"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


Sock Stash part 1

I've been a bit lonely this week. Hubby is out of town on business again, and all there is here at home is me and the fur children-who are seriously lacking in their english speaking skills, though Chenille tries really hard. This is my little sweetie Chenille.

We rescued her from a shelter when she was just 4 weeks old. Not even weaned yet and someone dumped her at the shelter. We took her to the vet right away to learn how to feed her. My daughter Sarah and I took turns getting up every two hours during the night for feedings and comforting. It was like having a human baby in the house. It also was a wonderful opportunity to teach my daughters about the responsibilities of real life baby caring. The experience had a profound effect. Anyway, Chenille is very tiny. Being taken from her mother too early stunted her growth, but she has a HUGE personality, and talks non-stop to me sometimes. Unfortunately, it all sounds like loud Meows to me.

I've been puttering around the house, mostly putting things back the way they were before the party, and surfing the web. I am amazed at how many bloggers knit socks. I haven't knit socks since I closed the shop. Seeing all the great pics in blog land has been a real inspiration. I found myself wondering about my sock yarn stash. I couldn't remember what's in it. So I dug it out. At least, most of it, there's one box I can't get to in the storage shed cos hubby has blocked it off with something too heavy for me to move, so I'll have to wait until he gets home to rescue it. Anyway, I was very surprised at what I found. Apparently, I have saved one skein of every color of Opal I carried in my shop. I didn't like some of them, so I must have been thinking about Ebay at the time. (In a few years, those discontinued colors might be worth something.) Here's the photo of the Opal box contents, and a few skeins of a discontinued color of Jo Sharp DK wool I fell in love with.

This is the second box of sock yarn. Mostly Fortissima, a bit of Opal, Patons Kroy, and Lorna's Laces. I thought I had a lot more Lorna's Laces than that, so I'm quite disappointed. Perhaps the rest is in the box I can't get at. I have a few skeins of Opal colors that were never sold in the U.S. too (Ebay can be cool) that are not in these boxes, so they must be in the other one.

These are my latest acquisitions. Etsy is an evil place for someone who loves hand painted sock yarn. Sigh. I have 3 more skeins on the way. There's a decidedly purplish look to all of it too. (God, how I love purple!) The one on the right is washed out in the pic, but it's lavender, celery, and white.

This is Tommy. He wanted in the picture.

Now I'm absolutely dying to make a pair of socks. I think I'll try the Monkey Socks pattern. It seems to be all the rage right now in blog land. I must say, it is one of the few textured patterns that looks good in variegated yarn. Usually I don't like to do heavily textured patterns in variegated yarn because the pattern gets lost in the color changes of the yarn, but this particular pattern actually compliments the coloring.

Here's a pic of the boys. They were soaking up the sun. You can see the drain tube in Tommy's side, poor little guy. He's doing great though. Now I'm having trouble keeping him calm. He's feeling so good he wants to tear around the place. He needs to be careful until the stitches are removed.

Last, but not least, here's a pic of the new deck. It's not quite done yet. Needs railings and whatnot. But I sure am pleased with it. Hubby used pressure treated wood for the foundation, and Trex decking on top. Trex is that plastic stuff that will last way past when we die of old age. So we won't have to worry about this ever again.

Now, where is my ball winder. I wanna get those Monkey socks goin'.

Have a great day.


Party Pics

Before anything else, I want to thank my brother-in-law Dan and his wife Sue for all the help they gave us in getting this party together. I couldn't have done it without them.

I didn't get very many pictures taken. In fact, I'm rather sad about it. I should have given my camera to my daughter and told her to take pics for me. She would have love doing it. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of her at all, and the party was in her honor. How bad is that?! But, here's what I got.

Folks cooking their Shish-ka-bobs on the upper deck in the background. The deck is not finished. Just usable. It still needs stairs and railings. My nephews Gavin, Daniel, and Brendan are playing in the foreground.

My niece Heidi enjoying the feast (doesn't she look cold?).

More bob cooking. Left to right: Frank (Sarah's boyfriend), Don Kobaly, Al Carlson, Tina Carlson, a girl who's name I've forgotten, Sarah's friend Brendon.

Don and Phyllis Kobaly.

My niece Stacy's dog Hunter. I put this lei on him when they first arrived and he wore it until they went home. I absolutely adore Hunter. He has one of the sweetest gentlest personalities I've ever seen in a Labrador.

My boys giving niece Kaitlyn a hard time. They wanted some of that meat!

Playing a game of Dread Pirate. Left to right: Girl who's name I've forgotten, Brendon, David Kobaly. Tina's arm is in the front. Lol!

Niece Stacy in her Island outfit and Phyllis cooking a bob.

My nephew Scott and brother-in-law Dan guarding the beer.

Dan, Scott, and Shawn chatting in the background and nephew Brendan in the foreground. Gavin managed to dash into the picture just as I pressed the button down. I swear, that little guy does NOT know how to sit still.

That's all of it. After this pic someone called for me, I put my camera down and never got back to it.

Have a great day.


T'was a Hectic Weekend

The title says it all. I'm exhausted! The party in honor of my daughters Graduation took place on Sunday evening, as scheduled, but not as originally planned. Mother Nature did not cooperate. I took some pictures, but not a lot cos I was busy busy busy with taking care of my guests.

Saturday was beautiful! Perfect! Couldn't have asked for more perfect weather if my life had depended on it. We spent the day working on the new deck, and getting my 'party' act together. I did everything I could do for the party that didn't have to be done on Sunday-like making the fruit salad. Didn't do that on Saturday cos fruit gets kind of mushy if you cut it up too soon. But I cut up all the veggies, got the meats marinating, cleaned the house, did some last minute shopping, etc etc etc. Anyway, by the end of the day the deck WAS NOT FINISHED!!!!! Though I said nothing to no one I was starting to panic in my head. I've got 25-30 people coming and my hubby has made a complete MESS of the yard. That was my silent scream you heard at 7:30pm pacific daylight time. (sigh).

Sunday morning hubby and I got up and got going on the deck early--it had rained during the night. This was a bad omen. My brother-in-law and his wife showed up a little later to help. I started chopping up fruit and doing all the other things I needed to do on Sunday. I got it all done by noon-except putting up the decorations, mowing the lawn, and setting up the gazebo tent. By noon the deck STILL WASN'T DONE. In fact, hubby went for a materials run. In the meantime, it was cold, rainy, and windy.

Now, I love my hubby more than anyone in the universe, but his inability to properly plan his construction projects was really starting to get on my nerves by now. He owns a fantastic program called Chief Architect that he can draw the complete deck in and it will list what he needs and how much to get. He knows this program well cos he's one of the programmers who writes it. He didn't use it. He did his usual guesstimating on the way to Home Depot instead. So there were quite a few delays as he made yet another materials run. And the wind blew, and the rain fell, and the cold chilled.

He didn't want us to mow the lawn--which is getting more like a jungle than a lawn by now because we haven't mowed since he started the new deck--until he was done. It rained on and off all day, and the wind blew-hard, and it was so cold. We were getting wind advisories. Apparently the top soil in Moses Lake, WA was headed our way-which, living on a gravel mountain is always a nice thing to get some more top soil-but does it have to happen during my party?

I ended up mowing the lawn myself at 2 pm (party is starting at 4pm). In addition, I had to scrap my decorating plans. All those wonderful tiki torches I'd bought were not going to be lit. Too windy and rainy. Didn't set up my gazebo tent for the food cos I figured no one would want to be out there in the cold. Didn't have my tables scattered about the lawn with tasteful little tropical decorations on each one. In fact, I didn't even take the table cloths out of the packaging. I changed plans at the last minute--had to. I set it all up in the kitchen and dining room.

By 3pm the deck was FINALLY DONE!! HURRAY! I talked my daughter and her boyfriend into putting up my Hawaiian decorations in the house while I took a shower. Folks started showing up promptly at 4pm and everything went really well. We handed out the grass skirts and leis and everyone got into the spirit of the thing. They were out on the deck between rain showers, and in the house the rest of the time.

We had a shish-ka-bob bar and it worked out really well. My fruit salad was a hit. Recipe is at the end of this post. My friend, Phyllis, brought a scrumtious bean dip, and my niece Holly brought her famous Sausage cream cheese dip. MMmmmmm.... There was TONS of food, and drink, and everyone told me they had a wonderful time.

There was only one really bad thing that happened during the party. My boys were following my sister-in-law around cos she had meat in her hands. (She was looking for the owner of a kabob that had not claimed it from the grill). She stopped, stepped back, and accidentally stepped on Tommy. He yelped. Morgan growled...and that was it. They got into a really nasty horrible fight. I was desperately trying to break them up, but found myself with no help on that front. I think everyone around was just so shocked. I feel really bad. I should have been paying more attention to them. When Morgan gets stressed he is prone to take it out on Tommy in a very doggish way and I know that. All those people in and out of his domain, some of them strangers to him, is stress for Morgan. Anyway, Morgan managed to put a terrible gash into Tommy's right thigh that was bleeding like a faucet stuck on high. So an emergency trip to the vet took place. I was in no condition to drive by this time (I'd had too much Rum), neither was my hubby (way too much whiskey), so my nephew Scott drove hubby and Tommy to the emergency hospital in Post Falls. I stayed home to tend to the guests. Poor Tommy. The gash was so deep he had to stay overnight for surgery-and I ended up with a $600 vet bill. Sigh...... But he's going to be fine. In fact, he's lying in his little bed and winking at me right now.

My daughter had a blast, we all had a blast and everyone was happy. So I guess, despite Mother Nature's nasty attitude, the dog fight, and the fact it wasn't the party of my fantasy, it turned out good. I still would have liked to light those tiki torches though. Oh well.

I call this University of Idaho Fruit Salad because it was at one of my daughters award ceremony thingies I first encountered this wonderful concoction and I don't know what it's really supposed to be called. The ingredients are unusual, but extremely tasty together-trust me.

Half a ripe cantaloupe cut into 1 inch cubes.
Half a ripe Honeydew melon cut into 1 inch cubes.
2 cups of strawberries, sliced.
Half a medium sized red onion, diced.
Half a cup of fresh Cilantro, chopped.

Toss it all together and eat. No, there's no dressing. The juices from the fruit are dressing enough.

They were serving this with fish at U of I. But it's good with anything.

I'll post pics from the party later this week.

Have a great day.


Fridays Feast 5/25/07

Name a sound you like to hear.

Rain pattering on the roof.

What is your favorite kind of cheese?

Pepper Jack

Do you sleep late on Saturday mornings? Why or why not?

I try, but usually my back starts aching so bad I am forced to get up.

Main Course
When was the last time you forgot something? What was it, and how long did it take to remember it?

Yesterday. I was going to call my Dad around 5pm (that's my time. It would be 8pm his time). At 6:30pm I suddenly remembered I was gonna call him. I decided to go ahead anyway, in hopes I didn't get him out of bed. He was up, and glad to hear from me.

Fill in the blank: I notice _wild flowers in bloom_ when _driving around_.


Stuff I Finished This Week

Today I am posting pics of some needle woven bead jewelry I finished this week. But first, I retook a pic of the Pink Crystal Dewdrops bracelet. I just didn't like the first one I did. Here's the retake.

I'm participating in a bead work swap. The topic is Spiral. Here are 3 of the four items I've made for the swap.

Purple earrings done in Cellini Spiral.

Necklace with Cellini spiral center and straps done in 3-bead Netting.

I call this one Rainbow in Black. It's a 40-inch lariat done in black 3-bead Netting with a rainbow spiraling around it and tassels.

Today I get serious about cleaning the house for 'the party'. We're having a graduation party for Sarah on Sunday. I sure hope we get a sunny day cos more people are coming than will fit in the house. I also have invested some money in outdoor decorations. Call it my fantasy party. I've always wanted to do a Hawaiian theme outdoor party, so I've been buying tiki god nut cups, bright tropical napkins and plates, Chinese lanterns, palm tree and hula girl decorations, tiki torches, and we mustn't forget the leis and grass skirts (well-technically they're plastic, but they look like grass.) I found the cutest platters shaped like banana leaves too. Everything has been incredibly cheap. I've been having a fantastic time raiding the dollar stores in the area.

One more thing--I think I won. Silver is leaving my precious boys alone. He has stopped being in a snit and is back to his old rascally self. He took his frustrations out on a gopher yesterday afternoon, and I think that helped.

Have a great day.


Cat in a Snit

I was going to post beading pics today, but didn't get the stuff photographed yet. When I got home from bead group and running errands, the activities of the weekend (deck stuff) and Monday (we walked almost 3 miles!) caught up with me. I made the mistake of sitting down-and promptly fell asleep. I didn't wake up until 5. So I guess I'll write about my cat, Silver. This is him:

His full name is Silver Woodtheme Park. It is, in fact, sort of a joke. There's a theme park near our home. Guess what it's named?

I helped Silver come into the world the evening of April 26, 1993. He's covered in silky soft short silver hair that actually gleams in the sun, he has a beautiful long straight tail, and glowing golden eyes. He was born of parents named Crook Shank Frank (Frankie for short-looked like Silver 'cept for a crook in his tail) and Inky (solid black, 'cept for a crook in her tail). He's part Manx, part Tabby, and part whatever made Inky black. He is the grandson of Greycat-the meanest nastiest solid grey tailless Manx you'd ever have the misfortune to meet, who belonged to my mother-in-law. She used to hide under the furniture and slash anyone who walked by-just cos she could. If she was laying on the couch--no one pushed her off so they could sit down. No one even got near the couch unless they were in the mood for a blood transfusion. She'd stroll across the street, sneak up, and slash the neighbor out of pure cussedness. Any and all-large or small-feared Greycat. But Greycat loved two people on this earth. My mother-in-law, and me. She was always sweet as could be to me. So I am very honored to have her grandson in my family.

Silver is not mean like his grandmother, but he definitely has her "I own the world" attitude. In fact, I think in another life he was a Lion. He is a relatively affectionate boy. He loves to have his chin, head, and tummy scritched. Most of the time he's in a fairly even and fair mood. He's brave, proud, rascally, fast, sneaky, extremely smart, clean, and royal in his bearing.

He is a darn good hunter. He's brought everything from mice and moles to rabbits and wild turkeys home for my inspection, and his culinary pleasure. He eats everything he brings home, except gophers. Gophers give him gas, so he stopped eating them. I thank God for that, or we'd have to invest in gas masks.

He loves to start trouble. One of his favorite things to do is to sneak a live squirrel into the house and let it go. He then jumps up on top of the cat tree and laughs at the chaos that ensues. Dogs barking, Mom screaming, Dad trying to calm Mom down, Chenille yowling, and everyone trying to catch the squirrel. This, invariably, involves tipping the couch upside down in our pursuit. No matter what gets loose in the house, it always seems to end up under the couch. Silver chuckles and snickers. He is never apologetic for what he's done. He does let us know in no uncertain terms when he is upset though.

So, why the title "Cat in a Snit"? Cos he is. You see that pic above? Silver is sitting on the railing of the upper deck. This is his favorite spot to hang out. He sits up there for hours, surveying all his precious territory. We tore the deck down Saturday.

It was a traumatic experience for him. He kept running up to me, then running over to where we were piling the remains of the deck, then running back with a "What the @$#&*% are you doing???!???" look on his face.

After we were done debuilding the deck I glanced over at Silver. He had that look. The one that makes dark heavy angry storm clouds look light and fluffy in comparison. I said to my husband "Silver is in a snit. He's gonna take it out on the dogs in a couple days or so." When Silver is in a snit, life gets tough at the Parkarosa.

This morning the 'war' began. When Silver is in a snit, he is usually angry at me cos, after all, I am the alpha female of his pride and I should know better. He is smart. He knows how to get me back. He sees how much I love the dogs-two creatures he detests and would gladly eat if he could get away with it. He gets at me through them. Oh, he thinks he has me fooled. He's been extra affectionate the last couple days, mugging it up for me-purring and rubbing and licking my face. But I know what he's up too. He's trying to put me off guard. Ah, but do not worry. I have my weapon too. I filled my squirt bottle up with cold water.

He's already pounced on Tommy twice this morning-all claws out. Snag and run. That's Silver's technique. My poor little innocent Iggy's are hiding and shaking in the corner behind Dads recliner (I got the bleeding stopped right away).

After nearly drowning Silver he's stopped attacking. Hopefully the war is done, and I've won. But then again, after he dries out, I may have to refill the bottle and fight another battle. After all, he's the grandson of Greycat.


You've Been "Tagged"

Apparently there is a game or two of 'Tag' going on in Blogland, and I've been unceremoniously dragged into it. (See comment on yesterdays entry.) The hard part is going to be coming up with 7 people to tag cos I'm still rather new to blogging.

The rules of the game:

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves.

Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag 7 others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

I've been tagged byKnittinggal. Do these have to be frivolous facts, or serious facts??? I think I'll go with the frivolous ones.

1. I learned how to knit when I was 9 years old from my Dad.

2. My maiden name is Proulx. Pronounced Proo. It's french.

3. I only knitted scarves for several years before I got brave enough to try a sweater (in high school). Everyone who knew me, or knew someone who knew me had a scarf made by me.

4. I love knitting with synthetic yarns. Not that I don't like the natural stuff, I just love synthetics more.

5. I taught myself how to crochet from a book when I was in high school so I could make a mohair afghan.

6. I've had the following animals for pets: cats, dogs, parakeet, white mouse, lizards, snakes, bugs, butterflies, moths, caterpillars, gerbils, ducks, chickens, rabbits, Guinea pigs, sheep, worms, wild mice, and we mustn't forget the precious Banana Slug farm cos it gave my Mom a heart attack when she found it (figuratively speaking). Did you know that slugs melt when you pour salt on them? (sigh). Heh heh.....

7. My favorite desserts in order of importance first to third: Creme Brule', Tiramisu, Cheesecake in all it's glorious forms.

Okay, this is NOT fair! I have been surfing all the blogs I like to read (I have yet to add them to the list at the bottom of this page) and blogs I've never visited before and so far all of them have already been tagged and played the game. I give up! Here is my tag:

If you have not done the 7/8 random facts game yet, consider yourself tagged, and please let me know in a comment when you've posted so I can read it.

Have a great day!


Deck Destruction

My arms and hips are so sore. We tore apart the deck this weekend. I must have unscrewed a million screws. We were using power tools. Dear Hubby has a nice collection of drills with screw driver bits. But they all weigh a bit, and when you 'lift, move, place, push, squeeze the trigger' a few hundred thousand times, the muscles revolt.

My hips hurt cos I helped haul all the old icky lumber away, and helped haul the new lumber from the truck to the deck location. Sheesh! It was heavy! I'm not supposed to carry anything over 10 pounds because of my back, but I find myself doing it anyway cos I feel totally guilty not helping in these situations. I know, I know----do I want some cheese with that whine.

We managed to get the upper deck rebuilt, except for the railing, yesterday. We're using treated wood for the foundation--like we should have the first time. It has a 50 year warranty against decay. And we're using Trex decking for the deck part. It's plastic, but it has a wood grain, a nice cedary color, and is guaranteed for 25 years not to split, warp, crack, rot, mold....and I'd like to see the carpenter ants try and chew on it! Hah! The best part, though, is the fact we don't have to stain it, paint it, or put weather protectant on it. HURRAY!!!!!

Saw a new bird on the bird feeder this morning. Can't find it in the book (Audubons book of North American Birds) but it sure is pretty. It left before I could get a good look at it's beak. If I could see the beak, I'll probably be able to identify it. It had a bright orange chest though.

Since I mixed black thistle seed in with the bird seed I'm seeing a lot more new birds. I've always been rather disappointed cos we don't have the birds my Dad has in Michigan. He has such colorful ones...bright red cardinals and whatnot. Ours looked so dull in comparison. I have since discovered we have bright ones too. They prefer black thistle seeds. I've seen the bright orange of the Rufous-sided Towhee, the gleaming yellow of the Yellow Tanager, and the red and purple of the various finches around here. And who knew we had so many varieties of chickadee?! Which reminds me--I have not seen any blue birds yet. I wonder where they are?

Have a great day.


Knitting Meme

I found this Meme on the Stitches of Violet blog and thought I'd do it too. It really opened my eyes to just how much I've done with knitting over the years.

Consider yourself tagged if you so desire.

Here's the rules:

for stuff you've done

Italics for stuff you plan to do eventually

Normal for stuff you don't intend to do (this is the category those "frozen hades" techniques fall under too!)

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down - why???
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting - again why?????
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with Bamboo yarn
Two end knitting --what the heck is this????
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn

Toy/Doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)-My knitting is too precious to litter with it.
Continental Knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book - working on it now
Publishing a pattern in a knitting magazine
Teaching a child to knit
- several actually
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Knitting with Alpaca
Fair Isle Knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else's handspun yarn

Knitting with dpns - yech-now do it all with two circulars
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male to knit
Knitting for a living-Hah! I wish.
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Steeks - don't like them, will never do them.
Knitting art
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured Knitting
Kitchener Bind Off
Knitting with beads
Swatching-religiously, it's that important.
Long Tail CO - my favorite!
Knitting and Purling Backwards
Machine knitting I currently own 7 machines.
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed Toys
Baby items
Knitting with Cashmere-made a whole suit (Jacket and skirt) in purple. It was so gorgeous.
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with Linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers-I've made leg warmers too.
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting -you've got to be kidding!
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories-great use for leftover bits.
Knitting in public - OH YEAH!!!!

We're supposed to post a cute picture of a pet at the end? Here's mine:


Fridays Feast 5/18/07

Today is the anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. To most people this is but an interesting news story. To me and my family it was a major event.

I lived with my parents in Federal Way, Washington at the time. We could see the mountain from our backyard. My parents had gone camping up near Mt. Rainier that weekend. I was home alone. The eruption woke me up. There was a huge bang, and the house shook. I got up, looked out my window, and could see the huge ash plume. I could also see rocks bigger than houses flying in the air. I thought of my parents and suddenly I was very very scared. There was no way for me to contact them. We didn't have cell phones back then.

My Mom told me she and Dad didn't hear the eruption. She got up in the morning, looked outside, and it was grey out and rainy. Or at least, that's what she thought until she stepped outside and the rain felt dry and powdery. She knew immediately what happened. The mountain had finally blown it's top. She woke up my Dad and they broke camp and got out of there as fast as they could. Needless to say, I was very relieved when they arrived home.

We were very lucky. The ash blew away from our home that day. I can't imagine what it must have been like for the folks in the ash path. Getting 12 inches of fine powdery ash is not my idea of fun. Ash doesn't melt like snow does.

The mountain blew many more times after that. My Mom got some fantastic pictures of it with her camera. Most of the time the ash blew away from us. A couple times it didn't. So it was just standard procedure to always have an overnight package in the car. Change of clothes and whatnot in case we got stuck where ever we were when the ash came. You can't drive in ash, it ruins the car engine. All that powder is actually glass. Nasty stuff on engine parts. No matter how often you washed it, the car was always covered with spots of fine grey powder. There were many days when I had to stay inside because I have respiratory problems. You don't want to breath in powdered glass anyway.


List 3 emotions you experienced this week.

Joy, pride (in my daughters), excitement (when a fish bit my bait).

Name a car you’d love to have.

1972 Chevy Camero

Describe your typical morning routine.

Get up, put on the glasses, visit the ladies room, let the dogs out to pee, let them back in, cover them with their blankies, pour coffee, sit in leather hug, turn on tv to watch morning news, grab whatever project I feel like working on and work on it while drinking coffee and watching the news (I can multi-task!). After hubby leaves for work, log on and check the email, work on blog.

Main Course
Have you ever emailed someone famous? If so, who, and what did you say to them? Did they reply?

No. Famous people don't impress me like they do most others. They are just like you and me, good at what they do. But for some reason folks want to worship them for it. Whatever.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?

No. Don't have a podcast listening device. Sorry.

Have a great weekend!


Dewdrops and Hearts

Wednesday was the most fun I've had in awhile. Sarah and I went fishing. I haven't been fishing in 30 years, though I have a pole. Even bought a license the last 2 years, but didn't get a chance to use it. I used the one I bought yesterday though.

The weather was spectacular. So we took sweet hubbies inflatable boat, packed some tuna salad sandwiches in my little cooler, and headed for Twin Lakes. We spent about 5 hours lazily drifting amongst the lily pads waiting for a fish to get hungry. Unfortunately, I didn't catch anything, though I had a lot of bites and nibbles on my plastic worms. Sarah caught 5 small sunfish which she put back in the lake.

We did have one weird incident. We were paddling the boat back to shore when this HUGE fish leaped out of the water after Sarah's oar. It had to be 18 inches or longer. We think it was a bass. Scared the dickens out of both of us. You don't expect a big huge fish to try to eat your oar. We spent some time trying to catch that one, but apparently it was only interested in boat oars and not fish bait. Rats!

In the evening I finished a bracelet for my niece Stacy that I started on Tuesday evening. It's a thank you gift for taking care of the boys while we were in Moscow for Sarah's graduation. This is called the Crystal Dewdrops bracelet from the April 2007 Beadwork magazine. I did mine with Czech fire polished crystals in clear ab and pale pink, some silver lined 11 and 15 seed beads, 2 Swarovski silver/crystal rondelles, and 2 pink size 10 Chinese crystals. I like it so much I want to make one for me.

This is a pic of an arrangement I made from my garden. Our Lilac bush has bloomed for the first time in awhile. The past few years we got frost at the wrong time and the buds got frozen. This spring everything has been perfect for blooming plants. My Bleeding Heart is absolutely awesome right now.

This is my flowering Crabapple tree. It was the only one not mangled by moose last year. Wow! I can't stop looking at it.

Tommy came out to help me take pics of the Crabapple, so I took pics of him.

Oh Mom, this sun feels SO good! Mmmmmm......


Sarah's Graduation! Hooray!

Whew! We made it through the weekend. Sarah has officially graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in Computer Science, Suma Cum Laude, Gold Key scholar, McNair scholar, and Tau Beta Pi scholar. She had a rainbow of cords round her neck. I am SO proud of her.

The day was gorgeously perfect. Warm, sunny, the campus is in full spring bloom. So many beautiful blooming trees, and the sweet smells that drifted on the air. The ceremony itself was somewhat laborious. It was 4 hours long, on bleachers. Not a good thing for parent aged persons backs. 1700 graduated had to be announced one by one, hands shaken by the university president. Takes a long time to get through that many people. Thankfully, I took my bead crochet along with my camera. It fit just perfect in the case. I got a good 10 inches done between applause, cheering, and whatnot (we were there for Sarah's friends too).

Here's Sarah.

This is a family pic taken outside the Kibbie Dome shortly after the ceremony was over. From left to right: sister Ruth, Dad, Sarah, Frank (Sarah's boyfriend), Me.

Another family pic. From left to right, Me, Frank, Dad (in back) Sarah, sis Ruth, Uncle Dan, cousin Nathan, and Aunt Sue.

After the graduation we went to a short reception for the engineering department grads. We had cookies and punch. Then it was time to head back to Sarah's apartment. We had a bar-b-que out on the sidewalk in front of her apartment building with steaks, potato salad, strawberries, green salad, and german chocolate cake for dessert. It was so much fun. I had a blast. Sarah's neighbors must have thought we were all nuts though.

When lunch was over, we got to the task of packing Sarah's stuff and loading it into the Uhaul truck she rented for the move to her apartment in Coeur d'Alene. It was a big job. She lived on the 3rd floor-no elevator. So there was much stair climbing. We got it all done in just one afternoon. Then we all headed for home.

I was anxious to get my boys back. I was missing them. I'd left them with my nephew Scott and niece Stacy. First time I've done that, so I was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. I knew Scott and Stacy would take good care of the boys. I just wasn't so sure how the boys would take care of them. As it turned out, they were very good and were much enjoyed by all. I am so relieved.

Now I am letting my body recover from all that stair climbing. We don't have a lot of stairs at home, so it was quite a task dealing with them. I was so sore yesterday I could hardly walk.

I am going to be posting more graduation pics in my Yahoo Photo album later this week. So feel free to check it out.

Today Ruth is somewhere between here and Nevada. She left yesterday morning on a Geology field trip. She'll be gone for 3 weeks. I miss her already. But I know she is going on a great adventure and it will be very good for her.

Today is bead group day. Sarah will be there. Woot!

Have a great day everybody.


Fridays Feast 5/11/07

Today is the first day of Get the Daughters from the University of Idaho weekend. So there will be no more blogging until we get back. Have a great weekend everybody.


Tell about a time when you had to be brave.

When I had to drive my sweet hubby to the hospital because he was in excruciating pain-so much so that he was banging his head on walls and cabinets to distract himself from it. It was terrifying to see him in that kind of agony. We found out his gall bladder was giving him the pain-it had died and was full of gangrene (we think from a bicycle accident he'd had a few weeks before), and one lung was full of fluid. He had to be in the hospital for a week. Not fun.

Which upcoming movie are you excited about seeing?

Pirates of the Carribean Part 3 of course!

Name an item you try to always have on hand.

My Albuterol inhaler, in case I have an asthma attack.

Main Course
Imagine the most relaxing room you can think of. Now describe it!

It's located on a beach on the island of Hawaii, decorated in island theme, purples and greens, with lots of big indoor plants, bamboo flooring, beautiful rugs on the floor, a huge stone fireplace (no fire at the moment cos it's warm out), big comfy overstuffed furniture, huge windows facing the water-all opening onto a patio surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden, with a gentle cooling sea breeze floating in, my leather hug (also known as a recliner) facing the open window with a small table beside it with the necessities of my current needling project sitting on it-as well as a tall ice cold Pinacolada with an umbrella, a cherry, and a slice of pineapple, a stereo is playing quiet Hawaiian music. I'm sitting in the leather hug-knitting by the sea. Sigh...................................pure heaven.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being highest), how spiritual or religious are you?

Oh, bad question. Can I go back to the Main Course? It's nicer there. Lots of nasty uncomfortable feelings come up with this dessert. Having grown up in a nasty religious cult and getting out of it 10 years ago, then having bad experiences with so called christian churches since then, I'd say I'm anti religious right now-so a 1.

Being religious and being spiritual are two way different things. I'd say I'm a 10 when it comes to spiritual.


Blog Template

I've been playing again. So, what do you think of the banner? I'm in love with it.

Have a great day.

Kaleidoscope Crazy

Last night I was feeling kind of restless. I did some bead crochet for a couple hours, but got tired of it, so decided to play. I have Paintshop Pro. Not the newest version, I have version 7. I absolutely love this program because it's fairly easy to use. I'm not what you could call a graphic artist. In fact, most of Paintshop Pro's capabilities are a complete mystery to me. I don't even know what most of the tool names mean. But last night I discovered something really cool and had the most fun with it. Thus the new background image on my blog. The image changed at least a dozen times last night, but I settled on this one cos it was my favorite of all of them. Believe it or not, I started with a pic of a mix of light colored plastic beads that I stole from a bead web site. In it's current form, no one will ever know the what and where of that stolen picture. Heh heh.

Anyway, I thought for today I'd share what I've been playing with. For the example, I'm using the following photograph. This is some gorgeous sock yarn I posted about in March.

From this picture, I cropped a smaller image.

Now the fun begins! This image is 144 pixels wide and 144 pixels long. The size Blog backgrounds like best for tiling.

In Paintshop Pro, if you click on the Effects button on the top you can select various cool gizmo thingies. I chose one of the Reflection effects, then selected Kaleidoscope. I picked 8 petals because I was looking for a squarer look so it would look nice tiled across the screen. Anything more than that and the kaleidoscope takes on a definite circle appearance. The default rotation angle was 90. Everything else said 0. This is what I got. Pretty cool! But I wanted some of that teal you can see in the photo above.

So I changed the rotation angle. Oh what fun that was. This is what I got with a rotation angle of 319. Some teal yarn, some of the darker purple yarn in the center, and a nice chunk of pinky label in the middle.

Under Effects, I then selected Geometric. There's lots of mysterious things under this menu item. This is what I got when I chose Curlicues, with 10 columns and 10 rows, a strength of 15, and symmetric is on. Isn't that pretty?

Then I Twirled it, 180 degrees-also a Geometric effect. It kind of ruined the cute little curls. Not what I'm looking for so I undid it. But a person could have a lot of fun going from this one.

I decided the pattern was a little too light. So under Colors I selected Adjust, then Gamma Correction. All 3 colors were linked and at the same level. This is what I got when I set them to .44. Perfect! Exactly what I had in mind.

But, if you're in the mood for pastel, then move the Gamma to 2.50 and you get this. Pretty neat, huh? I undid it though. I like the darker one better.

Now, just for fun, I did the Kaleidoscope again, same settings as before, and look what I got.

Hard to believe this was a bit of sock yarn.

Now, if I could figure out a way to apply this kind of thing to my needle crafting, wow!

Have a great day!


Mashed Potatoes and Popcorn

That's what I had for dinner last night. Dear hubby is away on business. When it's just me and the furry kids I tend to eat kind of weird. I enjoyed every bite too.

The weather yesterday was outstanding! Sunny, blue skies, 82 degrees F. The flowering plum in the front yard is in bloom and filling the house with the wonderful sweet smell of it's flowers. Can't ask for better than that.

The rumor of yesterday turned out to be untrue. Sarah was not able to come to bead group. Something came up and she had to work on school stuff. Phooey. Next week for sure.

At bead group I again attempted to do some bead crochet and I was SUCCESSFUL! Whoo-hoo! There's a great animated tutorial for slip-stitch bead crochet. It really helped me understand what to do. It's pretty easy, and fun. Anyway, here's the proof that I can do it:

I'm using size 11 beads in silver lined deep amethyst, clear, and lavender lined clear and size 12 DMC perle cotton in pale lavender. I'm lovin' it!

This next photo is a DNA spiral rope necklace that I've just finished for a bead swap I joined on Yahoo Groups. It's 19 inches long, made with silver lined matte pink and silver coated size 11 seed beads and some pink drops I had leftover from a previous project. The photo does not do this thing justice. The drops catch the light so nicely and sparkle like crazy. They look kind of dull in the photo.

Clearly I'm not knitting right now. I'm feeling very anxious about the coming weekend--moving both daughters from Moscow to here, and attending Sarah's awards ceremonies and graduation, have me filled with excitement anxiety. I can't knit when I feel this way. But for some odd reason I can bead, and I just found out I can bead crochet too. I'm sure I'll be able to knit next week when all this excitement is over.

Oh, and I mustn't forget the lesson I learned yesterday morning whilst trying to get ready to go to bead group. The lesson is this:

If you don't want your boy Iggy joyfully running around the house with your bra on his head, don't leave it on the couch. Lets just say, Tommy was being a pill.

Have a great day.


New Ring

In my continuing quest to learn more about the Internet, I have started my very own web ring for bloggers who like to bead. Click on the button below to find out more and join. Let me know if you have any problems. (I'm still not quite sure I got the code right-yeeks!)

Rocks and Bags

I had a fabulous weekend. My daughter Ruth came home from UofI to get a homework project done. Right after the semester is done she is off on a Geology field trip to Nevada. They're going to be mapping some place or other for 3 weeks-and learning more geology stuff. The whole thing sounds incredibly exciting to me, and I wish I could go. Anyway, she had to make a Jacobs Staff. Not having a workshop hidden away in her dorm room, she came home to use Dads.

Judging by the finished project, I'd say a Jacob Staff is a walking stick with tape on it. She said it's used for measuring and there's a slot for her compass. I'll take her word for it.

Ruth brought the last two necklaces I made for her home so I could take pics. Remember a couple weeks ago I'd said something about using one of the rocks she'd left on the bathroom windowsill to make a necklace for her? Well, she loves it. The rock is a piece of coal. I made a silver wire cage for it, and strung some seed beads, some Swarovski crystals, and black Czech fire polish crystals. Here it is:

Last Christmas I made a tiger themed necklace for Ruth. She is the biggest cat lover I know. Especially the big cats. I wanted an African theme. I found the tiger head pendant first, then spent the next two years looking for two tiger beads to go with, collecting other beads for it as I searched. I finally found these 2 at Wonders Of The World Beads at the Flour Mill in Spokane, WA last fall. They are PERFECT! Couldn't have found a closer match to what I had in my head. There's a bit of amber, glass, some black carved wooden beads, carved bone, dalmatian jasper (looked leopardy to me!), and of course I HAD to put some spiral rope in there cos I love doing spiral rope. I am quite proud of this piece. The most important thing, though, is that Ruth LOVES it.

I got what I consider an early Mothers Day present too. Darling hubby bought me a Honeycrisp apple tree. Honeycrisp is my favorite apple. They taste very much like the apples that grew on the ancient tree in the backyard of the house I grew up in. My new tree is very small, so it will be a few years before I get any apples, but that's okay. My little tree is beautiful.

Darling hubby also helped me reclaim the last flower bed. Before the yarn shop, my house had beautiful flower beds all the way around it. But when I started working full-time-plus (cos if you own your own business, you work waaaay more than 40 hrs. a week) my flower beds went to the weeds. I just didn't have the time to keep them up. So the grass and the weeds invaded and took over. Last year I started the arduous project of taking them back. I worked on the front yard bed first. It goes all the way across the front of the house, so it's a long one. With me having a weak back, it took awhile. I had to work on it a little at a time, but by the time the summer was over, it was once again a flower bed, complete with beauty bark, and my back was much stronger.

I then started on the back yard, but didn't get much done before winter set in. I was not looking forward to the work of reclaiming this one because it was a mighty jungle. But hubby pitched in on Sunday and we got the whole thing done in one afternoon. He got me 28 bags of beauty bark and we barked the whole place. It looks SO wonderful! Here's a picture of the finished project. On Sunday morning this was chest high in weeds! After Mothers Day I can start planting flowers. Woot!

You'll notice that ugly bit of corner of the deck there. It's going away. The deck was built on a foundation of untreated wood that is now rotting . The summer project is to tear it down and rebuild it properly. I do not know what hubby was thinking when he used untreated wood.

The next 3 photos are some bead knitted amulet bags I've made. I found the photos on hubby's computer this morning. I'd completely forgotten I made these. All 3 were sold in a little shop in Colville, WA.

First is Little Loops. The pattern is the basic bag from Bead Knitted Pendant Bags by Theresa Williams. I used coral colored thread and satin finish red beads.

Next is the triangle bag from FiberSpace patterns. I loved this one. It was hard to let it go to be sold. Light blue thread and pearl blue beads.

This is the Summer Odyssey pattern from Baglady Press. They sell this pattern as a kit. It was also published in Interweave Knits magazine several years ago. I used black thread and ab/clear beads with an ecru lining. I found the antique button in my button box, a large box which I inherited from a neighbors grandmother. That neighbor is old enough to be my grandmother, so I can't imagine how old the buttons must be.

Today is Tuesday, so it's bead group day. Hurray! I'm taking two projects. The yahoo bead group project of the month is bead crochet rope. I am determined to learn this because the result is so luscious. Bead crochet rope has an organic feel to it that is very sensual. It's extremely flexible and makes wonderful jewelry.

If you want to see what I mean, visit this place: Ruby's Beadwork
and this place: Bead Crochet.Com
and this place: Beaddust.com

I'm taking a spiral netting project too, just in case I get frustrated with the crochet and wish to toss it aside for awhile.

Rumor has it that my daughter Sarah is driving up from Moscow to be there. She has a definite case of senioritis. It's the last finals week, graduation is next Saturday. I don't know how she can stand it! LOL!

Have a great day!