Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Stress Free.. at the

I forgot to take a picture of the mess... Oh well.. The gifts are finally wrapped and under the tree.

The Christmas Village is up (for the most part) this year. I had decided not to put it up again until I had a permanent base for it to stand on. I get tired of the little street lights falling over...grin A little glue to a permanent base would fix all kinds of little things. But I decided that if I wait for that, I may not ever see it again... sooo.. up it went.

The days are still fairly warm.. just have to wear long sleeved denim jacket... but the nights seem to be awfully Our son and DDIL that live in Michigan would laugh at that.. our nights have not hit freezing yet .. at all... but getting closer.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas Shopping is Done!

I think for the first time my life the Christmas shopping is done without the last minute rush. Amazing!

I ran to the Dollar Store yesterday to pick up some wrapping ribbon...they had none... only the curling ribbon. I wound up buying a rug set for the kitchen... Then went to the Dollar Tree... they had only curling ribbon or wire edged fabric ribbon... walked down to Hobby Lobby... they had wonderful ribbon..only $17.00 a a deal!..not .. I finally drove down to Target and there I found just what I wanted. Whew.. that 10 minute trip turned into about an hour and a half. Didn't have that much trouble buying the gifts!!! lol

I finished the shawl I was knitting from my homespun Corriedale. It turned out wonderful. Feels really nice! I wanted this to be one that will keep you warm, so used the "dishrag shawl" pattern found here...

I've now picked up the red that was part of my second dyeing batch and am working on a scarf... the pattern is Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf... I thought this would be good for the holiday season. And I love this pattern...very easy to work up during the evening tv watching.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Little Early... but...

I put our tree up a week before Thanksgiving.. I know, I know... that's not really proper, but I never get it up until a week before Christmas and that's just not enough time to enjoy went up early this year.

I got a call the day before Thanksgiving from my sister asking if we wanted to meet everyone in Durant for supper... what a good time that was. It seems there is never enough time to spend together any more....

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Water, Water...Everywhere

This is the scene at our house last Sunday....

I went into the kitchen for some reason or other and there was water all over the cabinet...and growing... When I turned on the faucet the water began to spray in all directions...what a

DH took it apart and tried to fix it, but it was one he was totally unfamiliar when Don and Jim arrived...they took a look. Here's the advise... Never buy Kohler fixtures... no one on the planet has parts to fix them....

We called the plumber and gave them the info on the faucet... guess what.. they didn't have parts either.. had to be ordered and were supposed to be here yesterday.. but we are still waiting...

Here has been the plan in the kitchen since last Sunday... Most of the ones my age and older in the family are quite familiar with the process. Anyone spending time with our grandmother would have been through it on a daily basis.. she had no indoor plumbing until the 1960's. Huge family dinners were prepared and the mess was cleaned up with water drawn from a well and heated on the stove.

So the last few days haven't been terribly bad.. just a little more inconvenient than usual.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Schmap.. of Dallas..hmmm

I didn't even know there was such a thing as a Schmap.. did you?

This takes you to the Dallas map.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Flickr that said one of my photos had been fast tracked for inclusion in the 4th edition of the worldwide online travel guide called Schmap... Since I had no idea what that was, I followed the link and found that it really is a cool travel guide with interesting places marked on the map and photos to show what they look like.. cool... so I did what the link said and went ahead and submitted the photo they liked...

Today I got another email... my photo of Reunion Tower that I took while at the LRRP Reunion last year was accepted and is one of the photos used... cool

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


The cooler temps and sunshiny days have made the days wonderful for the last week or so. This evening is Halloween...tomorrow is November. Didn't this year just start a week ago?

We seldom have any Trick or Treats show up at our door. The highway is much too busy even at night for children to be walking up and down the road. So we miss much of the fun of the holiday. But plans are underway for Thanksgiving and Christmas...

With both of us recuperating, there has not been massive amounts of "hobbying" being done. But the evenings do require something in the hands..grin So the coffee 2-ply is slowly becoming a naalbound scarf. It's done in a tube which will be warmer and will have fringe closing the ends. The coffee color does not show up well in the photo due to the warm tones...(will have to change that setting on my camera!) I tried it on my neck and found it a little scratchy... will have to get to my Yahoo spinners group and see if all Corriedale is that way or if it is something I am doing with the dyeing process...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Good Company, Lovely Roses and Wine

Had company from Dallas come in last night. Brought the lovely roses (that smell really good by the way) and Pouilly-Fuisse' wine. I have never had this particular wine, so am anxious to try it.

There's nothing quite like good friends and good conversation.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

And It's Red..& Blue.. & Green

Yesterday was dyeing day for all the Corriedale homespun.

I had the green in a pot that was so deep that the center did not get much of the dye.. parts of it not any at all, but it is spread out enough that I think I will call it variegated instead of re-dyeing it. I love the way the reds and blues came out. I think that perhaps I have enough for an afghan.. perhaps small, but an afghan at any rate.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's the Magic...

I've had several people watch me spindling or spinning (or doing whatever hobby I'm working on at the time) and say "You know.. you really can buy that stuff." And I readily agree.. I could. And it probably would be cheaper in the long run... I guess it's like fishing.. buy the boat, the rods, the reels, the bait.. then catch a couple of fish.. how much would those couple of fish actually cost per pound?

I was discussing this with a friend the other day... her answer... "It's the Magic!" And you can't buy that. So it feels like magic as I work with my homespun and have begun a shawl with my green. I guess I am still new enough with the spinning wheel that I am awed by the fact that this yarn was spun and dyed by It is definitely "Magic".

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

All's Well..

It's been another while since posting... In the interim my DH has had TULP (which is laser prostate) surgery on the 19th. All went well and he is recuperating very nicely. Up and about and off to daily afternoon coffee with friends yesterday..grin

The pic is my first try at coffee dying. I just used the left over coffee in the pot and added enough water to cover the yarn and about 1/4 cup vinegar...heated it just below the boiling point for about 30 minutes or so and then let stand overnight to cool. I'm really tickled with the light tan color and now am looking forward to trying a medium and darker color.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

DH's Surprise!

DH went for some groceries yesterday. He had me sit at the kitchen table as he brought in the "surprise" from the car.

Look what he came back with... Twelve place setting of porcelain china for a real bargain.... He had been wanting to replace our dishes for about 5 years and he finally did! grin

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oh, Look What I Have!

Dear Daughter Paula came to stay a couple of days with us and has been a blessing... keeps me laughing all the time. While she is here she has made me this adorable little bunny to put my hand spindle spun and knitted tiny scarf on... Isn't it adorable.. It's a first for her as she is just learning the joys of sewing. Love you, darlin'....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

No Stent Needed

Well, am back in my usual spot for early morning coffee...happier than expected. No new stent was needed, just a little cleaning out of the one I already have...grin Get to take the pressure bandage off later this morning and will be good as new... yayyy

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Up and Around

We're up and around this morning...early...whew... And that's bad when you can't have a cup of coffee....ummmm Off to the hospital in about 30 minutes for the cardiac cath. Will keep you updated..grin

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fischer's Market

Last Saturday, after spending the morning playing with Jim's new treadle sewing machine, we all decided to go to lunch and to Fischer's....

About a 45 minute drive from here is a very small town called Muenster.. yes, as in the cheese...;) It is a truly German small town and has a German store called Fischer's Market. Well, this is where we went on Saturday. They have everything from German Sausages to Hot German Mustard to home made sauerkraut.

I decided to try some of their home canned things this time and was totally surprised to find Peach Cobbler (with pie dough) canned. Wow.. had no idea you could do such a thing. We haven't tried the Chow Chow yet, but when the Hot Asparagus Bullets say Hot... they mean "Hot!".

We had lunch at a restaurant called Rohmer's, where they serve all kinds of German food. Very good German food. All around good day.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I Failed the Test!

Had to go for a nuclear stress test this week and it seems that there have been changes in my heart since the cardiac cath of last year. Sooo...we are off again on Wednesday for another cath and probably another stent. Booo...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

From Roving to Pouch...

Well, here is the first thing I have completed using my hand spun since I had the spinning lesson. I can't begin to describe how much softer and how much easier this yarn is to work with than the first yarns that I was spinning. Wonderful. Hand dyed yellow yarn.

It is naalbound using my oak needle that I made from a scrap of oak in the shop... The pouch is made using the Oslo stitch with an edging at the top using the blanket stitch. The drawstrings are twisted cording from the same yarn.

I have about 800 yards of handspun and am working toward having enough for an afghan. But.. couldn't resist making something small because the yarn felt so yummy..grin And I wanted to see how it would work up in naalbinding. Love it....

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Harry Potter...Gasp!!!!

Did you know that the Harry Potter series of books...beloved by millions (including my grandchildren) has made it to #1?

#1 on the Challenged Books List according to the American Library Association.

According to the ALA... "A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others."

My opinion: There are many books out that I personally would not read. If someone else wants to.. fine. But that's just me... (Personally, I like Harry Potter and find these books a wonderful read... )

It's kinda like the television...if we don't like what's on, we turn it off... but we don't demand that everyone else turn it off too....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

By Golly...She's Addicted...!!

It seems that this is where I find myself every day... I find myself thinking of my grandmother's treadle sewing machine as my right foot rocks the treadle of the spinning wheel. Very soothing..and exciting too.
The box is filled with Corriedale wool. The orange floral metal box is filled with Morino wool.
Thought I would put this out of focus, grainy pic up (the only one I have) so the kids who live further away can see my new obsession.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Remember That Little Trumpet Vine?....

In the spring of 2006 when DH planted his little trumpet vine, I don't think he really thought it would grow to be as big as we told him it would...grin Well, look at it now.... Click on the picture for a much better view...

Autumn Pears...

The days are cooling down and yesterday was no exception... perfect outside weather for company. Jim and Don, the twins , Don's mom, John and Tomomi were here for the day and what a pleasant day for this mom...
We made a trip to the meadow where the pear tree was weighted almost completely down with pears. After picking all the ones down low, we tried to find a way to get to the ones higher up.. as none of us had been wise enough to bring a ladder. Jordan and Cameron both tried climbing the tree and that worked a little, but still left many, many up there. Jim finally put Jordan on his shoulders where he could reach a hefty part of them. (This was tooo funny... just had to be there!)

Friday, September 28, 2007

First Batch Dyed...

It took me a while to work up the nerve... but here it is....

The picture is "antique" looking because my camera is acting up a bit... These skeins are....from left to right.... orange, lemon-lime, pina pineapple kool-aid dyed. The picture just does not do it justice.. the yellow is so perfect, the green is variegated a bit, and the orange is soft enough to be lovely. I can hardly believe it actually worked..grin ...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Picture Puzzle

Click to Mix and Solve

This is a picture that I took a couple of years ago. Jigzone has a place for you to put photos that will turn them into puzzles. This is one of mine..grin Click on the puzzle to work it..

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Here's the Difference...

The simple changes to the ratios of my wheel made all the difference....

Here is 300+ yards of 2 ply (the 3 skeins hanging on the right) and 200+ yards of 3 ply (the two skeins hanging on the left) after the water bath.
You can tell that the Navajo plied 3 ply was done before the lesson... and the 2 ply was done after the lesson.
The close up shows it a little more clearly. I can hardly wait to have enough to make something really
My 3 1/2 pounds of Corriedale is not showing any signs that any has been used out of's like a big bowl of spaghetti...the more you eat the more there is of it...grin Jim says he will come and help do the first batch of dying.. that should be fun too...
Way too much fun...
The pics are clickable to bring up larger photos...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

First Spinning Lesson

Wow... It's hard to believe something so simple can make such a difference in how easy it is to spin! By changing the ratio, it suddenly became as if I had been doing it all my life. Love that. I had my first experience with a ball winder...gotta get me one of those. As a result, I found that it is quite easy to do a double ply instead of a triple ply and come out with 1/3 more yarn ... wow. Linda, of Yarn Again, was a wonderful teacher. Patient and encouraging, and laughs a lot. This was more like old friends getting together than a lesson. If you are ever in the McKinney, TX area, I would encourage you to stop in and visit.. Not only does she have hand spun yarn, roving, novelty yarn...but also hand woven scarves, shawls. She also gives weaving Ok..won't go there yet...grin

She also teaches how to knit socks...grin Guess what's next so I can use this new, smaller, double-plied yarn?

Yarn Again is located inside Morningstar Antiques on Louisiana St. Great place. Jim and Don went with us... what a wonderful day. DH, Jim and Don spent the hour plus that I was having my lesson wandering the antique shop. The lovely wedding teapot in the pic is my surprise gift from DH that I was unaware of until we got home... Isn't it lovely? We also found a couple of pieces of Hall's for my collection...

We had lunch at The Londoner ... wonderful English pub atmosphere with real fish and chips... then wandered the many, many antique shops around the square. Jim found a lovely, great condition treadle sewing now belongs to him..grin

A wonderful day....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Girl's Retreat

Well, it was a wonderful time away from it all. A friend and I decided it was high time for a bit of time away and a little re-acquainting time with each other. So we did....grin

We did a little research of the local resort areas and checked out pricing and etc. online and finally decided on Cedar Mills Resort. After the latest "100 year flood", the restaurant I was looking so forward to was boarded up with the windows broken and what a mess... I was told that it "just stayed under the water for too long".... but all in all was a terrific time anyway.

We cooked some of the foods that we only get to have occasionally since either the spouse or kids don't like it or for whatever reason we can't cook it. We had beans with ham hocks, relish, onions and cherry tomatoes. Cornbread. Gumbo. Vinegar cobbler. Brownies. Guacamole dip with chips. Sliced cold chicken with cottage cheese and tomatoes. Ahhhh... the food. Believe me... the pic was taken after we had put away almost all of the

We took long walks............. took in all the colors, the birds, the trees...

Over the next couple of days, I will add a few pics about our trip... what a wonderful time...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Did I Tell Ya...

that I've been religiously trying to kill all my plants....???

Well, I have.

One of my two African Violets has gone to that Great Garden in the Sky already. I did pinch the center out that still looked really good and plant it.. we'll see if it will root. The other is perking up since I bought a Gro-Light bulb and put it in a lamp near the flowers. A friend from Alaska told me about how she uses them all the time and her plants are wonderful...which amazes me since Anchorage is dark for about 6 months a year. Anyway, it seems to be working, so think I'll keep it...grin

that this same friend named Loyce will be coming to visit during Christmas this year? I can hardly wait. Just hope she brings loads of photos...grin

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pennys and Pleasures

Have I said anything about our Pennys store closing... moving to another shopping mall? Their last day where they are will be Sept. 22, 2007. They will be opening up in their new store Sept. 27... according to what was posted yesterday.

We have been in and out of there for about 3 days running and yesterday the "shoe horse" in me came out.... love those close out prices... Also found a set of Aramis men's cologne with the after shave, shower get ... etc... for $14.00! Am I in heaven! Have loved that scent since the mid '80s. I'm so tempted to start carrying a cloth hanky so I can sniff it all

On the 2nd or 3rd of Sept. every year we wake to a line of red spider lilies along the drive. It's so easy to forget they are even there since they do all their "leaving" during the spring, die back and are mowed over all summer until that day when... straight out of the grass ... comes this...

It's cloudy here today...I think the forecast calls for partly cloudy and possible rain.. we may actually get the rain... who knows.

I hope everyone has a lovely day today.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Practice, Practice, Practice

Someday I will be able to spin... I just know it...grin In the meantime, I can only say that I am enjoying the practice. I am trying with this yarn to learn to do the drafting while spinning and I must say it is verrryyy slow going at the moment, not to even mention the uneven yarn. But I think perhaps I will get there. I just wish there was a group nearby where I could actually watch some experienced spinners.

It looks like maybe rain today. It must have sprinkled some since the guy that mows our lawn left in the middle..grin Looks like my haircut the last time I had it cut...a few gaps here and there.

I have added some new videos.. some are Abby Franquemont videos...a marvelous spinner. There is also one showing how the Great Wheel of wayyy back there is used. Very interesting video... it's the one with the yellow thread on the pointed spindle... Have a look...

By the way... do you suppose the word wonderful was stuck in my brain for the last

Friday, September 07, 2007

I Found a Roving Source!

DH and I went with a wonderful friend to McKinney on Wednesday. The downtown area is chock full of lovely antique stores that we (of course!) could not resist wandering through. We had lunch in a wonderful English pub called The Londoner that sits right on the square of downtown... what a scrumptious lunch! And of course I forgot to take my camera... ughh

After lunch we decided to ask in one of the antique stores if they knew where a yarn shop was located.. The store owner was a lovely lady and pointed us to a store across the street where we found not only lots of wonderful roving and lovely yarn, but the Aladdin 12 cup teapot with the pristine condition! And what a wonderful place!

The roving in the bowl is the Corriedale that I found in McKinney. How great it is to spin! Then yesterday the 5# of roving arrived that I had ordered from Halcyon Yarns.. looks like I will have plenty to do for a while..grin

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Trumpet Vine and Seed Pods

The trumpet vine that Jerry planted last year has really outdone itself with all the rain we've had this year..

I've never paid close attention to a trumpet vine before and I know they can spread like wildfire, but I didn't know they made seedpods. DH came in a couple of days ago with these. I find them very interesting... they look almost like they were molded with a form and the brown thing (whatever it's called..) at the top looks just like a tiny bell.

These were the only ones he found on the whole vine. I wish I had been there to watch him jump up and down trying to reach them...grin

Monday, September 03, 2007

Yarn Preparation for Spinning

It seems as I continue to work with my spinning wheel that the yarn preparation for me right now takes about 2 times as much time as the actual spinning. I strip the roving, draft it into the bowl and then spin it.

The yarn skein has about 52 yards and the niddy noddy has 48 yards of Navajo triple plied yarn. With the spinning and the plying, each set took about an hour apiece. The prep work on the other hand about twice that long apiece. hmmm.... Do you suppose watching Midsomer Murders during the prep work had anything to do with that?

As I am still very new to this, I find it a bit amazing that the spot dyed roving in the upper pic can turn into this yarn that I am calling Old Fashioned Candy. It really looks like the Old Fashioned Candy sticks that can still be found in the big jars at Cracker Barrel restaurants..grin

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I Missed My Blogiversary!

They say it's blogging etiquette to link back to your first blog post on your blogiversary... Well, I made 3 posts that first time, so I will link back to the page they are on... That was August 13, 2005. I only missed it by 20 days or so...

This little embroidered sheep was done for the "Bags of Fun" denim purse challenge on Sharon Boggins blog in a minute ago. That challenge started my blogging adventures.

In the process of finding that first post... I had to read several early posts..(just had to... grin) Those short little paragraphs are just enough to jog the memory about things that were nearly forgotten. I started off making hard copies each month of the blog... then the big printer broke, so only have a few months actually on paper. I will eventually cough up the money for ink and print the rest of it off. I can't think of a nicer way to keep a "diary" than to share it with friends and family. And since it's shared (out there for all to see), you only blog the good things...then as you look back on a blahs kind of day there are lots of little thoughts that help put a little smile back on your face.

Just a thought---- Only 3 months and 23 days until Christmas! (I know you really wanted to know that...!)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

My Kromski Spinning Wheel Is Here!

It came Thursday... It had included with the wheel an extra bobbin and a Kromski niddy noddy. (Ask me if DH didn't get a lot of mileage out of that name! grin) We spent the afternoon putting it together...a 30 minute job (grin) Anyway, finally got it together and you should see my first 10 yards or so of mess.. ( I won't be posting pics..grin)

Ask me if I love it! DH tells me I have to be able to chew gum and walk to use Finally got it semi figured out yesterday and managed to finish the 4oz. of practice roving that came with it. It's the blue that is on the niddy noddy. The yarn is triple plied using the Navajo technique. I ended up with just over 50 yards not counting the 10 or so yards that I messed up in first try.

The yarn is not so great. Too much twist. I've seen someone on the net trying to get the effect I got with the twist on the single making a spiral after it is plied...grin If I try to do it again, it'll never happen.
We had company yesterday morning, waited around for someone who never showed up and finally gave up and went to the book store. I found several James Patterson novels (Alex Cross .. only!) that I didn't have. I looked for anything spinning, naalbinding or yarn related... not a single book in the whole store! (Half-Price Books) Anyway, finally got to work on my spinning in the evening.. I think I have found a new passion...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hello, Patti....

Hello Pattie!
It was really great to hear from you.. hope all the puppies are growing like weeds and eating you out of house and home! grin

What a great couple of days! Had a surprise visit from daughter and son in law. Went shopping, out to eat and just sat around visiting. Bev is crocheting a lovely afghan for her son and daughter in law. Made me want to drag out my crochet hooks..grin

Well, not feeling too well for the last couple of weeks. To the dr. yesterday and am now taking antibiotics.. Sooo... better soon!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Don't Use Downy!

When I knitted this shawl last winter, I loved it and wore it continually all winter. So .. early this spring I hand washed it in the sink and used a little Downy to make it soft and have a delicious smell... Well, I won't do it again. The back now reaches the floor and the stitches are much larger than they were before.. sagging a bit instead of the close warm feeling ones of before. I did not know that Downy will loosen the fibers...ughhh.
Well, before I found out, I knitted this scarf with the first hand spun I did that was usable Blue Faced Leicester wool.... When I hand washed it after I finished it and then blocked it... well, you can see how widely spaced the stitches become. I won't do that again....