Thursday, August 31, 2006

Things I've been Meaning to Mention

We have another thing that pees (kefir.) I have a bunch of pics of the whole process but I can't seem to locate them thanks to Picasa. Your loss. Kefir is so exciting.

I am the crafty alter-ego of my can't-sit-still outdoorsman/pilot/gardener/wood worker father. I was diagnosed with ADD when I first dropped out of college. Maybe we're just busy people? Why does it have to be a disorder to not be able to sit still and focus on someone regurgitating a book?

The food we (collective we) eat is really messed up. (I'm reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.) I would like to go veg again but I'm too lazy with all of our other food issues. I think I'm just going to try and buy grass-fed beef to start.

We are starting the Feingold Program soon. All of us. I think I need it too. I ate my beloved Junior Mints yesterday and wanted to bite JCC. The only evil (Feingold evil) ingredient is vanillin. Nasty stuff. And I wonder why my 33 lb child has trouble processing these chemicals when my much larger body can't.

I love Nona Knits. She does techy stuff, such as which decrease is more pleasing to the eye, as well as just lovely knitting and an interesting style of writing. Recently she posted about clearing out her stash and I was able to get the Colinette. Pretty funny in that I'm stalking some on ebay in a different colorway.

I got my fleece. The box was ready to explode it was so full. In fact, it was torn along one side. Grrr. 3.5 lbs of the original 4.5 -- probably not a bad return considering I didn't go through it before sending it off. I won't be using the same processor again. Nothing spins me up like not getting my phone calls returned and I will hopefully find someone more responsible closer. Let me know if you know of anyone in the Midwest or even Northeast. I now have so much fleece I don't know what to do. I'm getting good enough at it that I don't just want to toss it. Hopefully it will felt well and I can make a bunch of holiday gifts out of it.

I made my mother a little wrap out of the Brooks Farm yarn for her birthday. It was supposed to be the Sweet Pea shawl from the SnB Crochet book but I only had half of the required yarn so it's just a little wrap. It was fun to make. If I had learned to crochet first I never would have proceeded to knitting.

53 people are supposed to be coming to our party on Saturday. If it rains I will be hiding in the basement with the kitties. Tomorrow we are hitting Trader Joe's for the beer and crab soup ingredients. If it rains, the beer will be in the basement. :)

My apologies for the lack of cohesion -- wee girl is teething, little boy can't sleep well due to hayfever which all means I am not sleeping. I told JCC that if they didn't sleep well tonight there would be a mama mutiny tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Week in Photos

We've been busy busy (do I say this every post?) Lots of crafting, gardening and running around enjoying the perfect summer weather. We had friends over for dinner last Friday and JCC took some photos:

I've been doing lots o'crafts -- plied my spun brown roving, cut out my apron pieces, finished knitting on the Drop-Stitch Cardigan, knit the bottom half of the Lace Leaf Pullover, swatched for both Sizzle (yarn is too fine) and the Glampyre V-Neck. I'm getting ready to do a crochet wrap out of some of the Chicago yarn and I got 2 big bags of roving to spin as well as a wonderful Jacob fleece.

I called about my fleece (it's been 2 months) and the guy swears it will be here by Friday.

Yesterday we weeded the garden.

Last week we did one of those 30 day cooking things. That was exhausting.

Today we went to the Natural History Museum and played in mud:

Tomorrow over some friends' new house for a garden appraisal. Then we have a pig roast on Saturday, JCC's birthday party the following Saturday (if you live in NE Ohio and want to come let me know) and then off to Toledo the following weekend. Geesh. I need a nap just thinking about it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


was not a lot of fun. :( My poor sweet boy is plagued with allergies and the on-the-road eating (McDonalds) combined with hotel eating threw his poor body into all kinds of itchies and its accompanying poor behavior. We left before we got to do any of the fun stuff we had planned (millennium Park and the Shedd Aquarium.) We did go to the knitting convention though!

I was looking to buy lots of fiber (my fleece is still not here!) but didn't find much to fit the bill. I did get a few ounces of black alpaca (natural), a sampler of different luxury fibers (baby alpaca, merino, baby camel), and some purple merino.

Next up I bought some stuff from Interlacements. The first is a purpley worsted destined for one of the wee children.

Next is 600 yds of violet worsted destined for a coat for wee girl.

A scarf (another Clapotis??) out of this silk/merino.

This silver blob is gorgeous silk/merino from Tess's Yarns destined for a sweater for me.

This light blue baby alpaca/pima is for a tank for me.

And lastly is more silk/merino in a sherbet-ish colorway. Unfortunately, I don't like the color as much in real light as I did in the convention center. Why, oh why, are knitting shops/venues filled with awful light? Bleh. However, I do just love the Brooks Farm yarns so I'm happy to have purchased something from them. Mom, do you like it? It seems more like your colors.

And some pics of my new haircut (even shorter!) and small children.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Still Life with Oil

Courtesy of my One Skein SP. Thank you Melissa! We will definitely use them. Could you post your blog? Melissa from Oklahoma just isn't getting me anywhere via Google. :) Melissa also included some OK postcards and memorabilia of the world's largest McDonalds. How bizarre. This summer of SPs has an OK theme -- my own One Skein SP is in Tulsa too. A strange coincidence.

Next up are the fabrics from which I intend to make my skirts. Still intending on doing that. . .

We'll be in Chicago this weekend! I'll come back with lots of lovely yarn pics. :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Gold Finches & Honey Bees

Ever since reading Hanna's post about the dearth of honey bees in our area I've been on a search to find some. Finally, I found them or rather they found the Crape Myrtle.

It is much more difficult to photograph a honey bee than you would imagined. This is partially due to the close-up combined with an older digital camera, but magnified by the fact that those little buggers move. They are nothing at all like the passive bumble bees that fall asleep as they gather nectar on the Rhodie and Sedum.

Next up are two Golden Finches that have taken to balancing on my Verbena. This is the first year I've seen them in my garden.

And lastly, the backyard in morning light. Unfortunately I can't seem to find children's furniture in a not-so-obvious color. The garden tours will have to wait until after the children are done with Little Tikes.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Good Reads

As part of my efforts to lose the baby weight (as well as the begin-desk-job-weight, and the going-off-anti-depressant-weight) I have been exercising pretty regularly. I aim for 1000 minutes a month and have been averaging around 1100+ minutes a month. The best part is that I've found time to read! I aim for 15 minutes every morning and evening and it's easy as pie (he he) to get it done.

For whatever reason I've mostly been reading non-fiction. So far I've tackled:

Dale Carnegie's Lifetime Plan for Success A good classic read on what motivates people.

Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World's Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers and Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America both by Amy Sutherland. Once I let go of trying to keep everyone straight I really enjoyed both of these.

Rumspringa: To Be or Not to Be Amish by Tom Shachtman is a little dry at times but is a very interesting look at adolescence in America.

The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton. Your basic investment guide wrapped up in bad prose. Blah. Skip it.

I have some fiction waiting for me at the library. I'll report on those soon.

Garden Pics

View from across the street

Joe Pye Weed

Island Bed

To the right of house

My super cool new garden structure thing my Dad made for my birthday gift.

My mother has gone back to Baltimore (and plus 100 degree heat) but not before she got the garden weeded. :) Thanks Mom!

Wee girl update: in a little over a week she has started sitting up on her own, got her first tooth and yesterday started crawling. She obviously missed my memo that stated crawling was at 8 months, not 6. :)

And lastly, what happens if your Dad is a goof: