Monday, July 25, 2005

Yummy Jam!

No pictures today, but there are 24 half pint jars of yummy blueberry jam sitting in our downstairs kitchen! I think I'll make that place my new canning kitchen, because this certainly was fun. The whole family got into the act.

It was good mail day today, too! I got a gorgeous drop spindle and some fiber from cooknknit. We swapped for it. Isn't trading things good?? I sent her a copy of Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook and a couple of skeins of handspun for the spindle and fiber. It's a Bosworth, too, my favorite kind of spindle...not that I'm a good spindler, but I know what I like!

Husband got some yarn he'd ordered from Knitpicks, some of their dye your own. Speaking of dyeing your own, if you want to see lovely pictures today, go take a look at Carolyn's and Elayne's blogs. They spent the weekend together in dyeing heaven!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Feeling Blue

The artist is feeling blue today...

Here are the blue things going on in my life. Here are photos of my latest dish rags. The first is a feather and fan and the second is a basketweave that I decided to do with the leftover yarn. I don't have enough to finish the second cloth, so I'll have to pick up another ball of yarn this afternoon. I'm using Peaches and Cream in Faded Denim.

Other blue things going on today are blueberries! Here is the patch in our back yard:

It has been producing like crazy this summer. We only picked part of the patch this morning and got these:

By tonight, these berries should be jam! Yum!!

When Wal Mart opens this afternoon, I'm going out to buy a canning pot and some Sure Jel. That reminds me of another blue thing! Blue Laws. SC is so far behind the times that we still have Blue Laws enforced here. That means that stores (except grocery) don't open until 1:30 in the afternoon. Even though we have a Super Wal Mart, they don't allow sale of anything that isn't on the grocery store side until 1:30. That stinks! Just across the river in GA, either Blue Laws don't exist, or they are not enforced. I wish SC would come into the 21st century, but I don't see it happening! Oh least I have my nice blueberries and nice blue dish rags!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Change of Plans

Still no good mail today. You knw what that means, right? My package will come next week, and I'll be too busy to use the spindle. *sigh*

Got a call that my brother couldn't come visit today. He is a counselor (currently working in an elementary school) and trying to open a private practice. He got hung up sorting some things out with his first client. (Yay for a first client!) His girlfriend had a plumbing problem and was waiting on the plumber. (Boo for needing a plumber on the weekend.)

The lack of company means that not only did we check out the great sale at Hook 'n Needle (at least 25% off everything in the store), we also stopped by AC Moore and went out to lunch. (Avoid the Zorba the Greek restaurant in the Irmo area--nasty food, so-so service.)

I'll post pictures later this weekend of our haul at H 'n N. I got Knitting Around by EZ which I highly recommend. I also picked up a new Lantern Moon basket. It's a square basket lined in a silky material with a draw string top. I needed some metal straights for my dish cloth fetish and got three pairs of Inox. The seem pretty nice. We have various assorted yarns, too, most of it from the clearance baskets. AC Moore yielded some dish cloth cotton and drawing materials for daughter.

Friday, July 22, 2005

If You Took My Patience, Please Return It....NOW!

I never had much patience, but what little bit I had is now completely gone. The reason? I'm waiting on a package. I swapped a book and some hand spun yarn to a Knitty pal in return for a lovely drop spindle...not just any spindle, but a Bosworth. I know it was mailed on Monday, but apparently my mail carrier is hiding it in the trunk of her car just to torture me! That's got to be it, right??

Seems I'm on a dishrag craze lately. I made a feather and fan cloth in a blue variegated yarn last night. I had to have a blue dishrag to match my new blue kitchen, you know. Pictures coming later this weekend.

We're heading to a Christmas in July yarn sale tomorrow morning. Yep. We really need more yarn. My true purpose, of course, is to stock up on goodies for my Knitty Secret Pal 5.

Not much going on here...trying to avoid heat stroke and preparing for company to come tomorrow. My little brother does count as company, I guess. It seems we're having a lot more company since we have a new house. Maybe they didn't like our old house?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wild Kingdom Right Here in My Back Yard

We live in a nature preserve. There is such an abundance of wild life all around us! I guess one could argue we had wild life around us in our old neighborhood, but it was more of the teenage fast cars loud stereos variety! The wild life here is more relaxing and pleasant!

One evening last week, I watched a little brown rabbit scamper around the blue berry bushes enjoying herself. She was there for at least 45 minutes. I noticed a brown form over to the side of the yard near the woods and thought it was our neighbor dog, Oakley, a Marmaduke looking sort of dog. A closer look told me that the creature in question was our resident deer! She was quietly munching the plants around her until husband and daughter drove in from their pottery class.

We also have a lot of different kinds of birds. There are a couple of blue bird pairs, wrens, blue jays, cardinals, woodpeckers, hawks, and more humming birds than you can count! We have feeders up for the hummers, but when I pulled out the camera today, they all became shy!

This little guy and his buddies live out front. I spotted him this morning scampering around the front walk. Isn't he a cutie? I think he is an Eastern Fence Lizard.

Wild life isn't all the relaxes us around here. Daughter's favorite spot this summer has been tucked away in a comfy chair in the living room enjoying a book from her summer reading list. Here she is with Socks.

Mocha loves the windows in the living room because they give him lots of sun.

I've not been able to get into a knitting groove for a while now. Here is an Irish Hiking Scarf that I'm doing in Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. I think the color is called Mulled Wine.

I've also been on a dish rag kick lately just so that I can have something knitterly in my hands! I love this pattern.

MIL and FIL came on Saturday and we had a lovely time! They liked the house and yard a lot. In fact, FIL loved it so much that he got out and planted a few tomato bushes for me!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The In Laws Are Coming!

That's right. We're having our first "real" company since we moved. MIL and FIL are coming to see us on Saturday. I'm fortunate to have great in laws and not the judgmental kind. Well, if they are judgmental, they hide it will. My dear MIL has never, ever once told me how to raise my child, care for my husband, or keep my house. Yes, the woman is a saint. My one complaint about my in laws is that this is the first time they've visited us in over 8 years. You read that right--8 years. And they live maybe an hour and a half away max! We all get along just fine, so I cannot account for why they never would visit. Frankly, I'm not sure why they finally accepted my invitation to come this weekend! It must be new house curiosity. Hopefully this will be the start of them coming more often rather than us always having to go there.

I planted some half dead little things in the front planter box. We have a planter box right beside the steps, and I figured it would look nice with something green there. We got some mystery plants and some gerbera daisies last month, and they are still somewhat alive in spite of not being cared for. I hope that being out of their confining little pots, in the sun, and getting a drink of water will perk them up a bit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Do any of you Freecycle? I've heard many people rave about it and about all the great things they get via Freecycle, so I decided to sign on to our local list. And I don't mean that in a good way. I've seen nothing but absolute junk being offered. We're talking Glad plug ins (without the re-fills), 2 or 3 CD jewel cases, a TV in good shape except it doesn't work. Take the stuff that works but you don't want it to Goodwill. Put the trash in the trash can. What a waste of bandwidth our local Freecycle group is!! I am just amazed at the people who think that someone out there just might want that old blender that needs washing. Give me a break.

Yesterday was a good mail day, or good UPS day, I should say. We received daughter's textbook order (yes, she has to buy her books and yes, she's a rising 7th grader. All middle schoolers and high schoolers at her school have to buy books.) I also received a big package from work, and it wasn't "work" this time! We've had a lot of big accomplishments at work lately, and those of us who are home based miss out on the office celebrations. Our department rewarded us with goodies from Cheryl & Co. Cookies. Can you say "YUM"? Saturday had brought me an order from Adagio Tea (again, say YUM!), and the cookies sure go well with that tea.

Husband and daughter are taking a wheelwork (as in pottery wheel) class this week and next. Last night was their first class, and I believe they had a great time. Daughter came home covered in clay, so isn't that a sign of a good time? The teacher for this class is different than the one for the class daughter and I recently finished. I think it will be good for daughter to get the exposure of different teachers and different ways to use the wheel. She's such an artistic soul, who knows exactly where her true creative talents lie?

The box collection in the garage is shrinking! I've divided them into sectors: mine, his, and hers. I've even set up a little side sector for "give aways" and convinced daughter that outgrown or unwanted toys should go there so that we can send them to her cousins. Husband's baby brother has two girls and a boy ranging in age from 10-6, and surely they need more toys! :)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

My Name is Donna, and I am a Pack Rat

As we've been going through things during our move, I've discovered a few things about us. We seem to be quite fond of kitchen gadgetry and dishes. We have quite a lot of this stuff. We also like music as evidenced by the number of DVDs in our collection. Ditto books! We are also into crafts including sewing, fibery endeavors, bead work, and a few other odds and ends. The most frightening thing I have learned about myself is that I am a pack rat. That came crashing down on me this afternoon when I discovered a collection of Disney World bags. We're talking the plastic bags that your items are put into when you make a purchase. Our last visit to the Magic Kingdom was in December 2000--4 and a half years ago. Yes, I did just put them in the trash, thank you very much.

Thank you all for your kind words about our friends. Do keep that family in your thoughts and prayers. Another member of our group is spearheading the efforts to look after our friends, organizing the food chains, etc. She is one who loves to take charge of a situation and "rally the troops" so to speak. She knows everybody and everything about everybody! That's not necessarily a bad thing. It also helps that her daughter is best friends with the 12 year old who lost her dad. We need somebody to organize us and help us meet the needs of the family, and I feel confident that nothing is going to be overlooked with Kim in charge.

We watched a couple of movies this weekend--Miss Congeniality 2 and The Pacifier. I found MC 2 to be a dud. In fact, I left the room almost half way into the movie because I was bored. The Pacifier was very good. It was entertaining and sweet.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

This Should Not Be

We found out on Thursday that a friend passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday night. He was the father of one of daughter's classmates and someone we'd known since the girls started kindergarten together seven years ago. He coached their t-ball and soccer teams; he was always there at school helping out with special events; he chaperoned field trips. It won't be the same to go to these things and not see him there.

He was only 43 years old and seemingly in good health. I'm not sure what happened to cause his death. He leaves behind his wife, a 12 year old daughter, and a seven year old daughter. He and his wife had been together for 22 years. We are heart broken for this family. He was a good man and a loving father and husband. Friends are rallying around them now, and I hope that will continue far after the funeral. We have a good network at our school. Everybody knows everybody, and in hard times, it seems we pull together and take care of one another. I'm adult enough to realize that life isn't fair, but it seems so unjust that a 41 year old woman should have to bury her husband and that two little girls will grow up without their father. I'm having a hard time accepting that.

Friday, July 01, 2005

July Already?

How'd that happen? Where did June go? I can't believe that today is the first day of July. The temperature here certainly should be proof enough.

There will be no knitting content to speak of today, but I do have pictures. First, take a look at the grape vine in our back yard.

We hope to have a small harvest of grapes this year. The vine has not been pruned in a few years, but it is still producing some grapes.

Here's a shot of some of the blue berry bushes.

We have a huge patch of bushes, and they are just loaded down. The birds are also enjoying them quite a bit. We found "evidence" of the deer in the backyard (poop) and it would seem she's been enjoying blue berries as well!!

Everything isn't beautiful and good at the new house. Here's what our garage looked like last night.

Scary, huh? Even scarier is the fact that there is now even more crapola in there that we have to go through. I believe we have the majority of our stuff out of the inside of the old house. Now, for the basement. *sigh*

There's something wonderful at our old house. We have a large tea olive on the corner of the house, and earlier in the week I'd noticed a male cardinal sitting in it. Today, husband confirmed my suspicions by spotting the nest and the baby cardinals in the tree. Mom and Dad Bird were busily feeding their young. It was so nice to see this little family.

We have some interesting birds in our new yard, too, and we are looking forward to encouraging them to stay by planting some more bird friendly shrubbery, adding blue bird boxes, and putting in feeders. I'll also get a new bird bath so that they'll have water.

Daughter and I picked up our glazed pottery pieces today from the class we recently completed. I was surprised that the stuff turned out to look not half bad once glazed. Daughter and husband will be starting another pottery wheel work class week after next with a new teacher at the art institute. I think they'll have a great time.

Happy Canada Day to my friends to the north, and a happy Independence Day to those of you here in the US!