Friday, October 31, 2008

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Here we are, Little Red Riding Hood, and my brother, Michael Phelps.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Miscellaneous Notices

I hope you are planning to vote this year. Not everyone gets to vote for their leaders. We do! BFJ and I both got to the early polling. I appreciated this particular right of mine more after having seen Iron Jawed Angels this past summer.




We had fun raking up the leaves last night, and jumping in them. We put up a few more seasonal items in the yard - all homegrown, pumpkins and cornstalks.

Last night, my sister stopped by to pick up some stuff and drop something off, and I gave her the hat I knitted for her. I knew it might be a little short; I warned her. I had showed BFJ. However, when she got it on, she and BFJ thought it was hilariously short, and they both had to try it on and giggle about it. So here, you can giggle too. In my defense, I made it without a pattern, and I've been knitting for four weeks. Obviously, I haven't figured out how much a stitch will cover, but I will. (Perhaps BFJ just has an inhumanly large noggin.)




So what did my sister bring me? A birthday gift from last December. I was just trying to figure out how to fit these into my budget; I had just gotten a notice about them yesterday. (Last chance to order!) When she went to order them last year, they were out of season. Now's just the the time to plant for spring!

IF you happen to need a bath-water-level inspector, I've got two, and can lend one at a good price:


And by the way, I am still a quilter. I'm loving pink and brown, ever since I stumbled across the In the Pink line from Henry Glass last year. (You can only get In the Pink II, now). I am working on a quilt for a little friend, and I am stuck. It is a Grandmother's Fan, four blocks together so it's kind of a flower. Now do I put the "center" on each block, and then sew them together? Or should I sew them together and then put in one big center circle? Decisions, decisions.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Brother Dog

My brother sent a picture to me from Halloween 2006. You can see what I was talking about in my previous post. And again, here's the real Dog the Bounty Hunter for your comparison!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Back to the current month...

I've made it out of the fog I was in. Thank you for all of your well-wishes. We have plenty of time to discuss Christmas gifts later, right? Here are some October treats for you.

My boys went to a birthday/costume party while I was wallowing in the mire of illness, so I have a Halloween night preview for you:



Besides the fact that I love her quilts, I enjoy reading quilter Nicole's blog (Sister's Choice Quilts) because of her family's enthusiastic participation in things. Here are some
pictures of their annual Halloween party, which took place over the weekend. If you go back to her archives, October 2007, you can see pictures from last year, and my favorite is her son-in-law dressed as Edward Scissorhands.

As for my family, my brother has gone all out for costumes the last several years. We should all be so fun! It reminds me of the Walgreens commercial where the trash man, the guy in the elevator, everyone is dressed up. I tried to find that for you, but no luck. Here is a picture of my brother from last year. Guess who he was?


I tried to find a picture of my brother from 2006 but that was pre-digital camera. That year, he was Dog the Bounty Hunter. He stopped by our house on his way to work to have BFJ draw on some Sharpie tattoos. He had a wig, Kevlar vest, black pants, badge, etc.; he looked pretty convincing. I wish I could show you! I guess I need to sort out my pre-dig. pictures. This year, he has a pretty good costume planned. If I happen to see him that day, I'll try to get a picture!

Last year, I was a cowgirl. It was what I had, you know. This year, I was hoping to make myself a costume but time ticks away, and I haven't gotten to it. I guess I'll just throw on the black and orange stuff and some fake eyelashes.

Have you ever seen Mean Girls? I thought the best scene was when Cady, the main character, showed up for the Halloween party. All the girls looked kind of tarty, but she showed up to scare. Kind of like the saying, Dance like no one's watching; like Phoebe, enjoying her run. My sister-in-law found a kooky hat and told me she was going to make it her vacuuming hat. I don't know if she did; but we should all enjoy life so!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pomp and Circumstance


Here's a picture of our knitting class, with the hats we made. We all graduated! It was so fun to meet other women who knit, and sit and visit. And learn all sorts of things about knitting. Marly is a great teacher, and if you want to find out more about her, she's all over the web, and published! It was great to have a young, hip teacher. She is on top of the new techniques and technology. Most of the ladies from the class are moving on to other knitting and crochet classes with her. As for me, this class was a big splurge (and well worth it), but I hope to see all these ladies regularly.

I have been sick, and losing my voice on and off over the past week. I guess I was just too stressed out about the surgery, but now I am going to get past it. As soon as this cold is gone.

Last night, BFJ and I watched Lord of the Gourds. What a bunch of fanatics! This afternoon, I have discovered that we left our own pumpkins out on the woodchopping stump too long. All the green ones are squishy. I knew they should have gotten moved to the garage, but I have been too busy being sick and miserable to worry about it. BFJ says that now he empathizes with those people losing their giant pumpkins. Hmmmmm.
PS: Go Phillies!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy October 22nd


Today is my nephew's birthday. Happy Birthday Nephew!



Also, one of BFJ's best friends delivered a baby girl today! I might tell you her first name, but she doesn't have one yet.

I saw a few flakes of snow floating around today. Tonight is the last knitting class. I have several hats; seven, I think. I need to try something else!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkins


Here are most of the pumpkins from our yard, there are a handful that didn't fit on the stump!

Monday


I understand when you work M-F, 8-5, Mondays are not the best. But since I sort of "work" for myself, I usually enjoy Mondays, getting back to the routine of things. After a nap with The Bruise, we went to school to pick up Speed, and then drove around the area taking pictures of trees. It isn't always easy to capture on film what you see with your eye, but we got some nice shots. This tree, I hear, is one of the largest Shumacher Oaks in Colorado.

Obviously, I made it through the surgery. I will spare you the details but I appreciate all your prayers and cyberhugs. A LOT. Just as my face is beginning to look normal, shape-wise, it is also beginning to turn green. Perhaps I should dress as Fiona for Halloween.

This is my last week of knitting classes. I am sad to be losing this girltime, but I am ready to jump off into the world of knitting! I am SO glad I took a class, made friends, learned some stuff right up front. I wish I had done this with quilting, ten years ago. I spent two days on the couch, watching TV, and doing a little knitting. Since Thursday, I have made three hats. One needs to be mattress-stitched, which we are learning tonight. The other two were knit in the round. I have started a third little hat, which I am going to just make up as I go! It's a good thing I have so many little friends with cold heads. Here's the strawberry hat for my niece:

And here, finally, is BFJ's hat. He thought, for some reason, that he should only show the top of his head, so ducked down behind the stack of pumpkins. Taylor the Dog dived right in for a big lick.


I need to get back to things: a few more baskets, a pink & brown quilt, stockings, and maybe some laundry.

I'm just glad to be alive!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Give Me a Break


Oh wait, I am taking one. I am not a person who has a problem saying, No! Not to other people. On the other hand, I find many a project for myself. Did I really need to add knitting? No! No, I did not. But I tell you, I have met the most wonderful people, and wrapped my hands in the most wonderful yarns... I really am glad I'm A Knitter.

But actually, I am taking a break from EVERYTHING. Tomorrow, I am having surgery. If you know me personally, you probably think I work this into every conversation possible, lately. It's not that I want to talk about it, but my fear and horror compels me to bring it up ad nauseum. Oh, it's minor; minor. It's oral surgery. But the dentist... I think there's no more appropriate horror film poster than
this one. With all these human cells that miraculously regenerate, why not teeth!???

My wonderful husband has taken a couple of days off of work to man the house. (No pun intended.) BFJ can cook, clean, do laundry, read stories, the works. And I don't mean frozen-pizza-and-pbjs cook. I know, I am a lucky girl; I make him hats and quilts to compensate him. (This is not to say that he has never shrunk a dress I borrowed from a friend, but I am not going to have to hire a nanny. Although, Nana is also coming for the day.) So I plan on being a big baby for the next four days, and you may not hear from me. And I have not posted lately because I have been trying to get all my October Things done in one week, so that I can spend the rest of the month crying on the couch and reading and watching HGTV. But hopefully I won't have to. And if you're a pray-er, I would be happy for your prayers. I really do not want to go tomorrow. In fact, if you have a time machine, I would also be happy to skip ahead a few days. Or at least 15 hours. I think BFJ knows how freaked out I am; he is ignoring my lack of housekeeping. Or maybe he knows that, while I'm out of it, he can do everything his way.

Before I go, a few more things:



  • I still haven't gotten a picture of the second hat on the model. One of these days.


  • We had a killing frost over the weekend. Luckily, I went out in the rainy sleet and stripped my pepper and tomato plants JUST before they froze, and have a nice little harvest. I was just hoping everything would last for Picture Day, and it did. We had little ears of corn that Speed had planted. Maybe next year, we won't plant it under the tree! I dug up my basil and rosemary. Somehow, I just cannot keep basil alive in a pot.


  • And now I can dream about next year's garden.


  • And I joind the Holiday KALCAL. And you can, too! but only til October 31, so go now.


Okay, that's all for now.

Oh, one more thing. I forgot to post about what I sent Candace, and I think I said I would. But she said she's going to blog about it, so read her blog while I'm out!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Family Picture Day


My sister came over and took some photos for us. Here's an outtake. I am happy that these pictures are actually in my back yard! If only I could get rid of that chainlink...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thanks! and Other Things I've Been Meaning to Say

Awhile back, I wrote about my great-aunt and a cousin who stayed with us. Today, we got a package in the mail. Shirts for everyone and some Montana goodies. Isn't that nice?

I am also belated in my thanks to Candace.
I won the "name the bike" contest, and Candace sent me a packet of Moda swatches. I am going to make a basket with them, thank you, Candace. I sent her a little thank you in return. When I know she's gotten it, I'll show you what it was. She said she'd like to be surprised.

Also, one of my sister-in-laws read about my knitting and sent along a little bag of knitting goodies, last time I saw my brother. Wasn't that nice? Thanks, Natalie.

Alas! still no picture of the latest hat. I will have to get one of those soon. At our knitting class last night, we talked about blocking. I don't want to block my knitting. In fact, I throw all - yes, all - of my quilting in the washing machine. But our knitting teacher said, "It's the difference between your stuff looking homemade and looking professional." Okay, I guess I'll have to do it.

Hmm. What else was I going to tell you? Oh yes. I have been faithfully replying to every comment I get. Then I realized I have been replying most of the time to "no-reply at blogger." So I apologize if I seem aloof. It was not my intention.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sweet

Earlier this week, we had a near freeze (32.5*) and I risked not covering my garden before I went to bed. Thank goodness for that half of a degree; none of my plants froze. I would like them to just make it one more week. I broke down and turned on the heat that morning.

Yesterday, I went out and found a zucchini in the garden and my little boys helped me make zucchini bread. I used Paula Deen's recipe from foodnetwork. Several people commented (online) about making it, and alterations that they'd made, so I have my own version. The original recipe has a LOT of sugar. As recommended by others, I used a bit less. The final result: it is so good, everyone wanted it for breakfast! Over the summer, when I've had more zuc than I could use that week, I've shredded it up and frozen two-cup portions, so we'll have plenty for bread all winter.


After dinner last night, the five of us worked together to change the mantel around. Last year, we had a scary tangle of tree roots that we put on our mantel, but apparently that went into the fireplace at some point during the winter! If you can't tell, there is a (rubber) rat sitting on the biggest pumpkin (above). We also needed a place for all the pumpkins; we picked several at the farm, but there are at least three from our own yard in here. All of the little gourds and mini pumpkins are from the yard, too. It's very satisfying to know that I grew or made something instead of buying it!


I love the apple crate; it was my grandpa's; another treasure from the garage.

Speaking of making things, I have finished another hat! I will post pictures once I have a model. Hopefully the hat will fit the model.

And lastly, something that has been on my mind the last day or so: My sweet little grandmother, for as long as I can remember, had a little sign hanging in her kitchen. It said something like,

Be careful of the words you use
Make sure they are sweet.
You never know which ones
You may have to eat.

Sometimes, people hurt my feelings. I mean, really, really. I know, we all feel that way. I'm one of those people who would rather just get things out in the open, but I know not everyone deals with problems that way. It is hard for me to keep things bottled up, but sometimes you have to, and sometimes you don't have to, but ... you know you should. So I am trying to remind myself to make sure my words are sweet. I might have to paint my own sign, and hang it on my own kitchen wall!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Harvest Day

The last few years, my family and I and various friends have gone to harvest some of our own food at Miller Farms. I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and it has made me think more about where my food is coming from, and this is right in line with it. You can pick your own potatoes, onions, sweet corn, indian corn, decorative squash, edible squash, tomatoes, peppers, and more. The kids have a lot of fun. I think it is good for them to know a little about where food comes from. Obviously they've learned a bit in our own garden, too. I am surprised by some of the kids at school that have no idea where their veggies come from, but then again, I am a Cornhusker. I remember visiting my grandparents' farm in Nebraska. It was not a working farm, per se, but they did have crops, and if you wanted potatoes for dinner, you went out and dug some up. I have a different appreciation for the food I work harder to get, especially that which grows in my garden, but I just don't have room in my yard for all this stuff. Gardening / harvesting can be pretty exhausting. We also saw creatures bugs, snakes, toads, turtles...

As I was walking out, I saw us a sign that said, "If you like to eat, thank a farmer."


my cornhusker dad



As we drove home, I practiced knitting, the seed stitch. Life is woven together.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandpa


Happy Birthday to my Grandpa, who left us in July. He served God, loved his family. I miss you!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Go Rockies! (Next Year)

I am a big baseball fan, but after the heartbreak of the last World Series, I haven't watched as much this year. I know, I know; you could argue that the Rockies weren't really World-Series-worthy, and there is the home plate debacle, but come on. Not even one game? As the second game was winding up, our Yankee friends had the nerve to say, "Don't feel bad. Being first in your league is like being tenth in our league."

GASP! Nothing like kickin' a girl when she's down.
But I don't hold it against them. Really. I swear. And by the way, if that's true, I blame the DH.

I've known since early spring that there wasn't going to be a repeat League win for our team this year, and anyone could see that the Cubs were going to make it to the post season. Despite rooting against them at Coors Field this spring, I've been planning to root for them to go all the way. Wouldn't that be great if the Cubs played the White Sox in the World Series? If the Red Sox can overcome the
Bambino, isn't it time the Cubs overcame the goat? But the Cubs are down two games. Can they make it back?

While you ponder these deep mysteries, here is a baseball quilt for you.


I made it a few years ago for the first born of the aforementioned Yanks. They've done us many kindnesses over the years, and I wanted to make them a quilt. When I saw this MLB fabric, I bought a couple of yards. (I know what happens when you see the perfect fabric and don't buy it. And PS, I hear that the MLB is very stingy with is trademarks and copyrights. I guess that's why it is so hard to find MLB fabric.) It took me forever to find a compatible quilt pattern, and by then, they were expecting a little bundle of joy, so I made it his size.

It is a Trip Around the World with a Snowball in the center. It's a baseball diamond, get it? I used tickets (from the fabric) for all the American League teams, in order of year of affiliation, and then since the AL only has 14 teams, I had to add two NL teams. I added the Rockies (he was born in Colorado, after all) and the Mets, because being New Yorkers, the Mets rank above most other NL teams for them anyway. The other fabrics are red and blue, the NYY colors; personally, I would have said blue and gray, but BFJ said blue and red. Hmm. Well, it matches the NYY block, and if I did it wrong, they were kind enough to overlook it. Then, green for grass, woodgrain for the bats; hand-stitched lacing on the baseball. And finally, since I'm just tooting my little horn anyway, there is a label on the back with name and date, etc. but also who won The Series the year my little friend was born, and the Yankee team leaders of batting average, etc. Boy did I learn a lot about baseball that year, looking up all the AL teams, and so on. It really bolstered my interest in America's Game.

By the way, that is one of my own little munchkins holding the quilt. (I know, Matt, don't faint) and I have to smile every time I see this picture; what an outfit.

Now, pick a team and root for someone!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hat


This hat is already on the move! It took two days to knit and I also had to purchase double-pointed needles. That's kind of tricky! But I might as well learn it now and get lots of use out of the knowledge. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a bunch of things to do today!

Happy October.