Sunday, June 24, 2007

New Word of the Day!

I have been one of those nerdy folks that love to collect words of the day. Lately I haven't paid any attention to my quirk, but today I was listening to PBS. Every Sunday I listen to the morning shows, and I do other things like spin or sew. I perked up when the lady on the radio was talking about the word collocate. She gave all kinds of wordy stuff about the meaning and what happens when you add a different prefix to locate. Well, I loved the sound of the word. I did not care about the meaning, but the sound was my attraction. So now I guess I will think about how words sound. Is that weird or what? Oh-when I was looking up the word on the internet, there was a site that had the pronunciation of the word. It did not sound as good when the computer guy said the word.

It is the most glorious morning. It is warm, but breezy in the shade. It is quiet with just the sounds of the birds. I did hear a tractor go by earlier. Even the hummingbirds are quiet right now. I love morning, but really early morning is my favorite. It is late morning now, and it is beginning to warm up. It feels clean after all the rain. There is a scent of some animal on the breeze, but very faint.

I really didn't have a lot to say today, but I did want to talk about collocate. I know it is weird, but I do like the sound of the word. The meaning is stupid; it doesn't really go with the sound.

Have a great Sunday! It is so beautiful outside here, and I hope your little piece of the world is as beautiful! Enjoy the day!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What a Week!

These are some photos of the baby foxes taken through a screen window or door. I watched them for an hour as they played in the pasture. They are cute, but I know they will be as big a nuisance as the adults as they grow up.

I have had a week! I have applied for 6 or 7 jobs, and have gotten no call-backs. One of the
jobs I did do a follow-up call. The people were very rude and disapproving-as if I was being
very pushy! Now I am feeling very old, rejected, and really depressed. On top of that, I have two friends that have called me daily for some weeks wanting to know if I have a job yet. Then they give me advice and more advice on how to get a job. I finally snapped at one of them this week. I think she is really mad, since she has not called or talked to me since. I left a message on her answering machine-which means she is monitoring her calls.

A childhood friend of mine that lives in a nearby town came by yesterday to help sew my quilt top. I am very slow and precise and it has taken me forever to sew the four-squares. She sat down and just whipped those out. And then she helped sew some more of the blocks. She was very fast and helped me tremendously. I did not feel like sewing for such a long period of time, but she said, "We have a quilt to finish. We have to sew some more." So what a good friend to have. I wanted her to come by for a different reason, and that was to give her her sock yarn for her birthday present. And I fixed us lunch, which we ate outside with the hummingbirds. And the cats. Noodles sat on one side of the table watching carefully for the sign that we were finished. Then I put a little bit of lasagna on my plate for him. He was most grateful! Sarah and I had a good time, laughing about childhood memories, and talked a lot about our parents and grandparents. We enjoyed the day.

I finished the pink thing, and am I disgusted. Another one of those messes. I tried it on, and the straps kept falling off my shoulders. After some different pinnings of the straps, I finally realized that this was never going to fit my shoulders. I have very narrow shoulders, which I did not take into account as I was blissfully knitting along trying to finish the damn thing! I finally laid it out on the floor and stood back and looked at it. I immediately sewed the straps on the back, and threw it on the couch. I have a person in mind for this. She is the daughter of a friend of mine. She is six feet tall, and has very broad shoulders. Carol had to redo the shoulders on the sweater she made for her last year. So much for pink thing!

I have done very little knitting this week. I knit some rows on the green scarf and on the #1 sock, but little progress. I can at least say now that I did get something accomplished with my quilt top. I have read 3 books, though, if that counts for anything. I got most of my yard mowed, in between rainy days.

We had a strange Monday night group this past Monday. I went a little bit early- I had been applying for jobs! My friend Barbara came in so I could show her how to get started on a wash cloth. Tracy came with a FANTABULOUS quilt. Really bright and happy! Sue was there just briefly before she had to go to a meeting. Then this whole group of people that Tracy and I did not know, but I think were from a class. So we were really crowded and had to get some folding chairs from the closet. Paul came in a little later, and I had to leave to feed Buddy and the cats. I had a sack of horse feed in the truck, and I needed to get it to the barn before another rain came.

I will leave with this photo of my only sunflower plant to survive the deer and rabbits. It was a gift that came up in one of my planters by the door. I stood over it to get the full flower. The bee wouldn't wait for me to focus. I absolutely love sunflowers, and I am always upset that the deer and rabbits love the new plants more than any other plant around. So I was thrilled that this gift was given to me and that now I can enjoy it by my door. Isn't it luverly? Luverly! Luverly!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

This was Father's Day. My dad died in 1977 at the age of 52. He had a massive heart attack after working in his tomato patch. He had sat down with a beer. My brother was laying on the couch reading. He looked over and our dad was pouring beer all over himself and his head back.
When my brother leaped up, my dad suddenly came to, and looked at his watch. He jumped up and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh! I've got to start supper. I didn't know it was so late." And then he fell down dead. What a way to go..... a beer in your hand and sweaty from working in your garden. But I did not relate this story to be morbid, or to take away from all the awesome dads in the world. I just want you to love your dad and take care of him while you can. The nicest things my childhood friends said to me were "Your dad was always there for us. He would drop everything to play with us, or to just talk to us." and "Your dad taught us all how to dance when we were really little." Also, when my dad's mother died, she told me, "You were a good daughter to your father." I thought that was a good thing to say.

Anyway, I knit on socks today. I am determined to not go overboard and start something new. I am going to finish one sock before I start on the Harry Potter bookmarks. I also want to make some more children's caps for our charity we have here- Knitting for Noggins. These are summertime projects. I have laid aside the shrug until later in the summer. I do want it for this Fall, but it is too hot right now.

I finished another skein of llama while listening to podcasts. I washed it, and it went on the blocker outside. It was almost dry when the thunderstorm blew through. So it will overnight on the blocker outside.

I have been reading my cozy mysteries-usually one a day. But I slowed down on the last two. I end up staying up so late to just figure out what is going to happen. I haven't been able to knit and read at the same time. I did have a print that showed a young girl spinning at her wheel and reading a book. My husband gave it to me one year. The frame broke one day, and the print was damaged when it fell on the floor. But I was never able to do that either.

Anyway- a new week begins. The summer solstice is approaching. And it is still cool here in the 80's. I keep thinking that the 90's will be here soon. I know once they do get here, the 100's are right behind them. There is nothing like 102 degrees and 100% humidity to wilt your shorts!

Remember when you were a kid, and you thought summer would last forever. And then when school started it was still hot. And then when Fall finally arrived, you were just sick of the heat.
Oh-our schools were not air conditioned. The heat was from radiators. No-I will not go into one of those stupid lines about "when I was your age" schtick!

I finally got to see Abe Lincoln knitting on the bus sitting next to the beaver. Friends have told me all about it. Of course, if you watch, it appears that he is knitting continental. But he never really makes a stitch. At least, I did not see him pick one. Oh, well- did they ask me? I can't stand the lady on the bus for Aleve or something, or the lady sitting in her home knitting slippers. That are huge (the slippers)-by the way. One of the Monday Night Knitting Group ladies made the comment about that one. She saw it and yelled at the t.v., "Well, if you didn't use that great big yarn and those ridiculous set of needles, your hands wouldn't hurt." Her husband just sighed and kept his mouth closed.

Well, time for me to go see what Ella Clah is doing about the murder. Talk to you later.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Miscellaneous Day!

This morning I had the dueling hummingbirds to listen to at breakfast. It is so amazing how such a tiny bird can make such a loud rotor-motor sound. One lit on the feeder near me, and drank for a good while. Then he went to a tree nearby to guard the feeder. Later I heard two different rotors going. I saw a small hummingbird darting around the echinacea, while the bigger bird was trying to get him or her. If it wasn't such a serious thing to them and wasn't so disrespectful, it appeared rather humorous to see this tiny bird darting and hiding in the tall stems of the echinacea.

This yellow flower is a cactus. Isn't it amazing how pure the color is? Yes, when you dye with flowers, you most often will get a yellow color. It is very difficult to get a pure yellow; it often is muddied with something magical that happens in the dyepot. I remember a few times getting the most magical color of yellow, that was just ethereal in the light. But I can never duplicate nature. I attended a weaving class some years ago with a visiting instructor. She was telling us how amazed she was as she was approaching Little Rock, and she looked out the window of the airplane. There were so many different shades of green, and it opened a new thought of color for her. She showed us slides of various things she saw, and that opened a new door for me. She showed cracks in sidewalks, lichens on rocks, and shadows. They were design ideas, but also shows the colors that can be seen in even the smallest of places.
Which brings us to the moth on the screen yesterday. It would open it's wings in a ritualistic way as the sun shown. I tried to get a picture of the patterns in
the wings. But it came out a tiny bit blurry. Again not only the
colors are to be seen, but the patterns.

These eggs were given by a neighbor. They are double-yoked, and are bigger than the average egg.
In art class we used to draw eggs in different light and positions. It is one of the most difficult things to draw. Try it some time.
A friend I haven't seen in years came by this week. She wants to learn to quilt, and she asked if I could show her how to get started on knitting again. I showed her cast on, knit, and purl, and she did just fine. Her muscles remember what to do, but her brain is getting in the way. She called yesterday and told me she couldn't remember how to cast on when she got home. She also is not happy with the yarn she has, and I told her to come to our Monday Night Knit Group. And I think she will enjoy that. She is retiring in stages. She works one week, off the next. It is scary to her, but she is enjoying the free time. So another sheep comes back to the fold! I told her I do not quilt, I just piece the tops. She thought that was a wise thing to do too. She used to be an excellent seamstress, and did sewing for her home and children, and herself.
Our LYS is getting in new yarns since TNNA. Whew! I've got to find a job soon. It is just too tempting when you see the new stuff. I don't need anything, but who cares? My friend said I have too many projects going on. Is there such a thing?
I think the potatoes are done. I am making potato salad. What else do you do with potatoes and onion from the garden? And fresh eggs.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just Stuff!

While I have been working on this.................

Baby has been helping me with the quilting!!! She found this box full of pieces, and it was just too much for her. And if she curls real tight, she will fit right in!! "But, really, I was just helping you, Mom!"

Last night at our Monday Night Knit Group, I tried to take a picture of Sasha, the LYS kitty. She is coal black, but the light reflected off her face. And she was not happy to be awakened for ... Sigh!... Not another picture. We had a big group of folks, and we had a loud time all around. We discussed the Harry Potter event.
We discussed just about everything. It was fun!
Not anything new to report. Just fun pictures!

Monday, June 11, 2007


Well, Linda Jo tagged me, but unfortunately, I do not have a clue how to do this stuff. And I do not know any other bloggers, except for she and Carrie, and oh, Bea. And Linda Jo tagged them. So I guess if anyone reads this, you are tagged. Sorry, I don't know how to play well. I can give you seven random things easily, but it's not weird or anything.
1. I love puzzles, mostly jigsaw, crossword, and sometimes soduku. I am mathematically challenged, and use my right-side brain more, but I do like the puzzles.
2. I love to read cozy mysteries. But I really like mysteries of any kind. I do like to read suspense novels, but not the icky, scary, weird, cut-them-up and stash the pieces kind of suspense.
3. I guess because of something quirky in my brain, I get into messes and try to figure out how to get out of them.
4. I used to be a member of a rowing club. It was the adult version of college rowers gone bad. But I was not a college rower. I joined after I took lessons. I ended my infamous career as a rower by signing up for a Master Rowers camp at Harvard for one week. I worked for several months to toughen up and get my strokes down. One- I am an emotional weenie when someone yells at me-as in drill sergeant. And after 4 days, I was done emotionally. So I escaped on lunch break and found the nearest yarn shop in Harvard square. I guess they are used to seeing people in rowing clothes-not a pretty sight-and not a pretty smell. I finished out my week and we even had a regatta in a hurricane-really! I went home, taught rowing classes through the summer, and that was it.
5. I once went on an 8 day canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness with a group of handicapped people. The organization that I went with paired able-bodied with unable-bodied, and we had a blast. I worked for 3 months on upper body strengthening, since I was the oldest person on the trip- 41 years old! I didn't want to look bad in front of the youngsters.
6. I used to do trail maintenance on hiking trails. I designed a handicapped trail for the Arkansas State park system. After presenting my proposal and acceptance of my proposal, I organized volunteers to build the trail. We spent over 800 volunteer hours on weekends only.
7. I used to be a member of the Wilderness Medicine Association. I took seminars, and was intrigued with the avalanche stuff. Since we don't have avalanches in Arkansas, it was fun to listen to. I enjoy listening to experts talking about "reading snow". Yeah, right. I know enough to stay on the cross country ski trail. But I am not some hot-dogger who wanders off the trails.
And I do not climb mountains-as in the weirdos who get stranded on Mt. Hood all the time. No offense to their loved ones left behind. But it costs a phenomenal amount of money to rescue folks that do things that they are told not to do. I have talked to numerous rescuers from the Grand Tetons. They seem to be quite busy with rescuing folks that go when told not to go.

So I guess that's it. I am sorry to not play well. But I am new to this game stuff. Thanks for tagging me anyway. See ya tonight!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Big Prize!

Well, I have waited a long, long time to get this prize. I went to a yard sale on my way home today. It was an older couple that buy stuff periodically and have a huge sale twice a year. Well, here it is! My dream come true! I have wanted a really heavy duty roaster with the temps on the gauge. I know I could have gotten one of the wimpy ones at Wal-Mart that say Hi or Lo on the temps. But this one is a gem! It was bought from a couple of older women who thought it would help them economically on cooking. They used it once. And then they sold it. Said it was too heavy and hard to clean because of its bulk and weight. It really weighs a lot-heavy, heavy. Temps go from 150 to 450 degrees. My dyeing dream has been answered. I can now steam and cook dyes to my hearts content. The crock pots only hold a small amount. This is an eighteen quart model. I am so excited!!! Can you tell I am excited?!!

Last night was the night that I decided to start unloading a trunk FULL of photos and memorabilia from my grandmother and great-grandmother on my father's side. Of course, there is the baby book for my father, the christening gown and cap, the report cards, the little drawings, the letters he wrote to different folks. Even his war letters from Europe. The last entry in his baby book, my grandmother wrote the day he enlisted and the day he was deployed. Sniff!

But my great-grandmother traveled all over the world. I have passports, travel diaries, ship memorabilia, and photos, photos, photos. Most of the photos are unknown people. This has been the only way I have found some of my genealogy is from reading letters or seeing someone's picture that actually has something written on it. I'm telling you, this family never throws anything away. I even found the sales slip for one of the oriental rugs in my house! Most of the sales slips are from items long gone.

I am trying to decide how to organize this stuff. I did send a packet of photos to the Tulsa Historical Society of some parade in Tulsa, who knows when. I guess around late 1920's by the clothes and hair. I have another packet to send off to the Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby. My great-grandmother was married the second time around to a man stationed at Camp Shelby during World War I. I just know this stuff has got to get settled soon. I cannot stand the mess spread out all over the floor.

Well, I am going to go stand and admire my new dye machine. It is so AWESOME! I have waited a long time to find one, and this one is in mint condition. Yeah! For yard sales and bargains! The American way to shop.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

YAWN! Another Summer-ish Day!

Not a lot to report to anyone about anything. I have been reading the new Spin Off. I don't think it is wrong to say everything old is now new. I have been subscribing to this magazine since the early 80's, and I sometimes think, "I have read this before." Only it is written freshly from a new perspective. But I will stick with this magazine. I am kinda out of love with many of the knitting magazines. I like to look at the pictures, but frankly, I get more ideas and pleasure out of reading peoples' blogs. I get the real deal about what happens if you change the pattern, or tweek the yarn somehow, or use a particular needle. I remember when my grandmother would get her magnifying glass up to the TV screen and study the actress's sweater on a soap opera. Never mind what the story was about. It was about fashion then. She would sketch the sweater out on a pad of paper, and then would make it. I learned a lot from her during those days. She was never a yarn snob, in the sense of yarn snobs today. But she believed in good yarn to last forever. That's why I have so many sweaters now.

I remember when my grandmother helped a lady make a wedding dress. A friend was in the dressmaking business, and she got the commission to make a wedding dress. In the early 60's, $5000 was a lot of money for a wedding dress. And it would make this lady's business either go bust or boom. My grandmother helped her design a simple sheath of satin as the basic gown. But they ordered Chantilly lace from France by the yards! They made another gown to go over the satin sheath. Then they beaded and sequined every bit of that lace by hand. The first thing my grandmother did was cut Jackie's fingernails. Then she showed her how to do the beading and sewing of the sequins. I helped some after school, but they worked hours and hours on that. Then they made the veil and train out of the lace, too. The mother of the bride liked the dress so much, she ordered her dress, and two suits for the bride to take on her honeymoon. So it was a profitable effort. Back then women wore suits with hats, gloves, and matching shoes. Oh- they sewed beads and sequins on the satin covered shoes, too.

So, who are we to say something is too hard, or that it takes too long to make something?

I have a bell in my yard that was made by an artist friend. He found out there are oxygen bottles at the welding shops that are not being used. You know- those long, tall cylinders of steel. So he bought some really old ones, and took to a friend to have them cut and soldered the way he wanted them. He then carved a wooden clapper to put inside. It is wonderful on a day like today to listen to it. It is a very deep, melodic tone, and I call it my church bell. I have heard it from a mile away. This friend carves huge wooden fish -3-D- and hangs them from the trees and from the porch ceiling and from anywhere he can. They are wonderful. He went to Italy recently, and at some market found someone who makes grasshoppers with metal pieces. So he bought one. So I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't start carving grasshoppers to have around too. We all find our bliss in strange ways. He laughed at me when I told him I hated this one scarf I knit. I told him I was actually going to make it into a prayer flag instead to blow in the wind. He said the wind is good. He loves to put things in the wind.

Well, I guess I will walk to the mailbox and see if I have any new bills. It is that time of the month!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Just A Plain Day!

This hollyhock was the palest, shell pink last year. This color in the photo is dull, but the color is a deep pink. What a mystery flowers can be.
And just a plain ole day lilly. But look at the colorway in this photo. There are at least 4 oranges, yellows, and 2-3 greens. What a delight color is!

We had a good Monday Night Knit Group last night. It was Colleen's b-day celebration night. Cynthia brought some brie with some wonderful crackers. Then Linda came in with a homemade lemon meringue pie. Yummy! She apologized because she did not have enough corn starch, so she had to use flour. She felt it was too pasty. We loved it. It was great.

We had a discussion about the upcoming July 20 Harry Potter party at the Barnes and Nobles and another independent bookstore in town. They want knitters there knitting stuff from Charmed Knits. We had a really animated discussion about this. Jane bought the book and went home to study it. I think the discussion was we would make some scarves, or caps, and offer them as raffle prizes. But we can make the bookmarks as give-a-ways. Jane thinks she can make some snitch balls with some yarn in her stash. Anyway, it was an animated discussion.

I got another rejection email for employment. I am old-fashioned, I guess. I am not very good at this interview with voice recognition over the phone, and sending stuff email. I like to interview in person, and I can watch the person I am talking to. Not very good grammar, I know. But I guess I will just keep plugging away. It is very depressing to be constantly rejected. And you never get to talk to a real person.

Colleen and Joy-owners of Handheld Knitting-(our LYS) just got back from TNA last weekend. They were jazzed. I guess it can be too stimulating to be in a vast ocean of yarns, vendors, and stuff. They brought back little give-a-ways for us. That was nice. They ordered some new yarns, which we are dying to see already. They want me to do a dye workshop, since they got to dye some with Louet with Gaywool dyes. They also ordered Wild Fibers, the magazine. They met Ms. Wildfiber, and Colleen wants to be just like her when she grows up. Yeah, well, first she and her husband have to get the daughter in college and away from home. Then, she has to wait until both kids get through college. Then she can think about being Ms. Wildfiber II.

But like I said, this is just a plain ole day. Nothing new, nothing exciting. Have a good plain old day and I will talk to you later.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


Well, here is the beginning of my new project.
I couldn't help myself. I saw this project on a few blog sites, and found that there is a knit-a-long for this scarf out of Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I don't belong to the group, but I am knitting the scarf anyway. I like the pattern, and I like the idea of using sock-weight yarns.

I took the picture outside, thinking I would get a better color presentation. WRONG! The green row is a sock yarn by Wildfoote, colorway Desert Grass. It has a bright green, a yellow, and a light, sagey green mixture. I really didn't want a pair of socks out of it, but it was in my sock basket. The multi color rows is a one-ply yarn I picked up at some wool festival a million years ago, and it was in the bottom of my sock basket. Because of the difference in yarns, it will have to be blocked out to look right.

I couldn't decide if I really liked the colors together, but already have named it Summer Gardens. It is a really easy pattern and works up pretty fast. But onto the back burner until I get Pinky finished. I am SOOOOOO close now. I am on the home stretch.

I am truly a Process knitter. I see something, and I decide I want to try it. I get itchy wanting to try it. Then I finally break down and start looking at yarns. I lay out different colorways and types of yarns. Then I start the project. Once I get going, I sigh and relax. It is very calming starting something new. Then somewhere in there, I fall out of love with the product. I usually finish the project. If I can't live with it, into the give-a-way box it goes.

Socks are not usually that way, but occasionally I get a sock from HELL and I give it away. The last pair of those were the pink ones. I must have started the first sock three times. When finished, I noticed one of the toe decreases had a "run" from a dropped stitch. Ripped it out, reknit it. Then a friend says, " One of your socks is shorter than the other." SIGH! So rip again, and reknit. After all that, there was some kind of hole on one of the toe decreases, but not a dropped stitch. So-- I sewed it up. Worked like a charm. My friend was very thankful to get them. She loves pink.

Neighbors (friends) came over for potluck Friday night with our Share the Garden project. John cooked chicken on the grill while I stir-fried a big batch of fresh veggies from the gardens. I had plenty of leftover broccoli and early peas, so I blanched them the next morning and put in the freezer. It was fun, but my gosh!, don't people want to go home? I am not a party person, and when it got dark outside, that's it. Everyone go home. No---- they wanted to chat more. I finally got them to the cars and we stood out by the cars until I finally said good night and closed my gate to the yard. They only stayed a little longer.

I guess it's off to bed with my newest novel. Our little library got a new book called Beautiful Knitting, which I have been looking at. It is another techniques and patterns book, and I have never seen it reviewed before. But it is really a nice book. So will say goodnight.