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Monday, September 28, 2015

It wasn't funny. Well, it wasn't yet.

We've all had those moments, and like my good friend Katie once said to her son while overlooking the destruction that once was her inherited mink coat, "It will be funny, but not yet." That is how I felt after knitting away Saturday night, then was well into my knit time on Sunday morning when I realized what you see above. I had two, yes count them, two left handed fingerless mitts.  FFFFFFffff&&&&&&#######KKKKKK!!!

I hate to admit this, but yes Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, I threw my knitting. Then The Guy pipes up with, "You can just knit two right hands, right?" as he soothed worried and nervous dogs. To which I replied that I didn't have enough yarn. Do you think  Gerry Fleck's sister had two left hands? No? Well Sh!t.

After I went and calmed down, and no there was no alcohol consumed. No knitting or craft problem has ever gotten better with increased alcohol consumption. Hell, the only problems I can think of that are improved with alcohol consumption are crisis's of guilt. Until the following day that is.
anyway, back on track, after I calmed down I tore back and fixed the issue and finished them up late last night. I hope your daughter likes them Sue. Don't tell her about the naughty language karma involved. She has children to raised with as few emotional scars as possible.

And I knit last night vainly hoping our sky would clear so I could get pictures of the lunar eclipse. See that picture right there? That's about as good as it got, let me tell you.

It's been a clear beautiful week here in the evenings. This was the night before the eclipses view. Gorgeous! Look at that rising moon and those colors! But not last night. Last night we had this.

***Blurgh*** That was when I first started to get set up with the big camera and I snapped that pic to send out to local friends on my phone to remind them of the excitement of the eclipse!

The excitement that we wouldn't see in about 5 minutes.

I was able to snap a few pictures as clouds scuttled by. But refocussing as the moon moved up in the sky became impossible because I didn't have the time to locate it in the frame and focus i the little windows of fast moving clouds.

And then it became a smaller target.

And then pointless. How did you all do? There wasn't even any of the red umbra look because that was being filtered out by the clouds. It was very depressing.

Image Credit & Copyright: Yuichi Takasaka / TWAN / from APOD's homepage
at least APOD got some good views to enjoy this morning.

So, lets talk about knitting. I have been suffering from startitis this week. Startitis you ask? Read here to discover what that is. I normally only ever allow myself to have three projects on the needles at any one time to assure things get done. I am now at 6 items, even counting those fingerless mitts that came off the needles yesterday. I am hoping however that those mitts start another pattern of me having some finishitis to wrap these items all up. I doubt that will occur but it's a pretty thought, right?  I now have the above seen linen stitch scarf, a pretty little shawl that you can find a pattern for here, pair of socks I'm just winging, a pair of socks that I can't release any information on until later, the faux paws, and a baby sweater that is still trying to learn how to have a hood grow out of it's neck line. And maybe someday I'll actually knit my sweater. Someday... Okay, so that's seven items. That just made me feel a little worse.

And no my Anonymous Heather and Jen, I still don't feel bad about making up my own patterns!

So, now that I'm suffering knitting anxiety I'll address a bit before bed, let's return to weather. I don't know if you all have noticed (as I do a little jig of happiness), but autumn is arriving.

Which means cooler temps, and more need of finished knitting items. Trust me, people look at you funny if you walk around with needles still in the items you're wearing to stay warm.

With the cooler temperatures I'm seeing more and more of these orb type of spiders webs. We have one at the end of our driveway even. A couple weeks ago there was one in the grass at the library that caught my eye because the spider that was making it was so big I could see the movement from about 20 feet away. Anyone know what these guys are? They're kind of cool as long as they stay outta the house.

With the return of cooler weather too, comes the return of more baked goods. I made the Smitten Kitchens sour cream and chocolate chip cinnamon coffee cake Sunday morning for breakfast. Very good despite some "I'm to tired to red directions carefully" mistakes. More dessert than breakfast though. That's not a complaint at all. I swear. I think I need a piece... I'll be right back.

But before we dive to far into fall, let's have a review of some of summers bounty. Dust bathing chickens anyone?

Garden Shots.

Katydids in the ornamental grass! I love all singing insects, I swear. Right now I'm listening to them sing and the screech owls make their funny little neighs. Last night there was an owl hooting as we watched for the eclipse. Now I need to find whippoorwills...

Full pear trees.

And early morning mists letting us know it was going to be another warm one.

All right everyone, I worked an 11 hour day and I'm getting tired so I'm shutting down. I'll leave you with the kids here and hope you have a great night.

Yes, yes that is my knitting bag the wee heathen is sleeping on. What a bitch.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Intentions, don't always get you very far

Last weekend I had great ones even. I had photos I had gotten stashed away on the computer to give you all an updated post, then BAM! Life happened.

Nothing horribly important or big mind you. Just the fact that I worked 6 days out of 7 and the first part of the week The Guy was gone so it was just me and the furred and feathered ones and that doesn't leave me with a lot of spare time so I never got back to the computer after that first set up session.

Sunday night I sent the guy out with the boys for a walk while I played with the fire pit. As you can see, I had quiet a bit of success. So much so that we had ourselves wienies over the fire and he got s'more's for dessert. 'Bout time...

In the process of clearing out the brush and getting the fire going I saved several frogs that had taken shelter in it. Including taking a chorus tree frog back to the maple for shelter. There were many a wood frog that quickly vacated the premises as well. The bugs... Well, I didn't feel generous enough to move all the spiders by hand.

In the little precious spare time I've had that didn't involve the boys, eating or sleeping I did get another batch of gradient yarn done. It was wrapped up late Sunday night and was just measured and put away today between cleaning up dishes and helping The Guy fix the gate.

It's about 400 yards of three ply silky wool deliciousness. It falls somewhere between a Sport and DK weight. This one has less deep navy and more violet and lighter blue tones. I like it... Any ideas for what it should become?

And last week I wrapped up my knitting contribution to a local yarn stores fundraising efforts. They are making the Great American Aran Afghan to raffle off for cash to help villages without a clean water source in subsaharan Africa to build sand filters. Each knitter is doing a 12x12 square, and one of the stores employees will be doing the finishing work. Some of you may recall that I once helped teach this pattern in Wyoming so it was very little work to say that I would throw in some aid. Whats a little needle time to raise money for good causes?

Dishes today piled up because of this project I took on last night. Doesn't that look delicious? That is an apple coffee cake. Yes Sarah, the same. This last week a friend back in Casper Wyoming posted that she had made this same cake and boasted about it. Let me tell you, her boasting is well deserved.

It is so moist and delicious. I took the hint to make it the evening before and let it sit overnight and set it in it's own juices. I did a little flour blessing that I kind of regret but this cake will get wrote down in my book. You can find the recipe here. I will definitely be making this one too that she wrote about. I'll keep you posted as to it's rating.

But, back to Sarah's blog for a moment... Believe it or not Sarah, we have naughty dog problem too. Not near as many as you guys with a new rescue, but we do. See this smug fella here? He thinks he's sly. Well, his sly ass got his third bath in two weeks last night because he found some lovely poo to roll in. This is the second time since the first of the month baths. Last week he decided out of nowhere that chicken poo in the backyard was roll worthy. Of course he did as I was dressed for work and with fire damaged skin the guy couldn't was him. So he got to sit in a crate all day so he didn't spread it around the house until I could come home and wash him. Just what I wanted after an 11 hour day. I promise that tit happens, but it gets better. For those that are wondering what I'm talking about, look here. Oh, and let's not forget about her Friday night. I'm so sorry that that occurred, but I admit it. I laughed. Then I read it to The Guy. He laughed too.

And then theres the birds. These girls have just decided that they need our attention. And while we're at it, they would really love to come in too. I know The Guy almost closed on in the back door the other day and I myself had one make a break into the house as I was letting dogs in and trying to keep the cat inside awhile back now.

And it's all because of this little wee heathen who needs to be in everything. Two times in two days she has managed to get her filthy paws on yarn. And many times a day you have to chase her off or away from something you are trying to do.

That's okay, the boys aren't safe from her either.  She just loves to play in the water as they drink. Why? Who knows. She is a cat after all.

Her and Tucker have actually been getting along quite well. Frequently you hear them playing upstairs while your in other areas of the house. All the thumping and banging I swear I keep expecting a child to cry out like we suddenly have kids we weren't aware of before. At least that thought just made me thankful that it's only the cat.

This morning after coffee cake and some newspaper/yarn time we hit up the Fallesburg Art 
Festival to partake in festival food, craft shopping and just getting the boys out in public. Poor Sullivan had all those strangers touching him! He was a champ though. Only growled at one kid and she deserved it. So did her mother for standing there and letting her run full tilt at a strange dog. And she was too old for that kind of behavior. Overall they were wonderful and we got to browse the items on sale. I just keep realizing how old all three of them are getting and question if I need to look at getting some new blood in the pack to deal with that damn kitten.

Last weekend we really started to see cooler temperatures here and the shift in the foliage. Seeds to catch in dog coats are aplenty as are the colts that are starting to pop out. To boot, the produce available at markets, stores and roadside stands are starting to shift to the fall items such as butternut squash.

I couldn't resist picking one up last weekend and making up a batch of soup for the week. I have one container in there left that I plan on eating tomorrow for lunch. It is delicious and such a happy color.

Several weeks ago I wrapped up a blanket kit I bought a long time ago and just finally bothered to make. It was a fun knit though I ended up with so much extra yarn it's ridiculous. I can't tell you how many times I went back to the pattern thinking that perhaps I messed something up but no, I knit as far as it told me, then I knit a bit more before casting off. It's a fun little baby blanket that is stashed away until the next baby that arrives needs something warm.

I decided with the extra yarn to make a little sweater to go with it; however, that is still on the needles as I haven't quite figured out the hood on it. Yeah, I just decided to make a sweater and am making it up as I go. Any surprise I got stuck on it? Good thing there's no known kiddos on the way, eh? It will get finished someday, promise.

Well, that's about it for me this week. I hope to soon have a kittle more time to blog as we head into fall as the job situation is changing a bit. More on that later when it's actually happened but i hope to be down to just one job for a bit.

And don't forget, the evening of the 27th is the next lunar eclipse! I remembered when I caught site of the moon Monday night getting home from the afterwork dog walk. It will be visible from Michigan! Western parts of the continent will get to see parts of the show, but not the whole thing. Fingers crossed for clear skies.

Monday, September 7, 2015

What Holiday Weekend Isn't Complete Without a Trip to The ER/Urgent Care?

I don't know about you, but in our family, not a one...

Luckily, this time it wasn't me. Well, I was there, but I wan't the injured party. Nor did I do the injuring before any of you make any regrettable assumptions. I know, I know, you just know me a bit too well for any of our own goods. What happened you ask?

Well, let's just say that there were two instances this weekend that had we had a camera rolling we may be featured on youtube's FailArmy channel; however, by the grace of god neither event was captured on video for everyones viewing pleasure. What exactly happened to end with the first picture however involved some poor choices regarding getting a fire glowing so we could enjoy s'more's after having a friend over for dinner. See that ring around the still wood piled fire pit? That is the circumference of the BALL'O FLAME that was summoned with the help of our good friend Coleman Stove Fuel to try and kindle said fire. As you may note by the scorch marks, we were lucky it was a flash flame and none of it took. And by lucky I mean it now looks like the Guy has shaven his legs, eyebrows/lashes, and the front part of his head. And there's some doozy's of blisters that are still "popping up" that will make the next several days oh so much fun for him.

Now, I know some people are shaking their heads at me and saying, "Where's your compassion Man!" and I know. I feel for him, I do. I was once the victims of some serious bilateral full ankle circumferential rope burns (John stop laughing, you weren't even there. Only Mom and Cali know the true depth of my horrific embarrassment.) I know how much burns hurt and mine weren't this large. I'm happy to help lather them with cream and gently wrap them and do whatever else needs done such as walk dogs and wash canines as I understand that sunlight on raw burns is not a cozy sensation. But it's still kinda funny now that we can look back and say "It could have been really REALLY bad". Teach him to choose s'mores's for a dessert over a pear pie.

And while discussing pear pie, that brings us around to the first event of the weekend that would have landed us on FailArmy. Me tumbling out of the pear tree and landing on the ladder I had previously been standing on to pick pears, on my left side as I was trying to protect the pears in my picking bag. I know you all feel relief at knowing that the pears were indeed uninjured in this possibly disastrous bruising fall. I, on the other hand spent the day pretty sure I had broken ribs as I prepped dinner, went to work, and otherwise tried to act like nothing had happened when deep breathing/coughing/sneezing was kinda painful. A couple days later I think I just bruised my self nice and deeply and still can do little about it and laying on my left side is still a bit uncomfortable, but at least my skin is intact... I'll take the bruising Thank You Very Much.

But look how pretty that early sun is on the clouds over the pear tree right before I played at spontaneous unaided flight! Those sunrise illuminated clouds gave us a good downpour shortly after the Guy and the Boys got home from their morning walk. I noticed the glowing clouds as I was coming back from the garage with the ladder. That's the pear tree in front of the clouds and I needed to pick early as to not have to deal with the wasps loving all the downed pears. And that was all the excitement we could handle this weekend.

Oh wait, Animal Baths! No one get upset by that picture. It calms cats and dogs to be held by the scruff and makes them go lax. This is why moms of both species handle their young in this manner. If you don't believe me, think about that picture. I had the time while she drip dried for a minute to get my camera, snap a shot and there are no claw marks on my arm. I discovered this trick to washing cats a long time ago. When they start to flip out, just pick them up by their scruff or if they're a big hefty cat, don't pick then up as it can hurt, but just lift their front feet off the ground a bit and they will go limp and take a deep breath. There's actually a biological/hormonal reaction they have when picked up in this manner. A lot of scientists think it keeps them from thrashing about and injuring themselves when Mom's picked them up. I think it's just Gods little on/off switch for insanity pre-Xanax myself and wish people had this one too. It would solve a lot of chemical dependency issues though possibly bring up some personal space and public touching issues in our society. Kind of like anytime someone plays with my fast receding hair and I get sleepy, I'm sure many a hair dresser has thought I have narcolepsy. Seriously though, next time you have an overstimulated animal flipping out, try it. Same goes for big dogs too. Just grab the scruff and pull up a bit, you can lift their front legs off the ground but no further. Some don't even require that much, just gentle even pressure pulling up can relax some kids when they're freaking out. Works for car rides, thunderstorms, or just simple anxiety. DO NOT grab them here in an active dog fight. The other dog is often going for this spot and you will get bitten. Just a pro tip there.

Speaking of big dogs though, this fool was trying to distract me from the dogs baths. It didn't work. They got baths yesterday too and now everyone is soft and fluffy and good smelling for the last 24 hours. It won't last much longer but it's a nice thought, right?

Sullivan already tried to get me to pet and love on him with grubby hands as I planted the oak seedlings this morning. I'm vainly hoping that if they go in the ground soon enough that their roots will get in there good before frost and snow comes. Fingers crossed, this world needs a few more trees. Now I'm just hoping the next set of thunderstorms comes through and waters them for me over the next night and day.

Yesterday while the Guy took a recuperative nap I finished twisting the ends up on this and washed and hung it to dry today.

It's just about perfect for what I was going for. A nice soft wrap with rich colors and a nice little halo though not being mohair, there's no real itch to it. It's actually an acrylic yarn so I doubt that like mohair its halo will not grow in time but we shall see. I know, I actually worked with acrylic, but this stuff amazed me. It's one of those modern miracles they're doing with acrylics these days. It is soft, subtle, and looks like a mohair but has the strength to actually be woven. Well, we won't mention the two floating selvedges that finally snapped but to be fair I think that was due to the time it sat on the loom unworsting itself waiting for more yarn to come in, more than the yarn itself. Now someday soon I'll start the next weaving project. Until then...

Sock Monsters! I have a couple other projects going. These socks that are just a time waster/filler project. What's a time waster/filler project you non-knitters ask? Well, when you're sitting in an ER/Urgent Care waiting room and need to keep your hands busy, these are the perfect somewhat brainless knitting item. Yes, I did stop on the way out the door post burn to grab knitting. No I don't feel guilty. Stop judging. Besides, we had to stop to kick the company out and send him off with leftover black bean/corn/chicken/quinoa enchiladas and just that morning canned pear sauce. We weren't rushing exactly...

I also decided what to do with that wonderful lace weight birds of paradise reminesent yarn. More on this later, but isn't it pretty?

And I've been spinning a bit too.

While being stalked.

The guy had the boys out and someone was lonely without them. Can you tell?

A couple evening before this she wanted to play while I was trying to do things and I noticed she kept mouthing me and leaving blood behind so I took a closer look in her mouth and look what I found loose! So I just took care of that problem for her which she interpreted as I wanted to play more! I just got the dogs involved at that point so I could knit one uninterrupted row before bed. I know, I ask sssooooooo much.

Enough time sitting at the computer, I have things to do! You all have a great end to your weekend, and remember your fire safety.