Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Wild Bunch

Happy New Year to all!!

I was just thinking of some of the New Year's Traditions we have here in The South...the southern part of the United States. Some are based on tradition and some are just the way we have always done it. My husband's family has a tradition of wearing new clothes on New Year's day. It is for good luck and somehow or other is supposed to keep the birds from crapping on ya. Don't ask me..it is their tradition. On to more normal ones...like my family had when I was growing up.

Eating black eyed peas is a must. It helps keep us humble and is a reminder of the post Civil War days when there was nothing to eat. Dried peas were fed to cattle, but folks learned they could be made into a tasty dish for hungry people, too. I love them, but this year will need to only eat one spoonful. They are high in purines...remember the whole gout thing that is going on still.

Greens such as turnip greens and or cabbage are good for luring cash/wealth in your direction in the coming year. We are having both, because Lord knows I need some. My rental property has been vacant for nearly a year. Oy! Anyway, our local grocery store had cabbage for 4 pounds for $1 the other day and we bought some, but I just saw this morning that another store had it for 19 cents a pound! We may go get more. I love cabbage and I can eat all I want and that is good! I'll need to make some cornbread to go with all this. Also, our turnips are big enough to pull and cook along with the tops, known as turnip greens. The greens part is pretty small and the bugs have eaten their share...there are holes in the leaves, but we wash it good before cooking. Last summer we had tomatoes in that bed and now turnips. Yay..we are farmers. I love it. I've been perusing the Park seed website lately. Ya know we have the greenhouse and I can start plants out there. I planted four cherry pits last night in little pots...we will see what happens. A cherry tree would actually be pretty cool.

We will have the last of the Christmas ham to go with the meal. I guess it is pretty simple here at my house. I don't drink anymore and really can't even have a glass of champange...the gout thing again, so maybe I'll get some sparkling cider or something. I saw something about some kind of sparkling stuff that was all natural and sounded very tasty for kids on the Today show this morning. Right up my alley.

I'm thinking we will watch "Mama Mia" tonight. I got the dvd for Christmas and that will be a fun way to spend the evening. I don't feel like having friends in and they probably don't want to be around with me whining around about my shoulder or wrist or whatever is bothering me....my shoulder has been so bad the past few days I've had to wear my hubby's shirt that buttons up the front so I don't have to try and raise my arm. I have to get into my doc's office next week to discuss the possibility of drug induced gout and/or the drugs to reduce the uric acid...blah blah blah.

I hope you all have a wonderful fun evening and if you go out and drink, call a cab to drive you home! That is something you do not want to have to live with....hurting someone else or yourself. I want you to be around so I can read your blogs and have fun with ya. I don't think they let you have a computer and the internet in prison and all. Take care, my dear friends better days are coming...I just know it. So get out the confetti and streamers and noise makers and have a blast...I'll probably be asleep before midnight...we are such a wild bunch around here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

bumming

It has been a few lazy days of resting from the madness and rushing to get ready for Christmas. It has been so nice to rest and not worry about anything. Quilly has introduced me to Iz and I swear I'm going to be back to the islands soon what with the surf documentarys and Iz singing, my heart is longing for them.



What a beautiful and happy soft voice.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and warmth, food, and happiness.

Monday, December 22, 2008

relapse

well, I'm back just to report my hand is hurting again. We just got back from the Care Now emergency clinic (my doc is out of town this week) and the doc at the clinic is sure I have gout in my hand. It is very painful to type, so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. He said it would be several days for this to resolve itself.

Friday, December 19, 2008

recovery

Yesterday I had surgery on my toe and hopefully it will be in good shape by Christmas day. Good thing I have a good assortment of Crocs to wear over the next week or so. I have an appointment to go back for check up exam on the 29th. My doc had given me some heavy duty antibiotics so I got a head start on that part. We spent the afternoon watching movies and resting up for the holidays. I finally got to see "Wally-E" and then last night we watched "Get Smart". Steve Carrell was as funny as Don Adams was in the original. We used to watch that show every week and both of us laughed like crazy last night.

Quilly, it might have been a rabbit trail, but my mind works like that a lot, especially when I'm sick or hurting. The knitting group needs the large table, because we like to sit together to talk and visit while we are knitting. And having the big one is just the way we like it. It is big enough for our projects and there is a good light over the table so we can see to knit. And there is only one table that is large enough for all of us.

Speaking of knitting, I've finished the ribbon scarf and put some cool plastic beads on the ends and started on a scarf for my hubby. On our anniversary, while we were out, we had to make a little stop at Hobby Lobby to buy the beads for my scarf. I asked hubby to pick a yarn for the scarf I wanted to make him for our anniversary. He did and actually we had a 40% off coupon so it didn't cost that much. I'm making it in a basketweave stitch and I think it is the coolest pattern. I'll try to get some pictures.

Thank you for those of who left condolences in the comments. It has been a terrible couple of years for losing our friends, but I guess it is to be expected when we get a little older. I can't replace those who have died, but I guess making new friends is a good thing, too. I've found I don't have enough friends to lose any of them. No matter how many we have they are all precious.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

more loss

I just don't have anything humorous to say tonight.

I found out by email yesterday that another of my friends died last Sunday. Bless her heart she had suffered for a long time from cancer. The week before another friend had died from lung cancer. Evelyn's illness was much shorter and even though they made an announcement at the City Council meeting last week, by the time I saw the notice in the paper I'd missed the service. It has been a difficult year with so many friends passing, even though their deaths weren't unexpected it has been a loss and life will be different. Barbara's memorial won't be for several weeks. I guess she was thoughtful of us all even to the end and didn't want to interupt the Christmas season. Even though it is our anniversary tomorrow we may go to the high school get together we attend each month. Barbara attended high school with my husband, but I met her when I was attending the community college and we discovered our mutual "friend" one day while talking between classes.


The knitting group party was very nice. There were a few ladies I'd not met before, and it was good to get to know them. The food was good, the company amiable, and the home warm. However, we decided someone is just going to have to get to Panera's early when we meet there so we can have the big table with the good light from now on.

Just like Texas weather....it started to lightly rain about the time I had to leave and then there was freezing rain later. I had no trouble with the roads last night though. However, it was pretty bad in other areas and they are predicting freezing fog for the whole area tonight. I made it to my doc's office today to get him to prescribe some antibiotics for an ingrown toenail and to refer me to a podiatrist. I go Thursday. By then the weather will be warm again.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On hands, and cold fronts, and quieter times

I've been slacking in the blogging department lately. I did something to my wrist and my hand did not like it at all. The other night I woke and couldn't open my hand and it was extremely painful. That was last Thursday or Friday and today is the first day it has been almost back to normal. Not having the use of a hand is a real drag and a half, but so much better than not having a hand at all. Always have to look at the brighter side. Anyway, that is why there has been limited posts of late. Typing was just a shade out of my range for a few days, but copy/paste was sort of not that painful.

Today was the last of the beautiful warm days for a while. There is a cold front blowing in as I type this. I used this warm day to finish our Christmas shopping and to not have to get out in the blowing cold wind and possible freezing rain this week. I wanted to get a few new clothes for me for the get togethers we will be attending. Today I could finally dress myself again after the dismal days of not being able to use my hand.

My knitting group is having a little get together tomorrow night and it will be frosty cold for it. It will be good to see them again. Last Monday we had the neighborhood association meeting so I missed seeing the socks one lady swore she was going to finish and wear to the next meeting. Hopefully she will wear them to our party. If I got a pair made I'd bother people to look at them all the time. I don't think socks are going to be on my list for a while, though. The party protocol is for each member to go into their yarn stash and bring something as a gift. My yarn stash is not as deep as theirs, but I do have the hand dyed yarn I bought at the trunk show this past fall and I think that would make one of them a lovely gift. Speaking of yarn, my youngest daughter was here yesterday and looked at the scarf I made from ribbon yarn. The yarn on the bottom right is the one I used. It is pretty and she did want it; however, I made that scarf for myself. I was going to give it to her, but I made her a couple of really nice scarves for Christmas. I hope she likes them and if she finds the ribbon yarn on sale like I did, I'll make her one like mine. I was going by Hobby Lobby for some beads for the fringe today after leaving the mall, but they are closed on Sundays. Actually, I like that...it is a reminder of a kinder, gentler time when all stores closed on Sundays. And stores really closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas and if you didn't get everything you needed you were out of luck or over at your neighbor's house asking to borrow, because the grocery stores and convience stores were closed up tighter than a drum. Those were the days of lazy Sundays, because hardly anything other than restaurants was open. They were called "blue laws" and have long since gone by the wayside in my fast paced city. Truly it has been about 30 years since department stores have been allowed to open on Sundays. Car dealerships still cannot open on Sundays for some reason. I think it was a good thing to have time set aside for families. Every Sunday we visited family and every Sunday night we watched the Wonderful World of Disney after watching Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. We all loved that show and Marlin Perkins would send Jim into the swamp or jungle after one gnarly creature or another and nearly get him killed each and every week. The link above has some nostalgia, if you remember the program. I think Jim has it now.

The other morning when the pain in my hand woke me at 1:30am and I couldn't get back to sleep I got up to watch tv. "Becoming Jane" was on and even though I'd seen it before I really enjoyed seeing it again that morning. James McAvoy has captured my heart recently and Anne Hathaway is such a beautiful woman. Maggie Smith is wonderful, as usual. Julie Walters has some really great lines in the movie. She was so good in "Billy Elliot", which I have seen again recently, as well. And thank you, Kate, over at Shambles Manor in Scotland for setting me straight as to which part of the UK he came from.

I haven't decided what to bring as my food offering to the party tomorrow night, but think Costco or Sam's will be involved in my decision about bringing something to go with sandwiches. I'm pretty sure a bag of chips, although great with a sammy, is not what these ladies have in mind when bringing a side dish. We need dessert for sure, you know. My sister was pretty sure they have pecan tassies at Sam's. I hope so. Shopping sort of messed up my hand today again. Not bad, but it would have been better if I'd stayed home with my hands in my lap. However, Judy at "Living On the Other Side of the Hill" has some fab recipies in her Southern Kitchen blog. If you ever feel a little down, just pop over to Judy's for some fun and great attitude. She is a great gal, and has some snappy music, too. I stopped by Quilly's to ask about the waves on the North Shore this afternoon, but when I looked it up they were only 4-5 feet. There was a surfing documentary on. I've never surfed or wished to do so, but love the documentaries about the places, the waves and the surfers. Today it was "Riding Giants", but the first one to get me was "Endless Summer". When "Step Into Liquid" came along it was great, too. Just watch this 'tis pretty freakin' awesome.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fireman Sex

FIREMAN SEX

A FIREMAN came home from work one day and
told his wife, 'You know, we have a wonderful system at
the fire station:

BELL 1 rings and we all put on our jackets,
BELL 2 rings and we all slide down the pole,
BELL 3 rings and we're on the fire truck ready to go.

'From now on
when I say BELL 1'
I want you to strip naked.

When I say BELL 2
I want you to
jump in bed.
And when I say
BELL 3
We are going to make love all night.

' The next night he came home from work and yelled
' BELL 1!' The wife promptly took all her clothes off.

When he yelled 'BELL 2!',
the wife jumped into bed.

When he yelled 'BELL 3!',
they began making love.

After a few minutes the
wife yelled 'BELL 4!'

'What the hell is BELL 4?' asked the husband?

'ROLL OUT MORE HOSE,' she replied
'YOU'RE NOWHERE NEAR THE FIRE!!!!!'


We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. Happy Sunday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Take a break from the shopping and baking and wrapping and laugh for a minute..

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals


funny pictures of cats with captions

more animals

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals


funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Open It and Enjoy It!


This gadget is the BEST one I've ever owned. Our daughter gave it to us last Christmas and it is fabulous. I'm giving it to various family members this year. It was just used it to get into the most difficult packaging ever, a weather station from The Weather Channel, and it was a challenge even with the Open It. Click on that link and see it in all its glory. It is such a feeling of domination to get into the crazy packaging the manufacturers love these days. Mwahaha!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside

Oh man it is COLD here today!! We went shopping this morning and when we came out of Sam's it was blowing like crazy and very much cooler. Right now it is very cold and they are saying there might be a possibility of snow flurries. The bad part of all this is I said I'd attend a City Council meeting tonight. *shiver* It wouldn't be so bad, but the wind is very strong, too.

It is 11:30pm and we are back from the council meeting and when we left to go downtown it was sleeting. I just checked the weather and it snowed in Dallas....durnit. It wouldn't stick, because it has been so warm, but really we should have gotten the big fluffy snow and not them. Now I'm off to sleep.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

On being thoughtful of others

Yesterday I attended a meeting at the home of a family with a cold and one of the other board members brought his son who had just recovered from strep throat. Thank you one and all of my neighborhood association board members. Ya coulda said something. I'm still trying to decide whether to go buy some Zicam or not. I did get a flu shot and it has been long enough for it to be effective, so but there is no vaccine against colds or strep.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Here Comes The Sun

Here is a slideshow of the sunrise in Port Aransas...one of the few times I was up before dawn and had a clear view of the sunrise. Gel had posted on about getting pictures of their sunrise yesterday. Gel has a fancy schmancy camera and probably has far better pictures, but my little camera is like the Little Engine that Could. It tries hard and so far I'm learning it pretty well....the photo challenges this summer helped my learning curve.

You will probably need to click on "View Pictures" button, and you will. Here is hoping you enjoy our sunrise. Maybe someday I'll get the hang of the slideshow deal at Photobucket.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Livin' large

Today has been so much fun!

After the Thanksgiving bonaza this past week, and the knitting group meeting at Panaera's I was feeling pretty darn fat even though I'm thinking the cream at Panera's was not good that night. Yesterday was pretty darn rough and I'm pretty sure that was what it was it, unless I picked up a virus while Christmas shopping on Monday. However, this morning just a beautiful morning and I decided to go work out. I'd have to reinstate my membership at our rec center, but that is not a big deal. I looked on the web to find out their hours and which days are best. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday they are open all day and until late. I was halfway there when I realized it was Wednesday and I'd have to go home and wait for them to open at 1pm. By that time hubby was back home and decided to go with me. I paid his fee to reinstate him, too. I'm the big spender today.

We did cardio and didn't overdo....only 30 minutes. I'm sort of sore a little tonight from that, but will soldier on. After leaving the gym we went by the guy who sells produce on the corner to buy some turnips, but he was out of them, but we bought some lovely tomatoes that are gigantic. After a trip to Kroger to pick up a few things it was off to home.

While we were working out one of our fantastic Texas cold fronts came through and has dropped the temps about 40 degrees so far and is supposed to get to 32 tonight. We covered the last of the tomatoes, but if they don't freeze tonight they will tomorrow night. It is supposed to be much colder then. I'll bring them in tomorrow morning and make fried green tomatoes. Oh yes, the wind has been blowing like crazy all week and now it is blowing out of the north as hard as it blew out of the south.

For dinner we roasted some root vegetables and made some hamburger steaks. We had a couple of turnips and an acorn squash to put in the roasted veg. I'd never done that before, but it was really good. Acorn squashes are very hard to cut up. Aie aie aie

We rented Prince Caspian tonight and thought it pretty good. A little different, but still powerful. Tilda Swinson was wonderfully evil and the rest well, it was pretty darn good.

I'm off to sleep now. Tomorrow is the lunch with the girls day again. The knitting group party is the 15th. I need to get Jillian from The Biggest Loser to brow beat me into 8 hours of workout a day to get some lard off, but will probably just do what I can when I can.

That's how we live large around here...spas, gourmet dinners, new movies, prospect of a good sleep and warm covers. It is good.

Monday, December 1, 2008

How much technology do we need?

This guy has it figured out and what he says is so true. We do live in an amazing world.

I saw this over at Don't Try This at Home yesterday and wanted to share it with you guys.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

We are back

We got back last night after a whirlwind trip down to the Gulf to have Thanksgiving with our daughter. Everyone was there and we all had a wonderful time. The guys went out fishing on Thanksgiving Day while we cooked and visited with my daughter's significant other's family. The food was wonderful and of course we all ate too much. Friday was pretty much a down day for most of us...we were tired from all the festivities, but some family came over and some friends came over and we had another good time and good leftovers. And I had a great nap that day. Our trip home was uneventful...just a long drive.

Today we are resting and the only Christmas decorating I'm doing today is to put the "tree" up on my blog. It came from Pat's web graphics and there is a link to her sets on the side bar. I gotta get some rest today, because there are meetings and gatherings and decorating to do the rest of the month. Hubby is being great and helping me get some of the housecleaning duties done.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. See you in a few....eat lots and lots so I won't be the only one to gain weight.

Monday, November 24, 2008

These are the days of our lives

oh my gosh...these are not the serenity days. It is Monday night and I'm ready for the weekend and a nap. Yesterday we went to the party at the camp and it was a lot of fun and lots of cooking and eating, and tonight was knitting group night at Panera's...eating and knitting. Actually, my teacher can't not let me not know something related to knitting. I bring whatever little triffle I'm working on at the moment that is easy and relaxing to do and BAM! "Here you go," She says..."here is that 'easy' cable pattern I was telling you about last week when you were working on the that impossibly difficult one I gave you that last night of class. Come on now..you can do it." So, I drop the dishcloth or scarf I'm working on and go full tilt into it. I have the worst headaches when I leave there, but I love the group. One lady was telling about something she had happen that required her doctor to prescribe some Vicodin for the pain she was in, but she is a teacher and was taking it while working...at 2 hour intervals, because she didn't know how strong it is. She was a happy lass that by the afternoon that day. We were all nearly under the table from laughing so hard at her and her innocence about it all. We are the rowdy knitting table. There aren't any others, but it is only a matter of time. A lady stopped by our table tonight to talk to us for a bit. She hadn't knitted since she was a girl, but we invited her to bring her knitting needles and come back one night. We didn't tell her when we meet, but invited her anyway.

My in laws have backed out of going to Houston for Thanksgiving with the rest of the family. So, after a brief thought of being a martyr and staying home and cooking for them, I decided to make the complete turkey dinner and take it over to them tomorrow. They can heat it up and have tons of leftovers and we can leave early Wednesday morning. My youngest daughter got all indignant with me about the whole thing, but it wasn't me who decided to they should stay home. They did. I'm pretty sure nobody would run a sandwich over to me if I got sick and couldn't go. I was so mad at her last night I couldn't sleep so I spent the time knitting a dishcloth for her. Ha!

And on top of everything else how did Hugh Jackman get to be The Sexiest Man Alive? Who knew. He played in like that movie about radiated superheroes and he had a lot of sideburns and wolflike tendencies, but not Jack Nicholson kind of Wolf. How did this happen?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The hat and pre-Thanksgiving ramblings

The yarn that wanted to be a hat has become a reality and there was yarn left over. I'm not a pretty model but here are some pictures of the hat that became all it could be.





The ball of yarn next to the hat is all that was left, so it was a good thing this pattern was for a small hat, but big enough for me.






Oh Lord, I look about goofy and with a goofy grin over this whole hat thing. Actually I really like the hat and loved working with this yarn.



Also, I'd been making sausage balls all day and getting my dressing ingredients started today for a pre-Thanksgiving get together tomorrow out at Camp Carter...the YMCA camp. My cornbread is made and the onions and celery are chopped and in bags in the fridge. I'll make and bake it tomorrow right before we go out there.



My friend has been having the pre-Thanksgiving parties out there for about 20 years now. I bring cornbread dressing, because it is really good and everyone likes it. My mil taught me her way of making it. and YUM is all I can say about that. I probably won't need my hat tomorrow, because I don't think it is going to be as cold tomorrow as today. May have some rain, though. Oops...just saw the weather forecast and it might be a good idea to take the hat with me. Fog, rain, and a high of 63 degrees will make it sort of not like it usually is...HOT. Maybe we can have a fire in the fireplace. There is a central a/c system and the lodge is totally cozy, so that won't be a problem, but any walking around out there will require some warm togs.


If this wasn't such a cool picture of the hat, this goofy grin picture would be gone. This pattern is such a nice one. The front edge rolls just the right amount and I made this hat back when I first started knitting again and it was just as much fun. Below is a back view of my new little hat.






I love the colors in it, but the flash sort of washes out the reds and golds. So, now you have seen a ball of yarn come to its full potential in my hands. It might have been something totally different in someone else's. I'm very happy with it, and may buy some red yarn to make the mittens that are on the same pattern. The pattern is no longer on the website where I got it so I'd better scan it to my computer. It was free and I do not want to lose it.



Oh yes...YAY for T.C.U. They won 44 to 10 over Air Force. Go Frogs. Tonight Texas Tech, my mil is an alum from there plays Oklahoma for a spot in one of the major bowls. If Tech loses UT will have an opportunity to go, but if Tech wins they will be Number 1 in their conference. There you have the sum total of my football knowledge. I'll stick to my knitting.

PS-I made some beautiful vegetable stock with the onion skins, celery tops, and some carrots. It is a lovely dark brown from the yellow onion skins and carrots. It will make a great start for some soup one day soon. Also, we are going to Houston for the holiday and taking my in laws. Hopefully that will go well. I'm going to take some knitting for myself. And the laptop and a ton of pictures to try to keep her occupied while we are driving....or for when we are down there.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What this yarn wants

I haven't wanted to do much of anything for a few days...there have been night meetings all week and I really didn't want to do anything today. I've been goofing with some yarn all day today trying to decide what it wants to be. It did NOT want to be a scarf at all either large or small. I thought it might want to be a small purse, but decided not. I still have my class project purse in the knitting bag and no interest in finishing it anytime soon, but I did see a hat with tails that looked just like it. I may be able to salvage it into a fairly cool hat...it would have made a pretty lousy purse anyway. It was while looking at some patterns I'd printed when I first started back knitting during the summer that I found what this yarn wants to be. It wants to be a hat. It wants to be a fairly small hat, because I don't have much of the yarn and can't find the wrapper anywhere. I think this yarn wants to be this hat badly enough that there will be enough yarn. And if there isn't enough to finish in this yarn then maybe another yarn can be worked into the very top of the hat. This is the first time in a while that I've been excited about knitting again. It is a wonderful feeling and I finally had to make myself put it down and blog. Now it is time to go to bed. Night all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

for the birds

Some people have noticed that my thoughts ramble from time to time and sometimes we go down rabbit trails to get to the final thoughts. Having heard this about my thought processes, I was accutely aware when I started looking up some topics for my post today. Actually, I was looking at the Botanic Garden website, because they had a recipe for bird treats to hang in trees. It wasn't on their website this year! They just said...well, the children should make their treats and bring them to the garden to hang on the trees and not expect to make them at the gardens. Well, they had the recipe last year and all. Anyway, after reading that shocking fact I went looking for a recipe for bird treats, but got stumped when it came to melting the suet cakes. I know what suet is, but not where to pick up a cake of it for the bird treats. So, I googled wild birds supplies in Fort Worth, and found a website close to me that specializes in supplies for wild birds. At last suet cakes were possibly within my grasp, but while looking around for the desired suet cakes I noticed they had hand tuned windchimes. Who knew they could be tuned. What a surprise. I bought some windchimes at Sam's Club for $20 a long time ago that are long and have a lovely sound when the wind blows hard enough for them to chime. Mine have had some tragic happenings in the past....like hubby knocked them down and broke the beautiful glass top that held the tubes. He fixed it with a piece of plywood. It still sounds beautiful, believe it or not. Anyway, if you would like to check out the sound you would like here is the website http://www.myperfectpatio.com/windchimes.html

My question is how does this work? At my house the wind blows and the tubes touch each other and make a sound. Granted the large ones are much nicer sounding than the little ones we have had in the past. My thinking is that the sounds are random, because the wind is what makes them make their sound. And how would you know whether they were in tune or not? I'm terribly musically challenged and wouldn't know a perfect C from an A, but I do know clanging.

So, I hope you enjoyed this rabbit trail and maybe later I'll get around to figuring out if I really want to lure the birds to my backyard. We have a LOT of grackles in our area and the goofy things are protected by federal law, because we are in their flyway. The grackles are such a nuisance. They crap all over cars downtown and roost outside the Kroger by me where they crap on most everything. The store has put mirrors in the trees and all sorts of things to try to deter them to no avail. The city has spent tons of money trying to get rid of them with tapes of distress calls from other grackles. Didn't work long. So, I'll think this over long and hard about whether or not I want to draw them to my yard. I wonder if it is sort of like the vampire rule where they can't enter your yard unless you invite them. hmm..

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

The knitters' group

I met a lot of the knitter's group tonight at Panera's for food, drink, knitting and chatting like mad. They accepted me right into the group and things went well from then on. It really was fun and after I had struggled with an insanely difficult double cable pattern all day and had fits and started over several times....well, my teacher told me that she had a MUCH easier one she would bring me. I nearly fell off my chair and thought of decking her right there and then, but figured the group wouldn't really want me back after a faux pas like that. Anyway, they invited me to their Christmas party, I think on the 15th. One meeting and I'm in for a gift. How does this happen?

Turns out some of us were at the same high school at the same time. How is it that High School can be so important in our lives. We keep running into each other. Oh well, there were our high school arch enemiew there, too. It truly is a small world.

I'm off to bed after the knitting hell evening, but I got that sucker figured out and I also figured out that some of the ladies in this group don't know how to use DPNs. There is a God.



Melli asked for pix of the greenhouse after we put stuff in it. Here is the far off shot.



Here is the interior shot


And here is the outside shot showing the little automatic window that opens when it gets too warm in there. How cool is this thing! I love it.

Botanic Gardens 2a found

I found 2a...let's see if it works.
Same deal. Bah...click on view all images



This is a sculpture located on the walkway next to the Rose Garden


Inside the garden restaurant where the wind wasn't blowing and I could see the leaves blowing outside we had a really delicious sandwich and soup lunch.


This is a bamboo forest just outside the restauarant. I guess some bamboo got loose a while back. It grows like mad here and you can't kill it. That is one reason it is such a wonderful thing to use for floors, clothes, sheets, etc. It is totally renewable all the time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

slideshow...sorta

I can't find Botanic Gardens 2a, but here is Botanic Gardens 2b. There were a LOT of pictures on that little camera. Same deal as last time...just click on the view all images button, please.

I'll see if I can get a pic of the greenhouse before the NA arrives.



Gettin' set for Thanksgiving countdown

Cowboy Kitty dressed up for Thanksgiving

Today is going to be a busy day with a meeting of the neighborhood association officers here at my house. I'll be tidying up for hours for a thirty minute meeting.

The upload of the pictures from the day trip the other day proceeds at photobucket so hopefully the slideshow will be ready tomorrow. It got nearly to freezing last night so we filled up the greenhouse last night. It didn't freeze, but the plants are staying in there for now. It really looks pretty darn cool, too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Terminally Cute

Yesterday was a fun and relaxing day after my husband's birthday on the 13th. We returned to the Botanic Gardens, actually to the Rose Garden this time. I took pictures until my battery ran down. A big cold front came in about noon yesterday, but it wasn't cold until last night. The wind really picked up and the falling leaves were beautiful. I'll get pictures into a slideshow for you. Only way to deal with that many pics. However, photobucket is very slow this morning, so in the meantime if you want to curl up and/or drop over from the cute look at this puppy cam. They are terminally cute, but I just checked and they were off the air right now. They come on at 9:30am and go until 10ish, I guess. Anyway, if you happen to see them it is worth the wait.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/shiba-inu-puppy-cam

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And Then The Fight Started

My wife sat down on the couch next to me as I was flipping channels. She asked, 'What's on TV?'
I said, 'Dust.'

And then the fight started.
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My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.'
I bought her a scale.

And then the fight started.

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When I got home last night, my wife demanded that I take her someplace expensive so, I took her to a gas station...

And then the fight started....

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After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver's license to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I'd be back later. The woman said, 'Unbutton your shirt'. So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. She said, 'That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me' and she processed my Social Security application. When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office. She said,'you should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability, too.'

And then the fight started...

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My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table. My wife asked,'Do you know her?' 'Yes,' I sighed,'She's my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since.' 'My God!' says my wife, 'who'd believe a person could go on celebrating that long?'

And then the fight started...

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I rear-ended a car this morning. So, there we were alongside the road and slowly the other driver got out of his car. You know how sometimes you just get soooo stressed and little things just seem funny? Well I couldn't believe it... he was a DWARF!!! He stormed over to my car, looked up at me, and shouted, 'I AM NOT HAPPY!'
So,I looked down at him and said, 'Well, then which one are you?'

And then the fight started...

don mes wif me

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slinky Kitteh ..

My cousin sent me the link to this today and it cracked me up.

current addictions

Judy of Living On the Other Side of The Hill has tagged me to carry the torch for this meme to name five of my current addictions, so here goes:

1. Family and computers - My family is my heart and the little shopping trip with my youngest daughter last night was a lot of fun. Also, I love this new adventure of blogging and reading my friends’ blogs and some have become extended "family".

2. Knitting- I’m not that great, yet, but love learning new things to do with yarn and I absolutely adore all the different yarns that are available. I love the colors and the feel of the different types of yarn. I just bought some hand dyed yarn at a trunk show and can hardly wait to decide what to make with it.

3. Cooking- It is something else I love to learn something new about. Martha Stewart’s Cooking School book is on my Christmas list.

4. Gardening-It has been a lifelong love and now with the greenhouse I can carry on in the winter and start propagating plants.

5. Reading-I love thriller stories and read every night before going to sleep. Janet Evanovich, Lisa Scottoline, and Tess Gerritson have been my recent favorites. I picked up a Mary Higgins Clark book on the markdown table and am enjoying it a lot. On the not thriller list is Jan Karon who wrote the Mitford series that has been a real favorite of mine.

I don’t tag others to do memes, but if you would like to do this one let me know and I’d love to see what you love.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veterans Day and Remembering

Today is Veterans Day, November 11th

This graphic came from the Department of Veterans Affairs and is linked to that site. There is a tremendous amount of information there.

November 11th is Veterans Day here in the United States. It is a time to honor all the men and women who have served their country with military service. They go where they are sent and do not complain, but complete their missions sometimes under enormous stresses.

World War I ended on November 11, 1918. On the same date three years later an unknown soldier from that war was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. November 11 eventually became the date when America honors all who have served the United States in war.

On Memorial Day we honor those who did not come back from war on Veterans Day we honor all who have served their country.

The Flower of Rememberance

In Flanders Fields

by John McRae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly.

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.


This was the poem written by World War I Colonel John McCrae, a surgeon with Canada 's First Brigade Artillery. It expressed McCrae's grief over the "row on row" of graves of soldiers who had died on Flanders' battlefields, located in a region of western Belgium and northern France. The poem presented a striking image of the bright red flowers blooming among the rows of white crosses and became a rallying cry to all who fought in the First World War. The first printed version of it reportedly was in December 1915, in the British magazine Punch.

The paper poppies of my childhood were made by disabled veterans providing a steady supply of the flowers for sale and meaningful work for the veterans. The money earned from the sale of the poppies went to help veterans and the families.

All gave some and some gave all.

Thank you for protecting our country so I can sleep well at night.

For all our servicemen and women who are far from home on these holidays. Whatever religion or beliefs they may hold, their dedication to keeping our country safe is a blessing and gift to all of those of us who are able to celebrate the holidays with family and friends.
God bless and keep all of us from harm.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Aging

Yesterday was a pleasant afternoon spent with my in laws. We had them over for lunch and all went very well. My mother in law has dementia or Alzheimer's and sometimes it isn't too much fun when she gets going.

The day was just beautiful and we finally got our 70's degrees day. Because my mil has osteoarthritis in her hip, they haven't been over since last Easter. We go to their house, because it is easier for her to get around and not have to negotiate any steps. They hadn't seen all the work we have been pouring into our yard, greenhouse, and driveway....and all the rest of the things I've shown you guys in the past 8 months or so.

There were so many things to look at that were new to my mil she didn't repeat herself too much. I made my first pulled pork bbq and it was a hit. Thank goodness. I try to cook for them frequently, because my father in law forgets she can chew too well anymore. I make meat that is tender and easy to chew. They both like it and it is a help to him in the cooking area. Sometimes I think he just forgets there are foods in the frozen area at the grocery that are already cooked and easily heated up in the microwave. He is 91 and she is 90, so it isn't going to get any better. We do what we can to help them and it is almost a daily thing.

I broached the subject of going to Houston for Thanksgiving with our daughter and my mil got really excited about that and wants to go. She gets very bored at home doing the same thing every day and since she has arthritis it is an ordeal for her to get out. I'm not sure if we can stand 5 hours in the car going down and another 5 coming home. I'll have to take a lot of things to try to keep her occupied or a lot of tranquilizer drugs for me. Aie aie aie. If she decides it will be too much for her, then I'll cook a small turkey or hen here and we will have Thanksgiving at home.

Aging parents are difficult for many families. There was a special on NBC about the difficulties some of the newscasters have had with their parents, but mostly their parents went into assited living situations. Many of us don't have the funds to do that or the room in our homes to take in aging parents. Melli has taken in her mother in law and has such a wonderful attitude toward it. Hopefully, I can learn from her example. So far my in laws have been able to live independently, but I don't think that they will be able much longer.

While at lunch with "the girls" the other day one lady came whose mother had recently died. Her mother was 107 and she was 87. She is still caring for her things and doesn't know if she will be able to come to lunch often. Margaret, who is 98, confided in me that we need to get her out and that it isn't good for her to not be with others. She is so correct about that whether we are 87 or 27, it is not good to be isolated. Margaret had taken the other lady to a doctor's appointment that morning. She is also an inspiration and I hope I grow up to be like her.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Botanic Garden Trip

Aw heck...just click on the View All Images tab if this thing doesn't load. There were so many pictures a slideshow was the only way to show them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hang on to your hats

There is a lot of change blowing in the wind. President Elect Obama will be bringing some sense back to our government, I hope. He speaks sensibly and his family is nice. I hope he will get to go to Hawaii to attend his grandmother's funeral and not have to just keep on going without that brief pause in his schedule. It feels fresh looking at his family....like all the old stale regimes have been swept out.



On the local front, oh man...there are thunderstorms in the forecast ahead of a cool front. Hopefully the storms will not be bad....I'm thinking about the greenhouse and it will cool off a bit. I was telling hubby I may go buy some foam to throw over the top of the greenhouse. The wind is blowing like crazy, too, today. There are gusts up to 40mp, but it was pretty a while ago when I got really hot. I'm sewing today and get frustrated easily. I was sewing some bias tape on the bottom of a valance and it got off track. Ack!! To get some really good light I went outside and it was so pleasant out there. Didn't make the sewing much more fun, but it helped make it better.

Preparing to sew

Sewing



Sewing more and am nearly at the end of my rope!

Taking a break between cutting and sewing...the orchid makes a good fabric holder


The finished curtains and valance



I'm finished with the valances for the curtains I was sewing today. It just seemed like there needed to be something else and the valances that went with these curtains...well, they didn't work out at all. I didn't like them one bit. I do like this and they are custom. The trim was on sale at Jo Ann's a couple of weeks ago and it worked so well with the colors I bought a lot of it. I still have enough fabric to make a pillow for the loveseat in the room.



This is shot without the flash so it would look all cool and stuff.

Tomorrow I'll post the slideshow from the trip to the Botanic Gardens. I'm going to lunch with the girls tomorrow. I haven't been able to meet up with them in a while and will be glad to see them again. See ya when I get back.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Catching up

Halloween was uneventful around here Friday night. There were only a few neighborhood kids who came by looking so cute. Most of the children have grown up in the past few years. At 9pm the moms from other neighborhoods started dropping off kids from cars to trick or treat. We don't know where they come from, but I turned out our light around 9:30pm. There weren't anymore kids anyway. At least the teenagers didn't come by this year. The past few years I'd open the door to a guy much taller than me and looming over me. I don't take kindly to someone intimidating me, but just gave him some candy. It was a calmer year this time around.


We finished the greenhouse on Saturday....thank goodness.

The slideshow wouldn't work after all. You can click on it and see all the series and I'll post it below again, but I'm going to put some of the regular jpegs in here.

It was very hot that day and it doesn't look like we will need the greenhouse for a while yet. However, I have christened it "The Hail Magnet" and we are supposed to get some storms on Wednesday night. That would be a drag and a half if we did get hail then. On Sunday there was record heat...again...it got up to 87 degrees.
Just click on the slideshow to see all the pictures. I don't know why it won't work, but there you have it. I'm off to the lab and then to vote.





On Sunday with our extra hour's sleep we decided to go to the Kimball Art Museum to see The Impressionists show that had been there since June, but had slipped our minds until then. Apparently it was the same deal with everyone else in the Texas/Oklahoma/Louisiana area. I've never seen so many people trying to get into an art museum. We waited in line for 45 minutes, but it was pleasant under the trees. I was very glad that at the last minute I'd opted for some more comfortable shoes. Some women were in heels...ugh. Viewing the paintings was hampered by the number of people in the museum. Some need a lot of room to be able to see them well and there was a sea of humanity between me and the painting. It was good to see the real thing, though. Some of the Monets were more green than I'd remembered from pictures of the paintings. And some of the paintings I'd seen pictures of were much more vivid in real life.

We stopped at a restaurant/bakery on the way home for a light dinner at Panera's. It was the first time we had tried it and the food was good. Another reason I wanted to try the place is that is where the knitting group meets on Monday evenings. After our last class my teacher invited me and another to visit their group. I told her not this Monday, but the next I'd love to come meet her group.

Today hubby and I went to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. We had a good time walking and looking and our gardens are really nice. I took a ton of pictures but haven't had time to dl them from the camera yet. If you click on the link you can see what our gardens look like. I got tired today and we are going back another day this week to see some more of it. The Japanese Gardens are very lovely.....and it looks like they have built some bridges.

Tomorrow is time to check the triglyceride levels again, so I'm going to do that early then go vote. Hopefully the moms and folks who work will be gone and the line won't be too long. I was hoping they had all voted in early voting. The pictures on tv showed huge long lines up until the end of early voting.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wow...the earth moved last night

Oh man....we had an earthquake last night...well, not right at my house, but out by the race track. About half way between Ft. Worth and Dallas. I didn't feel a thing last night at 11pm and again at midnight when they happened. I was sound asleep.

The really bad part is that although there was not much damage, as far as I know, our insurance policies won't cover earthquakes. We do live on the Balcones Fault that runs from around Austin to up here. Here is the Wikipedia link about the Balcones fault.

Here is the link to the story.
http://cbs11tv.com/weathernewsstories/north.texas.earthquake.2.853085.html

Greenhouse news:
We are going to make a major move on finishing the greenhouse today. It should be a lovely fall day to be outside. It is just when the sun gets right where the greenhouse is going to be that it gets really hot Oh yes...we went down to Harbor Freight last night and got the shelf unit and auto opener for the window that opens to let hot air out. We are very lucky to have the Harbor Freight store close to us. I hadn't realized that before. They price matched the online price and that was good because we saved shipping and handling.


Happy Halloween and have a safe one, too.
and if you need a special Halloween cake get the scoop here
You will not be sorry you visited this website

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Greenhouse Project

Last night was the final knitting class. There were only two of us left and we had some fun catching up on stuff we got side tracked from in the past couple of classes. I started learning cables and Janey worked on the shawl I'm nearly finished with. She had been making little bags while I was working on my purse thing last week. Our teacher invited us to join her knitting group on Monday nights, and that sounds like fun. I think I will give it a try, but not this Monday. Being able to knit on something I want when I want would be fun for a change.

The greenhouse is coming along slowly, but coming along. The base is leveled and I think we are going to start on the framing today. I told him it isn't a good idea to work on it during the heat of the day. Can you believe it!! It is still getting in the upper 80s and will be for the next week. However, the other night there was big excitement when we almost had a frost the other night. We brought all the potted plants up onto the patio to protect them. Well, it only got to something like 37 degrees, but we were ready. Hopefully, with the warm weather we can get the greenhouse up and can put the main part of the potted stuff plants in there. You never know who might be reading and get the wrong idea. Here is a slideshow of the pictures I've taken so far showing the start of the project. I hope this works well....it is the first one I've made.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Information for the men in your life

Sadness and loss has come again. Another friend's husband has passed away from prostate cancer. The funeral is tomorrow afternoon so I won't be around tomorrow at all. Chuck was one of those guys who would take a position that was diametrically opposed to what most people thought was right, but I could never be angry with him about it. He really was a good man with a great sense of humor, and was good in all he did in his life. He will be missed a lot by many people.

Chuck is the second of our friends to die from prostate cancer in the past two years. Please have your guys get at least the PSA test when they go for a physical. I've already had this talk with my husband, because I'm not sure I could bear to lose him.

Chuck was diagnosed in 2007 and was in remission until April of this year. He died this past Sunday morning. Jim went into remission for a year before it returned and when it came back it was very bad. I saw Jim several times before he died just over a year ago, and we visited a couple of weeks before he passed. Both men were over 60, very active, and in good health other than the cancer. This website has a lot of good and authoritative information about the disease. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/prostate/patient

Please say a little prayer for our friend, Chuck, for the repose of his soul and for the ease of his widow's sorrow.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trunk shows, yarn and get aways

Wow....yesterday was the trunk show held for Madeline Tosh held at Jennings Street Yarn shop. I was rubbing elbows with some folks who are really something in the yarn world. Madeline Tosh was just the nicest lady and we chatted for a bit. She probably figured out how little I know about knitting in a heartbeat, but was so kind. She has beautiful hand dyed yarn. Click here to visit her virtual shop. I bought some worsted in lovely colors from her and while I was there...well, there was some great synthetic yarn that would make such a fabulous shawl and it came home with me, too. It is starting to look a little like a yarn shop here. I forget how long it takes for a project. The big giant hank of yarn is the synthetic and the smaller ones are washable merino wool. The colors are so soft and pretty. The smaller ones have 225 yds. in the skein, and hopefully it will be enough for a nice project.



This one is called "warmth" and is lovely soft golden colors.



the reddish one is called "terra" and is terra cotta colored with golden tones




The skein above is called "oxblood" with deep maroon and purple colors. I was very lucky to get this color. She is out on her website. There was only one skein left and I got there early.

the synthetic is multcolored in tans and browns and I just think it is as cool as it can be.

The ladies at the trunk show were the happiest women yesterday showing off their leggings and socks and mitts. I mean they were thrilled to show you what all they had made while they were wearing it even,and especially to show Ms. Tosh what all they had made with her yarn. It was nice to be around such a positive place. Jennings Street Yarn may be the next place for lessons. I really did like the owner of the shop.
My TCU Class Projects

The purse project



This is one of my class projects. It is a little purse with handles that tie to go over the shoulder. The bottom part was done on circular needles and the handles on double point needles. I've got to tell you, I'm feeling pretty good about this little project. It was fairly complicated even if it is a beginner project.

The Shawl Project




I would like to get this shawl finished by next class on Wednesday. It is our last class and she is going to teach us how to bind off using an I cord. I'd like it to be a little larger than the 36" she said to make it. It is cast on 3, k3, sl 1, K1, yo, and k the rest of the row. It is easy, it is just finding time to make it larger.


On the Total Envy Note


My daughters are in a really positive and lovely place at the Hotel La Jolla de Mismaloya (the jewel of the Mismaloya river/creek) in Puerto Vallarta this weekend with their loved ones and are very happy, as well. The location is where they filmed The Night Of The Iguana with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. My daughters went there a couple of years ago when some friends of my youngest had their wedding at this hotel. They said it was so beautiful and wonderful that it was beyond words. It is all inclusive, too. The guys are going zip lining one day while the girls lay around at the pool. I don't know if anyone will go para sailing or not. I'm sure my daughters will not. Life could be harder for them, I guess. Actually this is the first vacation in years for one of the guys and he has never been out of the country. I'm pretty sure he is going to be impressed. Maybe, one of these days hubby and I will be able to get away there. My passport sits in the drawer without a single stamp from another country on its pristine pages. Oh well hubby just got home with the GREENHOUSE!!!!