Thursday, December 26, 2013

The tale of the dryer

    This past Monday, I changed the sheets on our bed. I have another bottom sheet, so I remade it right away. I took the sheets downstairs and put them in the washer. When they were done, into the dryer they went.

    After an hour, I went down to check on them. Sometimes fleece sheets need a second cycle. I opened the dryer door and inside, the sheets were still wet! Hmmm. I cleaned out the lint screen, closed the door and set another cycle. After the second hour, I checked again. The fracking sheets were still wet! Once again, I cleaned out the screen, and started the dryer. This time, I hung out for a minute then opened the door, to check if there was heat. There was heat. Hmmmm again.

     This time I set the kitchen timer for 30 minutes to remind me to do down before the cycle was finished. When the bell rang, I went downstairs. This time the sheets were damp and cold, so the dryer had shut off long enough for them to cool off.  I started it one more time, this time I stayed downstairs. I didn't have to wait long. The fracking dryer was turning off after 5 minutes!

    I took out the lint screen, and reached my hand down into the vent pipe. It was pretty clogged, and my hand didn't fit too well. But I pulled out what I could reach. Then I took a closer look at the screen itself. Almost all the little holes were solidly clogged. I unclogged out what I could, hoping it was enough to at least finish the sheets. I crossed my fingers, and started the dryer again. This last time, the bottom sheet was finally dry enough to fold and put away.  The top sheets, I put back on the bed.

    For those of you who don't remember, Hubs and I have separate covers on our bed. I credit that fact with the success and longevity of our marriage. Anyway, I brought the lint screen up with me, and found a bucket so I could soak it. It took several hours, but finally most of the goop was gone.

    While soaking the screen, it occurred to me that quite possibly the clogging was caused by the new fabulous laundry detergent I had made. I let the screen dry overnight, and the next day put it back in the dryer. This while time, I was pretty upset thinking "What if this doesn't work? How can I tell Hubs I need a new dryer?"...

    I kept my mouth shut, figuring with any luck I wouldn't need to do laundry until after Christmas. Unfortunately, Hubs needed me to wash some clothes Christmas Eve, so he had something nice to wear to our future daughter-in-law's parent's house for Christmas dinner.

    With great trepidation, I put the clothes into the dryer. I even sat down there on the steps for a while to see if the dryer would work. I sat there for 10 minutes, and it kept running!! I think we have success! I also used my old liquid detergent, just to be safe. Of course, Hubs wanted to know what took me so long, so I had to explain the whole thing to him. He told me that he had recently cleaned out the main vent pipe that goes out the wall, so that made me feel a bit better. I was worried that the whole thing might have been clogged solid.

    And that was my pre-Christmas drama. Next time you get to hear my report about Christmas! Lucky you! I'm sorry if you found this boring, but life isn't always exciting.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Festivus Eve!!

    It's finally here. And I finally achieved one of my holiday goals this year, I never set foot in a mall. It was difficult, as my favorite store, the Awesome Store, has a local store here in town, but it's not open all the time. Their store in the mall, however is open all the time. I just kept going back to the local one until I happened to catch it open.

   For most of my gifts, I made use of catalogs, the internet and local small businesses. I am a firm believer in patronizing local businesses. I would much rather not ever have to venture into Poughkeepsie for any reason. Really the only thing I see a need for here in town is a local shoe store. We don't have one at this time. I'm not sure there ever was one. I do remember there was a shoe repair shop, but not one that sold shoes. I mean good quality shoes, not the ones you could buy at the now defunct Jamesway.

    Anyway, Christmas/Festivus is almost upon us. I wrapped all the gifts, and put up our little tree. I did have a scare though. My granddaughter's gift hadn't arrived by this past weekend, and set out for the Post Office on Monday. With great relief, I saw I had two package tickets in our box. One was a coffee mug that I won on facebook from The Cheeky Witch, all the way from England. It managed to get here unbroken! The other package was indeed the missing gift.

    As I pulled up in front of the house, I noticed a package at the front door, as left by the UPS man. Hmmm. I wondered what Hubs had ordered this time! When I got inside with all my packages and the rest of the mail, I saw that the package was addressed to me! I opened it, and inside was another of the same gift. Now I have two.

    I decided to keep the one, and perhaps send it back at a later time. The other I wrapped and will deliver it to my delightful granddaughter on Saturday at our family gathering.

    Tomorrow, on Christmas Day, we have been invited to my new future daughter-in-law's parent's house. We are really looking forward to it! We've been before, and have enjoyed ourselves each time. This year will really be special as our kids just got engaged.

    I may be taking the day off tomorrow, since we'll be busy with holiday things. And I am sooo looking forward to the Doctor Who Christmas special! I can't believe Matt Smith is done already, and I'm looking forward to meeting the new Doctor!

    No matter what holiday you celebrate, stay safe, and remember to tell the people in your life that you love them. Time is fleeting and life is short. I think this time of year, even more than Thanksgiving, is the time for being thankful. Enjoy!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Leg warmer progress with photos!

    I still haven't gotten to the root of the problem with my laptop, but I haven't gotten the blue screen again either. I decided to chance it, and post some photos of my progress with the legwarmers.

   As a reminder, they are being worked side to side, with ribbing at top and bottom. Here is what the first one looks like:

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Computer problems....

    I haven't posted since the 17th, because on that day, after I posted, my laptop came down with the dreaded blue screen. And every time I come back here, I get an error message. I just wanted to let you all know that when I get this resolved, I shall resume blogging. LOVE YOU! Kim

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's appropriate that it snowed today

    Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. Yup, 25 years ago I said "I do" and became the wife of my best friend and soul mate.

    I remember that day very well. We got married at the house where my in-laws were living at that time. There was a big, open, empty apartment in the basement, perfect for the reception. My brother made all of the food we ate, and bought us our cake. It snowed that day too, quite hard; some of our guests couldn't make it. That night was the night that there was an explosion at the Holiday Inn in Fishkill, right down the hall from where my new Hubs' grandparents were sleeping. I believe their car got slightly damaged.

    So I find myself reminiscing about that night, now. It is still snowing here, although lightly now, not so hard as it was earlier. And here we are, 25 years later. Sara is married, and just had a baby. I have reconnected with son James, and our son Jesse just got engaged. Life is good. I hope the next 25 years go as smoothly....

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Leg Warmer Progress

    I have to admit, I started knitting a legwarmer. I got through the bottom ribbing, which is long because it goes over my foot. Then I started the body, and I wasn't happy with it. I decided I needed to increase a bunch of stitches right after the ribbing. I actually frogged back to that point, then was unable to pick up those ribbing stitches. I ended up frogging the whole thing.

    That's when I got my crochet hook out. I used the same mm size hook as I had knitting needle. The yarn is a heavy worsted weight. And it's bright pink. LOVE IT! I chained a bunch of stitches, then started back across with 13 or so single crochets, then did doubles until the last 18 or so stitches. I did maybe 3 rows like this before I decided it wasn't long enough. So I frogged that too. Made it longer and started again. This time, I'm happy with it. I think.

    I laid it out on the floor, all nice and flat so I could take a photo and you could see what I was talking about. When I got the camera out, I discovered that the battery was dead. Since we hadn't been plowed out yet, I couldn't go get a new one. That may have to wait until tomorrow.  

    In the meantime, we have other family news. My youngest child, my baby, has asked his long-time girlfriend to marry him. I'm very happy for them both. My eyes keep leaking, I'm a little emotional. after all, he is the youngest. This will be a long engagement, as her sister is set to get married next October, and other events are happening in her family even before that. But everyone is happy, and it will be worth waiting for.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I've got an itch...

   I think I have a really severe desire to make some legwarmers. It's been so cold, my legs are freezing under my house pants, even though my feet are nice and warm in my felted clog slippers. (many thanks to Kim H.)

   I have searched and searched my bedroom, and could only find one. The other one is gone. Simply disappeared. You should have heard Hubs laugh when he came home and found me wearing only one leg warmer. I explained I only found one, and was wearing it on the leg that was coldest.

    But now I find myself wanting to make myself a pair. I have spent time this morning perusing free patterns, both knit and crochet. And I'm not finding exactly what I am looking for. I am leaning more towards crochet. Done side to side, with back loop only single crochet(blo sc) on each end, and double crochet(dc) for in between. That would make the ends sort of ribbed, and tighter. It sort of sounds like I've just designed my own, doesn't it?

   I think I may have to experiment. Of course they will probably be done in worsted weight, as I have a well known allergy to hooks smaller than size G. That's OK, since I would probably not wear them out of the house anyway. And they will be slouchy.  I like to pull the bottom ribbed portion over my foot anyway.

    If you'll excuse me, I do believe it's time to go stash diving..... 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hazelnut Love

    My fondest memories of Thanksgiving are of traveling upstate to my Grandmother's house for the holiday. Every year, she would set out a bowl of mixed nuts. I don't remember at what point I started eating them, but it was probably when I was old enough to use a nutcracker without hurting myself.

   Early on, I zeroed in on the hazelnuts, or filberts, as grandma insisted they be called. I ate all of the different kinds of nuts, I liked the almonds and the pecans, but wasn't fond of the walnuts. I also remember liking the brazil nuts, but they were too hard to crack open, so I usually passed on those.

   But the hazelnuts, oh the hazelnuts! She quickly noticed that they were the first to disappear out of her nut bowl. And every year after that, I would receive a bag of hazelnuts from her for Christmas. I always looked forward to that. After she passed away, I didn't get any more bags, sometimes I would buy them myself.

    So the other day, when Hubs called me from Adams Fairacre Farms, where he had stopped to pick up some of his newest obsession, Fire Balls. He asked me if there was anything I wanted or needed while he was there. I told him no, all I needed was him. He laughed and we hung up.

    Imagine my delight as I opened his lunch cooler when he got home, and found that he had bought me some hazelnuts!! He knows that I adore them, and he isn't at all fond of them. I was totally surprised at his thoughtfulness. Is it any wonder that we've been together for 25(and a half) years? Our wedding anniversary is the 17th, this coming Tuesday. I can't wait to see what surprises he has in store for me. Even if there aren't any, I won't be disappointed. Just having him in my life is reward enough for me. I am thankful every single day.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's a yucky snowy day

   And I intend to drink my coffee, snuggle up and keep warm. While I am trying to keep warm, I believe I shall knit. I didn't mention that I was knitting at the craft fair Saturday. I got quite a bit done. But I'm still not halfway done. Maybe I'll get there today?

   Even though it's his day off, Hubs decided to go in to work. His co-worker requested his help. It's overtime, and our 25th wedding anniversary is one week from today. I can't believe it's been 25 years already. Seems like only yesterday. Where does the time go?

    I must take this opportunity to thank another one of Hubs' co-workers, he has very nearly talked him into getting a bigger motorcycle for the both of us. I'm very excited about that. Then we can take trips and rides together. I'm really looking forward to that.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Shameless Plug

    As you know, yesterday I did a craft fair, with my friend Bonny and her daughter Mckenzie. It turns out that Mckenzie has an internet store, where she sells all natural stuff that she makes herself. I purchased one of her lip balms yesterday, and liked it so much I bartered for three more.

    The address of her store is: . I do hereby attest that her lip balms are da bomb. I got three vanilla flavored and one nutella. I understand that lots of people have requested the nutella flavored balms from all major manufacturers. Mckenzie's are fabulous. Use the link and check it out. I believe that she is no longer using beeswax, but switched to soy wax, as the beeswax smell was too strong.

P.S. She ships internationally as well as within the U.S.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

And now it's over

    I am home from the craft fair, relaxing and getting something to eat. I'm hungry. All in all, I'm glad I went. I only sold one thing, and that was before the show even started. My goodest buddy Bonny bought one of my blankets for her daughter, Mckenzie.

    My goodest friend sold lots of scarves, baby sweaters and infinity scarves. She really made out today. I got to hang out with my friends and say "Hi!" to people all day. It wasn't a waste of time. I learned what to make for the next craft fair. I need to make more small stuff.

    We also kind of thought that next time, I would get my own booth, so I could spread my stuff out more. I have to say I was disappointed that there were no Red Hat Ladies in attendance today. I have two blankets(afghans) I made just for them, and no one showed any interest. Maybe it's time to put stuff in my etsy store. I've had a store for more than two years, but never listed anything.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Getting ready

    My friend Bonny, her daughter, and myself are participating in our local high school's annual Christmas craft fair this Saturday. I've been spending time getting ready.

    First up, find all my blankets. They are all crocheted, and all have been put away for just such an occasion. I found them, washed them, and put them in a big bin. However, they are bigger than the bin, so I left the top off.

    Then I took my bin of blankets and went to Bonny's house, where we spent an afternoon pricing stuff. I have only 6 or 7 blankets, but some are BIG, so they take up lots of room. I even made a couple especially for the Red Hat Society ladies, and they are purple and red. I am also going to have a basket of rubber band bracelets that I made, selling for $1 or $2, depending on how many rubber bands it took to make them.

    This is a photo of one of the blankets, kind of. The actual one is reverse, color-wise. It starts with green in the middle and goes out to white on the border. I looked through all my photos, and this is the only one I have of any of the blankets I made. If you want to see them, come on out to Franklin D. Roosevelt High School on South Cross Rd, in Staatsburg this Saturday, December 7th. I believe it starts at 10 a.m.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


    Apologies to all my friends, I've been understandably distracted this week. My new grandson is now 6 days old, and things are going really well at home. His mommy has really impressed me and made me proud. When I was in her position, I was a big, weepy, bag of hormones. She has all her poop assembled, and is handling everything with more grace and dignity than I ever thought possible.

    In the long run, I'm sure that her Hubs is greatly responsible for this. He takes it upon himself to do things like the laundry and dishes, since she is mostly responsible for the feeding of the little guy. She is a real trooper in that department too. She hasn't gotten frustrated or anything. This is one lucky little boy.

   Almost lastly, here is a photo taken by a family member today. This is the first one I've seen of the new little family. My daughter looks beautiful, and still glowing, I think new motherhood agrees with her.

    And for those of you wondering, yes I took my knitting to the hospital, and did knit for a while, while she was in labor. That stupid blanket is still not quite half done.   

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It started with a text message...

    This has been one helluva roller coaster ride. Like it says in the title, it started with a text message, at 8 am on Monday, November 25th. My pregnant daughter texts me that she thinks her water has broken, and she's going to the hospital to get it checked out. She was right. There's no fooling around with this woman.

    She stayed in the hospital, and waited for labor to start. If it didn't start by 2 pm, the medical staff was going to induce it. The labor started on its own. I got my call to come to the hospital just after 1 pm. Her hubs had to run home and do a few things, and she didn't want to be alone.

    By the time he got back, she had been moved from the triage area into a room. She ended up giving birth in that room. The midwife was really great. And at 7:05 pm little Owen Francis Gilroy emerged from his mommy. I was there, and got to see the whole thing. It was so awesome, we were all crying.

     They came home yesterday, late in the day. Even though he was four weeks early, we are glad he came. He was 18 inches long and weighed in at 6 lbs. I can't even imagine how much he would have weighed if he hadn't come early.  One more thing to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's been a long day and I'm rambling

    When I woke up at 5:00 this morning, I started the coffee maker for Hubs, then went back in to go back to sleep. It didn't work out. I couldn't sleep. I lay there quietly until after Hubs left for work. I've discovered it's better to leave him alone in the mornings.

   Shortly after he left, I got up and drank the last cup of coffee that was left in the coffee maker. I sat here in my chair and vegged for a while. I was supposed to go to Sara's by 10, so I had time. I briefly considered going back in to lay down, but dismissed it. I figured I'd oversleep. I showered and headed to Sara's right on time.

    When I'm tired I get weepy. I cry at television commercials. I warned Sara that I was weepy before I went over there. There is just some stuff going on that I can't talk about. The stories aren't mine to tell. Friends got married, and most of it has to do with them. They have the cutest story I've ever heard. But I can't tell you guys about it. It's not my story. You can't make that shit up.

    So I sit here and think, and weep. I am currently weeping about a very good episode of Doctor Who. I wept last night, at the end of the 50th anniversary special, when Tom Baker appeared as a guest. So I guess it started then.

    Last night was one of those awful nights that take forever to be over with. Waking up every hour, and having trouble getting back to sleep. The whole night sucked, pretty much. No wonder I was already tired when I woke up at 5. Now I'll just wait until it's bedtime. It must be 11 pm somewhere.....

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Day All Alone

   I know, it's only 9:30 in the morning, but I thought I'd better do this while I have a chance. You see, it's also the Day of the Doctor... So I'll be busy watching Doctor Who, and making rubber band bracelets, hopefully to sell at the craft fair at FDR High School on December 7th. Come one, come all.

    Hubs got off to work successfully this morning, but I bet he's not very happy. You see, he forgot his bag of fireballs he bought yesterday. He has become addicted to those little cinnamon flavored devils. After searching all venues in the area, we discovered that Adams Fairacre Farms is the only local source for these candies.

    But now, if you'll excuse me, I need to finish my coffee, pour myself another cup, and enjoy the Day of the Doctor. I might just get in some knitting and possibly wash some dishes and run the carpet sweeper around during the dull bits. 

   P.S I did some thinking after yesterday's post, and realized I was wrong. Hubs has been home nearly three weeks, not two. And I am thoroughly enjoying my day alone, so far. I'm sure I'll miss him later...

P.P.S.  My very favorite Doctor Who episodes of all time are BLINK, with #10, David Tennant, and Vincent and the Doctor, with #11, Matt Smith. It makes me cry every darn time I see it.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The last day

   Here I sit, still waiting for my coffee to finish brewing. As I wait, I harvest my crops on my farms, and it suddenly occurs to me that today is the last day that Hubs will be home with me! At long last, he goes back to work tomorrow.

   At first it makes me very happy, because we've been getting on each others nerves on occasion. But it makes me sad too, because I believe I was starting to get used to him being here almost all the time. It seems a lot longer than two weeks.

    When he went to the Dr. for his post-op visit, the Dr. took his stitches out and Hubs knew to ask if he could ride his motorcycle. If he didn't ask, I would give him a really hard time about it. The Dr. said yes, and I believe it was the next day that it was really warm, so he went for a ride. His hand didn't hurt at all.

    Don't get me wrong, I am really looking forward to tomorrow, and having some time to myself. What makes it even sweeter? Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who, and there are going to be special things going on all day; heck, they've been showing episodes all week on BBCA! I can't wait for the new episode that's going to air tomorrow afternoon. And Hubs won't be here to have to watch it.

    Look for my post tomorrow, I will share how my alone time is going!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stitch n Bitch report and more

    This week's Stitch n Bitch went off without a hitch! Everyone showed up, and we had a nice breakfast and got some crafting done. I'm still working on the Elizabeth Zimmermann garter stitch baby blanket, and it's almost half done. It's so cold in my house, it's hard to knit. My hands are so cold. At least my feet stay warm, in my nice wool felted slippers made for me by my best knitting friend, Kim! It pains me to say this, but I'm rearing holes in them already! And this is my second pair!

    Now for the other news. Here is the most recent baby bump photo of my lovely daughter Sara!

    I can't wait for this baby to get here! It's getting closer every day! It certainly looks like he's gonna be a big boy. Already nearly 5 lbs with a month to go.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

New bracelets!

     Last time I posted I made a really hard bracelet, this time I made an easy one. It's called the inverted fishtail. Here is the beginning:

    I like it because it's flatter than the regular fishtail. Here it is just before I took it off the loom:

    And here's a photo of it on my wrist, next to an original fishtail. The original one is kind of square, I like the new one better.

    Just so you know, I did knit quite a bit yesterday. I got probably six rows done. I will knit more tonight or tomorrow, I promise... This baby's arrival is getting closer and closer, this blanket feels like it will never get done!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Recent happenings, crafting and otherwise

    I have been otherwise occupied the past days, I'm afraid. With Hubs still in recuperation mode from his surgery, him being home every day and both of us wanting to kill each other at this point, I'm fighting a never ending battle to stop him from doing foolish, possibly dangerous and definitely not doctor approved things, like work on his truck and ride his motorcycle. At least I got him to wear the hand brace for a solid week. After that he would only wear it at night. I'll take what victories I can get at this point. It's only a couple more days until he sees the doctor and gets his stitches out.

   As well as those battles, we had happy things too. Good friends of ours got married, and we got to celebrate with them last night. We had possibly the best dinner ever at Billy Bob's BBQ, owned by our friend Bill's family, whose son Bob is the chef. We have never eaten there and been disappointed. Highly recommended! We love to support our former co-workers in their successful ventures where we can!

    I have not had much time to knit, but I have been playing with the Rainbow Loom. After watching some more videos on youtube, I attempted the most difficult bracelet I have seen yet. It requires two looms, which I have, and tons of patience and dexterity. I have the patience, and it seems the dexterity too. I was successful making the bracelet! I figured that if a "stupid boy" could make the video, I would be able to handle making the bracelet!
    It's very tricky, as when you finish one loomful of bands, you have to take it off, load the loom again, and out it back on to continue. My bracelet took 2 1/2 sections to make. If I were to make one for Hubs, it would be at least 3 sections.

   My knitting self came out, as I used a stitch holder to hold the partially done bracelet while I loaded the loom back up with rubber bands. My bracelet isn't perfect, as the last black part got twisted when I put it back on the loom. But you can't really see where that is. I also messed up the color sequence on the last section. But again, you don't see it until I point it out.

    And I'm still waiting, impatiently, for this new grandbaby to come. I don't know how that will affect my blogging, I hope I will still have time! I will be babysitting two days a week after Sara goes back to work. It goes without saying, of course, that I'll be there as much as she needs me before that!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another non-knitting post...

    This morning, as I was driving a friend's mom to work, I saw something I thought was unusual. There are several farms between here and there, complete with sheep. I'm used to seeing the sheep cavorting around.

    This morning, however, I was highly amused to see the sheep on one of the farms huddled, heads down, around those big rolled up hay bales. There were two sheep on each side of each bale. It was quite a sight to see the field spotted with bales of hay, each with eight sheep huddled head first into it. It made my morning.

    Also this morning, on the ride up, I mentioned that I had noticed that radio stations never tell you the time anymore! I remember when I was a kid, the DJ's were constantly telling you what time it was. Those of you who have seen Howard Stern's movie might remember that part. Melanie (the mom) and I decided that they probably figured most people have digital clocks both in the car, and on their phones, so they don't need to be told the time by the radio.

    Then on my ride back, I was listening to a local radio station, and the DJ told me the time! TWICE in less than half an hour! I made a mental note to mention it in my blog, and here it is. I figured I'd better get it down now before I forgot.

   It's only 7:30 in the morning! What else does this day have in store for me??

    P.S. Thinking about the Howard Stern movie, it wasn't the time he was pressured to tell constantly, it was the stations call letters. But perhaps you remember the time thing. I know I do.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another Craft Confession

    I have strayed, my friends, from the goodness of the yarn. I have been making those silly little rubber band bracelets. There is a story here, too.

   I had seen the loom things at Michaels Craft stores, and thought the asking price was too high. So I didn't get one. Then last week, after surgery, Hubs and I were in one of the chain drug stores, where they have a lot of the "As seen on TV" stuff. There amongst the junk was a rubber band loom! It wasn't the same as the one from the craft store, but it was about 40% cheaper. So Hubs bought one for me. I think he was probably under the influence of post surgical pain killers...

    We brought it home, and I began playing with it. As part of my learning experience, I went online and watched some how-to videos, produced by the craft store. I managed to make several kinds of bracelets, but it was difficult. In the videos, they were using the more expensive loom, and I could see how it was better than the cheapo one I had bought. I decided I needed not one, but two of those looms.

   I wanted two because the fancier bracelets looks silly with the design part only covering the top part of your wrist, and the rest was just a chain of single rubber bands around the back. I wanted the design to go all the way around my wrist.

    So the other day, when I was out running errands with my beautifully pregnant daughter Sara, we stopped at Michaels and I bought the two looms. That evening, I connected them together and started following the directions for the one bracelet I had already made.

    It turned out perfectly, and wrapped all the way around my wrist. I was very pleased. It's the one on the left in the photo. I just got finished with the other one, when I took the photo. That one gave me a lot of trouble. But in the end I figgered it out.

    My Hubs thinks I am ridiculous for blogging about this. It is crafting, after all, even if it was meant for kids, it's still fun.

Friday, November 8, 2013

A visit with Mom

    Yesterday, I drove down to Fishkill to spend some time with my mom. It was long overdue. I hate to say it, but the price of gas is what really keeps me close to home.

    On the way down, I decided to drive through the village of Wappingers, I haven't driven through there in quite a long time. It looks pretty much the same, except for a few obvious changes. The biggest of course, is the hole left in the row of really old buildings on the main drag, due to the collapse of one of the buildings. I remember hearing about it when it happened. This was the first time I'd seen it.

    I drove past St. Mary's, remembering the times I went to mass there as a kid, with my friend Patty and her family. It was also the place where my best friend Beth got married. Ah, the memories.

    There was Rosemary's Flower Shop, where my parents took little Sara to get her portrait painted. I remember how much she hated the lights shining in her eyes. The artist took photos because she was so young, and worked from those. My mom still has that portrait. I believe it's hanging over her bed.

    I realize I need to really make an effort to see her more. She just had her 81st birthday, and even though she is in excellent health, you just never know. We got to visit for quite a few hours, we talked and talked. As we talked, I got my knitting out and worked on the Elizabeth Zimmermann garter stitch blanket. I'm not halfway done yet. It really is taking forever. Maybe by the time the baby goes off to college...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's been a busy week!

      This has been one very busy week. Between medical tests, Dr. visits, same-day surgery, and attending sonogram of newest grandbaby, it's been just a total whirlwind. The test and Dr. visits were for me, I still have another appointment tomorrow to go over the results of the test.

    My Hubs had the surgery this morning, to try and repair damage from carpal tunnel in his right wrist. After the procedure, the doctor came and spoke to me, he told he there was a lot to clean up, and he was able to get a squished nerve back in it's rightful place. Hubs should see a dramatic improvement. That was a relief.

    And yesterday I was able to go see my newest grandbaby move around, and put this hand in his mouth. He is gonna be soooo cute!

    I did get some knitting done while waiting for Hubs, in the waiting room. I was surprised that the whole thing didn't take very long! We got there at 6:30, and were outta there by 9:30. Hubs had told me that the doctor had told him the procedure would only take about 20 minutes. That seems a but rushed to me, but I guess this guy has done a few of these procedures.

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's November??

    This morning I actually woke up and thought, Holy crap, it's November already! When I was downstairs doing some laundry, I took my camera with me, and stepped out the back door. These photos are of the view from there, around our pool. I realize that the leaves are past their peak, and some trees are even bare. But this time of year is one big reason we love living in upstate New York.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Knitting updates!

    I have been knitting more often since the baby shower is over, here's how the blanket looks now!

    It's coming along, as I said. Almost half done. Here's the shot from another perspective.

    It gives a better view of how big it really will be, and how much I've actually gotten done. Next is a photo of the Camo sweater complete with buttons, thanks to my friend Bonny.

    Lastly for today, I wish to acknowledge my youngest child, and celebrate his  birthday. He's 24 today, and in case he doesn't know it, I could not be prouder of the man he has turned out to be. I love you, Jesse.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Now that it's over....

    I can show you the photos I took of what I made!! This first set, I started right after we found out that Sara was expecting, at Hubs' request. I waited until we knew the baby's sex for absolute sure before I completely finished it. If the baby was a girl, everything was going to be trimmed in pink, and the sweater buttons were going to be pink too.

    This one is the Harley Davidson receiving blanket. There was also a black Harley onesie, and black Harley booties too. I didn't get photos of them for some reason. I think the bootie box was too shiny.

    It was funny, but after I found boxes for everything and got them wrapped, I sort of forgot what was in which box. I guess I got them all right, since there were no surprises at the shower.

    As for the knitting, I did quite a bit today, as I went to visit my good friend Bonny, so I sort of got caught up. I was too involved in the shower thing, being nervous about it and all, to get any knitting done in the week before the shower. Now that it's all over, I can relax.

    Oops, I almost forgot, that sweater in the top photo? I didn't make it, my friend Bonny made it for me. I was supposed to sew the buttons on, but that didn't work out. I did one, but it was in the wrong place, so I got mad and took it off. Bonny sewed the buttons on for me too. She's the best.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Baby Shower

    It's all over now, and I'd say it was a success. There were mounds and mounds of gifts, and Sara got to open them all. There was a time concern, but we pulled it off.


    The food was really good, and it seems like everyone had a good time. We played some games, and prizes were handed out. Special kudos go out to Sara's mother-in-law Sue and sister-in-law Kelly, they were on decorations, and did a great job!

    Here are some photos of the attendees!


     And lastly, here are a few shots of Sara opening gifts... The last one is her showing everyone the blanket I made for her.

     Over the years, she has watched me make quite a few of these for friends and family, and it's finally her turn to get one. I think she was looking forward to getting it. It's a favorite of mine to make, and even Hubs loves it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Shower Preparations

    I am spending the day finding boxes for baby gifts, packing them, and wrapping them for the baby shower tomorrow. I have taken photos but won't show them to you until after the shower.

    There are, however, a few that I can show you! This first one is all the presents on the table, covered by a towel because Sara was here and I didn't want her to see them.

    The next one is with the towel taken off. I guess she wouldn't have been able to see very much after all!

    And finally here is the monkey butt pants and two onesies it came with. Sara has seen these already, so it's OK to show them to you.

     It's hard to believe that she's already 7 months along, but on the other hand it feels like it's taking forever.... I just hope the shower goes well. I'm not very good at hostessing.

     I also have other things to do today, believe it or not! I have about three days worth of dishes to do, and laundry too. The dishes are nearly done, and I am about to start the laundry. Then I can wrap the last three boxes. I hope she appreciates that none of the boxes are taped shut. I figured I'd make it as easy to open them as possible.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Cold Weather Favorite

   Last week, my Hubs mentioned that I haven't made stew in a while. He was right, so when we went shopping we bought some stew beef. It was in the freezer, so I had to take it out yesterday to thaw for this morning.

    I also had to find my big crock pot. I hadn't seen it since we went to live in Fishkill three years ago. After some more digging, I finally found it under the kitchen sink. I got it out and washed it all up, so it was ready for this morning.

    I learned how to make this stew from my late mother-in-law. My Hubs loves it. It's done in the crock pot, so you start it in the morning and it's ready for dinner. Of course you can put in whatever veggies you want, but my Hubs is just a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

    I cut up the potatoes, peeling is optional. They go in the bottom of the crock pot. The hardest part is the meat. I like to cut it up into smaller pieces. I put some flour into a bowl, and season it with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix it up well. Heat a frying pan up with a little oil. Put the meat pieces into the flour to coat, then shake off excess flour. The meat gets browned, you don't cook it all the way through. Then the meat goes on top of the potatoes.

    After that, I open up a bag of baby carrots and put them on the top. I then use some hot water and bring the level up to about the middle of the meat, or the bottom of the carrots. Put the lid on, and turn the crock pot on HIGH for about three hours, then turn it to low. I imagine if no one was going to be home, you could just leave it on low for the whole day.

    Don't discard all the seasoned flour, because to finish it off, you take some of the flour, maybe a tablespoon or two, and mix it with hot water or liquid from the stew, then add some Gravy Master. Mix this into the stew and let to thicken some more. The last thing I do is take some frozen peas and stir them in.

    Tonight I plan to make some biscuits to go with the stew. Hubs is really looking forward to this meal!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Errands and such

    Today I spent the day running errands, most of which I could do right from my chair. I finalized the baby shower by calling the restaurant and giving them the final guest count and menu choices.

    I took a call from my pulmonary specialist's assistant, and made appointments for a CAT scan and a follow-up visit. I also made more laundry sauce today.

    As I re-read the recipe, to make sure I do it right, I read some of the comments on the original post. If you really read the entire thing, it tells you explicitly that you cannot make substitutions in ingredients, or mason jar size, or anything. You have to do it exactly as written. Yet there are yahoos out there who don't follow the directions, and ask why it didn't turn out right. It's not like it's that complicated, it has only three ingredients, besides the water. I shake my head. It just boggles the mind.

    Anyway, I also went out today, to visit with a friend while she was at karate with her daughter. That didn't last long, as she ended up leaving, with the intention of picking said daughter up later. She didn't feel like sitting there for three hours today. I don't blame her. When I do it, it's strictly on a volunteer basis. I've already put in my time there.

    Before she left, we went to the supermarket. And as long as I was there, I thought I would order the cake for this weekends baby shower. So, the cake is now ordered. I hope everyone enjoys it! I'm really looking forward to this shower, and meeting some of my daughter's in-laws that I haven't met yet.

    At one point this morning, I remembered to call my mom, since today is her 81st birthday. I couldn't make dinner with her and Sara, but I am going to spend the day with her soon, and we'll do lunch.

    In between phone calls and errands, I got some knitting done as well. I also plan on doing more after dinner while watching TV with the Hubs. This blanket is never going to get done. I still have shower gifts to wrap, and edgings to crochet, and buttons to sew on too!

    Sometimes I feel that it never ends. I just can't wait for this baby to come!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Countdown Begins

    This weekend is the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival, held in world famous Rhinebeck, NY. My best knitting buddy and I aren't attending. I believe I mentioned this in an earlier post.

    But now the countdown to next year has begun. I found in my cupboard an old container of macaroons that were no good any more, so I threw them away. I kept the container since it seemed perfect for my Rhinebeck Fund Jar. I cut a hole in the lid, although it's off center, the money that goes in it won't care.

    Next I printed a label for my jar of hopes and dreams. I cut it down to size, and it looks awesome. I printed an extra one for my knitting buddy in case she wants to match mine.

    Now all I need is some extra money to start stuffing in there. Come to think of it, Hubs owes me $5 for signing for the pizza last night.....

Saturday, October 19, 2013

It could've gone either way

    My Hubs and I have, over the last few months, taken a liking to our pizza with extra cheese and bacon. It's really good. But after a while, it gets old. We then switched to garlic as a topping. Both with extra cheese and without.

    That was really good too. Tonight, we dared to try a totally new pizza topping combination. Extra cheese, bacon AND garlic. It was a bold choice, and we discussed the fact that it could be either really good or really, epically bad. We decided to chance it, and placed the order.

    After sampling our first slices, we both thought that it wasn't bad. In fact, the more we ate, the better it was.

    I have no idea if we will ever order that particular combination of toppings again, but it worked this time. But we are aware that it could've gone either way...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sad Face....

    I have one of those on. See, my best knitting buddy and I have decided we aren't going to Rhinebeck this year for the Sheep and Wool Festival. We just have no money with which to splurge on fibery goodness.

    But we have pinky sworn to get a "Rhinebeck Wish Jar" and every time we get even just a little extra money, we promise to put it in the jar. In the course of the next year, we should have saved enough to be able to go.

    It's a shame really, because we only live about 10 miles away from there, so travel money isn't an issue. It'll all be spending money for us.

    I get all excited reading about Clara Parkes and The Yarn Harlot going to Rhinebeck, and it's kind of surreal. It makes me want to go stand out on Rte 9 here in town and watch to see if I can spot them driving by. I'd even get a sign that says "Honk if you're going to Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool!"

    I just hope that they will all be there again next year. The festival is kind of a big deal in the knitting world, so I imagine they will be there.

    On the plus side, I've been knitting on the garter stitch baby blanket today while watching TV. I feel that I should mention again that it was designed by Elizabeth Zimmermann, and is in one of her books.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Feeling a bit better today!

    I noticed as soon as I got up, I feel better today! I slept almost all the way through the night. I usually wake up at 5 am so I can start the coffee for Hubs on the days he has to work. I even wake up on the days he's not working.

    Today, his alarm woke me up, so that's when I turned the coffee on for him. I then went back to sleep, and woke up again when he came in to get dressed. Then I heard him leave and lock the door. I finally got up for good at 8 am.

    I made myself some coffee, and sat and savored it for a long time. I watched some shows On Demand, that I was interested in and had missed. In between shows, I went downstairs and did some laundry. I didn't take any cold meds until almost noon!

    This afternoon, I got some real energy, and took two bags of bottles and cans back to the store for recycling. I also took my change bag to the bank for counting and deposit. Since it's all in the same plaza, I took my son his karate uniform top from yesterday.

    I had hoped to time my visit to the plaza correctly so I could see my best knitting buddy Kim H. and her Cherub. Unfortunately I picked the wrong day and they didn't come. I am bummed, but at least I got a few things done. I go and sit and keep Kim company when I can, I know how boring it is to sit there for hours a day while your kid does karate, and helps teach the under belts.

    Right now I have to go get my last load of laundry out of the dryer. I washed my house hat, and I need it. My head is getting cold. It's gorgeous out today, and I have the windows open. I will close them before Hubs gets home. The breeze is making my head cold. Fresh air is a good thing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

At least I'm knitting!

    I'm still under the weather today, but I did get out for Stitch n Bitch this morning. Since I got home, I've been in my house clothes, all wrapped up in my chair, sipping herbal teas with honey and knitting. I'm also watching the series Revolution on Netflix.

    Not much else will be going on today. I didn't even take anything out of the freezer for dinner. Later on I will be catching up on a few shows On Demand that I've missed, and maybe even take a nap. I had trouble sleeping last night.    

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Four little things on my mind today

    The first being that I am coming down with something. It started right after I woke up from my nap early this afternoon. I took a nap because I didn't get much sleep last night. So after my nap, Hubs ran some errands, and I settled in to watch some telly.

   Shortly afterwards, my nose began to tickle, and then my throat joined in. I noticed that mucus production had begun in earnest. By 2:30, I took some of my favorite cold medicine. It's beginning to wear off at this point.

    I'm starting to really feel like crap. I'm going to go to Stitch n Bitch tomorrow anyway. I may not stay as long as usual, it will depend on how I'm feeling at the time.

    Second: Last Friday night I babysat for my grandkids so my son and daughter-in-law could have a date night. It was fun! Knowing my grandson Mason is fascinated my motorcycles, I had my Hubs ride his over when I went. Mason was so excited! I think Grandpa Mike is one of his favorite people now. He got to sit on it, and even start it and rev the engine a little.

    Third, even though I feel like crap, I got some knitting done today. Yay for me.

    And finally, I realized today that another Summer has passed that I didn't get to drive my Jeep down to Lake Peekskill and have a look around. I lived there until 1969, the Summer I turned 13. Ever since my kids were in high school, I wanted to take them there and show them where I lived for my formative years. I would like to see what's changed and what's the same, although after all these years there's probably nothing left I'd recognize.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Another childhood memory / knitting update

    This one goes back a ways. The remembering happened when daughter Sara was here the other day, and I got a cup out of the cupboard for her to have some coffee. Like a flash, I remembered.

    I was little, maybe 7 or 8 years old, and I had stayed home from school because I was sick.  Mom brought me a cup of apple juice in bed. I drank it, and as I did, I tasted dish soap. To this day, I can't drink apple juice because of that.

    My mom was a great housewife, but as for rinsing the dishes, not so much. To this day, when I take a glass out of her cupboard, I still sniff the inside of it. I started doing that after the apple juice incident. The other day, I asked Sara if she sniffed the glasses at grandma's too. She said that yes she did. We both grew up with that woman, and she marked us both in many ways.

    It makes me wonder if she thought I was insane, or if she knows why I sniff. I don't remember whether I ever mentioned to her why I always sniff her glassware.

    As for the knitting report, I am pleased to announce that I have turned the second corner, and have begun the 4th eighth of the blanket. After I get further along, I will take more photos.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

No more secret

    I caved and showed Sara the super secret knitted project. I feel good that she likes it. Since it's secret no more, I can show you photos! Here's what the whole thing looks like so far:

    I'm well into the 3rd eighth. Here is the one corner I have so far:

    And a closer shot of the top where I'm currently working:

    Each row gets one stitch shorter, then I come to the corner, and then each row gets one stitch longer till this half is done. The finished blanket will be plenty big, and that made Sara happy.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Is it just me?

    When we brought home the Harley Davidson, it looked like this:

    And the first thing I thought of was this:

    Now tell me it isn't just me....

Friday, October 11, 2013

Funny Friday

    I found this on facebook, and it made me laugh. Sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My handsome grandson has a birthday

    That's right, and it was his third. Birthday, that is. He is such a cutie. His big sister is also gorgeous, but this one isn't about her. Here's Mason in his birthday shirt:

    Such a handsome young man! And here he is in the present that his Grandpa Mike and I got for him, front view:

    And back view:

    He wasn't so excited until I told him that sometime Grandpa Mike will ride his motorcycle over so he can see it! He can even sit on it! I know the jacket is a bit big, but the great thing about kids is that they grow so fast. And to think I was worried that it would be too small....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Baby and knitting updates

    It amazes me that there is such a technology these days as 3-D sonograms. With this, we can get a preview of what my newest grandbaby actually looks like.

     I am blown away by this. When I saw it, my eyes leaked. Unbelievable. And here's what he looks like from the outside!

    She looks so lovely, and is feeling great. I don't care what anybody tries to tell you, it's just different when your daughter has a baby. It could be the whole mother-daughter bonding thing.

    I am still plugging away on the super secret knitting project. It is truly a yarn sucker of a project. To all the knitters out there, that's a clue. It means it's done in garter stitch. It's very easy, but it takes forever and sucks up unbelievable amounts of yarn. But I shall persevere, never fear. This child will be awash in hand knitted and crocheted goodness for many years to come.