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.

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 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.

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!!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Something for the dackel princess

Maribeth, have you worked on your scarf today? These are more fierce than your dackels, I think.

This is your badger for the day, dear.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall days and nights

Sometime recently in the knitting, cleaning, planting, shopping frenzy that is going on around my house I sprained my hand. I woke on Sunday morning in a great deal of pain and unable to move my hand without a lot of drama. My main worry was that it wouldn't be ok before the next knitting class on Wednesday. I wouldn't have my homework done and OMG I'd be a complete knitting failure. Fortunately it is getting better much sooner than I would have thought. At least I was doing something I like when it happened, because I haven't done anything I don't like in the past week. I worked on my homework a good bit yesterday afternoon so I'll be able to work on learning cables in class on Wednesday.

Finally we are supposed to get some really cool weather tomorrow. That is a sort of yay thing. The past few days have been absolutely beautiful. Temperatures have been in the low 80s with light wind and blue blue skies. It has been just gorgeous for spending time outside...and this afternoon I'll be watching hubby plant some pansies. There is a picture of the shocking amount of planting work below.

This is one of the projects I finished recently that I thought came out pretty well. It is a throw for snuggling up on cold afternoons with a book or movie.

I don't knit sweaters or socks...yet, ok. This yarn is some I'd had for ages and hubby told me I had to use it up before I bought more. Well, you know I was still buying yarn, but I thought this did come out ok. I like the colors. I'm working on a purse for my class that is done on circular needles and the handles are done on double pointed needles. That is some exciting stuff looking at three needles making a tubular handle that will tie at the shoulder. I'm feeling sort of cool to be able to handle them, and so far I haven't made any huge mistakes. I haven't taken a picture of it yet and it is too much of a hassle to take one, upload it to my computer, then to Photobucket then to ain't that great.

There has been a lot of gardening going on around here, and I found some cute yard art at Jo Ann's fabric store the other day to go in the pots. There are scarecrows on the front porch and hanging out in the side yard, but the fresh shot of color and plants in the garden is really nice. Some of the planting I've been doing lately....the flowering cabbage and pansies are still pretty small, but they are cool weather plants.

This is a close up of one of the planters I put together before I strained my hand. There is a yellow mum, some purple stock, rust colored pansies, yellow and lavendar pansies, red dianthus, and flowering cabbage. It doesn't really flower, but the purple color in the leaves is very pretty during the winter. To the other side is pretty much the same but with a purple mum and a marigold along with some ornamental peppers. One good thing about plantings in pots is that if it is going to freeze we can pull them up on the patio and that works out well.

The other evening before dark I was outside admiring the new garden plantings and snapped this one of the little ghost in with some kalanchoes that haven't bloomed since I saved them from the markdown shelf. They are on borrowed time...possibly

I love the gold mums we picked up during a trip to Home Depot the other day. There is another out in the rock garden next to a garden bench.

This picture is the same shot pretty much except there is a caladium that moved in during the night. On the table you can see all the plants we are going to be planting today. That is pretty scary in itself.

It is starting to look a lot like Fall and Halloween around here these days. And husband started talking about getting a greenhouse. That has been a dream for years.

Friday, October 17, 2008

LOL cat

This cracked me up just now....looks like me when I was a girl.


more animals

Thursday, October 16, 2008

class notes

The curtains/drapes have become a non issue lately what with the knitting class and all. My class was tonight and it went better. Our teacher was prepared and not only prepared she had other things to knit tonight that I wasn't able to get to do since I was stuck on the handles of the project I'm making. That part requires double point needles...four of them and I've never worked with them at all...ever. It worked out better than I thought it would. Actually I sort of like them. Circular needles...still out on them. I want to make a nice throw for my mil for this winter when she is watching tv and really need to make it on the circulars so I can cast on enough to do it in one piece. We'll see.

This summer yarn was cheap as chips and man did I pick up some good deals...I think. Well, beginner yarn is ok with me. I found a pattern for a shawl I would like to make for myself, but everyone in my class told me it is very hard to work with. If all else fails...garter stitch is ok and it doesn't have to be read...that is why they said it wasn't much fun to use. You can't see where you are in the pattern.

This shawl/scarf totally drew me in today. It is 15" wide and 10 feet long! That would be wonderful to curl up in on the sofa or loop all over'd have to with it being that long! Anyway, it really caught my attention today. It is called jimmy's touch me scarf pattern. Here is the link.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Spam winner from The State Fair and other delicacies

The Spam interest continues. The State Fair of Texas is just wrapping up and today they had the Spam Contest winners. Here is a link to the story where you can download the winning recipe called 'Thai Orange Peanut Dippers". There will be a national cook off in Waikiki, Hawaii next April. That will give Quilly plenty of time to work up a really good recipe so she can compete.

Here is a link to the rules and surprisingly the winners from 2007 are not eligible to compete this year. THE GREAT AMERICAN SPAM CHAMPIONSHIP RULES
Our State Fair is known for the fried food of the year...couldn't think of the French for that right now..or ever probably. Anyway in the past they have deep fried Snicker bars, deep fried cheesecake, and something about deep fried Coke...some others have been:

Deep Fried Latte
Fried Cookie Dough
Fried Guacamole Bites
Country Pride Peach Cobbler on a Stick
Fernie's Fried Chili Frito Burrito
B.W.'s Original Fried Banana Pudding
Mama's Fried Sweet Potato Pie
this list is from

Anyway this year the big deal fried delicacy is Chicken Fried Bacon. No kidding

It is a Texas thing and when Big Tex is brought out and dressed up in new clothes you know the deep fried craziness is about to start. Big Tex gets new clothes every three years. Here is his story. You can even hear him welcome you to the state fair on that site.

Monday, October 13, 2008

knitting class hell and other weirdness

Oh aggg...we have been so busy lately I haven't had time to post. My knitting class started last Wednesday and it is underwhelming. She just had a bunch of books and told us to find something we would like to knit. I'm working on a purse because it is on circular needles and that is what I went there to learn. In fact I'm working on it again, because last night I had finished the UT scarf for my daughter and had put it away. I picked up the circular needles and Lord knows what I did or how I turned it, but in just a bit I saw I'd purled two and a half knit rows. I unknitted that, but then saw there was a dropped stitch from the unkitting and after I picked it up, there were three extra stitches on the needles. Melli, I thought of you and your extra stitches when that happened.

Anyway, there were errands to run today and I mulled it over in my mind as to whether to take this pathetic pos to someone and pay them to help me get it sorted out or wait until I got back to the second class and get help from my teacher. Just finished ripping it out and re knitting 16 out of 34 rows. Got to tell you I am much more careful when approaching the circular needles now for sure. Last Saturday I went to Half Price books and bought some knitting instruction books. By golly, I'm going to knit me a shawl and on the needles I choose and my teacher can help me with it. I have no idea why the instructions were so specific before the class met to bring circular needles size 8 and 24" long (which can be ordered from a YARN shoppe for you but are not readliy available at like say Hobby Lobby or Jo Ann's) and 4 oz. of worsted yarn, which doesn't come in that weight usually. And then there wasn't a pattern provided by our instructor that went with that equipment. The class was a mess. There are five students. One just finished the beginner class and spent the first one of this class rolling her yarn into a huge ball, one hasn't knitted in a long, long time and was mesmerized by how nicely the teacher cast on her stitches for her. One, I think, was delusional about her knitting skills...her mother tells her all the time that she knits award winning afghans, and then there was me. Oh..yes, there was one that seems competent, but she was sitting on the other side of the room so I missed a lot about her. I wonder how many will show up this Wednesday...and if our teacher will show up with some intructions or something other than those books.

Today I bought an array of needles from a size 2 to 15 with cords from very short to 36" long and you can make them straight, too, I think. And you can buy accessories for them, I was told today by a woman who had the set but was looking for accessories for her's. She is making felted clogs, I think they are house shoes from what she was telling me, for her family for Christmas and she usually goes to the really cool knitting shop on Camp Bowie (in the ritzy part of town) instead of the Hobby Lobby over here. She belongs to a knitting group at that shop. Probably the one where I interupted their lunch one day when I stopped to see what they had. I don't know, but I'd really like to belong to a knitting group that has lunch and knits and chats and sort of ignores customers when they come in. They did start talking about what they should do with all their yarn when they pass on. They decided it should be left to someone in their will so it wouldn't go to waste and it would go to someone who would treasure and understand it. If I'm going crazy with this it will be something for me to occupy my time and not bother others or maybe I could join them, and these people seem as eccentric as they come. I think that is where I first saw a knitted sock that looked like it had been done on size 2 needles. It was hung like a trophy, and it probably was.

Thursday or Friday we had a tree removed by a professional for a change. It was time for it to go, and it was a complicated job. There is pool equipment under it and electric lines and lots of things that if something went wrong it would be tragic. Now there is a LOT of light on that side of the patio. I'm thinking the plants that were under it will benefit a lot from the extra sun. I've had to move some plants to shadier areas when they didn't love being in the sun so much. Today we thinned some of the other trees that had gotten out of control. We now have sun for pansies and mums again. It is looking pretty good out there or it will be when I get it all planted.

For some reason I couldn't get to my blog to post anything last night. I couldn't even read my email jokes. And I won't even go into how much money we have lost in the past week. I think one stock is so low we are going to buy some of it tomorrow. I don't really know how much and don't think I could stand it to know exactly. I ran into one of my friends today and her broker told her she had lost the equivalent to one of the big Lexuses and was starting on another in losses. I just don't want to know that. If this crazy political regime ever goes away, and hopefully we get something better and the weird looking guy they gave the $700 billion to doesn't screw it off like the AIG pigs who blew $440 million of their bailout money at a meeting and spa treatments. Your government dollars at work. It must be time for me to go back to knitting again so I don't have to think about this crazy mess for a while.

Possibly that woman in the red jog suit and wild white hair who confided to Senator McCain in all seriousness and with a shaking voice filled with fear that Obama is an Arab, will come over for coffee tomorrow. I think the moon is in the right postion for something like that to happen. Even my sister thought Obama is a Muslim. I'm here to tell you he isn't. Remember the racist pastor at the church he had attended for 22 years, but had never heard his pastor say stuff like that before. He, Obama, doesn't attend that church anymore, but I haven't heard which one he is attending. I just don't even know where to start with Palin, but your durn tootin' I have some opinions about her Hockeymomness.

It has been one of those weeks...or months...I haven't looked up too much lately. And actually I'm feeling a lot better about the knitting class after writing about the political scene. Pretty much everyone may get a knitted article for Christmas, and they better like it since I probably don't have any money left to buy anything except for my grandson who only wants Star Wars equipment...probably. More later after my next class or maybe after reading the news in the morning...who knows.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sea tales from Port A

Ok..ok...I got confused about the dates and all yesterday, which was Wednesday here, Quilly. Wednesday is close to Tuesday and I haven't been able to get back on track since we went to Port A. We went down on Sunday and came home on Thursday and that has had my days messed up ever since. I didn't want to leave, but we had business here that needed tending to.

We uploaded some pictures yesterday, but Photobucket was slow as molasses in January. I finally gave up and got hubby to upload some while I knitted and then he gave it back to me. We both finally gave up. I'll try it again another day.

This is on the deck of our condo while we were down there. I loved this place. We were right on the water and could sit outside and hear the surf, gulls, and peace. There was a kitchen and downstairs there was an area with bbq grills and I gotta tell ya, I still got it when it comes to lighting coals for grilling. We had steak from the Island Grocery the first night we were there with roasted potatoes, and sliced tomatoes. It was a fabulous meal. I really prefer to have a place where I can cook, especially breakfast. I hate getting up and going out in the morning. We did go out for dinner twice, but went to the same place and had fish tacos both times. They were very good. I bought fish and stuff to make them this weekend here.

Hubby was pretty good at the grilling part after I got the fire going. It was one of those bags that says "Light these tabs and come back in 15 minutes to a lovely fire and lit coals". Well, that wasn't the truth at you might have guessed. I cleared out the floorboard of the car for

scrap paper and got some cardboard from the trunk. My husband is odd about the weird things we have in the trunk, but at least the cardboard was helpful and got the fire going well. When the coals were about right...2 beers, then I went up to finish the meal. We had bought some beer bread in West, Tx, a Czech community on the way down.

We both could not believe how blue the water was and it was very clear, too. Usually the Gulf is muddy, because it is shallow around shore. This time it was so beautiful. It was pretty calm while we were there, espcially the first day we were there.

This was our view from our balcony and that is hubby out there surf fishing all alone. I'm pretty sure it doesn't get much better than this. We only had three days, but they were great.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

Fall is beginning and the little scarecrows are starting to sprout in with my plants on the patio, and the front porch and the side yard....but that is another post. For now...Ruby Tuesday to get back into the groove. My knitting class at TCU begins tonight and I'm sort of anxious about it, but I'm sure it will be fine. And when I'm done I'll be a TCU alum...right? hahah

Our Ruby Tuesday host is Mary, the Teach. On Tuesdays you can post any photo you like (it must be one of your own) that contains the color RED. Your photo can contain lots of RED or a little bit of RED

Monday, October 6, 2008

Trying to get back in the groove

Today we, well, I am resting. Since we returned from Port A it has been non stop with one thing or another. On the Thursday we got home in time to sign the oil/gas lease our neighborhood association worked out with the company. That was very nice and we are glad the negotiations are over.

This weekend we worked on getting the front and back yards tidied up. After it got so hot this summer, we pretty much just mowed. A lot of junk had accumulated on the patio and the walks all needed sweeping. After getting things spruced up around here and planting mums and some salvias, and some red plant and some purple plant and some plants I'd bought over the summer. Too hot to plant, though earlier. I put out a bunch of the fall yard things. Most will be out until it is time to put out the Christmas decorations. I'm not particularly fond of Halloween at all, so most yard deco is fall and harvest.

We went to a Cowboy's game party yesterday evening. I drank diet coke but ate the corn/cheese/pepper dip and it was good....very good. So were the cocktail weenies in bbq sauce. I'm easy to please. It was good to see some friends and decompress a bit.

I'll get vacation pics up tonight, maybe....maybe, I can get back in the groove then. I have knitting to sew together...the throw of many colors is nearly finished. Just one more row to sew on and the tassle it. I knitted a scarf this weekend...well, twice...I took it back apart and reknitted it Saturday night. I've seen this fall a scarf knitted in stockinette that wasn't all curled up. Checked google last night, and Crazy Aunt Purl said to block it, but she hadn't knitted in stockinette. It curls like crazy. Today I'm trying to figure out if it is worth it to undo what I have and knit using her pattern or not and just block it. Possibly I'm avoiding the groove altogether.