Monday, October 31, 2005

Blankets Done

The blankets are finished! The blue one was finished last night and now both are ready for the box and wrapping.
We spent the morning in the shop and watched the first real rain we have had in months. What a delight! The birds played and sang all morning and during a lull in the raining the doves splashed and bathed in the birdbath. It is the first time the doves have used the birdbath.
I did some changing around in my workroom today and (perhaps!) will get it finished tomorrow so I can finish some of the projects I have started. Had to stop all work and go to Lowe's with Hubby. Sooo... my monthly Tie One On apron will be at least one day late! ... ughh

Saturday, October 29, 2005

End of the Month Angst

Well, here it is the end of the month. My Tie-One-On apron is still just a figment of my imagination and since I just last Tuesday received my Mysteries of Udolpho (I had to order it from our book store) for the Crochet the Classics read...guess I won't get that finished (it's a 750 page book!)... but will continue to read it and find something in it to crochet.

Another Blanket Started

Another blanket started for "coming soon" great-grandson.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Sparrow and Doves

Working in the shop has been a godsend as far as pics of the birds is concerned. They don't seem to mind my being close as long as I am on the deck of the workshop. The little sparrow just looked and then went right on with his lunch. ;) The bottom picture is one pair of the the half dozen or so pairs of doves that we have every day.

Wake Up Call

Have you ever wondered if utility companies have phones? Or how about fingers to use doorbells? I wonder all the time... especially when I look out at 8am and see this happening in our front yard. The guy says... "Oh.. I didn't know if you were home!" .. bearing in mind the time... the doors have not opened all day... the garage door is shut.. there has been no ring of the doorbell. Now in all fairness, when we went to find out what was happening, the guys were nice and polite. It's the principal of the thing, I guess.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Emeril Stainless Cookware

My free piece of Emeril cookware finally arrived two days ago. We bought the set back in June and it said to allow 2 months for delivery of the free it's only 2 months late..grin It's a saute' pan and I can't wait to use it..

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


In my wandering across cyberspace this morning, I came across the Etsy site. It's very much like Ebay and is a place you can list all kinds of things. I didn't have time to look into it very deeply, but I did bookmark it since it has several listings for vintage patterns and pattern books of all kinds. This pattern book is listed for $1.25 with shipping listed at $2.50.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Joy of Handspinning

Tulasi Kilgore has a remarkable site called The Joy of Handspinning that shows everything from how to raise your own Angora rabbits and harvest their wool to how to make your own drop spindle to make your own thread! Can you believe she started raising her rabbits in a city in New Jersey! It's one of the most interesting sites I've found. Give it a look!

Reverse Single Stitch (Crab Stitch)

Edging baby blankets is a labor of love. I made baby blankets for my children, grandchildren and now for our great-granchildren. The main problem was how to finish off that last row. Last year I found the
Reverse Single Stitch ... aka Crab Stitch... in an online tutorial. It makes a wonderful cording on the outside of edging... or anything else you would want to put it on.
The blanket is finished.. ;)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Self-Portrait Saturday

What a hoot! I've never tried a self-portrait... in fact I usually just don't do faces. What can I say, guess I just had to give it a try. The only part that really looks like me is the hair... and maybe the glasses. But it was a fun doodle. It's done in #2 pencil and hard pastel pencils.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Busy 2 Days

It's been two days since I've blogged. Time has gotten away from me! ;)
We still have Brigit. Can you tell she hates it...grin...grin I'm sure she will be delighted to be home again where she can run and play outside, but we certainly enjoy her company.
I have almost finished the blanket for Deidre's new baby (that will be here sooner than we think..) Another boy! The stitch is the cross-stitch and the thread is Bernat.. so soft and lacy. It should be finished tomorrow.
Another workbench is almost finished. The 10' one finished yesterday, but still needs some tweaking. The 8' one needs the countertop... that will have to wait until we have a pickup handy to go get one... The 8' counter base we finished today and now have to finish the shelves underneath.
The newsletter is being woefully neglected...ughh. Going to make finishing up with it a hurry up deal. But we're waiting for more info.. all that we have is in the format... but I worry about finishing on time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Newsletter Continues

We have spent the last 2 days continuing with the newsletter. Looks like this one will take as long as the last one to complete.
My ivy on the kitchen island is having a hard time. I can't quite figure out what is happening with it, but it could be root bound. Tomorrow I will repot it and see if I can get it to rebound.
I now have 3 projects I work on during TV time... they just have to take their chances as to which I want to do each night..grin Deidra's baby will be due in December, so have to get myself busy and finish the blanket I started. That's the one I've chosen for tonight. As soon as I get my camera back together, I'll post a pic.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Another Doodling Day

It's been another doodling day today. This little bird is one that I sketched from the pattern on a piece of wallpaper border that I have laying around..the birdhouse just came out in the doodling. It's done with a #2 pencil sketch and firm pastel pencils. Can you tell that I was doodling on a slant...grin

We've worked on the newsletter most of the day trying to make the Nov. 15 deadline...bearing in mind that it has to be at the printer's 2 weeks early. Our mailing list has grown to over 500 now and it seems each edition gets longer..grin Not that we mind any. Last issue was 24 pages... looks like this one will be at least that long and may have to add another 2 pages before we're done. Hubby has been on the phone today with several of the guys from his unit with breaking news. Can't wait to see how things turn out.

We are "Brigit sitting" this weekend and until Wednesday. Brigit is "our" toy poodle (look in the archives of August at my second post for a pic). What a joy... but the hawk outside keeps reminding us why she now lives with our sons. And she does love to lay in the sun just outside the door.. today just as she settled in I saw the huge shadow pass over her and jumped out the door. The hawk was just passing over her and into the huge oak tree beside the house. Living at that breaking edge between city and country is wonderful...except for this (and the bobcat living along the creek.. and the coyotes on the creek this spring). The possum and coons that come up into the yard don't really bother anything now that we've rearranged the bird feeders, but it would be nice to be able let Brigit roam the yard.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

"Anonymous" Comments

Sorry everyone, but I have turned on the word verification for comments due to the almost instantaneous spamming with almost every post I put up.

Camera on the Blitz Again..

Well, I'm not sure just how it happened, but the new camera card now reads "Card Error" every time I put it in the camera ... so much for pics for a while. We can't decide whether it's the camera or the printer we use to upload the pics. Anyway..
We spent the morning in the shop finishing up the table for the wood lathe. That leaves 2 more cabinet bases and another table to do. While he was working on things without me, I cleaned the shop patio and rearranged the table and chairs so we can take our coffee whenever we go out to work. It's so close to the bird feeders it feels like you're in an aviary to sit there..grin None of the birds seem to mind so I'm really looking forward to it now.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Crochet Ribbon Cigarette Case

I have fallen in love with the Lion Brand "Incredible" crochet ribbon. The ribbon I am using is "Autumn Leaves". For the past several months I have been threatening to buy a new cigarette case...never could find one that I liked and since the one I have is literally falling apart it was beginning to be one of those "take what you can get, not what you want" deals. Last night I was working on my CQ square when it occurred to me... this would be beautiful made into almost anything. So I used a single crochet stitch and in minutes this is what I came up with. I will continue for a couple more rows with decreasing at the beginning of each row to make the foldover into a curve, then use a button for the closure. I haven't decided yet whether I will embellish it or not since the glisten of the ribbon is lovely without anything else on it. The lining will be in a matching color (I think...a contrasting color might be ok.. will have to try several and then decide).

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Autumn has arrived. This morning was so cool and downright nippy that I had to fetch the afghan to sit on the porch with coffee. The number of birds at the feeders grows daily and the winter species are showing up gradually. Today the thistle was hung for the American Finches that are beginning to grow in numbers. The squirrels finished the nest they have been working on for a couple of weeks now and are gathering the acorns that they have thrown onto the roof of the shop for the last month. The pecan tree has been picked clean (which I hate to see come to an end since watching the squirrels do their contortions and antics to pick the very last one on the branch is too fun for words).

The day was spent buying lumber and working on another table (this one for the band saw) and it just goes to show.... pride goeth before the fall! We were so sure we knew exactly how to do it now that we wound up having to take the table top apart, take the legs off and will just have to get back to the redo in the morning... grin

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

CQ Block Update

I found the most wonderful ribbon today and brought home a ball of it. It is actually used for crochet (which I may do after I finish this) but the colors were so pretty I thought I would use it for the roses on my block. It is variegated and the colors look a little muddy in the rose, but it gives me the feeling of an old victorian dress so I decided to go ahead and use it. I tried the bullion stitch today for the first time. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be so I will be using it a lot more in the future.
We took the day off from the shop today...(having an empty cupboard will cause that..grin) Hubby has found a few new muscles that he thought had left him long ago. ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bird's Nest Pastel

We spent the morning in the shop rebuilding the legs for the saw table and it turned out great. Now "The Boss" has plans running around his head for another table... Should be much easier this time.
In the break times yesterday and the day before I found myself scribbling on a pad in my work room and the next thing I knew I was digging out the pastels and then the scribbling took on color.. a little each time we sat down. This is the result.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Crochet Dude

Drew Emborsky is the "Crochet Dude". His blog page with free patterns is here . He has posted a new kind of granny square pattern that he calls the "groovy loop" square. Looks soft and comfy and gives the traditional granny square a little more modern look. He has pics of a gift he is preparing using cranberry colors that is really pretty.. may have to try this pattern.
And.... Yes, Tomomi, we had our tea tonight! ;)
We spent the day working in the shop today.. can you believe 8 hours..grin More cleaning, moving stuff, putting up shelves for the frame trim, building a table for the table saw. Almost done with saw table, but The Boss has decided the legs are wrong so will now have to take them off and do something different tomorrow...grin Loving this!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Crazy Quilt Block 2 & Peppermint

We have spent the day working in the shop again today. Much cleaning and clearing out things to the trash pile beside the road. Cleaning the shelves out of the cellar turned into quite a project since we had to cut them into pieces with a saw and then carry the pieces up the stairs... ughhh. Looks like another work bench is in the planning stages along with a stand for the saw and band saw.
I am soo thrilled with the mint finally growing. I can't really say much since I kept it in a glass by the window until I thought perhaps I had waited too long for it grow at all.
The crazy quilt square is coming along slowly, but surely. I used the wrong backing cloth with a tight weave and as a result it is very difficult to use the ribbon for embroidering.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Titmouse,Chickadee and Woody

We spent yesterday working in the shop clearing and rearranging the big room. New shelves put up and old shelves cleared off. We made large shelves and put them under the new work bench and rearranged some more. Then in the afternoon our son came over and worked on new frames for some artwork. I had a little time to work on my crazy quilt block. It seems with all the other activity, I am having to scrouge time for it.
We have a new camera card and thank goodness the printer that we use to upload the pictures is ok. We finally unplugged it and let it reboot and voilla! all was well.
This morning the birds were up and playful, so I got some shots of the house finches, titmouse, chickadee and woodpecker. Also some of the autumn joy sedum that is blooming and the peppermint that Tomomi gave me a start of early in the spring.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Picture Frames

We've been working in the shop and have finally figured out most of the machinery..grin This frame is one of the practice ones we did a few days ago that I have finished with a blue pickling wash. Hubby loves the color of it, but I think I will have to see something actually in the frame before I make up my mind. The white pickling wash is one of my favorites because you get to see the wood grain and also have the white wash look. It will take a few more tries to get the look right because so far all I get is just the wood grain..with sprinkle of white in the grooves.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My Thoughts Today

This morning I came across a newspaper article written by Canadian journalist David Warren for the Ottawa Citizen on Sept. 11, 2005. It seems this particular article has been widely circulated over the internet. I am posting it on my blog for the simple reason that most of what he says is exactly how I feel. Please bear in mind as you read this that in our family are several interracial marriages, including my son to his wonderful Japanese wife. Racism is not the issue...attitude is the issue. Also, in 1979 after the horrific tornado that smashed the building we were in onto the heads of myself and 3 of my children in Wichita Falls, TX (the 3rd largest tornado on record at that time and one that left a swath of destruction 2 miles wide through Wichita Falls, killing 49 people, and leaving several thousand people homeless), had it not been for the Red Cross, FEMA, Salvation Army and many, many good people and organizations it would have been extremely difficult to get back on my feet at all. Disaster assistance is not the issue... attitude is the issue. And I am soooo personally sick of all the Bush bashing and blame throwing that I can hardly stand it anymore. So here it is....
September 11, 2005 Blame throwing

There's plenty wrong with America, since you asked. (Everybody's asking.) I'm tempted to say, the only difference from Canada, is that they have a few things right. That would be unfair, of course -- I am often pleased to discover things we still get right.

But one of them would not be disaster preparation. If something happened up here, on the scale of Katrina, we wouldn't even have the resources to arrive late. We would be waiting for the Americans to come save us, the same way the government in Louisiana just waved and pointed at Washington, D.C. The theory being, that when you're in real trouble, that's where the adults live.

And that isn't an exaggeration. Almost everything that has worked in the recovery operation along the U.S. Gulf Coast has been military and National Guard. Within a few days, under several commands, finally consolidated under the remarkable Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, it was once again the U.S. military, efficiently cobbling together a recovery operation on a scale beyond the capacity of any other earthly institution.

We hardly have a military up here. We have elected one feckless government after another, who have cut corners until there is nothing substantial left. We don't have the ability even to transport and equip our few soldiers. Should disaster strike at home, on a big scale, we become a Third World country. At which point, our national smugness is of no avail.

From Democrats and the American Left -- the U.S. equivalent to the people who run Canada -- we are still hearing that the disaster in New Orleans showed a heartless, white Republican America had abandoned its underclass.

This is garbage. The great majority of those not evacuated lived in assisted housing, receive food stamps and prescription medicine and government support through many other programmes. Many have, all their lives, expected someone to lift them to safety, sans input from themselves. And the demagogic mayor they elected left, quite literally, hundreds of transit and school buses parked in rows to be lost in the flood, that could have driven them out of town.

Yes, that was insensitive. But it is also the truth; and sooner or later we must acknowledge that welfare dependency creates exactly the sort of haplessness and social degeneration we saw on display, as the floodwaters rose. Many suffered terribly, and many died, and one's heart goes out. But already the survivors are being put up in new accommodations, and their various entitlements have been directed to new locations.

The scale of private charity has also been unprecedented. There are yet no statistics, but I'll wager the most generous state in the union will prove to have been arch-Republican Texas, and that nationally, contributions in cash and kind are coming disproportionately from people who vote Republican. For the world divides into "the mouths" and "the wallets".

The Bush-bashing, both down there and up here, has so far lost touch with reality, as to raise questions about the bashers' state of mind.

Consult any authoritative source on how government works in the United States, and you will learn that the U.S. federal government's legal, constitutional, and institutional responsibility for first response to Katrina, as to any natural disaster, was zero.

Notwithstanding, President Bush took the prescient step of declaring a disaster, in order to begin deploying FEMA and other federal assets, two full days in advance of the stormfall. In the little time since, he has managed to coordinate an immense recovery operation -- the largest in human history -- without invoking martial powers. He has been sufficiently Presidential to respond, not even once, to the extraordinarily mendacious and childish blame-throwing.

One thinks of Kipling's "If --" poem, which I learned to recite as a lad, and mention now in the full knowledge that it drives postmodern leftoids and gliberals to apoplexy -- as anything that is good, beautiful, or true:

If you can keep your head when all about youAre losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise...

Unlike his critics, Bush is a man, in the full sense presented by these verses. A fallible man, like all the rest, but a man.

David Warren

Monday, October 03, 2005

Hubby's Test

We spent this morning at the outpatient surgery where Hubby was having some tests done. Everything is absolutely A-OK so all is well.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Camera Card Broke & Last Years Birds

Last week Hubby and I went to Dallas to finalize the preparations for his Vietnam unit's 2006 reunion since we are hosting it next year. We also publish the quarterly newsletter, so I took along my camera (making very sure the batteries were charged and all was in working order). We met the sales person from the hotel and another of the guys in the unit at the hotel, did the discuss thing, viewed the facility and I made a point of taking pics of the pool, the entry and the guys "working" (thinking this will be great for the newsletter). How disgusted was I when I got home, popped my card into the printer for uploading and it said..."Photos Found: 1 " ... and then... "unable to upload this picture.. would you like to ... abort ... try again.." ??? Very! Anyway, all is not lost. The hotel has pics up on their web site, so will be able to use them for the newsletter.
Sooo... this pic is one of our resident 2 woodpeckers that come to the feeder every day. The graininess (is that a word??) is because I cut it from a photo then made it into a stamp. The other is of the finches on the thistle. These were taken last winter and with fall now here and winter approaching, we are making plans for the upcoming influx of birds that stop here during the migration south. Last year we had flocks of American finches, junkos, and doves that stayed all winter.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A Thimble That Fits

I have searched far and wide for a leather thimble that fits, is comfortable and works.. to no avail. The pattern for this custom fitted one is found on the Threads website here. Have a look.

With Christmas coming up, what a gift! Hint, Hint... Tomomi! (grin)

"Popping Up On My Gay-dar" Re-post from Purls Beyond Price

I found this on Nathania's blog Purls Beyond Price today and, like her, I almost fell out laughing. I had to repost it. It may have taken me years to change from my bigoted, ultra conservative upbringing ( and there's no guarantee that I will ever be able to completely change it about everything), but it's posts like this that make me realize how really bad it was..
Popping Up On My Gay-dar
I found this over at
Norma's blog this morning. I about rolled myself out of bed laughing. This thing turns the whole anti-gay marriage thing on its ear in a very clever way. As for my own view, it's not about who you sleep with. It's human rights. It's about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Why wouldn't I want for my friends to enjoy the same rights that Kevin and I will as a married couple, regardless of their sexual orientation?
1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, liposuction and air conditioning.
2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.
7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.
9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans...
----------Re-post this if you believe in legalizing gay marriage