Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Goings on.....

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  We had a wonderful weekend full of family and friends.  AND, unlike last year, I was not up until 3 am making and wrapping presents!  Actually, a good friend and I got togegther on Thursday, and while the kids ran wild played nicely at her house, we wrapped all of our presents.  We will definitely do that one again! 

See my pretty new bedroom in progress?  It's hard to get a true picture of the color - it's a lovely blue/gray color.  I painted it the week after Thanksgiving.  I had grand intentions of going to get laminate wood flooring to replace the icky pink carpeting that was in this house when we brought it.

Well, it's going to be torn up again real soon. Christmas Day night Todd was walking between the bed and that wall getting ready for bed, and right up against the wall the floor gave way under him.  Monday we pulled the carpeting away from the wall and found this hole:

Apparently, were the addition meets the original house, there is a gap under the shingles.  And there has been water leaking in here for who knows how long.  It probably didn't help that this year has been the wettest year on record for Ohio!

On the other side of that corner is our living room - and when I moved the stuff out of the corner, I found this:

See that nice gap between the floor and the baseboard?  Yeah, the floor is  rotting away under there...

I KNOW it wasn't like that last spring, because I wanted to re-arrange that end of the room where the TV and stero sits, but Todd wanted it back the way it was after I pulled everything out, cleaned back there and moved it all.  And I'm very certain I would have noticed that!!!

And this is what we found in the basement (the sub floor under the living room).....

So the contractor who put the addition on came out yesterday and poked around.  That whole corner will need torn apart and the end truss fixed, new shingles, siding, 2x4 walls, insulation, drywall, subfloor and floor joists put in along with who all knows what else.  An adjuster from our insurance company should be coming out in the next couple of days to give us the go ahead to get started. 

But....the good part?  I did NOT put new flooring down in our bedroom which would have to be ripped out (although if I had we might have noticed it a litte bit sooner)....small good part yes, but still good.

We (Todd, the contractor and I) are really hoping we can get this fixed soon...before more damage happends.  The weather here has been just horrible (lots of rain) so that might be tough....but our contractor says 2-3 days and he can have the outside all ripped out and rebuilt.

So...I'm off this week and going to clean out the basement.  Some stuff that we had to move to get back into that corner is water damaged, so I'm planning on getting rid of LOTS of things.....

Thursday, December 15, 2011


In all the excitement of the past few weeks (wonderful Thanksgiving), getting ready for Christmas, going to a steer show this past weekend with about 30 of our friends, I totally forgot this......


Wow...12....I cannot believe it.

She turned 12 on Sunday.  For her birthday, she requested that we go to a steer show in Columbus.  And she has asked that we go to the same show for the past 3 years - that is what she wanted for her birthday.  We try to go every year - there are worse things she could be asking for, right? 

So we went - along with 6 other families from our county and neighboring county - 15 calves, 10 kids, and 19 adults.  It was fun, it was long and in Jessie words - this was absolutely the best birthday ever!!!  The cupcakes survived the trip down there (but not the food fight between 2 adults - fortunately I took 4 dozen with us so they were able to destroy the extras) pictures of her with the kids - they are all at the age where they don't WANT their picture taken but's all good!

Now I'm off to finish my Christmas shopping.....
Have a great day!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011


I don't know why I dragged my feet on knitting this sweater...I've had the pattern printed for several years, and I brought this yummy Malabrigo yarn over a year ago with no particular pattern in mind.

But I'm glad I finally decided to knit this. And once I decided, I think I had it done in under a week. Yes, it was that fast!

And it's so comfortable, I think I've worn it at least once a week to work since I finished it. And I've worn it probably once each weekend as we are doing this and that. Great with jeans, great with dress pants for work....

In fact, I was wearing it so much, I never got it blocked after knitting it. And I needed it just a tiny bit longer (and looser). I forced myself to not wear it to work one day (I wanted to wear it on the weekend) and blocked it before going to work.

Watch the Malabrigo people! I did block it in cold water, but there are a couple spots that look like it might have felted - 2 or 3 rows of 3 or 4 stitches under each was either the wet block or the fact that I've worn it so much...not sure which but it's not bad, you can't see it very clearly, so I'm going to solve this problem the easy way.....

Knit myself another one so I'm not wearing this one all the time:)

Francis Revisited
Size: 36/38
Mods: Knit a hem for the bottom rather than the seed stitch edging and did some waist shaping
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted, color - Nostalgia

I did have a little bit of trouble with pooling, but I think with the colors on this yarn it's ok.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Retro Shell

This poor sweater.....

I love it, but I did not cooperate with the sweater.....

It was a test knit for Baby Cocktails....I had it finished in time, but I didn't like the way the collar laid. But I blocked it and wore it a few times.....still didn't like it. So I re-knit the collar and blocked it again....wore it a few times....nope still not just right.....

I'm still not sure it is exactly right, and I think after wearing it 6 or 7 times, I finally figured out the problem! I started picking up and knitting on the wrong side, so the seam is on the inside of the sweater and not the outside.....

But I do love the fit, I do love the sweater, I do love the yarn:)

A few weeks ago I wanted to finally get some decent pictures of it. And since I was wearing it to work - perfect! But....Jessie was at school and it was just Tyler at he was my "photographer". This kid is a hoot!! I think in the 5 min. we were outside, he took close to 50 pictures. Although I also had to keep reminding him ...."take pictures of the sweater, NOT of your cat!!!"

Knit in the round from the top down, the pleats and the lace keep it fun, and the stockinette stitch makes it fly.

Pattern: Retro Shell by Baby Cocktails

Size: 36"

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool

I did end up reblocking it to fix the pleats in the back. I wet block EVERYTHING that I knit and managed to block the pleats right out of it.....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Taking a break....

... from sweater knitting obsession that is!

Seeing as how I'm almost to the point of adding sleeves on an insane lace sweater (knit out of Plucky knitter lace weight on size 8 needles)....but I'm not sure how to do the decreases once adding the sleeves into the equation (knit from the bottom up)....

...and my latest sweater is way to big in the shoulders (like you can fit me plus another person in there)...wondering what the heck did I manage to screw up.....

I thought I'd take a little break and knit the Winter Wonderland infinity scarf. I am so not crazy about 180 stitches around, but am thinking this is going to be soooo cool! Especially in some to-die-for plucky knitter yarn.

I do have 2 sweaters that have been knit, re-knit (as the case may be), blocked, ends woven in and am just waiting for the combination of nice fall day and available photographer to show them to you. Based on Jessie's school/sports/steer showing schedule and the weather, this could get a little tricky! I'm wearing one to work today, and may re-knit the collar yet a 4th time to see if I can get it to lay right.....

It could also be that no sweater is catching my attention at the moment...there's lots I WANT to knit but nothing I HAVE to knit.....

Any suggestions?????

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wayne County Fair 2011 in review....

It's over....
We finished up the fair a couple weeks ago

Every year, we tell Jessie don't get your hopes up. Be thankful for what you get. And she blows that philosophy clear out of the water.

She won her class with Tank. Then had to go back in for Division II Champion and Reserve.

Which she also won.

Then she had to go back in for Grand and Reserve overall.

Where she placed 3rd overall.

After that, she had to go back in for Showmanship, where she placed 3rd out of 23 kids.

She was not too thrilled with 3rd but.....she will take it.

Then a couple days later she had to her pig in showmanship. She won her class and ended up in the top 5 of the 13 and under kids. Which is pretty funny cause we weren't going to let her show showmanship - "King Tut" hurt his leg (got it caught in his pen gate) and was limping a little bit.

So we told her to go slow and not push him in showmanship - and she did incredibly well!

The next day was the Market Hog class. She won her class.....

And was Division IV Champion.

So she got to go back into the final drive. I don't think I've ever been so nervous in my life. This judge was good, dragging it out and making the kids comfortable. She didn't get grand or reserve, but she is still one happy little girl!

She missed showing her heifers and her feeder calf, but ended up Reserve Champion Shorthorn heifer, 4th in her class with her Crossbred heifer and 4th in her class with her feeder calf.

It was a great fair - she had lots of fun hanging out with her friends.

Sale day was rough - it is every year. You can always tell the kids who work with their animals and get attached - they are the ones (like Jessie) sobbing hysterically before, during and after selling their animals.

But....she is already hard at work for next year!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Time flies......

How did we get to this point?

Tuesday was the first day of school. I was so not ready for this day!

Jessie is a 6th grader now.....and with that switch to middle school comes the bus pick-up time of 6:50 a.m. This will take some getting used to!

And Tyler is in 2nd grade this year....with a closer to normal pick up time of 8:25.

So far, the school year has started off very well.....I really hope it continues!

Although I do miss having them at home all day every day....there's lots of cleaning and feeding of animals that they were doing for me.......

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's over

...and I am SO GLAD!!!

State Fair is a fun time, but also incredibly hectic. Add to the mix, we had sold a steer calf to a girl in Medina County, and their steer show was Wednesday night.

So Todd loaded up the pig Tuesday night, got home about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, and I headed out with the kids and an incredibly packed full Durango to meet the camper rental dude by 8:15 a.m.

And then I had to feed said pig several times on Wednesday, and deal with weighing him in at the fair late Wednesday afternoon.

Todd did come down to the State Fair early Thursday a.m. where I was very happy to let him take over the feeding of "Tyler Jr." can you tell which kid named the pig??? Lol....

We started off showing Showmanship on Friday:

the "bling bling girls". What you don't see in this picture is their bling belts, which did sparkle quite a bit in the ring!

Waiting in the holding pen to enter the ring for showmanship. Not sure where she gets the intensity from...

Total seriousness....

Staring the judge down....the idea in showmanship is to keep your eye on the judge or on your pig...she has mastered that part very well.

Not sure where the chewing on her toungue came from....must be all the concentration!

She ended up 5th out of 23 kids in the 11 year old class. Which she was THRILLED with.

Then she had to show market on saturday where she didn't do so hot - 12th place. But....she had fun and enjoyed herself.

On Sunday was the Open Barrow Show. And we let Tyler show "Tyler Jr." in that class. He is going to be quite the showman I think when he is actually old enough to be in 4-h and have market animal projects.

He had fun...didn't place (they only place the top 5 in the Open class and there were 16 pigs in his class)....but he enjoyed it.

And Tyler Jr. was getting tired after 3 days of he wanted to get the heck out of that ring!

The market pigs are all terminal, so Tyler and Jessie had to say goodbye to him on Sunday afternoon. It was not easy for them they both said, they have other animals at home that now they can devote their time to working with them!

And we get a break next year from showing at the State Fair!!!! It's an expensive week (when you include the cost of the pig and feeding said pig, plus your entry fees, camper rental, parking fees and gate entry fees not to mention your food and drinks), and Jessie and Tyler both said they would rather go to the Medina County Fair and show their heifers and steers in the Open I think we are going to do that next year instead of the State Fair.

I'm sure we will go back to showing at the State Fair, but both of the kids want to wait until Tyler is actually in 4-H, and then take either their steers or their feeder calves to the State Fair. Which is a major bummer only from the standpoint that everything you haul down there (including the animals) you have to haul home at the end of the week. We shall see....

All in all? The trip was a success and we got home Sunday night in time to wash and dry her steer, wean all 7 calves, and the kids are busy halter breaking them - which they are doing a fantastic job with so far!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Just waiting on the trailer to load up tyler jr. To go to state fair.....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cherry Vanilla

I FINALLY finished my Cherry Vanilla sweater. I don't know why it took me almost a year is done and I love it!

I did have some very blond moments with this sweater...particularly with the lace pattern, which meant I riped it out and started over I think about 5 times. Of course though, once the light bulb finally went off in my head - I didn't need the pattern at all for the lace panels. And I should have made it a couple inches longer but....I was so ready to be done that I'm cool with it the length it is.

It's a little large - I knit the 36/38 but at the point where it meets in the front and closes with a hook and eye - I placed that part a little too low, and I'm thinking that perhaps I should have knit the 34/36 so it would have fit better in the shoulders and bust.

But I've worn it several times and I'm very, very happy with it! This pattern has a short and long version, and I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, I'll make either the short version or a longer version here at some point.

Pattern: Cherry Vanilla by Thea Coleman of Baby Cocktails
Size: 36/38
Yarn: Berroco Comfort DK
Mods: none that I can remember......

For some reason, blogger is not letting me comment on any of your is saying i do not have an "active account"...any ideas why that is? I have IE 9.....thinking of switching to Google Chrome....any thoughts?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

4-H still projects

Jessie got a little over ambitious this year with her still projects for 4-H. She knew she wanted to take a sewing project and the scrapbooking project, but she also wanted to do the photography level 1 project. She must be a little OCD like her mother (ahem....).

Todd's and my ONLY requirement was....all these projects had to be done before she left for 4-h camp on July 2nd. She got home on the 6th and judging was on the 12th. She didn't quite meet that deadline, but 3 hours of work last Sunday and she was done.

The actual judging was Tuesday night....

Loungewear - the fleece robe was what was judged. She got an "Excellent."

Scrapbooking - another "Excellent"

Photography Level 1 - she got an "Outstanding". The judge was a photographer for one of our local papers, and she came out of the judging with Jessie and said to me..... "your daughter took some amazing photographs. I really hope you consider letting her put them in the Open Youth Photography division at the County Fair."

Needless to say, she was on cloud 9 the rest of the evening. When we got home, she picked out 4 pictures that she wants to exhibit at the county fair this year:

Tonight, they had a "Style Review Show" where she gets to model her robe and her scrapbook and find out if she received an Outstanding with either her robe or her scrapbook, and see if she made it to State Fair with any of her projects. I knew she would really love to go to State Fair, but I will dread it 100%.

We just got home - and she got an "Outstanding" with her scrapbooking and qualified for State Fair in both Photography and Scrapbooking. Wow. So we will be down in Columbus a lot. She will go down on the 28th for scrapbooking, the 30th for photography (which is also the day I have to work at our big conference - so Todd just may have to take her down there) and then the 3rd through the 7th (or is it the 8th - Sunday?) with her pig.

She is definitely on cloud 9 - although in true OCD form, she wants me to find out if she can edit either of her projects - she has thought of ways to make them "better."

Here we go.......