sky fits right in.


After I posted my pictures yesterday, I realized that I had a few more to add for the month.
How I didn't think abt this guy is amazing to me.

One of my trees is a maple and I realized that the trunk is not brown but grey, with some interesting things attached to it.

And here is one of Baby Girl's temporary tattoo that she got out of Treasure Box.


The IO took the Rugrats out to Daytona Beach today so I have the house to myself. Can you hear that??? Neither can I!! LOL This is what silence sounds like. With the energy level down low, the cats have been hanging out with me while I catch up on some TV from the DVR. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get a muffin and watch an episode of CSI. A grown up show in the middle of the day in the family room.....look what I've been missing.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Project Spectrum

Tomorrow is the last day before we switch colors for PROJECT SPECTRUM so I figured I would post my contribution.

The challenge for Feb/Mar was blue/grey/white. As I was picking pictures to post for this challenge, I realized that I didn't put forth much effort. Its hard to get good pictures when you are quickly scanning your photo file for pictures that havent already been posted or are trying to take pictures of items that match the challenge the day you decide to post.

So here is my half baked effort......

Since I didn't knit anything with those colors, I have fabric that meets the color scheme this go around. Here is some jean material that I bought many moons ago for Baby Girl. I planned on making a denim dress for her, but now that she is no longer a 2 y/o, I plan on making her a pair of shorts. She really needs some and I think this fabric is adorable.


This is one of the new toys for the cats. It would have been cute if I had a cat sticking its face thru the hole.


Today's sky. I took one earlier, but have no idea what happened to it. It was very grey this AM, but now its more of a white with blue peeking thru. Whatever, it still fits the criteria.


Baby Girl in a tree wearing a blue ballet leotard.


Like I said, half baked effort. I actually had a pile of laundry that was all blues that I took a picture of, but then I realized that I was REALLY reaching with that one..... April/May's colors are green/yellow/pink. We have lots of green around here and with Baby Girl, LOTS of pink. Hopefully by the end of May I will have more interesting things to post.

I do have some updates of projects. Here is the ever growing kitty blanket.

I wished I would have planned it out better, I'm not totally crazy abt it, but again, it will keep some kitty (or doggy) off a cement floor which is its main purpose. Once I finish the red, I'll add another purple. I'll probably finish the purple before the pink and then I'll add some orange to have it blend with the beginning of the blanket. I have a huge skein of orange yarn that I will use to finish off this blanket, but I think I will save most of it for another one. I'll add some white and make it look like a creamcicle. I think that would look really cute and bright. This blanket is 34" wide and abt 21" high. The next one won't be as big. I love the way this is using up alot of my stash. I have a couple of quilts that are WIP that I just dont like anymore. I think I'll finish them off and add them to the pile for the shelter. They had a VERY worn quilt on the floor for a dog, and I thought of the quilt I have that would be perfect for them. By the time I'm done with all these plans, it should be close to Fall again and it will be a great time to give them blankets. If I was more organized I'd run a KAL with a cool sidebar button for any who would want to contribute to this cause and have a contest with prizes, but I just dont see that happening. However if you have squares you want to get rid of, consider your local shelter or just pass them on to me. I'll make sure they get sent to a good home that can truly use them.

The other thing that I started and am working on is this.


I took down my snowman the first day of spring but I have nothing to replace him with so I decided to work on something springy. This was it. I think he will look really cute when done. Now if I can just get him done before summer sets in.......

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Reading Rainbow

I've noticed that a lot of bloggers are also readers. So am I. However I notice that WHAT we read are usually VERY different. The lists of books that are posted on the sidebars are usually very politically driven, very literary driven or the *classics*.

I got my share of the *classics* in high school. The Old Man and the Sea just about shut the brain down from boredom. And I was never a big fan of Shakespeare. I remember reading Catch 22 and The Catcher In The Rye in the 8th grade and thinking I was SO grown up (after all, how else would I be allowed to read books with the "F" word in it??) I did enjoy The Scarlett Letter (a classic I could actually re-read). Crime and Punishment started out good, but once the crime was committed on page 87 and the rest of the 500 pages was abt his tortured soul, ugh.

I say all of this because a lot of what I read now is fluff. Cheesy romance novels. Light mysteries. Dr Seuss. I read to relax. I KNOW life is hard. I read a lot of articles on line and in newspapers. But when I read at night, I read to relax. Not to expand my mind. My mind couldn't handle the pressure.

So when I was in Wal-Mart looking at the magazines, a book caught my eye, Hitched by Carol Higgins Clark (this would fall into the light mysteries category). She's the daughter of Mary Higgins Clark (I'm a big fan of hers as well) and she's a nice light read. I usually get my books from the library, but I've been in the mood to read a fun novel so I snatched it up. I'll let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile I finished up another skein of acrylic. With this afghan, I am finding out that there are many different kinds of acrylic. Red Heart is one of the harsher ones. Caron Wintuk is harsh as well, but their Simply Soft is nice. Wool Ease isn't that bad either.....

Today I also started something different, but I have no pictures of it yet. I'll post abt that later this week once there is something more to show.

And just so I don't leave you pictureless, here is one of my favorite shots (ANY shot of a sleeping child is a favorite picture!)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

After All......

It's a Small World. (teehee)

And yes I still hear it in my mind!! Thought I'd share it with the rest of you all!

Yesterday was the last day our Disney tickets were good so we made sure we went. We had a lot of fun, at least MOST of us!

Poor guy, he had to wait for Baby Girl while we waited in line for this,


and this.



He's outgrown these rides, but he knows he still has to wait while she gets to ride them. #1 Son is more into the roller coasters so him and the IO got fast passes for Splash Mountain (fast passes are the ONLY way to go) but something got messed up with the tickets so they couldnt get on when they thought they could. Baby Girl and I just rode Big Thunder Mountain so we all decided to ride that one again (this time *I* was in charge of the fast passes) and #1 Son LOVED it!! He's never ridden it before and he thought it was good! I'm not a big roller coaster fan, but I can deal with Big Thunder.

We also met the characters....
Pluto

Goofy

And of course, Minnie


I'm impressed we lasted the entire day, we usually don't, but we stayed for the fireworks. This really is my favorite part of the whole day. It just brings me right back to when I was a kid watching the fireworks with my mom, now I'm doing it with my own kids. We are such Disney people, we go alot, which is why we get special resident seasonal passes. However there is one thing I DON'T like abt Disney.

all.

The.

PEOPLE!!!!!

OMG!! There are SO many people there!! And in reality, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I've asked travel agents, Disney hotel people, Disney reservationists, etc when is the downtime, when is it slower? They all give me the same answer, there IS NO slow time. So if I have to deal with a lot of people, I will deal with them when the weather is pleasant, not HOT! Yesterday the weather was PERFECT!! Warm in the sun, cool in the shade. April gets hot and May-Sept is just torturous! We wont get back there until late Oct the earliest!

As we were heading out that AM, there was a buzzing noise up in the sky. We saw this and I knew it would be perfect for my Saturday Sky.

We live near the local airport so it is not unusual to see cool things like this, even though I still havent figured out where they launch the air balloons......

And just in case you thought this was no longer a knitting blog (my last knitting entry was 3/11!) here are some updates. First of all, I'm still plugging away on the charity blanket

It's not the prettiest thing, but it will cushion and warm some kitty or doggy. I'm going to keep adding in my acrylics until I've used them up. What's sick is that JoAnn's is having a sale on their Red Heart acrylics for $1.88 each and I have to keep reminding myself that part of the reason I'm knitting this is to use up the acrylics I have, NOT to buy more!!! But now that I know I'm helping out some abandoned animals, I have a renewed interest in these yarns and its hard to turn down a sale. I just need to stay outof the store and I'll be fine.

I'm also working on these socks

and they are taking me FOREVER!! Granted I'm working on the afghan more than the sock, but ugh! it feels like I'm using such tiny needles. I'm not, they are size 2s, it just seems like its taking longer. And this is ONLY the 1st sock!! Hopefully during Spring Break I'll be able to finish up the 2nd one as well. Meanwhile I'll keep going on the afghan, I LOVE the fact that I'm using up so much yarn!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy Spring!!!

It's officially the first day of Spring and according to this map from Weather.com, a lot of the US agrees! Fall and Spring are my favorite times of the year so I'm really loving the weather.


Now that we have the official spring weather report out of the way, its time to get caught up on some fun stuff. Like TOGA parties!!! No we didn't have to WEAR togas, but we got to USE them!!

Confused??

So was I until I went. An on-line friend of mine, Hale', is a collector and user of treadles and other people powered sewing machines. There is a huge group of them and every year they have TOGA parties. This year's TOGA was near Cocoa Beach and it was the PERFECT opportunity to meet Hale' in person!

Here we are with the Intercoastal and Saturday sky in the background.


It was SO good to meet her in person, and I had alot of fun at the party. We had a meet and greet where people got to show off their quilts.





All the quilts were amazing but what was even more amazing was that they were all done on people powered machines.

Our hosts were Dick and Eleanor Beck, and the collection of hand crank machines and treadles were amazing!! They each have their own space, here is some of her collection in her studio.


Seriously it was better than some museums I've been in!! And this is just 2 sections of her studio, there was SO much more!

I got to sew some charity blocks on a hand crank, it was pretty neat and nowhere near as scary or difficult like I thought. This is the machine, isnt it beautiful??

They definitely don't make sewing machines as ornate as they used to be.

As far as my current projects, they are sitting in my camera just waiting for the USB cable to be plugged back into my computer. I'm still plugging away on my sock and my charity afghan. It's really sad how I've come to rely on the IO to keep the computer going. Whenever he makes changes (which is often!), I have to sit and figure out what I need to do. He tells me that's why I keep him around. I tell him that's not true. I need him for the TV/VCR/DVD/Satelite as well!!

And he's kinda cute!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Misadventures at Happy Acres

OMG! I haven't blogged in over a week!! That only means one thing. Life has gone mad. It's a MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD without the buried treasure. It's been interesting, to say the least, so grab your favorite beverage (remember its 5 o'clock somewhere) and sit back. Sit back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.........

(yes I watch WAY too much tv)

Take your time machines and set them for March 8th. It is a Thursday and I'm running to the store to get supplies for the field trip with Baby Girl to the zoo. As I turn into my neighborhood, my van decides that its not going to go above 25mph. This is NOT good. I have a field trip the next day and a 2 hour trip on Saturday to meet up with the in laws. NOT a good time to lose a vehicle. Friday is a whirlwind of dropping kids off to school, spouses off to work and making the field trip ON TIME. I gave the teacher a heart attack but all went well. This of course you already know since I've blogged about this already. The following week was filled with phone calls to the dealership, the rental car place, calls to my sister and calls to my in laws. Add in the fact that the Insane One's grandmother died, and you got yourself additional phone calls up north and to family. Oh and the search for a cheap flight for the IO to fly up north for the memorial services.

Thursday, the 15th, we pick up the rental because we only get it for 4 days and the van won't be ready until today. It is now Friday. We get a call from Honda telling us the van is ready! WHAT?!!? Apparently the guy who was helping us was on his way out the door and our van just escorted him all the way out. He no longer works for the dealership. He kept giving us the wrong information, didnt have the van looked at until Tues (even though they had it since Saturday) and even wrote up the paperwork wrong. So now the IO needs to pick up the van, I need to finish cleaning the house, I have my sisters coming out today and my in laws coming out Sunday. Saturday I'm driving 1.5 hours south to meet up with an internet friend for a TOGA party (more on that later). My house is still a wreck and I had to work that morning. I finally decide that these people coming to visit me are family. They know how crazy its been and they know I'm a bit of a slob at heart anyway. I make sure the bathroom and the bedroom they will sleep in is clean, but the rest will just have to stay the way it is. If they don't like it, there is a Hampton Inn down the street.

Overall the wknd went pretty well considering. I had a great time with my friend on Saturday (I'll go into that more tomorrow), Sunday was hectic just because we did so much. We meet my in laws for religious services that morning, we all go out to lunch afterward, then I'm off with my sisters to look at the house my sister is having built. Lots of little things are going wrong and she's stressing abt it. However she is MUCH more particular than I am. I can't tell the difference between ecru and bone, but apparently she can and its making her nuts. She's also making the rest of us nuts as well. My sisters leave around 3:30 and my in laws around 6pm. Needless to say we were all in bed early that night.

You still with me? Anybody need a potty break?? A refill??

I say this because you'd think that was it. HA!!

Monday starts out well, work was good, the house was relatively clean (but messy) and I started out doing my regular weekly chores. Then Samaria has an episode. She's been slowly going down hill the past week and I've been watching her to see how bad she was going to get. After that episode I knew it was time. The IO took her to the vet to humanely end her pain.

She was 16, had a great life, and even though we were expecting her to die soon, it was still hard. I think what made it especially hard was that she was the last of the 4 original cats we got as a newly married couple. That and the fact that I've had 3 cats in the past year die. Thankfully we have 3 new kittens that make the grieving process a bit easier.

But wait! There's more!!

Around 9pm last night #1 Son comes into bed with me and says his stomach bothers him. I told him it was probably because he was exhausted and needed to get to sleep. He stayed with me for another 5 min until he got sick. In the middle of my bed. It was the beginning of a VERY long night. He was sick every half hour until 3:30AM. Needless to say we are both exhausted this morning. He stayed home and is finally able to keep some things down. Thankfully he likes the fruit punch Gatorade.

So, what do you think? Do you think I have enough going on?? I do. And yet we still have a school function on Thursday, a trip to Disney planned on Saturday (its the last day our tickets are good so SOMEBODY will be going) and of course other stuff already scheduled in the next two weeks. I'm looking forward to Spring Break. I have the same week off that the kids do which means no work or school for us. No waking up early, no running all over the place. I plan on sitting around and working on some sewing projects. Maybe taking the kids to the movies or bowling. Maybe doing some tie dye t-shirts.....

If you made it thru this long, I appreciate it. This entry was more for my benefit than for yours, but I hope you found some entertainment value. Or at least I made you feel better abt your own life!! LOL It's gotten to the point that its comical. I mean, what else could go wrong?! (NOBODY ANSWER THAT!!) I will be posting some knitting updates tomorrow along with pictures from the TOGA party!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Life of a Cat

See Caesar.


Caesar is old and retired.

Sleep Caesar sleep.


See Baby Girl.


Baby Girl does NOT know what Old and Retired is.


See a very patient cat.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rugrats & Knitting & Kitties OH MY!

Did you all remember to change back your clocks?? We didn't. Today #1 Son asked me if we were going to our religious meeting today and I said yes, but its still early. It's only 8:10. Well when I looked again it was actually 9:10 and the services start at 9:30. Needless to say we didnt make it. I REALLY hate when they change the time, it throws me off for a few days, but when we LOSE an hour, its so much worse!! I hate losing anything, but time is a major commodity around here...

BUT since we didnt go this AM, we've just been hanging around the house, doing a little knitting and a little organizing and a little tv watching. I've finished some socks and I started another project.

First, the socks.

They are a pair for CIC. I used some of the $1 wool yarn I got at my LYS and the trim, heel and toe are made from LionBrand's Landscapes in Spring Desert. I felted a purse with it and I decided to use the rest of it up in these socks. I had just enough to finish the toes, however I had to use the main color to kitchener, but you can't really tell. They are a bit stiff, and the wool is a bit harsher than I like, but they will soften up as they are washed and will make some kid's feet warm. My package will be mailed out tomorrow. The deadline isnt until March 31, but I need to move on to something else.

Something else.....THAT was the question. It's warming up here and I'm not in the mood to knit a sweater or a shawl. I needed to switch out from socks so instead I decided to go thru the bags that hold my on going projects. I found some leftover Red Heart Kids yarn from when I made this and used the rest to make another one.

Lucy is doing a nice job modeling this for me. However she just woke up so was in no mood to test it out.

Hmmmm, that's the SECOND ball of acrylic that I used up (the Landscapes is a 50/50 wool/acrylic blend which is why I only used it for accents instead of the whole sock). That got me thinking. I have a lot of odd balls of acrylic that I have no idea what to do with, and then I thought of how the women at the Animal Shelter loved my blankets. So I cast on for another blanket. Mindless knitting, exactly what I'm in the mood for. I cast on 108 stitches with some leftover variegated Jiffy and a solid yellow. Ran out of the Jiffy and added another Red Heart Kids. Ran out of yellow and added a Wintuk grey. I'm almost done with the Red Heart Kids and I pulled out some more oddball acrylics. I'm doubling up the worsted weight to give me a nice bulky weight. This is what it looked like last night, but I've added more today.

I have two 2-gal sized ziploc bags full of acrylics that I'm starting to make a dent in. I'm saving the wool-ease until last, I want to use up the Red Heart and the Wintuk first. I will start something once I get sick of this, there is no deadline for it, but its great mindless knitting and a great way to use up those acrylics.

It's been a whirlwind of field trips here, #1 Son went to Silver Springs (Baby Girl came too since I had nobody to watch her while we were gone) and also the zoo with Baby Girl's class. The zoo has been the easiest by far. I only had one other little girl to be responsible for and her and Baby Girl get along well. They did a lot of this

why, I have no idea, but they had fun and that's all that mattered.

Baby Girl also got to feed a goat


This place isnt really much of a zoo, there are no big cats like lions or tigers, there are no giraffes. They have elephants, a bunch of smaller cats, alligators, snakes and these.


It's not a zoo I would recommend but its fun for a younger grade's field trip. Here we are on the train.


Silver Springs was similar, we saw a lot of alligators, but how often do you get to HOLD one???


There are no more field trips for Baby Girl this year, but #1 Son will have one more before the year is up.

I leave you with this picture of what will probably be the last fire of the season. It's just getting too warm to have them anymore, but I know some of you could still use the warmth.

Have a happy Sunday everybody!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Best Laid Plans

First up, Saturday sky. This is the view when I face my house.


And this is the view when I face the road.


Yep, that's my van being towed away. The transmission died Thursday night (EXACTLY 1 year and 1 month from when we bought it!) when I was coming home from the store. Friday left us with one car which we dealt with ok, but we had to cancel the trip to Lake Wales to see the in laws because the tires on the other van are practically bald. Baby Girl was NOT happy. She packed 3 days ago in anticipation of that trip.

So. We need to get the transmission fixed. The other van needs tires. The compressor on the house A/C broke. Oh and I still dont have baseboards OR blinds on my windows. Apparently I've been put on a yarn diet regardless if I wanted to be on one or not! The ONLY good thing abt all of this is that the transmission will be covered under the extended warrantee that we got when we bought the van. I NEVER get these extended warrantees because I think they are a waste of money, but this one had roadside assistance included. So for one flat price I'd have the entire car covered PLUS have roadside assistance for the next 5 years. It was cheaper than paying for AAA for the same amount of time so I was sold. Now I'm REALLY happy we got it. Transmissions are NOT cheap!

Tomorrow will be an updating day on field trips, knitting and kitties. I have reports on all three.........