Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Belated Turkey Day

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!!

We had a wonderful day. I tried to get over here, but, I think I was tied to the kitchen! It did not help that I burned the first three loaves of bread that I baked, so I had to bake more:)

But I made pumpkin pies (which we didn't even touch), mashed potatoes, chicken dressing and 3 loaves of bread. And we deep fryed two 20 lb turkeys. Mom brought everything else and my grandmother brought pies. Todd's mom brought munchies and another pie.

Then Todd's mom brought a gingerbread man cookie kit that you decorate. Which was a blast.

Today, I did not go shopping. Rather the kids and I went to see blind side - it is an AWESOME movie. Although, if you have sympathetic tear ducts like myself - take some kleenex. The kids loved it and I loved it.
I'm off work this entire week coming up. So hopefully lots of decorating and crafting will get done, but we will see. Only two weeks until we head to Columbus for Jessie and Tyler to show their calves - yikes!!!!!!
Later everyone,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A quick cardi

Yes, crappy photos, but I couldn't wait to show you!

I had seen this on Philigry's blog, and actually brought one similar to it at Eddie Bauer on Friday when I was shopping for the kids (um hmmm) clothes for them to wear to the calling hours/funeral of Todd's grandmother.

Today, I went to JoAnn Fabrics and found some great jersey knit, and the pattern (McCall's) which was on sale for 1.99. Not being sure if I should do the Medium or the Large, I brought both sizes of pattern.

It was super simple to make and modify so it would fit me perfectly.

I ended up using the Medium for the rectangle, and the Large for the sleeves. I am not a fan of very fitted sleeves, and just cut them out about an inch bigger than the Medium sized sleeves.

I still have to hem the sleeves, but I'm going to leave them unhemmed for now and see just how long I want them. I think this will be great with jeans or dress pants for work.

I still have a navy blue jersey knit to make one for my Mom, and I'm thinking I need another one in red!
Have a great day!

Now I'm a basketball Mom!

Jessie enjoyed soccer tremendously this fall. And then she thought she might want to try basketball.

So far, she is enjoying it. Her name still could not be "Grace" by any stretch of immagination, but she is good at defending the ball.

Although yesterday she told me the boys in her class are all excited to come watch me play basketball when the games start up in January. it the game she likes or the boys?

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm back....

.....after a whirlwind trip to PA for Todd's grandmother's funeral (she was diagnosed with colon cancer early October, passed away Thursday, November 19th at 4:00) we got home late last night.

Calling hours were good, the service was wonderful, we ate way to much food, saw relatives and friends from PA we haven't seen in a while. Got to see his other grandmother, who was diagnosed with lung cancer 3 days after the first grandmother was diagnosed.....

Now I'm off to read about what all of you have been doing, get the laundry situation under control, clean my house and start cooking. Someone told me Thanksgiving is 4 days away. Amazingly enough, I'm ready (I think).....

But I will have guests on Thursday so I will be back, hopefully before then!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another knit for ME

I finished my BoHo blouse from the book Glam Knits. Talk about fast!

Of course, once I blocked it I had to wait 2 days for it to dry. And as this yarn was 100% wool, I was not sticking it in the dryer.

I actually finished it up (or thought I had) Saturday afternoon, just in time to go to a friends' daughters' birthday party. But decided while at the party it was too short (it kept riding up in the back). So after we got home from the birthday party and while Todd was at a garage fire Saturday night at our neighbors house, I ripped it back and kept knitting. I think I added something like 6 inches to the overall length. I just knit until I used up the whole skien of yarn - which made it 3 skiens total for this sweater.

A good soaking in the sink, pinned it out on some nifty blocking boards my Mom got, and it fits perfectly. Not too tight, not too loose.

I did not do the cables at the top, and you can see my increase rounds - maybe the cables would hide these? I don't know. But I do know it is very comfortable and this yarn is WARM.
Now I've made a deal with myself that I have to put away all of the projects for ME (guess I am a very selfish quilter and knitter) and I HAVE to get moving on some Christmas presents. It will be here before we know it......
Enjoy your days!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Driving MYSELF crazy

I do it to myself - I see something I like and want to make it instantly. Unfortunately, most knits that I like are sweaters and if I am making a quilt, it has to be at least a twin size. Both of which are NOT instant gratification. So I tend to start LOTS of projects:)

This vest I am making for my Mom. Because she didn't want to do the one teeny tiny cable down the front. Of course, since I can do the cable, that means I also learned (I hope) how to do the provisional cast on and how to join the back neckband (which I finished up at 11:30 last night thankyouverymuch - do I get a prize for getting it right on only the second try and being up so late? lol). I still have about 5 inches of knitting on the body and this one will be done.

Then I saw this in one of my knitting books and HAD to have it. Of course, the yarn I am using is seconds so there is no tag, but I do know it is Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb (I knew it was Brown Sheep and figured out from their website which yarn it was based on the weight and color). I do like seconds from this yarn store - $3.49 a skein. Again, another one that needs maybe 5-6 inches on the body and it will be done. It would have been done last night but I have to wind another skien of yarn into a ball. And I didn't feel like doing that!

BoHo blouse from Glam Knits

Of course, I do have something quilty to show. I made this top last winter - all it needs is quilting. I'm going to attempt that on my newly fixed sewing machine (which has been in the shop 3 times so far this summer. Fortunately nothing major each time, just annoying). Todd and I decided that I would send all my future quilts out for quilting as my machine is getting up there in years, but this one? I have maybe a 1/4" extra of backing all around, so I'll be doing it myself.

Another knit for me - and I have been working on it for quite a while. I love the Pimlico Shrugs, however, I wasn't sure I could do the lace pattern, so I did a seed stitch. Talk about boring and time consuming. The body needs to be at least 25" long (the pattern says 35" but I'm seeing where everyone else went shorter). I'm at about 12". This one may take a while.

But of course, I have something waiting for Jessie for a Christmas present - the Central Park Hoodie in this lovely periwinkle Cascade 220 Superwash yarn. Of course, with her being just about 10 and the pattern only going to an extra small (32") I will be sort of flying on a wing and a prayer. Smaller needles, smaller yarn and hopefully it will work! I'll have to learn how to read charts with this one, but I went and specifically brought more yarn (to put with some leftovers from another sweater) for this sweater from my LYS so that if I get to confused (which may very well happen) I can go in there and they can straighten me out!

And I have something else for me - which the yarn just arrived for yesterday. The Skating Sweater from Twinkle Knits in Rowan Big Wool. I found 5 skiens on ebay for dirt cheap (about 1/4 of the normal price) because they are two different dye lots.

So now you all know what I will be doing this weekend, in between washing Punxs and Roscoe daily and cleaning the house. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

done, Done, DONE and lots of goodies

I wasn't sure that I would LOVE this sweater but I do. I really do.

It was quick and easy, and with these long drives we've made to PA 2 times now in the past month, I needed something that I could just go with. That didn't take a lot of thinking. A little boring while knitting the body (it is need from cuff to cuff sideways and then you pick up and knit around the opening).

I had a little trouble doing the opening around the body. The first time I didn't pick up enough stitches (I picked up 148 and the pattern says 200). The second time - I did the ribbing wrong. The THIRD time, I only picked up 1 strand of yarn instead of two - and there were holes in it.

Finally, after much swearing at myself, I got it right.

It's a little small on me, but it was made for a friend, who is a smaller size than I am, so hopefully it will fit her just right:)

Hopefully Dawn loves it as much as I love the gift she sent me:

Let's just say - when I picked it up from the post office, I had every intention of waiting until I got home to open it. I had to open it, admire it AND transfer purses while driving down the road. I'm so thankful I thought to take the back roads.......

And then, I swapped with Jacquie - some knitted fingerless mitts for pillows. I really think I got the better end of the deal, and have started on a little something for her as a thank you.

Even though these are not in my bedroom, they go in there perfectly. If I was going to show you a picture of them on my bed, I would have to fold the 10 loads of laundry that we keep dumping on there every morning to find clean clothes and make the bed. Which was not happening this morning.

Because I have a new sweater for me which is almost done, and I'm anxious to wear it:)

Yes, I am horrible. I know.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We are so not normal....

While most people are eating dinner at 6:00 at night……

Todd is finangling everything so we can unload some speltz grain into the cube-it (the black plastic box) to make feed with this winter. (I had already made dinner at 5:00 and we had finished eating).

My job is to run the hydraulics on the tractor while Todd watches the auger – there’s no way I’m standing down there getting my hands in the way if something goes wrong. And then I had to park the tractor in the barn.

And of course, when we make it inside at 7:30 at night, Jessie had to provide some comic relief. I wonder how she bends herself into these positions?????

After untangling her, we collapsed in the family room to watch the Steelers cream the Broncos – 28 to 10. Made it worth it to stay up to watch the very end of the game:)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend work

Well, I had to work on Saturday. I REALLY don't like working Saturdays, but it's only 4 saturdays a year AND it is a wonderful job, so I guess I really shouldn't complain.

But....we did get lots of work done yesterday.

Calves were tied up and moved around. Punxs was washed and dried (all that nice long hair is so hard to get clean once he gets it good and dirty, so Jessie and I are taking turns washing and drying him every. single. night).

Todd hauled lots of manure to the neighbors field.

I put all my patio furniture away for the year, except for my gazebo. Seemed strange to be putting it away when it was 70 degrees out, but I know the warm weather won't last.

The chicken coop was cleaned out and fresh straw put in the nest boxes. I put a timer in there a couple weeks ago to give them more light hoping they would start laying more eggs. We are averaging about 5 eggs a day off of 17 chickens. Hopefully they snap out of this funk soon. Anyone have any suggestions? They are about 15-18 months old now. I think they went through their molt a few months ago - they all had bald patches.....

We also brought home 3 pigs from PA when we brought Punxs home. We cleaned their pen and made it so they can go outside on their own now (without me having to let them out). In February or March, hopefully, they will be some good eating.

Now I'm off to do some blog reading. You all have been busy......


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Let's talk needles

I hate buying knitting needles. Too expensive for the good ones and you can't just use 1 set of needles. But....since I have all these grand plans to make myself some new sweaters, I guess I need them, right?

HOWEVER, I stumbled across this website - and Todd told me to go ahead and order them for our 14th anniversary last month (the 28th to be exact). So I did. But I was frugal and ordered the seconds, and then ordered the 30" cord, the 40" cord, the 52" cord and an extra set of 7, 8 and 9 ends (as that is what size the sweaters that I want to make use the most). I think I paid $55 for all of it. And I cannot figure out why my needles are seconds, really.

And I LOVE them. The cords are plastic coated, so they don't knot up or kink up. They are super easy to use, and I don't tend to drop them like I do the Addi needles because they are not slick. I can mix and match with needle ends from a size 5 to a 15 (and I think I can order 2 other bigger sizes). I can connect different length cords together with a twist of a cord.

Now as long as I don't loose any pieces, I will be all set. But even if I have to replace a needle end, I think it's something like $4.50 for a set of needles. I was a little leary of spending that kind of money, until I realized - to buy a good pair of needles - $18.00. To buy a pair of bamboo needles, $7.95. So theoretically, I can make 80 different sets of needles out of my kit, and each set will cost me just a little less than 69 cents per set of needles (I can make a pair of needles from a size 5 to a size 15 that are 17", 20", 22", 24", 27", 36", 46", 58" long, not to mention adding cords together).

Friday, November 6, 2009

Something Old

Yesterday, I had to go to a town about 20 min. away to get one single ingredient for the feed that Todd is going to make for our cows this weekend. He thought I would complain (I am one that when I am done working, just want to go home. Do not stop anywhere, do not do anything. Just. Go. Home).

Oh no - because I would drive right by my favorite junk store - Useful Junk. Actually, more importantly, it should be called Cheap Useful Junk.

A few weeks ago I found there some old Pyrex baking dishes and mixing bowls there. And I LOVE them. I have plastic ones, but that just doesn't cut it for dumping the mashed potatoes into for Sunday dinner and sitting on the table.

I went back and snagged these beauties for $8.00. Yes, all 3 of them for $8. I'm hoping that was a good deal. The 8x8 dish already has been put to use for dinner last night (venison pot pie), and the large mixing bowl in the back is the perfect size to hold Tyler's popcorn snack at night. I have another one from my last trip the same size, which holds Jessie's popcorn.

Have a good weekend everyone! I have to work tomorrow:( but Sunday will be a day of fun - cleaning out my sewing/computer room. I think I'm getting the bug to sew again..........


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weekend Work

We brought a new cow from a good friend a couple weeks ago.

Meet Rondell. She was shown as a yearling and did quite well. Jessie was impressed that she walked off the trailer nice and calm and Jason led her around, set her up and walked her before putting her in the pasture. I think she is campaining to show her this winter. But that is not an option - she is too old:)

But.....she is not bred, and we certainly don't want her being bred now - I'm not into having calves being born in August.

So the plan was to move the bull into his own little pasture - specifically so he would have the run in shed that the horses have used. But, it needed some work:

This picture was taken before we did anything - all those boards the horses have pushed off over the years. So we got some new rough cut boards from the Amish sawmill, and we got busy Saturday afternoon. Then I left to take the kids trick or treating and Todd kept working. By Sunday morning we were ready to put the siding back on with the new siding:

We also put kicker boards up inside that are 3 feet high on all 3 sides of the shed. This way, the bull and the horses cannot kick off the siding boards - the kicker boards are 2 1/2 inch thick oak boards.

Now we just have to put 1 fence up and the bull can live here quite comforatbly, once we bed it up with straw.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Midnight and Daisy

When Tyler got Midnight, we had all hoped that he would be around forever.

Wouldn't you know it, almost 1 year to the day, he disappeared. Two weeks ago Wednesday (the 22nd - we found Midnight on the 23rd in 2008), we couldn't find him when we were getting ready to go to bed. And we both went out at 10:00 at night and searched the barns. Darned cat. This cat is/was cool. He was housebroke, not an in your face cat but one who would sit with a little boy, sleep with a little boy and in general just be there.

After almost two weeks, everyone else but Tyler and I have accepted the fact that he may be gone for good. We are still holding out hope that he will come home. I'm really hoping he is in someone else's house giving love to them and their kids, and that he will come home sooner or later......

But in the meantime, Tyler got another kitten. This one is younger and a female. And her name is Daisy May.

So far, she is just as cool as Midnight, without the housebroke aspect. Although I think to prevent her from disappearing, she will be a strictly inside cat. So far, she is loving all the attention Tyler and Jessie lavish her with.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treat

Saturday night we went to my Mom's so the kids could go trick or treating. This was the easiest year I have had on costumes:)

Every year (up until this year) I have made the kids their costumes. There have been the ladybug, raggedy ann, a bear, a firefighter, a ghoul, a witch, a cheerleader, a flower fairy, a devil, a football player, a victorian girl, numerous princesses.....

But this year, Tyler wanted to be a football player. With REAL football pants and a REAL jersey. And Jessie wanted to be a REAL huskies cheerleader.

Fortunately for me, the sporting goods store in Ashland had a pair of white football pants in Tyler's size on the clearance rack, and an honest-to-goodness husky cheerleader outfit for Jessie on the clearance rack.

I did have a few hard moments upon realizing that I didn't have to make anything for halloween, then rejoiced because I was not up at 1:00 in the morning finishing costumes.....
Here's to hoping everyone had a good Halloween!