Sunday, December 19, 2010

Down and Out...

10 years ago this coming March, I had Lasik surgery done. I was developing an allergy to all contacts (this should have been my first clue) and couldn't wear contacts anymore. And glasses were out of the question for how strong of a prescription I needed (can anyone say double coke bottle thickness?)

It was the BEST money we ever spent. Hands down. But I never had 20/20 vision in my right eye. More like 20/40 on a good day, 20/60 on a bad day.

This spring my eye surgeon (I go every year to him for a checkup and in return, have free touchups for life on my Lasik surgery) said he could get my vision in my right eye to 20/20. So I jumped on the chance....after I procrastinated through a busy summer.

And I had itLasek surgery done last Thursday night at 5:00 p.m. Friday until about 4 was awesome, clear vision, no pain, no symptoms. Then my eye started feeling like it had a piece of dirt in it. By Saturday morning it was red, itchy and streaming tears....I make an emergency run to the doctors?

And I'm FREAKING allergic to the bandage contact lens they used to protect the nerve endings in the surface of my eye while they heal for the next 7-10 days! You have GOT to be kidding me....

So it's home to the recliner for me. No light, no TV, lots of drops and rest......Saturday was torture, today has been a little better. I feel like a wierdo wearing my sunglasses INSIDE the house, but the light hurts way too much.

Hopefully when I go back tomorrow to the doctor it will be even better. Cause I have lots of crafting that needs to get done here in the next 5 days.......2 knitting projects and 4 quilted table toppers!

But as I told Todd last night, even if I had known this was going to happen, I would do it all over in a vision is awesome.....he took care of my astigmatism as well.....I just should have had it done AFTER Christmas, instead of a week before Christmas!

Off to decorate the Christmas tree in the dark! Wish me luck....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The calm before the storm

Surprisingly, I'm not feeling the usual holiday panic....yet.

The house is decorated for Christmas (except for our big Christmas tree which will hopefully go up Friday night), the presents are wrapped and ready to go. Wait....I do need gift tags for all the presents but that is minor....

We had the family over for dinner on Sunday night for Jessie's birthday. Ate a lot and laughed a lot...what more can we ask for?

The actual day of her birthday? Saturday? We spent 6 hours at a basketball tournament. Where her team played 3 games with an hour inbetween each game.

The first game? They won 18 to 2 (or something like that). The second game? They got creamed 26 to 0. The third game? They lost again, 14 to 9. Talk about a long day the 3rd game they were dragging. But they played well, learned some things and had a lot of fun.

I have a few crafty gifts to finish up...but the kids and I are on vacation the last 2 weeks of the I've still got plenty of time!
Enjoy your days!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy 11th birthday jessie....we are at a basketball tourney....1st game won 18 to 2...2 more games to go
Callback #: 330-465-6079

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Knitting

Yes, I decided I should really make just a few Christmas presents. Not as many as in years past - time is rapidly slipping away'll all get done.

Jessie's in 5th grade this year - and they do "switch classes" and she has 5 different teachers every day. 3 of her teachers are female (and in fact, 1 is a good friend and saw the fingerless mitts I made last year for Tyler's teacher and put her request in). So I have 4 pairs of fingerless mitts to complete by the 17th. 2 pairs are done:

The picture isn't doing them justice - they are a very pretty royal blue, which is the school colors. Her 2 male teachers? Gift cards here we come.....

Then Mom wanted to make sweaters for my sister, Ashley (my brother's girl friend), her and myself. Of course, I get the yarn and some vague instructions on how to make the sweater. It will be just like this one unless I decide to change things up, which could happen:

You can see how far I am on it. It's taking forever to get all the raglan increases done. Hopefully I'll be separating for the sleeves soon. If not, I'm handing it back to her to wrap up and I'll finish it after Christmas!

Last week one day Mom and I went Christmas shopping (I had a $100 target gift card burning a hole in my pocket so I got most of the kids' Christmas shopping done). We stopped into Studio Knit in Medina, and Mom picked out this yarn for me to make her a Curaco Cowl for Christmas (notice the pattern here?). It will be lovely in this red tweed, and really, I can't wait to get started on it. Just have to have it done by Christmas Eve at 5:00 when we get together for dinner!

Of course, I got some Malibrigo for me. After all this holiday knitting I'm going to need something for me, me, me. The sweater is Debbie Bliss Win, out of her luxury collection book. I'm thinking mine is going to be longer, but that will be the only change I make:)

I cannot believe how fast Christmas is approaching, but I was on vacation last week and got: the house cleaned, the family room painted (except for 1 corner, but that would require me moving a very old and very heavy hutch so it's gonna wait), all the inside Christmas decorations out, and most of my Christmas shopping done. And yes, I was 1 of the crazies at Wal-mart the Friday after Thanksgiving for 3 things that were on sale. But I was back home in bed by 6 a.m.....

Have a great day!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Remember that sweet, little, puppy?

Well, she has spent the summer, growing, running and playing, and has turned into this:

Who got to play with birds for the first time last Saturday:

She quickly figured it out:

And would point at the birds when she found them:

This should come as no surprise, as she's been pointing at the cat and the cows for the last 4 months:

I do think she got a little aggravated at the birds that flew away when she got too close. But as Todd said to her, it's not your job to catch the birds, it's your job to flush them out of hiding so I can shoot them!

Todd didn't have the gun out there with him - he wants to take it slow and easy with her so she does not become gun shy. Believe me, a gun shy bird hunting dog is not a good plan.

But she is going with Todd back to PA for the next 2 weeks while he goes black bear hunting and deer hunting, so I'm sure they will find some birds to play with while they are back there.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ribbed Cape

Before you think that all I do is sit around and knit (as if - I wish!), this knit is big bulky yarn with big bulky needles. And I have been working on this one for the better part of a week, with an hour here, an hour there......

I love 10 1/2 and 11 sized needles. Things seem to fly off of them with no thinking involved on my part.

I have seen all these cute Capelet's out there in the stores and online.....but I'm not paying huge ssums of money for them.

So I found this pattern on Ravelry.

Knit in the round on size 10 1/2 needles, it flies. Simple ribbing means I don't have to pay attention to a pattern while helping the kids with their homework or watching TV.

The pattern is free, and you can make the short or the long version - this one is the short version. I thought about the long version briefly, but wanted to be done with it. I'm glad now I didn't make the long version, as it was 6" longer.

I have Christmas knitting and sewing to do!
Decreasing Rib Capelet - link directly to the pattern from the designer's website.
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Bulky - 2.5 skiens
Needles: size 10 1/2 and 11
Mods: I knit a cowl neck like seen here - rather than the turtleneck the pattern called for. I should have maybe knit the cowl a little longer - I knit to 7", and the last 5" I switched to size 11 needles. But I'm wearing it and I'm happy with it.
Size: range from 45", 50" and 55", measuring around your shoulders and bust. I of course am a 48", and while the pattern designer said she knit the 45" with a 48" measurement, I chickened out and made the 50". And I'm glad I did. I plan on wearing this to work, where I do actually have to type. So it's a little loose at the bottom, but I figure this way it won't ride up my arms as I'm typing and filing and copying. Maybe if I had made the 45" size, it would have been shorter cause the ribbing would be a little more stretched?

Have a great day!

Friday, November 12, 2010


I know I say this about every sweater I knit, but this one has to be just about perfect!

I test knit this one for Thea Coleman over at Baby Cocktails. All the cables kept it interesting and the size 8 needles made it quick. Can't get any better than that in my book!

I used Berroco Remix yarn and it is wonderfully soft and warm. Just a little tweedy, in a lovely dark brown color (we took the pictures this morning while waiting for the bus in the sun).

I myself am not a big fan of sweaters that hit right at the top of my hips, but this one may convert me.

I will make this again for myself at some point (perhaps in a dark red?) but will go down 1 size. It seems a little loose in my waist. But that could be just me too.....

I haven't blocked it yet - I at first thought I wanted it longer, but I am afraid that if I block it, it will grow wider - and I certainly don't want that happening to this. So I've worn it a couple times and am adjusting to the shorter length.

I will however block the collar - I think it needs that so it lays nice and flat.

All in all? Another great sweater by Thea. This is the 3rd one of her's I have knit and I can honestly say these are the sweaters I wear the most! The fit is absolutely perfect, and there is no guessing involved on what I should be doing.


Pattern: Collins, by Baby Cocktails

Yarn: Berroco Remix - 5 skiens

Needles: size 8

Size: 38 with 1" added in length.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Native American Shelter Project

As a 5th grader, Jessie had to do a report and Shelter model on a Native American tribe. She picked the Mowhawk Indians - they had longhouses instead of teepees.

Can we say UGH?????

The report included: 15 paragraphs, title page, table of contents, bibliography, pictures and illustrations. I think her's ended up being close to 20 pages long. Fortunately, she did the bulk of the work herself. Which included note cards, a rough draft and final typed report. Its worth 3 course grades (written expression, social studies and who knows what else). She just got the first grade back - for written expression she got 48/50.....I'm happy with that!

The Shelter Model was a little trickier. No larger than 20 x 24 inches, it had to include the shelter for whichever tribe she chose, landscaping, and at least 3 cultural aspects.

Definite UGH.

Our first model (a oatmeal can cut in half with bark glued to it) she didn't like. So another trip to Pat Catan's where I brought out the store again, and we had a shelter that was more to her liking (thin, flexible corkboard and dowel rods). Then she made actual beds to fit inside the house...

I love my new glue gun. It heats up to 400 degrees and uses the big FAT glue sticks. I did glue the house together, and then gave in and Jessie glued the rest down. I think we used something like 43 glue sticks.

Todd cut the board, Jessie painted it and we started attaching all the fun stuff. She made a canoe and cook pot out of sculpy clay, people out of small wooden clothes pins, and painted little baskets and put corn, wheat and mini pumpkins in them.

Then she wanted corn and trees.

The trees were relatively easy - cut branches off of the pine trees and Todd drilled holes down through the plywood and she glued them in there. The corn stalks? A dowel rod painted green and a corn husk from the corn crib cut into smaller leaves and glued on there......

When I took it into school Monday morning, I was simply amazed. There were some great projects that came in.

But I still wonder why in 5th grade we had to have something this involved......

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Natives are Restless

As with past Halloween's, my kids had varying wishes for what they wished to be for trick-or-treating.

This year in 5th grade, Jessie has been working on a report and shelter model for her Native American project. Let's just's been a trying month here at home. One or the other wouldn't have been bad, but when it's a 15 paragraph report with pictures, illustrations, table of contents and a bibliography AND a shelter model which includes the shelter, landscaping and cultural aspects all made out of natural materials....well......hmmm. More on that later - the pain is still to fresh....

But they FINALLY settled on being Indians. And I had a week to pull the costumes together. Plenty of time.

Tyler needed his for boy scouts the Thursday before Halloween. So I got up Thursday morning at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. and whipped out his shirt and pants. Fortunately, the local costume store supplied the headdress and the tomahawk.

Jessie's? Trick or treating was at 6:00 on Sunday. I sat down about 3:30 p.m. and whipped up her dress. No pants for her - she wanted to wear her leggings and her boots. And again, the costume shop supplied the wig, even though I had to braid it. And the kids had friends coming over for pizza beforehand......

Jessie and Blair had to play cowboys and indians before we left:

And then we had to get a group shot:

We covered the entire town for trick-or-treating, and met up with other kids throughout the night. At one point we had 3 cowboys, a witch, 2 indians and a teen. We ditched the drunken rock star 6th grader as soon as we could:)
All in all we had a blast. And the kids have 2 more costumes to add to our ever growing collection!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I crack myself up sometimes

My Mom talked me into attempting to knit a pair of socks. For me. I will do the cuff, the leg and the foot - she'll take care of the heel and the toe. My problem? I don't like to do 2 of anything - whether it be sweaters, sleeves, quilts......

I have enough yarn to do a vest like I made for her last year. It's still in the skiens. One of Jessie's friends asked for a sweater just like Jessie's.....hasn't happened yet.

But after 4" into this sock:

I got the bright idea to try the 2 at a time on 2 circular needles. Especially after seeing Judy L's sock knit along. Figuring, I'd get 2 done a lot quicker than just one. I had a lovely greyish black skien of bugga sock yarn, and a ball winder. Which I used with great success the other day, even though I don't have a yarn swift.
Guess it works a lot differently on sock yarn vs. worsted weight yarn:

But I did manage to get half of the skien of yarn wound so I could start these as well:

Two rows into it and an hour later, I'm not sure which will be faster for me. But we'll see. I figure when I get to the heel shaping part, these are going on DPN's and I'm giving both of them to my Mom to do the heels. Then I'll attempt to put them back on the circular needles and do the foot.....

What did I get myself into?????

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jefferson County Fall Spectacular steer show

Last Saturday we loaded up 4 calves, 2 kids and 3 adults and went to a steer and heifer show 100 miles south east of us. If our friends' heifer hadn't died unexpectedly last week, it would have been 6 calves, 4 kids and 5 adults.

Once we got there, it was so nice out we decided to tie out to the trailer and show out of the trailer. Rather than haul everything out of the trailer into the barn and set it all up, and then when we were done showing to pack everything back up, haul it out to the trailer and load it all back onto the trailer.

And if you're 10, you can slack off for a little bit and text your boy friend/girl friends while you are waiting around:

It was beautiful out, even if it was a little cold.

But the steers and heifers stayed cool and we didn't need to turn on the fans.

The kids started off with showmanship:

Jessie got 2nd out of 23 kids with Smokie in Jr. Showmanship.

And then Tyler went right back into the ring for beginner showmanship (kids 8 & under) and got 3rd out of 6.

We took a heifer and a steer for each kid to show. Tyler got 7th with smokie (out of 13).

Jessie got 6th with Jason's heifer Fabulous (out of 14)

Tyler got 8th with Huey (out of 13)

And Jessie took her new steer Tank in and got 10th (out of 16).

Our main goal for this show was to get everyone in the ring and walking and behaving well. And for Jessie to get in there with Fabulous and Tank, whom she has never shown. If all goes as planned, we will go back to Columbus over Jessie's birthday (she again this year wants to go to a steer show for her birthday) and we want her comfortable with these calves.
And we were happy that we were in the middle of the pack. There were some big names down there - kids that skip their county fairs and show at the National level......but we held our own.
It was a very long day (we left the house at 7 a.m. and got home just after 9 p.m.). But it was a good day and we are planning on going back down there next year:)

Friday, October 22, 2010


Tyler joined cub scouts this year. Todd was a boy scout all the way through high school (and actually is an Eagle Scout - 5 palms) as is Todd's brother and their father.

Last night we went on a field trip to the historical society.

It was interesting, to see the pictures of what our little town used to look like 100 years ago. They had advertisements, posters, newspaper articles, and all sorts of old kitchen ware and farm equipment.

Tyler had fun having me read the articles and posters to him, until we came to this one:

I don't know how to make it so you can click to enlarge the pictures, but it says: "Home baking in most homes is no longer an economy - it is an expense that should be done away with. Baked goods from our ovens, fresh daily, have taken the place of the home bake day, freeing the housewife from hours of drudgery. Make 1928 a bakeless year in your home."

And for Tyler, who loves nothing more than fresh baked bread straight out of my oven (with butter and cinamon sugar on it of course) - he was appalled that someone would even consider this!

Interesting how times have changed, isn't it?


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Last weekend, while Jason and I were riding herd on 2 kids and 5 calves at a show, Todd was enjoying some fun at a club calf auction at his uncle's farm in PA.

I'm still not convinced that I shouldn't have been at the auction and he should have been at the show. But....if I had been at the auction we would have probably spent more money. And he did get her a very nice steer - not one of the ones we were hoping to buy, but when they go for over $3,000 - that was way over our limit to start with (which is about 1/2 of that....). Jessie has to have a chance to at least break even.......

We have a game plan on this whole buying steers for the kids to show: We gave Jessie her first steer, and when she sold him at the fair, she took the money to buy herself a steer and we buy her a steer, then in the spring, she brought 2 pigs (one for State Fair and one for County Fair) and we buy 2 pigs. This year, she sold Punx and her pig and brought the steer that Todd bid on at the auction. And she has enough money to buy herself 2 pigs for next year and a little left over. We buy all the feed for all the animals, and whoever doesn't go to the fair goes into our freezer.

And Sunday, him and a friend of ours and our friends' son left our house at the ungodly hour of 6:00 a.m. to make the 3 1/2 hour drive one way to bring Jessie's steer home.

So I spent the day (mostly) parked in my recliner knitting up a storm. Which was all good, as I have this sweater just about done:

Another inch on the collar and I am golden. And I will be wearing this as soon as it is done! It's Collins, by Baby Cocktails. And it is an absolute dream to knit.

Until I decided about 3:30 that I should really go clean out the basement so we can get into it this fall and winter. But I had the kids to help, so the 5 yard carts of trash to the burn pile didn't take too long.

In fact, I got done just in time to welcome home:


Who is already turning into a pain-in-the-rear because he is so friendly. We are talking you walk in the barn - and he's waiting for a scratch and a rub. You walk in the pen and he is right next to you wanting some love.

Jessie has had him out every single night - brushing on him, walking him and practicing showmanship. We are going to another show in southern Ohio on the 30th. And they have a showmanship class. And her friends are going (who incidentally placed ahead of her in showmanship at the last show), and she wants to make sure she in her A-game.

We've been sort-of taking it easy the last week and a half, but tonight, all that is going to change, as there are 2 steers going to the show on the 30th and 2 heifers.

I'm looking at it this way - if I can manage to avoid driving a vehicle going to this show, I'll get in 200 miles of knitting time:)



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Harvest Choice Steer Show

This past weekend, while Todd was in PA bidding on Jessie's steer for next year, Jason and I loaded up Jessie, Tyler and 5 calves and went to a steer show in Medina.

I'm not sure if we were insane or not at the time.

We called on my parents and my brother and his girlfriend Ashley to help us out, seeing as I had to take Tyler to his last Flag Football game of the year, where he played the first half of his game and then we booked it the 30 min. away to the show.

But the kids had fun, and we are looking at going to Smithfield, Ohio (100 miles away) the end of October for another 1 day show!

Jessie showing Huey in his market steer class, and our good friend Erin showing Jason's steer class. Jessie got 3rd and Erin got 4th. And the red calf is now Tyler's steer for him to call his own and show this fall and winter!

We have a joke among us and Erin's parents, who are good friends of ours, that these 2 girls are twins born 12 years apart. We have pictures of both Erin and Jessie when Erin was Jessie's age - and the resemblance is unreal! Todd and Robin keep joking about getting DNA proof....

Jason's steer doesn't walk the greatest (which is why Tyler or Jessie didn't show him) so Erin and her sister Brittney had to do a little pushing and pulling.

Jessie showed our heifer Smokie and got 3rd in her heifer class.

Tyler showed our other heifer Famous (who Jessie showed at our county fair) and got 4th in the heifer class.

Jessie also showed Huey in showmanship and got 4th out of 12. He is something of a butthead, and likes to push her around, but she handled it!

Erin showed Jason's heifer Fabulous and got 2nd in her heifer class.

And while we were all at the steer show having fun with family and friends, Todd was in PA and bid on this guy for Jessie. Who will come home this Saturday so we can get him ready for the show the end of the month.
It was a terrific day with family and friends, a lot of work getting 5 calves ready, but also a lot of fun that included a cookout and a water fight.
Now I'm off to rush home to cook dinner for the family and get back to work for an evening meeting. Hope everyone has a fantastic day!