Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spring! For real this time...

Well, I think it's finally here. Spring that is. I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever get to have spring weather. I thought we were going to go straight from winter to summer! The last couple of days has been absolutely fabulous! And our garden is finally beginning to do something. We've got heavy flowering going on on our blackberry limbs. The tomato plants are finally beginning to grow! And our strawberries are just now beginning to turn red. Now, if we can beat the birds to them! I've found several berries that have been pecked on. So, today I am going to the garden center and getting some netting. We are going to fix up a berry cage and keep those pesky birds out of the berry patch! I'm also going to plant more arugula around the mesculin mix and spinach. I think our little rabbits are enjoying too much of our leafy things and I noticed that they don't touch the arugula so.... I'm going to experiment with a new planting technique.

This is what our garden looked like two weeks ago.

Okay, so it doesn't look too different, I know. But there really is alot more growth going on just in the past two days! It's been so chilly here that the garden plants really weren't doing much at all!

See our strawberry plants? This will be our first year of picking berries. Last year we plucked off all the flowers so that the plants could concentrate on growing strong. So, this is the year we get to begin eating them...that's if the birds don't get to them all first! ;-(

Well, I need to get going. I've got a date with my friend and the "Biggest Loser" DVD! UGH!
Ya'll have a fabulous weekend and hopefully, next week sometime I'll have something to show you.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Hello! I'm back and I've got something to show you. I've actually completed, what I thought, was going to be yet another unfinished project. The tablecloth is DONE! And it turned out pretty good. See for yourself and tell me what you think.

And here is a closer look at the pattern. And the flowers, of course, they just compliment the tablecloth!

And here is how it drapes. It's a bit long because I actually made it for when I have the table extended to seat 6 people. I thought about making it long enough to be able to use it when I extend the table fully (seating 8) But, I wanted to be able to have it out more often so I thought it would look okay if I did it for this size. Then if we have more people I can just extend the table and still be able to use the tablecloth on the larger (not the largest) size. Make sense?

Anyhow... I'm pleased with how it turned out. I love the overall pattern and it was relatively easy to make because I could actually see how it was progressing as I made and attached each motif. I'm thinking about looking for a bedspread pattern now. I have a guest bed that is an old Iron bed and it would really look nice with a crocheted coverlet on it. ;-) But first... baby things!

I found a baby bootie pattern that I am going to try. I got nice soft yarn, in blue. And I've got my knitting needles ready. Speaking of which.... What do you think of these?

I didn't have any size 4 knitting needles so I had to go out and get some. The problem I ran into is that in the two knitting specialty shops and the various Michaels and Hobby Lobby stores, I could not find any size 4 knitting needles. EXCEPT in DPN's. So, I figured I'd just get the dpn's and use those. I could use my little needle tip protectors on one end and voila, usable regular knitting needles. But then I was shopping with a friend and we happened upon a bead store and I had this thought of finding cute beads that I could maybe attach onto one end of the dpn's and make them into one of those designer type knitting needles! Like this in the bottom photo.

These are perfect for those little booties I'm about to begin work on. They are cute. And, I think these would be cute little gifts for my knitting friends as well.

So, I've done something this year. And hopefully, more to come. AND I believe I may have figured out what I did wrong with those hot pads I spoke about a while back. So, I'm off to re-try my hand at those too!

Ya'll have a great day and I'll see you soon! ;-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Hello everyone! I have been meaning to post this for EVER and only now getting to it. I have to say, blog-land is full of fun, interesting, talented and generous people! And I have been fortunate over the last couple of years to get to know a few of you bloggers. I've also been the lucky recipient of a few give-away's and the most recent one is from Mairuru. She had a give-away all set and then she ended up enlarging the amount of people who could win something! And I was part of the "enlarged" group that won something! YAY! I have to tell you all, Mai-san sent an amazing package! Just look at how she sent the package....

At the top of the photo you can see the envelope she created using pages from a magazine! I was so impressed with how clever she is not to mention how cute it was! Then inside! Oh my, there were so many little "touches" of thoughtfulness. It was a package inside a package inside a package. It just seemed to go on and on.

There was fabric in the cellophane package. As well as a bit of trim and buttons you can cover and a little note pad. She even made a teeny-tiny little japanese paper crane and a little fabric bow! You can see another magazine envelope she made for the crane and bow on the left.

She put in a little note and all of it together made for the most inspiring gift! If you read her blog then you know that she does all her sewing by hand! Seriously! She is so talented! If you haven't read her blog please check it out. You will not be sorry. Everything she does has an extra "touch" of special to it. I am going to work on that myself.

Thank you Mai-san for sending me, not only wonderful items in the mail but also for showing me how to give beauty and specialness in everything I do! I can't tell you how much fun it was to go through all the little things you sent! Now I need to figure out how I can turn these treasures into something extra special! ;-)

And just incase you were wondering... Kawaii means "cute" in japanese!

Monday, May 17, 2010

living life around food...

Hello everyone! I hope ya'll had a good weekend. I certainly hope that ya'll had some great weather because we sure didn't. I'm thinking someone out there had it though.

So, we had some good/bad news recently. My honey's sister had a colonoscopy recently and ended up having surgery to remove some cancer that was found during the procedure. The good news is that she is going to be okay. They caught it early and she will be going through with some chemo. Her Dr. suggested that she let all her siblings know about her situation and he suggested that her brothers and sisters get tested earlier than the recommended times. So, my honey went in to schedule his and he'll be going in tomorrow.

Last night we began preparations. I made him some jello to take with him to work for lunch. We bought him Gatorade powder so he'll have something to drink all day. I made him more jello for his dinner tonight and he fixed up the liquid stuff that he has to drink tonight. I'm thinking he's not going to get much good sleep tonight. And then tomorrow morning I take him in and he'll have his procedure done. Evidently the prep work is worse than the actual colonoscopy. And anyone who's gone through this already knows what I'm talking about.

Today I cleaned out the fridge. Got rid of some of the leftovers from over the weekend. Like the excellent ribs my honey made (had that for lunch!) And the grilled rosemary chicken (put that in the freezer). And then I started thinking about the gyoza I made a while back when our dilly-girl was here visiting. That was something she wanted to eat when she came.

We've been doing more of the steamed gyoza's these days. I used to make them by deep frying them but... well, you know how it is. Wanting to be able to eat the things you love and trying to make those favorites "somewhat" more healthy.

Then I found a container that had some left over frittata. (had to throw that out! ) One of those "forgot it was even in there" items. Usually, my honey takes the left overs for lunch the next day. I guess I made this on a Friday night and he'd forgotten to take it on Monday morning. Anyhow, when I made it it was awesomely delicious!

Oh, then I was thinking about the Vodka Sauce I made for Jordans B-day dinner in January! That turned out fabulous! The only problem is that I don't quite remember how I made it now.

All I remember about it now is that it was really yummy! One of the hazards of not writing things down as you're making things up!

So, the fridge is cleared out of stuff that he would want to eat. Except for the pickles and olives and condiment type stuff. Hmmmm, he might be so hungry by the time he gets home those might look REALLY good to him. Maybe I should just take those down to the basement fridge until after his procedure. Okay, gotta go! Wanna take care of this before he comes home. He'll be miserable enough without having to deal with food he see's and can't eat.

Ya'll have a great day! And keep him in your thoughts tomorrow! Thanks!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Smelling spring!

Oh how I wish you could smell my yard! In the north is my Lilac shrubs. The flowers are deep purple and smell spicy, sweet. Not sure how old the plant is. I believe it was planted at the time of the first family so that would have been in the 1930's. Having looked at photo's of this place as a church, I don't see any shrubs near it so... The lilacs are pretty much done for the season. Because of it's location in my yard it doesn't last very long. But when they are in bloom, oh my!

And then, on the east side of the yard are the Iris's. I have dark purple and light blue. OH MY GOODNESS! The light blue ones smell like sweet grape koolade! They are both VERY pretty. Cool and elegant. But, I must admit that the light blue ones are my favorite since they smell so yummy!

And then on the west side of the yard are my Lilly of the Valley. I have a mess of them and they are blooming! If you sit on my porch you smell them! And there have even been times when as you are walking up towards the house on the sidewalk, you can smell their sweet aroma! It's just so wonderful.
You can't really see them. The flowers are teeny-tiny but the sure do pack a wonderful, aromatic punch! These things spread pretty well and they go along the south-west and north-west side of the yard!

And then there are the peonies. I have two peony shrubs planted along the east side of the house. These are doing very nicely. I've already cut a few flowers and have brought them inside. They have a sweet almost rosey smell to them.

And last year a friend of mine gave me 10 more plants that I've planted on the north-east side of the yard. Those are looking rather smallish yet but if they are anything like my friends mother plants... they will take over and create a superb hedge like she has! And to top it off.... her flowers are light pink and smell so sweet and the blooms are HUGE! If I remember correctly those flowers are doubles!

So yesterday I spent an hour on my front porch. The cat laying on my legs, the dog lying beside me. My tea on the porch railing (it's a very wide rail to allow for sitting on or setting on) Carla Bruni playing in my CD player and my knitting in my hands. It was the most relaxing hour I've had in a very long time. The weather was sunny and warm and the aroma was intoxicating. What a perfect spring afternoon. And it looks as if it will be like that again today!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Go out and enjoy the glorious spring day!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The ongoing saga of the sleeveless cardi

Oh my goodness! It's been far too long since I've sat down to chat with ya'll! I've nearly forgotten how to do this!

I certainly hope that you have all been busy enjoying the weather. Has it been as strange where you live as it has here where I live? We've had some strange up's and down's in terms of weather temps. In fact, we had some VERY warm weather a few weeks ago and then we had VERY cool weather and then today... it is absolutely gorgeous! Still a little chilly but certainly sunny! And we haven't had that in ages! Not that I'm complaining too much because all the rain has done wonders for our garden. But there may be some issues for our local farmers who put down seeds and then the weather turned unseasonably cold. Now, those farmers who planted seeds early on are waiting for the warm weather to see if the seeds survived or if they will have to re-seed.

So, where have I been and what have I been up to? Well.......

I've been trying to do some creative things. But mostly only have managed to rip out my yoga socks completely. Did I mention that I didn't follow the pattern correctly? I mean, it was turning out as far as the sock part, but the pattern wasn't right at all! So I decided to just rip it out and start all over again. Only this time, actually following the pattern! But, I've only gotten to the rip it all out stage. Not the casting on again stage. FEAR NOT, I didn't stop knitting! I actually put my attention to the sleeveless cardi that I started a year and half ago (or maybe it is more like two years ago.... ). Anyhow, after much tearing out of many rows and with the help of my dear sister-in-law, I am now working on the the front of the cardi! Now, if my "knitter-sil" is reading this... she is probably very disappointed in me and my lack of progress. Because, she helped me with this pattern last month! And since then I've had to rip it out to the neckline at least 10 times. But, I'm on a roll now! I finally understand the pattern and what I am supposed to do. And it's looking quite fabulous! AND, I even adjusted the pattern a bit. (Okay, actually all I did was lengthen the body of the cardi by about 5 inches and added an extra few rows in the shoulder because I have a long torso and I realized that it was going to be far too short for my liking if I didn't!) So, I am half way down the front of one side and then I will loosely bind it off and begin the work on the other side. I am SO excited! It's been AGES since I last completed a project! (so sad!) I can't wait to see how it looks once it's completed!

Once again no pictures. But I hope to post more things in the coming days! So, enjoy your spring and hopefully, all of you will be much more accomplished at crafting than I. ;-)

Have a happy weekend!