Saturday, October 31, 2009

Good News, Bad News and an Ode to my little store

Hi all.

I have good news and bad news.

Good News!!: I have sold my store. Hallelujah! I am now free to further pursue my dreams. Like, going back to school. I want to go back for Graphic Design. I have discovered that is something I really like and wouldn't mind having a degree in. Took me till I was almost 38 to find out what I wanted to do when I grew up...but, I suppose, better late than never.

Bad News: I will not have internet access for a while. So I will not be able to be on here for a little while. I am actively looking for an alternative to our local phone company. We have several internet needs between school for my kids and just keeping up with life in general. So, I WILL find a way.

I was so excited, relieved and at peace with the store selling. I am finding now that I am mourning it a little. I have spent time crying. Somebody put it into a neat perspective for me. She said "You birthed this." And I did. In lots of prayer and hard work. I knew I would never keep it forever. I knew that I opened it to sell it. And the fact that it has is an absolute testament to the power of the Word of God. I just feel so stupid for crying over something I've been aching to get rid of. Almost like never being happy even when you get what you want. Except I am happy. I am most moved and touched by how much God loves me and takes care of me. He has totally held me in the palm of His hand and has rescued me right at the point where I thought I would come apart at the seams. But, I'm going to miss my store. At least for a little while. And then life will get busy and I will be so glad for the freedom that the pain will go away.

So, goodbye little store. You have been good to me. I have learned many things and gained much experience. You are in a cherished little corner of my heart.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Loin

Another "came up with it one-day" recipe for you to try.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork Loin
by Elizabeth Mareno

3-4 Lb Pork Loin or Roast - Lean
Minced Garlic
Dried Basil/Oregano
Salt and Pepper

Place roast in crock pot. Cover entire top of roast with minced garlic. (no kidding, the whole top)
Sprinkle Basil/Oregano over the top till its dark and everything looks covered in dried herbs. ( i know this is vague) Even if it looks like too much, trust me, it's not. I use a salt grinder. I made a few passes over the top with the salt and the pepper....and cook for 8 hours.

Simply shred the pork roast into the juices it created and serve on buns. It's incredible.

Crafting and Life Update

I don't have much to say, really.

I have still been working so much that I have not done any designing. I didn't even get my submission in to the magazine in time. Trying to decide, now, whether or not to just put it on here as another free pattern. I want very much to share the pattern. But, I want very much to see if I am good enough to have a pattern submission accepted as well. It's a conundrum.

Have great ideas in my head about things. Have a Vulpix (pokemon toy) about 1/4 done. Actually more, I just have to do his head and tail. But, I have had no desire to work on that. To be honest the carpal tunnel in my arm is getting ridiculous. I HAVE to go see a doctor. I lose sleep at night from the pain in my arm. I can't knit or crochet very long and I have to set things down cuz I can't do it anymore. That is seriously cramping my style. Seriously.

As far as what I have on the hooks and needles. I am currently working on a ripple afghan in crochet being done in scraps only. And this one really is scraps. I will not buy any yarn for this one. I know you've heard that a hundred times from me if you've heard it once. But, I mean it this time! On the needles, I just finished up 3 pairs of wool mittens **for the family. I just have one more pair to go. And I have a 'mind of its own' log cabin-ish afghan on the needles. This one, too, is scraps only. This one is the almost full skeins of yarn that get left over in the pile. They are too little to do a big project and too big to just use for potholders, etc. So...I'm making it work. :) But, these, too are moving very slow. The whole arm thing.

We've made some decisions about the store. We currently have a buyer in the works. I'm believing that God is going to move things and we will be able to sell. Just be in agreement with us. And if you can't be in agreement...then just don't say anything at all.

I'm tired. I'm worn out. I work way too much. I'm ready to go back to being a part-time employee and being home with my kids. They are at an age where they need me even more than when they were babies. Then, it was the physical need. Now, is the time of life where the big questions and big decisions come up. I don't want to be absent when they happen. Or be too tired to care. They are arrows and I have every intention of pointing them with a destination and a future.

**Leave the fun fur out of this pattern and use Wool-Ease chunky for a GREAT mitten! Size 9 needles for women's hands. Size 10 needle and a few extra rows before the finger decrease for men.

Crock Pot Southwestern-ish Chuck Roast

No pictures for this. Just don't have a working camera at my disposal. After thinking about this, somebody, somewhere probably came up with this idea before me. However, I didn't get this recipe from anyone but my own brain, so I'm posting it as an original recipe. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did. :)

Crock Pot Southwestern-ish Chuck Roast
by Elizabeth Mareno

Serves about 5-6 people generously

3-4lb chuck roast- frozen
1- can tomatoes and green chilies- do not drain.
1- can Bush's Texas Chili Starter (we use medium heat)
Ground Cumin
Instant Rice (we made a 4 serving size and had tons left over)
Shredded Cheese (optional)
Large crock pot (ours is an oval 6 Qt)

Put the frozen chuck roast into crock pot. Pour can of tomatoes/chilies over the top of the roast, juice and all (don't add extra liquid). Sprinkle generously with cumin. Cook 8 hours.

About 15-ish minutes before serving, remove all fat and bones from roast (i just leave it in the crock pot and do this), then shred meat. Add the can of chili starter. Let cook in crock pot about 15 minutes while you get the instant rice ready.

Serve over rice with shredded cheese. Last minute serving add-in's could be jalapeno's for some heat, extra green chilies, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips....use your imagination.

This makes AWESOME leftovers!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oatmeal-Fruit Preserve Bars

This is my family's current favorite dessert. Wonderful for Fall parties. We've used raspberry preserves and apple butter....wonderful any way you slice them!

Oatmeal-Fruit Preserve Bars

1-1/2 sticks of butter/margarine (3/4cup)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 cups of rolled oats
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
10 oz jar of preserves, any flavor

Cream together butter and sugar till fluffy. Mix flour, salt and soda together to incorporate. Add oats and flour mixture to butter mixture till crumbly.

Take 2/3 of oat mixture and press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Spread preserves over the oat mixture. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top of preserves.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until browned. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Also serves great right out of the oven as a 'crisp' with ice cream.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Time Flies..

..when you are having fun, right?

Well, this morning as I was enjoying yet another perfect cup of coffee and having my devotions, I noticed that my Mountain Ash tree in my front yard has beautiful orange berries all over it. (I've tried to find a picture...but blogger won't let them load today.) This is the tree that the environmental activists came through a few years ago and marked as a 'tree at risk' because a birdie moves in and lives in its trunk every year. They went through our whole town cutting down "at risk" trees...finding out that some of the oldest and most beautiful were perfectly fine. But, now they're gone and there is a new, twiggy looking tree in it's place. Never mind that they just cut down a perfectly good 100 year old tree.

OK, I'm done ranting...back to our Mountain Ash that they didn't cut down...

Seems like a week or two ago it was beginning to bud. Then it was filled with flowers. Then **BAM** just like that..we have orange berries.

That can mean only one thing. Deer. Every night. In my yard. Driving the dog insane. (the naughty dog that has earned himself a life on the leash, because he runs away every single day.)

Then we will have massive flocks of birds in our yard eating the berries. It's quite the smorgasbord, apparently.

Oh and let's not forget. Cold is coming. Soon.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A perfect day for the perfect cup.....

As I sit here blogging @ 6:30 on a Saturday morning, it is about 44/46 degrees outside. In August. It is the perfect day for the perfect cup.

I have brewed myself the perfect 1st pot of the perfect 1st bag of perfectly & freshly ground coffee beans. It is Cameron's Vanilla Hazelnut..fully leaded.

I have to tell you about this coffee for which my heart has longed. About 2 years ago my husband and I decided that we would try drinking coffee. Tony would doctor his up with about 9 pkgs of sugar/sugar substitute and about 1/2 cup of milk. Not much coffee there. But, he was slowly beginning to like the taste. Little did I know that it had become an obsession for him. He was buying it at the gas station and drinking it at the shop with my mom *gasp*....till one day he came home with a travel mug. Where did this come from?? He liked coffee that much? My husband, who swore he would never drink the stuff?

Yes, he liked it that much. So along with his new obsession came everyone's cast-off bags of coffee. 'Oh, I didn't realize you guys drank coffee, here take this, use it up.'.....oh, ok, thank you.
In amongst all of these gems was a bag of Cameron's. It was just regular 'ol coffee. But, by this time we had tried Douwe Egberts and Gevalia and decided they were nasty. So what was one more brand we didn't recognize? I mean, all we saw in the stores were 8 O'clock and Folgers and other pre-ground coffees. We were looking for beans, people!

Cameron's was a head above the rest from the start, we just didn't know it. First of all it was almost a full bag of beans 'handed down' to us by my brother and sister in law. They don't drink coffee and they were pretty sure that it was a bag that was left at their house by a family friend who doesn't drink coffee. (Yes, this is how 'back alley' our procurement of coffee beans was back in the beginning.) And it is not as if we were jumping for joy at the thought of another bag of ultra left overs....but we didn't know how to say no. So we took the Cameron's home. It sat in the refrigerator while we finished off what we were currently drinking. (We were STOCKED at this point.) Eventually, we pulled the Cameron's out and ground up our first batch.

While we were grinding it we noticed that it looked almost woody with large flakes of white-ish coloring. I still don't know the technical terms for those flakes. I'm assuming it's just "coffee". So as I'm watching these beans grind I'm thinking, "Oh great, it's going to be gross." True first thoughts, scouts honor (which would mean more if I had actually made it to girl scouts..I never made it past Brownies). *Sigh* Ok, so I'll make it.

It smelled good brewing. And when I poured my first cup....

The planets aligned. What was this heavenly, nutty flavor on my tongue? A robust flavor with perfect acidity. It wasn't overwhelmed by my creamer. It stood up for itself and declared, "I will not be hidden with artificial flavors and colors!!" It was the perfect cup!

We buzzed through that bag with great joy. All the while thinking that "We'll just get another bag".

Apparently not. Apparently nobody carries Cameron's in stores. And the family friend couldn't remember where he had purchased it. (I didn't know there was such a thing as 'random' coffee purchasing) And at that point, we were not aware that we could just look it up online. (Which I did this morning and bing, bing, bing..there it was. Why didn't I do it before?) So we thought it was a Mnpls/St Paul only coffee (Which, it actually is, but we couldn't find it). Nope, not over there, either. We kept the bag and carried it with us everywhere. Cameron's was never to be found again. Finally we gave up and threw away the bag. We even forgot our first love's name.

So when I was walking through my local grocery store and turned the corner to the coffee aisle and saw the name "Cameron's", I had to pause. Cameron's. Cameron's? Wait....Cameron's!! No freakin' way!!!! So I sniffed and lovingly fondled bags of coffee. (Yes, I unabashedly draw attention to myself in the coffee aisle, to the complete embarrassment of my children) At this point in our coffee drinking we have settled on Hazelnut as our flavor. We don't vary from it. It's our flavor. Anyone who drinks coffee understands what I am saying. So I decided to purchase a bag of Vanilla Hazelnut. (But! Then I saw the baby bags of pre-ground samplers and bought a bag of Chocolate Almond Swiss, too. I know it's not our flavor, but it was cute and it sucked me in! I made a pot of that yesterday.)

Today's first sip of Vanilla Hazelnut inspired me to share with you my journey to the perfect cup.

**Ok, here's something completely random. As a homeschooling mom I'm always looking for validation that I am doing right by my kids. Validation that they are learning and not being left behind and are getting more than I feel they would with public education.

Here are my two validations for this week. #1- While traveling back from my 20th reunion last weekend, my daughter was telling us about something and right there in the middle of her sentence she used the word "scoff". She said it so completely natural that I just sort of burst out laughing. So, then, I had to explain to her that it was her wording, which was brilliant. How many kids use the word scoff, naturally? There may be alot of them, but not in my world. #2-Last night at the local football game the freshman football players were manning the concession stand. They could not do simple math....I kid you not. My SIL gave them a five for a 3-something bill and got $4.25 back.... They could not add $.75 and $.75 together for my and my husband's sodas. My son got popcorn and a soda which came to $1.75. He gave them $2...they gave him $.50 back. So as we are walking away my son sort of laughingly tells me that they gave him a quarter too much (as he's tucking it into his wallet). I stopped him and said "You take that quarter back. We don't keep money that isn't ours and you never take advantage of the stupid."

Ok, yes, I probably shouldn't have said that (and I told my son that I shouldn't have said that)but it was a good lesson for him and TOTALLY validated my position in life as homeschooling mom. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fall, already?

I was at my mom's for coffee and chatting this morning. As I was leaving, I took a deep breath and thought "Mmmm. I love that smell...."

Then my brain said, "Wait, what was that?"

So I took another deep breath.

Brain said, "Hmmm...Spicy undertones...Moist earth...Fog.....That smells!"

What?!?!? We didn't even get Summer, yet!

Where does Earth get off changing seasons already? Scuze me! I still live in a state that has technically ordered 4 seasons from the menu of choices....why am I only getting 3??

I swear I will slap the next person that utters the words "Global Warming".

**random note** To DragonFlyLady: I am submitting to a crochet magazine. But, because I haven't completed the process yet, I'm not saying which one. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

20 Year Class Reunion.

I totally forgot to tell you!

I went to my 20 year reunion in one of the three cities I went to high school in this weekend. It was my first high school. These were the kids I grew up with through grade school and middle school. I left October of my freshman year. And they invited me to come to the reunion. :)

It was so good to see them. Many people I couldn't recognize. I just didn't spend enough time with them when we were kids apparently. But, I readily recognized Michelle, Brenda, and Deb. They don't look any different. And I got the chance to sit and talk with Michelle for quite a while. Found out she lives only a few hours from me and we could actually get together for lunch or go shopping or something! Too cool. She was my closest friend at the time that we moved. Apparently she had been looking for me for years and finally found me on Facebook.

I never thought that they would remember me. They all did. It meant the world to me. I hadn't seen any of them for so many years that it was almost like Arcadia never happened. But, it did. This reunion meant alot to me. It completely validated my childhood.

Somebody remembered me. :) And quite a few of them had stories about me that I never even remembered!

We drove out to the valley I grew up in and drove all the way to the back of it and then turned around, so that they could see the whole thing. As we were driving along one of my kids (i think my son) said "Wow, this is a really pretty valley, Mom". And it is. It is still as beautiful as when I was a child. Maybe even more so. I love that side of the state. I miss living there. Someday, I want to own the place where I grew up. The old house is gone now and somebody else built there. But, I want that piece of land. So many of my memories are wrapped up in that valley.


Pattern Submissions and stuff like that.

Today I have to sit down and figure out how to write a pattern for submission. I have never followed anyone else's rules for writing a pattern before. I hope I don't have to change alot. I'm really quite nervous about the whole thing. I have to get it submitted before September 8th. Nothing like procrastination??

I have had to work so much lately I haven't had any time at the yarn store. I was there on Friday last week. By that time there is so much to do I don't get to really deal with the extra-curricular stuff. Did I mention that the store is on the market again? Well, it is. I just want to move on with my life. We have had so many people come in and say "Oh, it's so sad that you are closing." and then we say "But, we aren't closing." and we had one person say.."What's the difference?"

Well, here is the difference, we are selling the business..we are not having a "going out of business" sale, therefore closing the doors forever, never to be seen or heard from again. We are selling the business. Hopefully, to someone that has every intention of staying right where they are and continuing to serve the community as we have. It's a needed business in our little town.

Here's another small pet peeve. Why does everyone assume that when they buy a business all they are obligated to pay for is the inventory? Why is that the first thing that people ask?

Just for future reference for anyone out there looking to buy an established business. You will be buying more than the inventory. You will be paying for the blood, sweat, tears and time that the former owner spent on their knees seeking God's direction for that that one day you can come along and buy a well-established business with a very comfortable and faithful customer base. You will not have to put in the long hours making something out of nothing like they did. You will not have to put lots and lots and lots and LOTS of money into building a business that carries the product lines that customers want, built completely out of trial and error and losing your shirt more than once on an unsuccessful venture.... You will not have to work NEARLY as hard as that original owner did. So, when you ask what they want for their business and they say "X" amount of dollars...don't let the first question be..."Well, how much do you have in inventory?" and then try to short change them when you make an offer. Remember how much their hard work is worth.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Work, work, work.

Sometimes I feel like all I do is work.

I have decided to make myself a pair of socks with the handpainted yarn I bought myself in Bayfield last year. One is done. One is in the cuff stage. Other than that..I have no other time for myself.

Well, all except for my Facebook/Farm Town obsession.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Few Random Thoughts

I have my first 'unscheduled' Saturday in months today. It feels great. I slept till I wanted to get up. (Which, of course, just happened to be 20 minutes later than my usual time.)

I loaded the dishwasher. And then I sat in my living room with the laptop and played on Facebook for a good hour or more.

Now, I'm at the store cuz Stefani needed change for the register and she had a 'butt' customer to deal with so she needs moral support.

Next, I'm going to go back home and hopefully get up the motivation to clean and declutter my house. I've been so busy and I am so lazy that I just have not been able to keep up with the mess. It NEEDS to be dealt with. Today.

Tah for now and "Happy, Lazy Saturday" to all!

Monday, August 10, 2009

August Update

It's pretty bad when I am so inconsistent at blogging that I just have to start naming my posts by the month... I promise I will get better.

Life has been so hectic for us. Lots and lots of traveling in July. We went to Youth Invasion in Midland July 28-Aug 1. It was great and life changing and, well, completely awesome!

I'm still working 2 jobs. Although, the store is once again on the market. This time she's there till she sells. It is just absolutely time to move on with my life.

I've been a little crafty lately. I haven't had a lot of time to sit and work on things. I have a sock started...about 1/2 way done. I've rounded the heel and I'm in the foot at least. And I've been working on a few charity things, but nothing huge. Some baby hats and I've started another scrap afghan.

Finally, here is a picture of the completed Mitered Corners afghan from Mason-Dixon Knitting. This was made with Vanna's Choice Baby yarn. Now its a sample in my store.
Here we have "Toby's Hats" :) He is my newest cousin. He was born a few months premature and I found a pattern for baby hats (though for the life of me, I can't remember which one I used) through Knitting Pattern Central that gave me such a variety of sizes to choose from that I became quite confused and befuddled. But, I got through it and made these cute little hats in an evening. These, too, are made from Vanna's Choice Baby yarn (except for the white one).
We have had almost no heat this summer at all. My garden has suffered. It's been so cold and rainy that things haven't grown the way they should and some of it is just rotting where it sits because it's too wet. My potatoes and peppers are going great, though. My tomatoes are starting to perk up. I fear for my cabbages, zukes and cukes....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An old government joke. It makes me happy.

With the current condition of our government..this joke is rather appropriate. And true. I am SO sick of the people running my government. The next 3-1/2 years is going to be agonizing.

A woman, in a hot air balloon, realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude, and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, “Excuse me. Can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago. But, I don’t know where I am.”

The man consulted his portable GPS, and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are at 11 degrees, 14.97 minutes North latitude, and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes West longitude.

She rolled her eyes, and said, “You must be a Republican.”

“I am,” replied the man. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct. But, I have no idea what to do with your information. And, I am still lost. Frankly, you have not been much help to me.”

The man smiled, and responded, “You must be a Democrat.”

“I am!” replied the balloonist. “How did you know?”

“Well…,” said the man, “You do not know where you are, or where you are going. You have risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep. And, now you expect me to solve your problem. You are in exactly the same position you were in before we met. But somehow, now it’s all my fault.”

Just for the record- I'm a Libertarian.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer is a busy thing...

We were invited by Make-A-Wish Foundation to attend their 25th Birthday Celebration at Miller Park in Milwaukee. We decided that was a function we would attend. We were going to have to be in Wisconsin Dells Friday and Saturday anyway for a powerlifting meet (i'll post about that in a different post), so we figured we would just swing over to Milwaukee on Sunday and attend.

It was crowded and super busy, but lots and lots of fun. We attended with our good friends, the Halmstad's.

I'll walk you through the memories.....

First, is Stefani's name tag with the special sticker indicating that she is a Wish Child (2005).

Next is a picture of her ticket for the game. (Stef, you need to paint your nails!)

Here is Stef and Teo during the game. We were all sitting in direct sunlight the whole game, so we were pretty cooked. daughter, the diva and my son, the stud.

This is me and Tony. In case you can't see it...I'm lobster red. My face got completely fried (except half of my forehead, because I have bangs). Forgot to put sunscreen on the whole thing. I sprayed my feet, though. Priorities.

At the Make-A-Wish party that we attended for 2-1/2 hours before the game, we got to meet a bunch of the Star Wars characters. First up is Darth Maul (sp?). This guy looked so much like the original character, it was unreal! lol

Next up, we have the guys (Jay and Tony) with the kids (Stef, Teo, Brad & Taylor) with the 'Dark Side'. They were getting sucked in......

Here we are with Darth Vader. (Oh, the sun was so bright...the part in my hair got burned.) When we walked up to Darth I said "You have got to be hot in that thing." He promptly hit his "breathing like Darth Vader" button. I took that to mean, "Yes, very hot".
Heidi and Taylor at the game. Taylor eventually cooled off by dunking her head in the bathroom sink.
Jay and Brad. Brad was a trooper, he never showed any wear or tear.
Back at the Make-A-Wish party, we got to see Mickey Mouse for about 5 minutes.
More Star Wars characters. Later when R2-D2's remote operator was walking him back to the truck, I happened to be walking past him and for about two seconds I almost said "Oh my God, R2-D2, I just love you"....then reality slapped me and I told the handler about my almost faux-pas...and he said "You wouldn't believe the amount of people that do that." Thank the Lord, I'm not the only crazy fool out there. The Tie-Fighter Pilot actually made the "Tie-Fighter Scream" sound. It was cool. lol
When our family took a picture with the "Resistance", Tony was wearing his Milwaukee Brewers helmet, circa 1980's. Chewbacca took it off of Tony's head and wore it for the picture.

Then Chewy was kind enough to put it back on for Tony.
This was the score when we finally had had enough. The hitting wasn't very exciting. If anything fouled, it fouled to right field, or right behind home plate. It was so distracting, because the people in the five rows in front of us were up and down and up and down and up and down....the whole game. We kept missing the exciting stuff because people were usually standing in the way. A bottle of water was $4 and I just couldn't afford to keep the kids hydrated anymore. So we left.
Bye, bye Miller Park. Till we meet again.

After the game we headed back home, stopping in Waukesha at Jimmy's Grotto for a Ponza Rotta. Oh hallelujah, they tasted just as good as they did 14 years ago. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Just Catching Up

Hi there.

Been a while again. Life is always so busy. Sometimes I don't know with what...but it seems to keep me hopping.

I have finished working on a blanket I was designing. I have not finished working on a toy I was designing. I have made a few baby hats for charity. I have made a few dishcloths for a wedding gift. I have this deep desire to "MAKE" something. Ever get that really deep desire to be working on an awesome project, but you either can't find any inspirations in the thousands of patterns you have, OR you find something and start working on it only to realize you really don't want to make it? That's where I'm at right now. So I continue to work on piddly projects to keep my hands busy.

We have finally received our first installment of Summer here in the Northwoods. It was in the 80's yesterday, I think. Maybe it was just the 70's, but felt like the 80's because it's been in the 30's for the first half of June!! I finally have most of my garden planted. Tony is building me two more boxes this week and we have to mix the last batch of soil together, then I'm good to go. Here's what I have planted so far:
Cheddar Cauliflower; Red Cabbage; Swiss Chard; Sweet Red, Bibb and Green Ice Lettuces; White Radishes; Jalapeno, Sweet Banana, and Sweet Bell Peppers; Zucchini; Eggplant; Slicing Cucumbers; Pole Beans; Sugar Snap Peas; Yellow Pear Tomatoes (sp?); Yellow Onions; Genovese Basil; Greek and Italian Oregano; Rosemary; Pineapple and Regular Sage; Spearmint;
(I think that's it for the current three boxes). What I have left to plant is 3 Celebrity Tomatoes, 2 Better Boy Tomatoes and 2 Brandy Wine Tomatoes. Those I am putting into pots because the plants are just too big for my boxes already. The two new boxes are going to house the rest of my climbing plants and the remainder of what I want to plant. I have two more eggplants, a cucumber and two cantaloupes that have to go in yet. I am picking up another couple different varieties of peppers at the local greenhouse this week. (We eat alot of peppers, and I want to make salsa this year) As well as, some red onion starters and some potato starters. This is the largest garden I have ever put in in my entire life. And it's taking up all of about 72 square feet. We are doing the Square Foot Gardening method this year. I'm loving it so far. Things are growing and thriving. I have had to tear out about 15 weeds in about two weeks. And they were super duper tiny. I was going to forego putting in this garden this year and my girlfriend Heidi kept bringing it up to me, cuz she wanted to do it.....and I'm SOOOO glad she did. This kind of gardening is addicting. I have so many plans for flower boxes and extra stuff next year. If I get the harvest that they predict I will...then I will be feeding about 5 families with my little garden. Praise God!

Ok. Other than that, my work schedule has changed once again. I am now two days a week at the office and three days a week at my store. My mom has been in Florida for two weeks (she comes home tomorrow, thank God!) and has gotten all relaxed and rested. I am glad for her. She has had a good time. Stefani has been working the store for me while I am at my other job. She has done a bang up job. I'm super proud of her. I can't believe I have a child old enough to work a job!

I should stop chattering now. Gotta go do the "gettin' ready" stuff. Stefani has morning lifting practices for a meet she is competing at in July in Wisconsin Dells and it's my turn to pick her up from pracitice this morning. And while I am not a terribly vain person....I am not letting the rest of the world see me like this. This is the special look I save for my loved ones. They've gotten over the shock.

P.S. I am reading Atlas Shrugged finally. Just have to say for the time period it was written in...makes you wonder if Ayn Rand wasn't a fortune teller or a psychic.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank you, Vets.

Just wanted to send out a personal thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to the Vets and Servicemen who fight for my freedom and protect my way of life with their own.

Thank you to my grandfather, Master Sgt Pesce, USAF, 31 years retired. Served in World War II with the occupational forces in Germany. He met my grandmother there. But, theirs is a story for a different day. Papa passed away February of 2002 of complications of COPD.

Thank you to my dad, Staff Sgt Fisher, USAF, honorable discharge. Served 1-1/2 tours in Vietnam. And for many years later.......

Thank you to my cousins, (not sure of their ranks) Isaiah and Micah. Isaiah, originally Navy, transferred to Army. Served in Iraq...I don't know how many tours. Was on the USS Lincoln in the Gulf when the Iraq conflict started. Micah, Army, currently in Iraq on his umpteenth tour. Is coming home in July. Both went in right out of high school. Both have baby girls that were born either while they were shipped out, or shortly before going. Both have missed out on the first year of their daughters lives.

And last, but not least, Thank you to Brandon. I'm not sure of his rank either. But, he's a Marine. He just went back to Afghanistan on his second tour last month.

Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you for not only putting your lives on hold while you served for my freedom. But, thank you for who you are in my life.

All gave some...Some gave all. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Random Thoughts

At Women of the Word conference this year we got coffee mugs in our goodie bags. It's a nice mug. Pink flowers on the outside of it, nice and deep, with a great saying. And it goes like this:

"God answers all prayers. Sometimes He says "Yes", sometimes He says "No". Sometimes He says "You've got to be kidding!"

I love this mug. I drink my caffienated hazelnut w/ff french vanilla creamer (what a combo, huh?) in it almost every morning. I say almost because I have to squeeze the "I love you" mug that my Valentines day flowers (from 2 years ago) came in into the routine.

And not to digress....but sometimes I wish that I got flowers (carnations are my favorites). Not because it was a holiday or a celebrated day...but because they were the perfect thing to do on that day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm Back.

It feels like it's been forever since I've posted. And in bloggy-land, it has been. Have no worries, I have been sufficiently busy enough to justify the lack of "me" on the web.

In the real world, Tony is back to work (I'm believing for good). He has been off a total of 7 weeks. And it was hard on the pocket book. I got a little survivalistic in that time period. It's going to take a LONG time to get us back on track with our credit card bills. Yet, God is bigger than even this....'nuff said.

My job is going well. Increasing every week. I am in the process of learning some super basic graphic designing. I absolutely love it now that I understand it a little more. Before, though, it was causing ulcers at the thought of it. Thankfully, I am able to be a blessing to my boss. The mistakes are getting less and less. Pretty soon, I may actually make her some money! My hours have increased to three solid days a week...thank you, it leaves me with little time to blog. Cuz, frankly, by the time I get home at night...blogging is not a top priority.

I am a little stressed out with all the working...the house cleaning...the supper making...the sports...the traveling...the juggling bills...the creditors (for whom I have no answers) calling 50 times a day (thank you God for caller id)...the working 2 jobs AND homeschooling my kids through the summer** Mom going to be gone to Florida for two solid weeks in June (while I am happy for her, I'm stressed for me) goes on and on....

Yet, this morning during devotionals Psalm 34:17 said "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles." It talked about being steadfast (solid, even, patient, bold) and undaunted (immoveable, unphased, peaceful, not afraid). I have to reset my brain every morning, but I can accomplish this.
Malachi 3:10-12 also says this "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field, says the Lord of hosts; and all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land, says the Lord of hosts."

I'm a tither. So, I have tithers rights. I'm not silly enough to think that God is just going to dump a bucket of money over the top of my head (although that would be super cool)...I do know this, though, I have food in my house, our clothes last longer, our vehicle runs strong and needs less maintenance, our appliances don't quit, we don't get sick and have to go to the doctor, my dog does not have allergy flare-ups, I do not live in debt and lack. God provides what I need. So, even though it looks insurmountable at the day this will be a glorious testament to God's awesomeness.

**Ok, quick side note about the homeschooling. The kids were floundering and drowning in boredom, so we just decided to skip the rest of the grades they were in and move them into new curriculum. They will be totally caught up and in the right grades this fall. (we got behind during Stef's chemo). Stef is right where she should be (8th grade). Teo has actually skipped a grade (7th) and is flourishing with A's & B's (in 8th). Stef works hard and is maintaining a B average. Yay! We did the right thing!

One more side note before we move on to crafting. My nephew Cory is living with us this summer....he's been 'home' for almost a week now and, so far, it's fun!

NOW, we get to the crafting segment of today's show...

I have been busy, busy, busy crocheting and knitting. Mostly crocheting. I do not have pictures of everything here because some of my photos are on my very dead camera at home (still have to buy a new one...), I just need to bring the card here to work and download them onto my puter. Other things I do not have pictures of because I, for real, am going to submit them....somewhere, not sure yet.....and I can't publish them beforehand. But, one is a baby blanket (wip) and one is a baby dress (completed). I will share snippets of photos later. For what I have completed and CAN show you, we have blankets.....

First up is the blanket I made for the Project Linus charity. Done in Red Heart Orchid, Lt Periwinkle, Frosty Green and Watercolor. Needed two skeins of Lt Periwinkle, otherwise one skein of everything else. Can't remember the book off the top of my head. But it is spiral bound and has a purple afghan on the front of it....and its been put out in the last 3 years.

Here we have a Log Cabin baby blanket. This one was truly made from scraps. I wouldn't allow myself to buy any yarn for this one...but, oh, it was so tempting. This one is made with TLC Amore ,a Red Heart heather (purple- discontinued) and another Red Heart (variegated) which I couldn't tell you the color of.

Our household has two obsessions: NCIS and Facebook. We've been very busy with both. We borrowed the seasons of NCIS from my brother in law. He said payment was a pair of slippers, cuz he literally wears holes in the bottoms by rubbing his feet on the carpet. Then, said he was joking. But, we know me....I made them. A fair, yet cheap price to pay for my habit.

Ok, enough about me for one day....tah!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Short Update.

Well, my life has not been exciting. So there reallyhasn't been anything to talk about. Tony was temporarily laid off. He'll be going back to work soon. It's been a challenge juggling bills and everything else on unemployment. But, I must say, I am so greatful that God keeps supplying everything we need. We are never without. That and Tony has been working on projects in the house that kept getting put off. He's ripped out a wall upstairs and built a new closet in our bedroom with a linen closet on one end. We've decided not to open the bathroom into the new hallway and just keep it as a private access in our bedroom. So, I guess, in a weird way we've created a 'master suite'. We are still planning on ripping that bathroom to pieces and refinishing it in slate and the like.....but that is for a time with more money coming in. Tony has at least gotten the plumbing fixed up there and the shower is now functioning. Yay for accomplishing things on the 'honey-do' list.

Other than that, my crocheting/knitting projects have been sort of slow going since finishing Ash. He was so time-consuming and god-awful boring to make that I had to walk away from designing, temporarily. I have a Pokemon Vulpix about a 1/3 of the way done. But, then I had some 'emergency' jewelry to make. I made a lovely glass pearl necklace. I need to get a picture of it, it's really pretty. Then I had a swarovski bracelet to make for my mom for a friend of hers.

The mitered squares baby afghan that I've been working on has finally come to an exciting part. I got the squares done, blocked and ready to go. Then I had to take a few days to wrap my mind around the mattress stitch. In my mind I had worked it into some evil thing. But, then, once I mulled it over in my head for a while and 'sewed' the pieces together in my wasn't so scary. So, last night, I sat down to work on it and it went together so easy that I finished sewing all of them today. Now all I have to do is finish the border and we're good to go. I plan on displaying it in the store as a sample of Vanna's Baby yarn. It's turning out really cute. I'll have to make sure I get a picture of it and put it on here. Just remember, when I don't have pictures, it's cuz my camera died. A long, slow death. It had been coming for a year or so...poor thing. Anyway, that means I have to borrow my daughter's and to put it simply, I hate her camera. I need to buy a new one.

Other than that, there really is nothing new. Spring is sssstttiiillll working its way here. Days are coldish/warmish. You usually need a sweatshirt, but you can get too warm quickly. The sun has been very bright. The birds sing everyday. Tony and the kids are regularly outside throwing the ball around. The dog 'chases' the baseball out into the field...when its not even being thrown in that direction, he just thinks it is. It's quite hilarious to watch him. He bounces along watching for the ball to hit, then he realizes that it wasn't thrown, comes back and does the exact same thing again. We don't call him 'dippy-dog' for nothing.

later gators...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Could it be??

Could Spring really be on its way?

It has finally stopped raining and blowing torrential winds. A couple days there the wind was coming through every crack in the house. There seems to be a pause in the precipitation. It is only 30 degrees and last night it flurried. My son chose to see the bright side of things and declared that it wasn't was soft hail...:) Today, the sun is almost out. It's a brighter shade of gray than normal.

And I have about 15 robins in my front yard. Busy flipping leaves looking for nesting materials and food. There are probably more than 15 with the neighboring yards being swarmed as well. And yesterday I heard the song birds. I never realize how much I miss that sound until all of a sudden, one Spring morning, I hear them again. I'm so glad they're back. :)

Things are looking up, folks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pokemon Ash Ketchum Look-Alike

Everybody sing and dance for joy...Ash is done!! He was actually kind of a naughty boy and wouldn't get dressed. For like 3 weeks! But, I finally convinced him to put his clothes on and once he did, he worked the photo shoot like a pro! Attitude all over the place!
So enjoy the forthcoming pics and pattern!
**Disclaimer, This pattern has only been worked by me. This pattern is complete and problem free, to the best of my knowledge. If you run into any logistical problems, please let me know!**

Pokemon Ash Ketchum Look-Alike
by Elizabeth Mareno 2009
Skill Level: Intermediate
Materials Needed:
F hook
Caron Simply Soft (Light Country Peach, Black, Light Blue, Lemonade , Limelight, Red, White)
Small amount of plastic canvas
Strong Large Eye needle for assembly (I use metal #13 and #16 blunt tapestry needles)
4 safety pins or stitch markers
Finished Size: 20" H
**Do not join rounds unless specified**
With Ctry Peach ch 2
1- 6sc in 2nd ch from hook (6) mark first sc of row.
2- 2sc in each sc. (12)
3- (sc in 1 sc, 2sc in next) around (18)
4- (sc in 2sc, 2sc in next) around (24)
5- (sc in 3sc, 2sc in next) around (30)
6- (sc in 4sc, 2sc in next) around (36)
7- (sc in 5sc, 2sc in next) around (42)
8- sc in each
9- (sc in 6sc, 2sc in next) around (48)
10- sc in each
11- (sc in 7sc, 2sc in next) around (54)
12-21- sc in each
22- sc in 9sc, 2sc in next, sc in 36sc, 2sc in next, sc in 6sc. (56)
23- sc in 10sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 36sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 6sc. (60)
24- sc in 11sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 38sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 7sc. (64)
25- sc in each
26- sc in 1sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 7sc, sc dec, sc in 2sc, sc dec, (sc in next, sc dec) 12 times, sc dec, sc in 2sc, sc dec, sc in 6sc. (50)
27- sc in 2sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 7sc, sc dec, sc in 2sc, sc dec, sc in 22sc, sc dec, sc in 2sc, sc dec, sc in 5sc. (48)
28- sc in 3sc, 2sc in 2sc, sc in 7sc, (sc dec) 3 times, (sc in next sc, sc dec) 6 times, sc in 2sc, (sc dec) 3 times, sc in 4sc. (38 )
29- sc in each.
30- sc in 2sc, (sc dec) 3 times, (sc in next, sc dec) 10 times. (25) BEGIN TO STUFF HEAD
31- sc in 1sc, (sc dec) 2 times, (sc in next, sc dec) 6 times. sc dec in last 2sc. (16) Finish stuffing head.
32-36- sc in each. **NECK**
37- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) 8 times (24)
38- sc in each
39- 2sc in each. (48)
40- sc in each
41- (sc in 2sc, 2sc in next) around (56)
42- sc in each
43- sc in 1sc, 2sc in next, sc in 24, 2sc in 3, sc in 26, 2sc in 2. (63)
**Optional- Cut length of plastic canvas into a tube to fit into the neck. Sew into place, then proceed with stuffing. It will help with neck stability when the head has hair.**
44-65- sc in each.
66- (sc in 6sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc in 5, sc dec. (55)
67- sc in each. Stuff body as you go.
68- (sc in 5sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc in 4, sc dec. (47)
69- sc in each
70- (sc in 4sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc in 3, sc dec. (39)
71- (sc in 3sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc in 2, sc dec. (31)
72- (sc in 2sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc in 1, sc dec. (23)
73- (sc in 1sc, sc dec) 7 times, sc dec. (15)
74- ( sc dec) 7 times, sc in last (8)
75- (sc dec) 4 times. (4)
Cut, leaving a long end. Weave through sc's and pull tight to close the end.
1- ch2, 4sc in 2nd ch from hook. (4)
2- sc in each.
3- 2 sc in each. (8)
4- 2sc in each. (16)
Sew to face.
ARMS: Make 2
1- 6sc in 2nd ch from hook. (6)
2- 2sc in each. (12)
3- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) around. (18)
4- (sc in 2sc, 2sc in next) around. (24)
5- (sc in 3sc, 2sc in next) around. (30)
6-7- sc in each.
8- (sc in 3sc, sc dec) around. (24)
9- sc in each.
10- (sc in 2sc, sc dec) around. (18)
11- sc in each.
12- (sc in 1sc, sc dec, sc in 4sc, sc dec) 2 times. (14)
13-34- sc in each.
Stuff as you go. Cut with long sewing end. Flatten and sew to the shoulder around row 42 of head and body.
EYES: Make 2
with white, ch7
1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and next 4, 3sc in last ch, sc in opposite of original ch for 5 sc. (13) do not join.
2- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as join and next 3sc, sc in next, 2sc in 3sc, sc in next, hdc in 4sc, ch2, sl st to sm sp as last hdc, sc across the bottom. sl st to ch2.
Cut, leave a long sewing piece.
**Embroider black to the eye. Then sew the eye to the face.
EARS: Make 2
Left Ear: 1- ch2, 4sc in 2nd ch from hook. (4)
2- ch1, turn, 2 sc in each. (8)
3- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch, hdc in next 2sc, 2sc in 2sc, 2dc in 2sc, dc in last sc, ch2, sl st to base of dc. (13)
Right Ear: Repeat rows 1 & 2
3- ch2, dc in sm sp, 2dc in 2sc, 2sc in 2sc, hdc in 3sc, ch2, sl st to base of hdc. (13)
Cut leaving a long sewing piece. Sew to the side of the head so that the bottom of the ear lines up with the jaw edge.
HAIR: Make 4 large, 11 medium.
Cone: with black, ch2
1- 5sc in 2nd ch from hook.
2- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) 2 times, sc in last (7)
3- sc in each
4- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) 3 times, sc in last (10)
5- sc in each. **Stop here for Small Cones**
6- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) around. (15)
7- sc in each. **Stop here for Medium Cones**
8- (sc in 2sc, 2sc in next) around. (20)
9- sc in each.
10- (sc in 3sc, 2sc in next) around. (2511- sc in each. )**Stop here for Large Cones**
join, Cut, with leaving a long sewing piece.
**Stuff lightly. Finish stuffing while sewing to head. I made 4 large cones and spaced them out between the ears to have a point of reference for hat placement.**
HAT: with red
1-10- Repeat head directions
11-15- sc in each
16- Back Loops Only (BLO), dc in 1sc, hdc in 2sc, sc in 9sc, hdc in 2sc, dc in next, sc in rem sc.
17- Both Loops, dc in 2 st, hdc in 11 st, dc in 2 st, sl st in next sc
18- ch3, turn, dc in 2, hdc in 11, dc in 2, do not dc in ch
19- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch and each st across, do not hdc in ch2
20- repeat row 19
21- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2 and next st, dc in 11, hdc in 2
22- ch1, turn, sc in 1st hdc, hdc in next 2, dc in 3, trc in 3, dc in 2, hdc in 2, sc.
23- ch1, turn, sc in each st and row end around hat.
Cut weave ends.
1- ch9, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch. (8)
2-28- ch1, turn, sc in each.
**Cut, leaving a LONG piece to sew to hat. Sew to the center of the hat.
Hat Decorations:
ARCH: with blue, ch8, sc in 2nd ch from hook and next ch, 2sc in 3ch, sc in 2ch. Cute leave along end for sewing. Tuck the loose end and sew to the hat.
CIRCLE: ch2, 6sc in 2nd ch from hook. join. cut. and sew.
**Cut about 8-10 4" strips of black yarn, holding two strands together at a time-latch hook them at his 'bangs', then sew the hat onto the head.
**Optional for hat bill stability, cut a piece of plastic canvas and sew to the bottom of the bill.
Finish sewing the hair cones onto his head. Lightly stuff each cone, except for the small cones. Just so they hold their shape.
LEGS: Make 2, starting with shoes and white.
1- ch10, 2hdc in 3rd ch fromhook, hdc in next ch, sc in 3ch, hdc in next, dc in next, 6dc in last ch, dc in next ch on opp side, hdc in next, sc in 3ch, hdc in next, 3hdc in sm sp as original ch, join to top of ch3. (24)
2- ch2, hdc in sm sp as join, 2hdc in next 2, hdc in 5, 2hdc in next, 2dc in 6, 2hdc in next, hdc in 5, 2hdc in 3, join. (38)
3- ch2, hdc in sm sp as join, 2hdc in 4, hdc in 8, dc in 2, 2dc in 8, dc in 2, hdc in 8, 2hdc in 5. (56)
Upper Shoe: with black, attach with sl st to post of hdc at join (back) of sole, w/WS of sole facing you. Use seperate balls for each color. (2 black, 1 red)
1- sc around joining post, sc around next 16 posts, chg to red, sc around 22 posts, chg to black, sc around 17 posts. join. (56)
2- ch1, turn, sc in 17, chg to red, sc in 22, chg to black, sc in 17, join. (56)
3- ch1, turn, (sc in 5, sc dec) 2 times, sc in 3, chg to red, (sc in 2, sc dec) 5 times, sc in 2, chg to black, sc in 3, (dec, sc in 5) 2 times, join. (47)
4- ch1, turn, sc in 15, chg to red, sc in 17, chg to black, sc in 15. join. (47)
5- ch1, turn, (sc in 4, dec) 2 times, sc in 3, chg to red, (sc in 4, dec) 2 times, (sc in 3, dec) once, chg to black, sc in 3, (dec, sc in 4) 2 times, join. (40)
6- ch1, turn, sc in each with black. Cut red permanently.
7- ch1, turn, sc in 9, dec, (sc in 3, dec) 4 times, sc in 9. join. (35)
8- ch1, turn, sc in 12, (dec) 5 times, sc in 13, join. (30)
9- ch1, turn, sc in 12, (dec) 3 times, sc in 12, join. (27)
10- ch1, turn, sc in 10, (dec) 3 times, sc in 11, join. (24)
11- do not turn, ch1, sc in each. do not join, chg to skin color.
LEG: 12-30- sc in each. Join. Cut.
Finish stuffing and sew on to bottom of body.
PANTS: with blue
1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and each. (65)
2-4- ch1, turn, sc.
5-(front of pants) - do not turn, ch1, sc in 1st sc of last row (connecting the two sides), sc in each sc around to ch1, join. (65)
6- ch1, sc in sm sp as join, sc in each sc, join.
7-17- repeat row 6
18- LEFT LEG- ch1, sc in sm sp as join and next (mark 2nd sc), sc in 31sc, ch1, sk 32sc, join in marked sc(skipping 1st sc of row). (33)
19- ch1, sc in join and each sc around, sc in ch1, join in 1st sc. (33)
20- repeat row 19, do not join.
21-42- do not ch1, sc in each sc around. join in the very last row. Finish off.
18-RIGHT LEG- (with back of pants facing you) join with sc to 1st open sc, sc in next 31, sl st in open sc and ch 1 of left leg, join to 1st sc of rt leg (previously skipped) (32sc, 2sl st)
19- ch1, sc in join and each sc, sc in 1st sl st from last row, sk last sl st, join. (33)
20- ch1, sc in join and each sc. do not join. (33)
21-42- repeat left leg.
FAUX POCKETS: with blue, make 2
1- sc in 2nd ch from hook and each. (9) (RS)
2-9- ch1, turn, sc in each.
10- ch1, turn, sc in BLO (9)
11-12- ch1, turn, sc in both loops (9)
THese last two rows creatd the flap.
CUt leaving a long sewing piece. Sew to side of pants leaving the flap free.
Pants finishing: At the opening of the pants, attach blue to an edge with sl st, then ch 6, and slip st in the same edge creating a loop. Cut and weave ends in. Sew a button to the opposite side for closure.
SHIRT: starting with blue
ch69- join to make a circle, make sure that you don't twist it.
1- ch1, sc in each ch. Join. (69) Cut.
2- on opp side of starating ch, join with black in the open loops. Sc in each ch, join.
3- ch1, sc in join and each sc.
4-14- ch2(does not ct as hdc), hdc in sm sp as join, hdc in each around, join with 1st hdc. (69)
15- ch2, hdc in sm sp as join, hdc in 19, (place marker), hdc in 13, (pm), hdc in 21, (pm), hdc in 13, (pm), hdc in last hdc, join with 1st hdc. Cut black and weave ends.
16- with back seam facing you, rejoin with black in the hdc marked to the right of the seam with ch2(not hdc), hdc in sm sp as join, hdc in each to the next marker, hdc in marked st, leave remaining hdc unworked. (22)
17-18- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2, hdc in each hdc across, lv ch2 unworked. (22)
19-20- LEFT SHOULDER- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2, and next 4hdc. (5) Cut
21- RIGHT SHOULDER- with wrong side facing you, sk 12 hdc, rejoin in next hdc with ch2, hdc in sm sp as join and next 4 hdc. lv ch2 from prev round unworked. (5)
22- Repeat row 20. Cut.
23- With front facing you, working from back, sk 12 unworked hdc from row 15, join with ch2 in next marked st, hdc in sm sp as join, and next 10hdc. (11hdc) leave remaining hdc unworked.
24-25- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2, hdc in each hdc, leave ch2 from prev row unworked.
26- turn, sl st in 6hdc, ch2, hdc in sm sp as ch2 and each hdc to end (5) Cut.
27- with front facing you, rejoin in the next open hdc with ch2, hdc in sm sp as join and each hdc to next marker, hdc in marked hdc (11hdc) lv rem hdc unworked.
28-29- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2 and each hdc, lv ch2 unworked. (11)
30- ch2, turn, hdc in sm sp as ch2, and next 4hdc. (5) cut.
Turn shirt inside out. With right sides facing each other, sew shoulder seams. Turn shirt right side out.
COLLAR: with blue
1- join in the bottom of front opening with ch1, sc 45 sc evenly spaced around neckline. Join with sl st to 1st sc.
2- ch1, sc in 2sc, hdc in 3sc, 5dc in next sc, dc to shoulder, hdc across shoulder, dc to next shoulder, hdc across next shoulder, dc to next corner, 5 dc in corner, hdc in 3, sc in 2. Join.
3- ch2, sc in 3, hdc in 4, 5dc in next, (dc in each dc, hdc in each hdc) to opposite corner, 5 dc in center dc of 5dc from prev row, hdc in 4, sc in 3, join.
4- sl st to corner, (sc, ch2, sc) in corner, sc to shoulder hdc's, dc in each hdc and dc around to opposite front, sc in each to corner, (sc, ch2, sc) in corner, sl st to end. Finish off.
SLEEVES: with back facing and white.
1- join with sl st to last open sc from row 15, ch1, sc in sm sp, evenly place 25 more sc in row ends and open sc. Join. (26)
2-3- ch1, sc in each sc.
4- ch2, hdc in sm sp, hdc in each sc. (26)
5- ch2, hdc in sm sp, hdc in 3, 2hdc in next, (hdc in 4, 2hdc in next) 4 times, hdc in last st. (31)
6-11- repeat row 4. Cut weave ends.
1- join with sl st to first open sc from row 15, ch1, sc in sm sp, evenly place 25 sc in row ends and open sc. Join. (26)
2-11- repeat as for right sleeve.
1- with yellow, ch30, sc in 2nd ch from hook and next 13ch, 3sc in next ch, sc in rem 14ch. (31)
2- ch1, turn, 2sc(increase) in 1st sc, sc in 29, inc in last sc. (33)
3- ch1, turn, sc in 16, 3sc in next, sc in 16. Cut leaving a long sewing piece.
Sew to shirt front.
GLOVES: make 2
with green
1- ch5, sc in 2nd ch from hook and next 3 (4)
2- ch1, turn, BLO, sc in each.
3-20- repeat row 2. Cut with long end. sew ends together to make a circle.
Working in row ends of one side of cuff with black.
1- join with sl st in row end, sc in sm sp as join, sc 24 more evenly spaced around. (25) join.
2- ch1, (sc in 4, 2sc in next) around. (30). join.
3- ch1, (sc in 5, 2sc in next) around. (35) join.
4-5- ch1, sc in each, join.
6- ch1, (sc in 5, dec) around. (30) join.
7- ch1, sc in each, join. CUt. weave ends.
That's it. Good luck. And Happy Pokemon hunting with your new Trainer!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Did Somebody Say Cake???

Sorry, not real cake (i wish)...yarn cake...:)

Remember my lovely birthday present from my hubby and kids? Granted, my link isn't the exact one..apparently Knitpicks has changed it to a less expensive, yet, more versatile model. Well, all that aside, I really haven't used the darn thing much. I thought...OOOO...a ball winder, that'll be EASY! Right?

Not really.

There is actually a knack you either must be born with or you just have to practice alot. I was the latter of the two. This last weekend, as I was demonstrating the ball winder to a fellow knitter (with much trepidation about how my cakes would turn out) I FOUND my perfect technique! Hallelujah!

Everybody do the happy dance. :)

1st up we have the first ball of 6. This is how many of my early cakes turned out. THIS I could have achieved by hand* ball winder needed for this beauty. *Remind me to tell you a story about balls wound by hand when I'm done with the cakes....

2nd is another of the typical cakes. Very loose and airy. Huge...feels like it'll fall apart if you jostle it too much. I used a pen to give you a visual reference.

3rd, my cakes are getting better. This is the exact same yarn brand as the yellow. Notice how much more compact they are getting? It's still messy looking, though. Not neat and uniform.

Last up, we have perfection. 3 beautiful, perfect, little cakes. Same amount of yarn, same brand as the last two pictures, yet, oh so much more pretty to look at. I am actually excited to use them! LOL

I would love to run around showing all of my family my beautiful, little cakes...however, they would not appreciate it. Not like you will. :)

*Ok, true story about hand wrapping yarn. I am sitting at a powerlifting tournament a few weeks ago. I always take my crafting with me. I had either not started my project, or I had just finished a project and was wrapping the left over yarn up (which is the most likely of the two scenarios). Anyway, an older lady a row down and about 5 people over suddenly says "Can I tell you? You're doing that wrong." (I've been wrapping my yarn by hand for almost as long I've had children, and I've never had a problem with it.) I said "Ok." So she proceeded to tell me how to do it so that it can be a center pull ball. It was interesting, even if it seemed impractical and too hard to pull off (ie: How do you keep the yarn taut enough to keep it from unraveling while you wind it?). I thanked her for her advice. I, then, finished wrapping my ball of yarn the way I usually do and put it away. I laughed when my friend was like "that was sorta ballsy", cuz I know that if I had a better way to do things and I saw somebody doing it the hard way...I'd say something. :)

Ok, on to my book reading. I've been reading this book for what feels like forever. I have 2 more books of hers to read ,yet. Thankfully, only one of them is as thick as this. This is, by far, THE longest book I have EVER read. Interesting story, even if it is repetetive at times. They could have edited out about 500 pages and had the same impact. But, she was revolutionary for her time and her writing is as timely now as it was back then. I can hardly wait to read "Atlas Shrugged". :)

So close, yet, so far away.......

Friday, March 06, 2009

Ever had...

...Something happen that has the potential to shake your faith to its foundation...and yet, you know that you are ok, cuz God will never let anything happen to you? In the end, you will be alright?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Favorite Food Blogs...

Thanks to of the six people who 'follow' my blog....I have found two new favorite food websites.

A Year In Bread.


Farmgirl Fare.

One is strictly bread, the other....mmm...inspires me to cook more! Both organically and naturally.

I've included them in my "Favorite Reads" for you to access them when this post is no longer on top.

Weight Loss and WIP's

I've had a rough two weeks with weight loss. I am beginning to come out of the doldrums now.

In my search for "joy in the journey" I came across some really funny, food related pictures. I'm sharing them with you...and maybe you'll find some joy in them too.

"How to weigh yourself and get the most accurate result. I can't believe I have been doing it wrong all these years! We must get the word out!"

"Why does it take two weeks to take off three pounds and only two days to gain 'em back?"

"Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards"

"Haz how many calories?"

"Don't step on makes you cry."
"Welcome to the Weight Loss Forum. To lose one pound, double-click your mouse six million times."
If you want a few more funnies..go here. You won't be sorry. :) But, make sure you come back and finish reading this post!
Here's what I've been working on in the last two weeks to keep me from snacking all night while watching tv. A Mitered Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. This one is actually, right now, just going to be a sample for a new-ish baby yarn in my store. These are just pics of the palette I'm using. I have to make 24 squares.
And then sew them together.
Wish me luck.

And yes, those of you who have looked that closely at my stitches, I DO have a twist in my 'knits'....I blame it on the fact that I knit like I'm crocheting. It all functions the same in the's just not as uniform as you 'good' knitters!
And did you notice the Risk game? Love me some Risk. We've been playing that same game for almost a year now. We put it away for about 6 months. But, now it's back out and we only play it on Thursday nights. I really have no idea how long it's going to take to finish. But, just for the record, I'm currently whompin' everyone!
Oh Yeah!