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Friday, April 30, 2010

Quit Smoking Week 1

DH has quit smoking! He stopped cigarettes last Monday, his last one at 7:30 pm.
Since then, he's on his second 5-pack of cigars.  Yeah, he's still puffing, but he's not inhaling, and says the taste is cutting him off quicker-he doesn't like the cigars at all, they are just a placebo now.

Storms on the horizon this afternoon, DH and I sat outside and enjoyed the fresh air. I knitted like a maniac on my Camo Vest, and got the neck/armhole shaping nearly half-done. I hope to have the shoulder shaping done and BO by Saturday night.
The approaching storms brought the woods and pond alive with the sounds of frogs of every species. This one was sitting on the back door window trim. He is tiny at just 2 inches long.


I'm planning a 2.26 mile walk with the neighbor tomorrow morning, if the weather clears up during the night, and again on Sunday morning.

Igor just plans to sleep in.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Art in the Woods

I stumbled upon a wonderful find while ridding our perimeter of the invasive garlic mustard plants that seem to have exploded into bloom in the last two days. ARGH! it's everywhere!!!

I was walking around, looking for new blooms like Bloodroot, and Wood Anemone,  when I almost stomped the life out of a lovely Trillium cuneatum, and snapped some shots of it. It was pretty windy, so I had to wait patiently for a break in the wind (!) so I could get a still shot.


Igor nearly ran it (and me) over in his mad dash of  freedom, just moments before. I hastily snapped the shot, and a couple more of some neighboring Virginia Bluebells, and quickly vacated before the Beast came back around.

The Creeping Phlox on the rock wall was spectacular again.

and we still have a few tulips that have survived the ravages of hungry deer that had recently passed through, looking for nibblins.
 The ones that got away

DD19's boyfriend changed the oil in her car today, while DH and I watched the proceedings offsides. It was fun watching those two go at it as he attempted to show her the ropes. Needless to say, she was not humoured when he drove the car up onto the ramps, and nearly went completely over them!
When he was done and had things cleaned up, she and I took a ride to the gas station, Igor sat in the back seat,a new experience for the Boy. We wanted to see if her "check engine" light would come back on. It didn't, this time. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. She is planning a trip to Indiana to see family, and is anxious to have her car in tip-top shape before making the trip in 3 weeks

I'm about half-way done with the Right Front of my Camo Vest, and hope to have it done by this weekend. 

Back and Left front view, before blocking

It looks like scattered showers and possible T-storms off and on over the weekend, so I anticipate getting in plenty of knitting, starting now.

Buona Notte~

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Sentinel

Prince Igor LOVES his new jacket. We had it made by SpoiledBratzwear, they make doggy apparel for Mini-Greyhounds, so this was a new experience for her! Holly is a pet wellness consultant, and dog rescuer,  Dog Mom, and also has a website: www.silverhounds.org.

Igor's new jacket
It's been cool enough for Igor to wear his jacket in the mornings, and if the temps stay below 68, he wears it all day. He's even worn it to bed a couple times. Auntie Holly made him a matching stuffed toy we call his "Funny Bone".

Igor was on high alert again tonight. And it wasn't long before we found out why. Across the pond, there was a ruckus; one of the resident geese apparently met an unfortunate end, at the jaws of hungry coyotes. The yip-yip chorus announced that dinner time had commenced.

Being the Protector that he is, he came in and ate all his Yums, then proceeded to terrorize Dad for his own amusement, as though saying, "It's ok, I'm here now!".

At which time he went inside and had a Teddy Bear Moment.
My Funny Bone
My Funny Bone

Friday, April 23, 2010

Some Thing Wild, This Way Cometh...

Canid reports are on the rise here.

 This is the timeline:

Friday, April16: low mournful howling, heard around 10:00pm from Nine Indians Trail area. Freaked out the witness' dog so bad, he bolted for the door and retreated inside their house.

DH: Friday, April16, 10:30pm, spotted something dash across driveway, light tan, some white, bigger than a coyote, definitely not fox, some kind of long-legged dog, moved fast and silent. did not trip the security light. Igor growled, but did not pursue.

Me: Thurs April 21, 4:30pm: I was standing in front of our garage soaking up some warmth from the sun. Caught a movement out of corner of my eye running from woods behind neighbors, past trees and down side of the house away from me. My first thought, "They let their dog out", but definitely NOT their dog. Light tan, long neck, small head, long legs. Fast and silent runner.

Newest report in from neighbors: Monday night, April 19, a neighbor over by the marsh saw what he thought was a funny-looking dog. "What the hell kind of dog was that??" were his exact words. He is an avid hunter and never saw the likes before. Said it was silent and quick.

We're thinking it may be a good idea to get an outdoor wildlife cam-corder and see what may be passing just outside our perimeter...

Stoneware Sale at Uga Buga Bowls!

Alex says: "Kitty needs surgery Friday, so go check out Uga Buga Bowls Pottery and enter code: "poorkitty" for 10% off anything in her Artfire Studio!"

I am eyeballing this big blue mug:
Large brilliant dark blue wheel thrown stoneware mug - pottery : ugabugabowls - ArtFire Housewares

I'll be back tomorrow with updates.

Keep your paws off my mug....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Of Cloudless Climes and Starry Skies

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Lord Byron
A dear friend sent me this lovely poem, it really sums up the essence of Woman.

I had a beautiful day today-nevermind that it was my birthday, but I did get lot’s of  birthday wishes today, WOWSER! 3 of my 4 kids called to wish me a Happy Birthday.  Nat called as she was leaving work, and I got to see her 10 minutes later, silly girl~LOL!
I got a surprise this morning, from my oldest daughter, CJ. It arrived just minutes before we headed out the door.

Birthday Iris and Tulips

Yesterday, a package arrived from my California Sis, Susie. She sent me a lovely lavender blanket, big enough for a Queen-size bed, and of course, Igor thought it should be his. I had to beat him and Nats off before they absconded with it, Blanket Thieves. Susie also included a nice set of cutting boards, dishwasher-safe!

We got our showers out of the way, and got on the road, didn’t want to waste a single minute of the day. Our first stop was the Post Office to drop off the mail, then on to Sandy’s Country Pickins in Delavan, to pick out a Yard Gargoyle statue.

We found the perfect little guy for our Zen Garden. A Plurk friend named him and it stuck.

Al Gore-goyle

We spent the rest of the day at the office, business as usual. The weather was mild, but a little chilly for a walk, so Igor and I will wait another day.

Soon it will be time to put out the Hummingbird Feeders and await My Girl’s return. I look forward to their antics in the summer as I look out the office window behind my monitor.

Summer Visitor, 2009

Soon, we’ll have a pile of wood chip mulch to pad the perennial beds with, a fresh carpet to keep the weeds down. I have seen our truck pass by many times already, and expect they have many loads, as the last winters’ storms left many a tree badly damaged and limbs broken, in it’s wake.  Saturday, a neighbor came over and felled a very large dead oak in our back woods. He took most of the wood, and we kept a few pieces for camp fires this summer and fall. There were quite a few limbs and small trees that toppled under the weight of the snow last Dec. but we’ll leave much of it alone to provide shelter for smaller critters until it’s gone back to Mother Earth.

Time to give thanks for another day, and say good night~
Hinááh bee atiingóó éí naashá
On the Trail of Life, I walk in beauty
Nizhóní naashá
In Harmony I exist, I walk in beauty 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Julia's Cabled Headband Done!

I finished Julia's Cabled Headband this morning, and had DD19 model it for a photo shoot before she left for work.
The pattern is from Julia's Cabled Headband by Pauline Chin.

This was a great practice piece for getting ready to make a cable knit cardigan. I'm definitely planning to make more of these, quick and easy~

Our neighbor came over and helped us take down a large dead oak tree that had started to lean at a dangerous angle. We were afraid it would eventually come down as it gets pretty windy here in Spring. The risk and subsequent liability was not worth leaving it up. The neighbor needed wood, and we got some for our fire pit in the deal, as well. I figure I walked a mile, back and forth between hauling out the cuttings, and am definitely deserving of a double-dip ice cream waffle bowl, with sprinkles, thank you~

After we were done with the tree removal, we noticed another neighbor walking his dog, and flagged him down for a stop-over chat. He is still recovering from a terrible snowmobile accident last Jan, and is doing well. It was good to see him out and about, considering the alternative...

CJ called to announce they have moved Teh Babeh Rhonda out of the Parental Bedroom and into her own ROOM! They painted and hung wall borders, got her furniture in place, and just have wall decorating left to do. Pictures will follow.

Miss Rhonda also got a new Froggy Potty this week, YAY!
 "Where teh wheels???"


It's chilling down fast, so I'm heading to the kitchen to rummage up some leftover fajita chicken and do a little knitting. I feel a nap attack coming on, so I better keep busy or I'll be up all night, nothing unusual for me...

Have a beautiful Sunday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Julia's Cabled Headband : Part 2

The Julia's Cabled Headband is coming along nicely.  I'm heading on to the last cable pattern before completing the band and bind-off.


I'm making this for my daily facial scrub as a resolution to my new hair cut with bangs. The width will be perfect for holding my hair out of the way. It's also going to be the perfect gift idea for next Christmas~an ear covering for those brisk Fall days, without the whole-head cap thing...

This headband is incredibly easy to make, the pattern is free and a great way to get comfortable with cable stitch, in preparation for a project like this Cabled Cardigan.


Today was gorgeous,  80, breezy and sunny. I spent a nice evening just before sun-down sitting outside, knitting away on the headband. And playing with Igor. Mostly playing...we played Frisbee and watched people walk up and down or ride past on their bicycles. The Sand Hill Cranes were making a joyous noise over at the pond, and the tree frogs came alive. The fruit bats made their come-back, just in the nick of time-we had our first mosquitoes in the garage tonight. Ugh...

Tomorrow promises more of the same~

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Project Cast On : Julia's Cabled Headband

I started a new project yesterday as a quiet Sunday afternoon revelation came to me. I started this latest fun project as a resolution to a new problem I was experiencing with my new shorter hair style. I needed something to hold back my bangs while doing my morning face scrub, and found this very lovely headband pattern, just the ticket!

Julia's Cabled Headband is available for free.



The cables are very easy, but definitely something to be done during Quiet Time...12 rows of pattern.  I'm easily distracted by text messages from DD19, had to rip back 2 rows on one cross-over, purled when I should have knit, ooops!

I hope to have this one done in a couple days. The Camo Vest is awaiting my return, I'm on row 39 for the Left Front, it's mindless Garter stitch, and can be done in between orders throughout the day.

Back to work! Happy knitting and enjoy the pattern!

Celebrity Knitters and Other Famous People who knit

I saw an episode of "Bones" on TV last night,"Fire in the Ice" and was delighted to see the main character, Temperance "Bones" sporting no less than 4 knit caps in separate instances. Which led me to want to know just how many celebrities knit.  I don't know if she knits, but someone who wrote the episode definitely had a passion. The episode revolved around a hockey player murder, and much of the shoots were outside. What better way to promote your knitting!!

Die-hard knitters include Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, Hillary Swank, Lenny Kravitz, Julianne Moore, Winona Ryder and Daryl Hannah. Meryl Streep knitted her own cape for the movie "Doubt".

Ritchie Starkey, aka Ringo Star. According to a page in The Beatles Authorized Biography by Hunter Davie, states he was sick a lot and in the hospital for a total of 3 years as a kid and he knitted and did paper machete  to pass the time.

Scarlett Johansson knitted a scarf for her role in "Lost in Translation". The pattern was later published in the book 'Mother of Purl: Friends, Fun and Fabulous Designs at Hollywood's Knitting Circle' by Edith Eig.

Ryan Reynolds is married to Scarlett Johansson,and she may have taught him the basics of learning how to handle knitting needles.

Debra Messing was a pupil of Knitting expert to the stars Edith Eig, but is allergic to wool.

Tracey Ulmann: She has co-written a knitting book, 'Knit 2 Together' with Los Angeles yarn-store owner Mel Clark.

Jimmy Hill: Former footballer and commentator Jimmy Hill knows his 'yarn forward' from his 'centre forward'. Back in 1996, he was at a longest knitted scarf fundraising event in aid of St Catherine's Hospice in East Sussex, when he was asked to pose as if knitting the scarf. He commented that he didn't feel a fraud with the needles as he did actually learn to knit as a boy.

Uma Thurman: Better known for wielding a sword in her 'Kill Bill' role, Uma Thurman is nifty with the needles. She was spotted in an L.A.knitting supplies shop with over 30 balls of wool (including cashmerino!), plus some needles and a T-shirt featuring a woman knitting. I want that T-shirt!!!

Sarah Jessica Parker: A source said: 'As soon as shooting stops, Sarah's back to her knitting. She's introduced lots of other people to it - everyone is hooked.' Sarah Jessica was taught to knit by her 'Sex and the City' co-star Kristin Davis.

Kate Moss: thinks her latest obsession is "uncool", so she carries her needles and wool hidden away in a big black Chanel bag.

Catherine Zeta Jones - and Antonio Banderas: Teaching someone else to knit is a great thing to do, and Catherine Zeta Jones was happy to pass on her skills during the filming of 'The Legend of Zorro'. Catherine is a well-known devotee of knitting - it's on record that she knitted loads of ponchos and scarves as Christmas gifts a couple of years ago - and she taught her Zorro co-star Antonio Banderas, to help occupy himself while he recovered from an injury.

 Julia Roberts has discovered that knitting is the perfect pick-up, put-down pastime. 'It's just great to make things. To have a pile of yarn and make it into something.'

I'll be adding more as I find information. In the meantime, go check out the book and here's a Celebrity Doggie Sweater you can knit~

Knit a button-up dog sweater: free pattern


Download the knitting pattern for this button-up dog sweater, first featured in Prima December 2006
  Click here to download
 Happy Knitting!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hair Yesterday, Gone Today

I lost 10 inches of old hair 2 days ago, and have finally overcome my initial shock.

I finally got up the nerve to get rid of years worth of L'Oreale Dark Brown 4G; it simply would not fade away gracefully. My normal medium reddish brown was becoming more apparent as it grew out, so I had to do something.

So on Wednesday, after 20 minutes of combing and measuring, 10 inches of my hair was laying in a heap on the bathroom counter, limp, rejected and sad.

I was at once mortified, and then relieved asI dried it and it looked and FELT more healthy than it had in literally years.

From this:
to this:

The dry ends are all gone, it's laying nicely, so with a heavy heart, but lighter head, I start all over again.

DH took one look and said he wanted to do me, said it would be like doing a new woman, and not cheating. He was smiling as I smacked his ass. I love Mr. Comedian.

DH and I went to a local Harley Davidson dealership last week, and there was I, proudly strutting around with my waist-length hair, feeling all Biker-Chicky and all...

Yesterday we visited another bike dealership in Lake Geneva, and I donned my new Do, and felt like a traitor...do I deserve a bike???
I saw a green two-tone Boulevard (Suzuki) and said, OYEAH, I still have kinda longish hair so why am I slinking around like a shaved rat with my tail tucked...DH said I'd still look foxy on that bike-I LOVE HIM!! ♥♥♥

2005 Suzuki Boulevard

Baby (R)Honda is a Walking Fool at 14 months, Baby can move~ All I could get was a blur and the back of her head as she was leaving, hehehee!


Have a BE-YOU-tiful weekend!!

xoxoSandra

Friday, April 9, 2010

Shine on, Camo Vest

The Wonderful Wallaby pattern arrived today! YAY, I can't wait to go shopping for yarn! I'm thinking of a gray heather, but saw one on Ravelry I really like, done in  Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun Worsted. Will check with Ben Franklin Crafts, Delavan.

I completed the back of my Shine-on Camo Vest.

Camo Vest back, floor blocked
The shoulders gave me a bit of trouble at first, but I'm still learning. After I realized things weren't lining up at the center of the neck opening,  I rippit'd it and started over from where the shaping first began, then, like magic, I got it on the second try.
I've cast on the Left Front, the two fronts will go fast now.

I cut my hair today-took it back 10 inches.  I haven't done this cut in 12 years, but it feels right, again.

Life goes on -  lock and load.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Wonderful Wallaby Pattern

I've found a pattern I've been looking for, The Wonderful Wallaby. Patterns are for toddlers up to adult sizes.

I found the pattern worked up on Ravelry, and instantly fell in love, so went on a hunt and grabbed a copy with very reasonable shipping.
I also picked up a copy of  Wisconsin Winter Socks & Other Goodies Pattern. There's a ton of  sock patterns for toddlers up to Adult sizes.
I'm thinking I'll do the Wallaby in a buff or gray heather, something soft and fuzzy. Which will give me hours of fun pondering yarns. I'll have to check out Ben Franklin Crafts for available fibers and find something I like, then order it online.

I'm almost finished with the Shine-on Vest back, at the half-way mark on the armholes. The camo pattern is working out nice,  and DH really likes it. He wants a vest of his own in this color now.

Camo Vest back
I found a pattern that will be perfect for DH-it resembles the vests he wears daily. I think the camouflage green will work in place of larger solid areas.

Men's sleeveless jacket, "Alaska" by Drops Designs
DH made some new Curvewood Hair Sticks today, from some cherry and ash pieces he had in the workshop. They turned out really nice, so I'll be posting them on the website tonight or tomorrow.
Tomorrow is looking about the same as today, back to the upper 40's. Spring is on hold for now.
Have a good night~

Fettuccine con Asparagus

This is a recipe that is great when asparagus is in season, buy in BULK and blanch/freeze for later~

  • 1 lb fettuccine pasta
  • 2-3 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb asparagus spears, blanched
  • 1-15 ounce can chicken stock
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb cooked ham, cubed (prosciutto for original)
Blanch asparagus as follows: Boil for about 5 minutes or until just bends, then remove from boiling water and immediately immerse in ice water, drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, add olive oil and bring up to heat. Add minced garlic, asparagus and cubed ham to hot oil and heat until garlic is translucent.Remove from heat.
Cook pasta as directed, then add to skillet. Pour chicken stock over all and bring to boil. Add a couple pats of butter and let melt into the mix. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

This is great the second day, as the pasta will absorb all the flavors.

Bon Apetite!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I've walked 17 miles, so far...

Heydee Ho~

What a day! It was beautiful, in the low 80's and just a hint of wind.
I got up early, and went outside to my "Tree fort" deck to survey my domain while enjoying a cup of Earl Gray. It was nearly 60 at 9am, so I resolved to groom Igor as soon as possible.

We started at 9:15 and I went to town on him; I even got him to lay down so I could do his belly, a FIRST for him and I. Other times, I would nearly break my back twisting up under him to get at the shag carpeting down there. *snorts~

We got done at about 10:45, just as DH was hollering for breakfast-and I was happy to be done. Igor was half the dog he use to be by the time I got done with him LOL!

We got showered and got out of the house by 12:30 and ran to town to drop off the mail, then headed back to work. I turned on the answering machine, then gave Igor a bath and then let him outside to air-dry in the sun. He was a maniac, his feet never touched the ground. He was one happy boy!

I had a lady make him a fleece jacket for those cooler morning walks to come. We didn't need it today, but he looked quite the Dude in it. I have to do a minor alteration to it-the velcro belly strap is too long, my fault for giving Holly the wrong measurements, but a boo-boo I can easily and quickly remedy. I'll just remove the velcro from one strap, and sew it to the side of the jacket, where the other strap can just wrap up from underneath. Perfecto! Pictures to follow~

The neighbor called me at 4:30 to see if I was up for another walk, and I decided to go for it. No pain, no gain!

When I got back, I had to put a couple screens in some windows upstairs, it got bloody hot today~whew!
I logged my mileage at MyStart! Tracker, and I'm up to 17 miles since March 8th! WHOOHOO!

And now I'm starving, so I'll go see what I can rummage up and then grab my knitting and enjoy the rest of the evening.


Igor is pooped.


Hope your day was as nice!