Saturday, October 31, 2009
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
by Elizabeth Mareno
3-4 Lb Pork Loin or Roast - Lean
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.
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
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)
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
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
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
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
Then my brain said, "Wait, what was that?"
So I took another deep breath.
Brain said, "Hmmm...Spicy undertones...Moist earth...Fog.....That smells like....like....FALL!"
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
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.
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 business...so 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.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
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
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
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.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
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
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. Yeah...my 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......
Then Chewy was kind enough to put it back on for Tony.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
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
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
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
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, Jesus...so 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**...my Mom going to be gone to Florida for two solid weeks in June (while I am happy for her, I'm stressed for me)........it 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 moment...one 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
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 imagination...it 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.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
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 snow...it 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
2-28- ch1, turn, sc in each.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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?
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*...no 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
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
A Year In Bread.
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.
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"