right now

right now

Oct 23, 2010

knowing just enough now to be dangerous!

October 23, 2010

MY FIRST PAIR OF KNITTED SOCKS!

If you are a knitter, you know what a momentous occasion this is!

I have a long way to go on technique, but at least my feet will be warm while I finesse it!

Finished them just in time - girls wine & knit night is at my house in 1 hour! I wanted to start something easy so the wine won't interfere LOL. I am feeling very lucky to have a girl's night 2 weeks in a row - even if it is the first time since hubby left in May. Figures, we get in the swing of things now that they are close to turning the boat around. :)

Oct 21, 2010

Freaky Friday (now on Thursday!)

I wasn't going to post today since it's cleaning day, and that's not very interesting - but it was brought to my attention when my neighbor stopped over that my cleaning ways are perhaps a little "odd".

First off, she noticed that I was cleaning on a Thursday, and that apparently throws off the tide schedule, since my normal "like clockwork" cleaning day is Friday. Then she mentioned that every week when I clean house it looks like I'm moving out!

Moving out? I stood back and looked, and holy cow - it kinda does! This is normal weekly behavior for me:

This kind of made me laugh at myself - this is one of the things I've been trying to change about my Type A behavior, because this weekly clean EVERYTHING and rearrange furniture thing has gotten in the way of me being able to spend quality time doing fun things on a whim.

Friday was my regular cleaning day so it would be "perfect" for the weekend, and even though of course it doesn't stay that way for long with 2 kids and 2 dogs, in my mind I couldn't change. I am happy to say that now "Freaky Friday" is now on Thursday, so I can more fully enjoy my weekend! A huge step for me! I have heard many comments to the effect of "I wish I could clean that much", let me tell you - it's not a good thing. It gets in the way of relaxing with the family and just enjoying life in general. If you are a random cleaner with no schedule, consider yourself lucky, because it means you are spending time doing better things! I eventually want to get to the point that Freaky Friday/Thursday only happens every 2 weeks with just sweeping and wiping counters in between, I've done that a few times and while it made me uncomfortable, I think I can get used to it.

What I find interesting is that I don't even notice or care if other peoples' homes are disorganized or not super-clean, and as a matter of fact, I actually enjoy it, I wonder if it's because I'm jealous? I feel more at home in other peoples' homes if they look "lived-in"! I think a huge part of my problem is that we all live in just 900 sq ft - I'm afraid if I didn't clean the way I do things would get out of hand very quickly!

More Freaky Friday/Thursday happenings:

Dog Toy Laundry Day!

Watch the video to see how I love to torture my girls...


video

Actually I think they like it!

So what's your cleaning style? OCD? Anti-clean?, Random? Certain rooms on certain days, or whole house at once? Freaky minds want to know!

Oct 20, 2010

Doing what I want!

It was very overcast this morning so the moonflowers stayed open almost until 9 a.m. letting me get a photo of them.

Moonflower

Rain threatened all day today and the skies stayed dark, very cool outside, perfect day to do what I wanted to instead of what needs to be done! First thing this morning I went to the fabric store and sat and looked at pattern books all by myself (I still can't get used to having both kids in school, yippee!), looked at sewing machines with no intent to buy quite yet, then picked up L and we went to the yarn shop to ogle fiber and picked out some nice neutral wools for hubby's socks, and one color for myself as well. Now I just have to tackle it head on! The "first sock ever" the other night was a hideous disaster, although I did get part of the heel turned correctly. I got tired and cross-eyed and messed up some of the stitching and just tore the whole thing out. I've come to the conclusion that socks CANNOT be knitted while children are underfoot. I think I have solved my dilemma about having to knit the second sock after the first (I'm a little impatient, to put it mildly!)...

Sock knitting for Type A personalities!

this way, when it's over - it's OVER!
The yarn above for my socks is so much prettier in person, it's a mixture of burgundy, grey, and brown. I love the look of big, raw wool (maybe the whole "grew up with sheep thing" again?) so you will rarely if ever see me knitting with tiny delicate sock yarn.

Most likely no blogging for me tomorrow, house cleaning, sock knitting, music lessons followed by the "math carnival" at night... I don't like having the kids out that late, but Loch loves the math carnival, my beloved little nerd :)

Oct 19, 2010

What's going on in the garden?

I was able to get outside in the gorgeous weather today and get some chores done that have been on my mind for awhile. The temps today were at about 68-70º and no wind which made for a perfect day for it! I did have other chores planned for the day but I was all too happy to put off giving the dogs a bath!

It's not all that pretty, but here's what's going on out there:


Above, these beds have been empty for over a month now and the dogs have been running rampant through them. The bed on the left will be the garlic and shallot bed, and I put in some pansies today - I usually separate the varieties with pansies to add a little "pretty" during the winter and early spring. The back right bed was cover cropped today in crimson clover. I've never done that before but it's high time I did. The little bed in front holds some pansies and leeks. Also, more "ho"ing of cosmo seedlings all around the pathways.

To finish those beds off, I had to put up all the "skewers" again to keep the dogs off while things germinate and get started. I am lucky in that once there are plants actively growing in there, the dogs stay out. This could conceivably backfire on you if you have an Aussie like me or a Border Collie who sees the sticks and thinks "game on!" thinking they are weaving poles in a sheepdog trial!

Below, what's going on in the fenced-in garden:

I got lazy harvesting the yard beans, so I'm letting all these dry for seed, hoping I'll have some to share with you all. I ripped out the cosmos today as they didn't have much life in them anymore.


Closer look at these beds: (not that pretty thanks to lots of flood loss)


Above, peas, also planted some pansies to separate the leek and scallion seeds I planted today.

Below, the lettuces are just starting to take off. The greens you see are Pak Choy, Gourmet Mix, Tango Lettuce, Spinach - then a few rows of the second sowing of lettuce and spinach I did today, followed by scallions and parsley at the top of the photo.


Below is a mix of Brussels Sprouts (yuk - they are just there for s&!ts and giggles!), and Snowball Cauliflower. These are pretty sparse thanks to the worms and flooding rains we had 2 weeks ago, some didn't make it.


Below is the Piracicaba Broccoli (SEVERE worm damage) and Scarlet Runner Beans I just started as an experiment - I really wanted them this summer but they never germinated in the intense heat. They sprouted no problem once it cooled off the beginning of October. The big mass you see at the end of the bed is Moonflower, after remaining about 3 inches tall for 4 months - it jumped off my fence and climbed all the way up the tomato pvc tower! It appears to enjoy the cool weather and there are 20-30 huge blossoms on it every night and early morning, then they drop off and look like wads of T.P. all over the garden, LOL


My deck "winter garden" - Swiss Chard, Parsley, Pansies


Below, my mums have turned into quite a hedge this year!



The light was really giving me problems getting a shot of my mum and rosemary hedge - but the prostrate rosemary is covered with lavender blossoms all year long. Actually, I'm going to run out now that it's a few hours later and see if I can get a shot of the rosemary blossoms...

Well, I tried! Photos in the afternoon don't do it justice. I think I'll try for one on an overcast day, that's when the purple blossoms are very pretty.

On the way back inside, I took this one too - look! The hoarder-fish are still alive! Wow, my photos are terrible when I have to be facing the sun, and this is even under a pergola.

There, now I feel better being accountable to you all that I do indeed still have a garden! It didn't seem like it for awhile with all the flooding rains, I kind of gave up for a while - but I'm getting back in the swing of things again.





Oct 18, 2010

Yes, it's true - I've taken a lover!

And it's a "she"! How scandalous!

Wow, the rumor mill flies thanks to Facebook! One of my dearest followers demanded to see the illicit photo of my new boots she "heard" was circulating on my facebook page. Here they are!


If you are really quiet, you can hear them.... "don't hate us because we are beautiful"...

Yes, you might be from Minnesota IF: you think Sorels are sexy! I have been coveting these boots for close to 3 years now but haven't really had the excuse to buy them. Last year we went home for Thanksgiving and these would have been overkill that early in the year. (Although I have seen teenagers wearing winter boots in September with minis here - yeah, I'm a bit old to pull that one off, and not quite that stoopid!) LOL. This year, not only are we going home for Christmas, but we are going to spend the week after Christmas as far north in Minnesota as the beautiful scenic 61 will take us! While most dream of flying south with the birds, I cannot wait to get up there and have some much needed down time - hiking/snowshoeing, sledding, reading, knitting, socializing and just plain enjoying the holiday & winter season!

To be fair, I bought hubby his first pair of "real" boots as well, and I can't wait to see him in them, I think they will suit his inner "skater boy" as well as keep his tootsies warm. I am definitely not breaking him in to MN winter gradually, so the least I can do is make sure he's comfortable!

Hubby's Boots


So those are our Christmas presents this year, and I don't feel too badly about the purchase since WE don't outgrow our boots every 3 months, like some little people I know! And some new socks if I can figure out how to knit them!

Other news: today's harvest - yay for more greens! The last few green tomatoes I brought in are ripening nicely on the counter, so I am ecstatic about the thought of salad. Haven't had real salad since May, it was too hot for lettuce this year. The garden is making up for that now.


Tonight's dinner for me! Poor Charlie, this is one of his favorites... the only thing that would make it better would be to replace the chicken with grilled steak strips, or better yet, our OWN chicken!


Sewing project is on hold for now because of the below "big event"... I have finally gotten over my fear of DP needles enough to attempt my first sock. I had another bottle of "Mad Housewife" merlot in my stash to give me the courage last night!


Agenda for tonight - kids are off to bed, sit down and eat that salad I just made in peace and quiet, and knit my sock while wearing my new Sexy Mama Clompers with shorts on! I'm trying to break them in so I will be a sight to see tonight, LOL! (For you other knitters out there, I now totally get the "second sock syndrome" - I can't imagine having to start a mate to this once I finish this sock LOL!) Maybe I will be giving out mismatched socks for Christmas - there's something to be said for variety, right? There will be one of everything, LOL!

Oct 17, 2010

I did it!

Thing 1's Halloween Costume!


Some of you may know that I am terrified of my sewing machine. I don't have the proper credentials to be let anywhere near it, yet I have been sleeping next to it for years, it being tucked away in the bowels of my closet. I have used it on limited occasions, ONLY for emergency sewing on of patches for my husband's uniform. The few times I have attempted to become friendly with this piece of machinery I have been left in tears and near complete psychotic breakdown.

Now let's talk about my mom, she can sew anything, and she has been doing it on the same machine since the late what - 60's, mom? I'm not positive but I think she made her lovely wedding dress when she was just out of high school. (Maybe my mom will come out of the woodwork and comment finally to set me straight!) I'm no dummy, but my mom is a genius - pretty much in every subject I can think of, but now that I'm older I realize sewing is ROCKET SCIENCE and she is the goddess of the rocket. Not quite sure how I didn't get any of her genes and am left cowering in the corner while my sewing machine laughs. Last time my mom came out to visit she took a look at the machine, kind of laughed when I said it had never been oiled or anything (it's now 19 years old!), said the tension was all hosed up and tried to fix it for me. I think honestly I may have an easier time with a nicer piece of crap machinery but I can't really justify buying a new one until I make at least something!

A couple of months ago I gave my machine a proper place out in the open, thinking that would inspire me. So for awhile I have been forced to become friendly with it every time I walk to the back door, giving it wide berth, of course. It's next to my computer, so I am used to glancing sideways at it by now, checking to see what it's doing. I can't do anything unless I am organized, so I spent last week gathering what supplies I had out of hubby's old tackle boxes (stop laughing at me!) and stole a rolling cart from the kids Lego stash, and put all my things together. At Apple Pie Gal's suggestion, I purchased a decent pair of scissors and hid them away from the others! I was the worst offender, though - my scissors are used on everything from meat to paper to tomato stems LOL, I'm really bad about that! APG, you really did motivate me to conquer my fear! As a side note, if any of you want to start sewing and don't quite know where to start, Apple Pie Gal did a couple of posts on the basics (each link is a different post), definitely worth a detour when you are done here!

I don't have a spare bedroom or closet for that matter, so here is my little setup, just to the right of my computer area, the lighting is kind of jacked in this photo. That is probably the most basic machine there is LOL!


But from that, drumroll please.... I made THIS! I'm so proud of myself I'm just giddy!  BUT, I free-formed this so I still have yet to read a pattern and make something "for real"!


After calling my mom and bombarding her with questions about reading patterns, tension stuff, "why do I have 3 presser feet?", and "what the hell is bias tape?" I am now ready to tackle my first real "project". I am going to make an apron! I know some of you rocket scientists are laughing now but hey, a girl's gotta start somewhere, right?! And Mama Pea, brace yourself for the barrage of questions soon coming your way LOL!

On to today - Military Appreciation Day at the Zoo! Free to all military and families, there was about 10,000 people there today!

How cool is this? Our kids ran ahead and jumped into this aviary/climbing area and L and I looked at each other and immediately thought the same thing - we need one of those, with a BIG padlock!


Below, the "pseudo-cousins"! They have all been together since birth so they are just like family.


The boys again.... yep, that's all we get - BOYS. No ponytails, dresses, dolls, girl-time... we get to have instead dirt, fights, potty-talk, legos and permanently skinned knees!



I thought tomato season was done but I found a red tomato in the one pot I left outside today! This is the first time I have had a tomato at the same time as greens this year! It was way too hot for lettuces this summer. So tonight was taco night with real stuff from the garden, yay!


Unrelated to anything, but I thought the marketing here was clever. I got an L.L. Bean Outerwear catalog yesterday and this was on the label:


I wonder if they do this everywhere? I can't imagine people in Minnesota and New York, etc need anyone reminding them of what winter temps can be, but maybe they are worried that I wouldn't remember that day it was 16º (I don't)! LOL....