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.
____________________________________

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.

____________________________________

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....

____________________________________

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...

____________________________________
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...

____________________________________

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.