Thursday, December 23, 2010

So you say

I have been sick lately. Actually, this cold is connected to the cold I got back before Halloween. So last week I finally went to the doctor and had a lung x-ray to find out that I only had a chest cold compounded by asthma. I always feel cheesey about going to a doctor for something as simple as a cold.

Yesterday I got a phone call from the doctor's office. "The radiologist found a high density mass in your lung x-ray. It could be a shadow or it could be a tumor." Why do I always get the people with crappy bedside manners? (Like the time my gyn told me I probably had cervical cancer, "the kind that's impossible to treat.")

So I went in right away and had a CT scan with iodine dye (which make you feel like you are peeing your pants) and I was inserted into what appeared to be a large donut.

"Good news," said the doctor. "You have pneumonia."

Nope, no tumor.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


I am a Knitter. A Knitter with a capital K. I am obsessed, neurotic and generally wear blinders when it comes to whether or not I have enough yarn or patterns (that’s just crazy talk anyway). I know some people think knitting is a grandmotherly art – those people obviously are obviously unaware of the not so recent advent of knitting popularity! (Look at Ravelry, a web based community for knitters and crocheters – it gained its 1 millionth member on November 13th. And just last month Ravelry beat Facebook and Twitter for .Net’s Community Site of the Year award.)

This year I had given myself the goal of knitting a pair of socks each month for my mom and aunt. Normally this would not be an amazing feat at all, especially for an unemployed person. But then I got a job where I was required to get up at a specific hour and go to bed at another specific hour. You know, Responsibility. And then I got overwhelmed with all my new duties and stressed about the pressures of these new assignments and I did my usual deer in headlights, knitting style. And my knitting slowed to almost nothing. I became a knitter with a small k.

Fast forward 6 months and I only have two more pair of socks to complete my yearly allotment for my aunt and oh, I think, five pair for my mom. Yes I am a little behind.

But then! In a frenzy that can only be described as plain ol’ totally out of control, Faythe style, on November 30th I decided, on a whim, to order enough yarn to make three large Christmas stockings and three pair of Christmas socks. I even paid for three day shipping! Me! A person who only buys yarn online if I can get free shipping! (This of course gets me into trouble because usually there is a minimum spending requirement.) To get the full impact of my situation, here are some of the projects I have lined up or am currently working on:

-one sample baby vest
-one baby sweater that needs a collar and to be seamed
-my Abracadabra socks
-Elaine’s OSU socks that need to be charted before I can continue past the cuff of sock 1
-Aimee’s slippers
-the Hazel Knits KAL socks
-the scarf for Elaine
-a bear that I have half finished and misplaced
-a Christmas baby sweater that I have swatched
-Mom's crazy clown vomit socks (they count towards her Socks of the Month)
-3 Christmas stockings
-minimum 3 pair of Christmas socks

As write this, I have just been informed by Apollo that a large package from Knitpicks has been delivered to our home. Clearly there will be a lot of knitting in my future. Faythe is “awaiting all your insane text messages” of “incoherent texts due to lack of sleep, frogging from lack of sleep and being in a rush, complaints of knitting injuries from knitting tightly and for too long.” I don’t know where she gets all her assumptions, unless it is from years of observation and such. Pooey I say!

So now you know. You know why I haven’t been blogging. Because I am a Knitter! A Knitter with slightly unrealistic expectations!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Mom has a large potluck at her house every year, one that involves hundreds of people (usually older folk), motorhomes, port-a-potties and the occasional banjo or fiddle, if we're lucky (and when I say lucky, I mean, awwww yeah!!). This year the potluck was considered a success, until about two weeks later when I got a phone call from my very distressed mother.

Mom: The chest freezer must have gotten unplugged when we were unplugging Bill's RV, the water cooler and whatever else!!!

Me: That's not good. (At this moment, I actually remembered unplugging one of the many extension cords, but I stayed silent. Very silent.)

Mom: * angrily and accusingly * Now I have to throw everything away. INCLUDING MY WEASELS!! AND MY ELK HEAD!

Me: Mom, I didn't know you had more than one weasel. Are you talking about weasels, plural, and not the one in the house freezer? Because when I was at your place last, I saw him there propped up against a bag of broccoli and he was still frozen solid.

Mom: Well yes, remember that one I found on the side of the road and brought home for you to see?

Me: Oh yes. Now I remember, with the blood dripping out of its still warm body?

Mom: Will, that one too. (She chronically misspells the word "well." I can hear the misspelling when she speaks.)

Me: !

Mom: Anyway, now I'm upset! Because I have to throw out the weasels, elk head, my pheasant, the rabbit furs....all of it is gone!! I AM SO UPSET!!! When are you going to come over and help me clean it out?

Me: As much as the idea of helping you throw out rotting animal carcases appeals to me, I'm just not sure if I'll be able to come over this weekend.

Mom: Sigh! MY WEASELS!!

Stay tuned for "Part II: Silence of the Lambs Mysterious Animal Parts"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Snowball Tree 2010

Our Snowball Tree gave us a nice treat this year with what seems like even more flowers than last year.

Snowball Tree 2010

We'll definitely have to do some major pruning this year, especially since one branch is laying down so low (especially after a good rain) that it's touching the ground. The snowballs remind me of Hydrangeas but the plant is actually related to the Honeysuckle.

Snowball Tree 2010

I just can't get enough. Sadly, now that it's getting warmer the petals are starting to fall like snowflakes.

Snowball Tree 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Shamed into shaving

Since our men are gone on a job, Nicole and I have been hanging out a lot. Of course, when girls hang out, all sorts of interesting topics come up. It's even more fun when my sister, a nursing student, stops by and tells us stories about poop, slinging scrotum's, giant labia (it's not often you hear the words, "My hands got tired from holding back her giant labia."), misaligned vagina's and other really fun things we can all forward to in our senior years.

After talking about labia, this is all going to be very boring for you. I apologize. So anyway, the subject of shaving came up. It turns out we both are lazy shavers, especially since our guys don't complain about it. I then proudly told her that since there are no expectations that I should shave, I have hairy hippy legs. And then I laughed as if I had gotten away with something. (I am not happy that my spellchecker wants me to change hippy to hippo.) Nicole looked at me and quietly said, "I shave because I want to be sexy."

So this morning, I shaved my legs and pits. Which reminds me, I glanced at the shaving can and for a split second I could swear it said "shaving cream for whores." I was ready to battle it out when I looked closer and saw that it said "shaving cream for women." The can was probably right in the first place.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Potatoes gone wild

Apparently we don't open our pantry much these days.

Potatoes in pantry gone wild

What you see there in the bottom left corner of the photo is a basket of potatoes we had saved from last years harvest for this years garden. They're totally out of control! I'm hoping they're salvageable.*

Potatoes in pantry gone wild

These purple potatoes are kind of pretty, don't you think? It's potato art!

We're putting soil in the new bed I'm going to plant the potatoes in right now. (We = the guys. I know when to casually step away!) Last year we planted them in hills we created on top of concrete like soil. With all the extra room and a front row seat to the sprinkler, the potatoes should do a lot better this year than last.

*I just talked to Grandma (she has the final word on everything, as far as I'm concerned) and she said the potatoes should be fine as is.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Some whining and blueberries

I just realized I am only a couple years away from ten years away from 50. This is shocking. SHOCKING. I am just a kid!! When did this happen?? Where was I?

I wish I was one of those people who had a plan. You know, go to college (check), meet a great guy (oops), get a great job (er), buy a Craftsman house with a white picket fence (LOL), 2.5 kids (do cats count?) and so on. It just hasn't happened for me. I have always been one of those "follow the path less traveled" type of people and as a result have ended up with a degree in Art, can speak German but not Spanish (so stupid), and am dealing with a biological clock that is about to tick tock its way into oblivion. I know people say you can't compare one person's life with anothers but...50!

Speaking of getting older (there is a lot of inward cussing going on right now), I have a new plan to eat at least just as many fruit and vegies as I do anything else on my plate. Because I am concerned about my health!! ARGH!

Hopefully our six blueberry plants will help out. I bought them a year ago and then later read it takes several years for them to start producing berries. I was bitter.

Blueberry boxes with tulips

Yay!  Berries!

Happily, this one plant is attempting to prove that theory incorrect. I'm really looking forward to all the blueberries, even though I have been told I'll get more than I can handle. I doubt it. Maybe blueberries will become the new prune and help us old geezers out.

Friday, May 07, 2010

This year's garlic

A couple days ago Faythe asked me how my garden was doing. This is what my garlic bed full of hard and soft necks looks like so far.

Garlic and onion bed

In February I decided to experiment, so I added some red onions to the bed (they're in the back corner, you can see how that area looks thicker) and they're doing great. This is the same bed I used for lettuce last year, so a few lettuce plants have sprouted up too. Looking at the bed now, I think I could plant the garlic a little closer next year.

You can see the other beds in the background. One of them has a leftover broccoli plant that somehow made it through the winter. It's going crazy blooming all over the place, but it doesn't look like it's going to produce anything. I'm curious so I've decided to let it go. I also have a rosemary plant that and a couple raspberry plants that have decided to take root. I think they may give me a little trouble.

Our last frost date is May 21 and then I can finally start going crazy planting things in the garden. Now, to plan what all I'm going to grow...

Thursday, April 29, 2010


OMG. So I just checked my archives for reference and it appears I first started working on our bedroom in May 2009! And we're just now finishing it! To be fair, we took a 10 month hiatus so it's not like we were working on it this enitre time. Seriously, paint, caulking, wood filler, spackling, more paint to cover paint and metal transfer to the ceiling caused by a certain persons caulking gun and floor finish takes a lot longer than I expected!

We were grateful when a friend helped us put up the molding, but then we were confronted with huge gaps between it and the ceiling and obnoxious gaps between the molding and the existing quarter round framing the closet. And then there were the excessive nails we had to use to put up the molding and the not so straight joins. (The house is so old that nothing is straight, so the molding went up as straight as we could get it.)

To be frank, we were overwhelmed and disgusted with the work we had before us so we gave up. I know, I know. It was sheer laziness, I admit it! But a few weeks ago, my grandma asked if she could come stay with us for a week after her knee surgery and the thought of her sleeping in a room that is filled with paint cans, tools, ladders and boxes of yarn (yes) just didn't sound right. We knew it was time to get back to work.


After almost two weeks of work (you'd be surprised how much time it takes when you're standing on a ladder and working on something above your head with various tools, spackling and caulking), we just finished putting on the third and last coat of oil based Varathane on the floor. It looks glossy because it's wet but it's really satin based.

We set up a small heater to keep the room around 75 degree's and are waiting for the floor to dry. Since it's humid out (from rain and hail), I'm guessing it will be slightly tacky but we'll be able to walk on it in 24 hours. We should be able to move our furniture into the room in about four days, but since we're paranoid, we're going to give it a week. Yay! I'm so excited!

I'll have yet to show you my favorite part of the room. I sculpted two .5 - 1 inch gaps between the molding and the closet. There literally was a gap where the molding ended and the quarter round began. With some spackling, I built up and sculpted what looks like molding. I was pretty annoyed at the ugly gap our friend insisted would be OK (I was surprised because he is just as neurotic as I am). But now I won't have to look at it! I'll get photos of my handy work when I can get back in the room. Finally, my art degree came in handy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Signs of spring

I love spring. New plants and flowers are popping up everywhere. I even saw a bumble bee flying around some clover. Hummingbirds are starting to buzz past us and bugs are appearing. It's great seeing everything come back to life after winter.

First Bluebells of the season

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dory's first booties*

My cousin's baby shower is tomorrow. Though someone told me about it a few weeks ago, I totally forgot until today. I knit up one bootie tonight and hope to have another, plus a hat and maybe a sweater to match before the baby is born by the end of the month.

Also, my cousin has decided to name the baby Udora. That's my grandma's name. I'll be calling her Dory.

Saartje's Bootee's

*Updated to include new photo of both booties

Thursday, April 08, 2010

RIP Old Girl

Mom's alpaca died last week. We don't know why, our assumption is old age. Because the weather was so bad, Mom couldn't investigate much and she was buried there in the field.


I never did get to pet her. She was never very trusting and always had that, "step any closer and I will spit on you" expression. Even Apollo was afraid of her. She was a quirky little animal and she will be missed.

Alpaca and Apollo

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April fools & Yes, we find ourselves highly amusing (someone has to)

faythe: omg did you read the yarn harlot's post?

rayleen: noi

faythe: it's not her post so much, it's the link about yarn made from special duck feathers

rayleen: really!

faythe: $193 for 25 yeards

rayleen: !!!

faythe: in laceweight
the feathers are smaller than cashmere and super soft

rayleen: that's more expensive than quivit
or however you spell it

faythe: OMG
It takes a skilled fiber-plucker between six and seven hours to remove all the fibers from one feather;
and it takes approximately 212 feathers (or 1,484 hours) to obtain enough fibers to create one skein of Quackmere Classic.

rayleen: damn.
that's pretty amazing
i'd like to feel it

faythe: yeah me too

rayleen: what could you make with 25 yards??
i guess, maybe a trim?

faythe: yeah, I guess. oh, maybe some baby socks?
but why waste that on a baby??
they plan to make blends

rayleen: i don't know

faythe: OMG you can get a free sample


faythe: .

rayleen: that's hilarious!!!!!



faythe: * SULKS *

rayleen: snickering
a lot
wait till i tell aimee


rayleen: hehehehe

faythe: .

rayleen: are you going to leave a comment?

faythe: no.
I am going to try and pretend that it never happened

rayleen: when did she write it?
i don't see it on her blog.

faythe: yo uhave to click on the link
she didn't write it her friend did

rayleen: oh, Clara?
oh, check my facebook update when you have a chance.

faythe: the swimming?

rayleen: i updated it.


faythe: checking


faythe: I commented
I just hope ryan doesn't see that because I'll never hear the end of it.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Am I the only one that see's the similarity?


This is my friends dog, Versace. My cats look at him with disdain, much like Garfield looks at Odie. And for good reason, too. But he's still a cutie.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Missed out!

Woolgirl is having a 35% off sale, it seems the online store is closing. I learned about it a couple days ago but decided to wait until I had finished filling out an online application before I rewarded myself with yummy yarn. Since I have a tendancy to comb over the tiniest of details, I just finished submitting my app, went over to to and woe is me! Almost everything is sold out!

I guess that's what I get for taking too long. But I do feel good about taking my time making sure the application and questionaire was filled out like I wanted.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ravelympics 2010 and other miscellaney knitting

I've decided to toss my hat into Ravelympics over at Ravelry. I joined the Hazel Knuts group, who's one rule is you have to use Hazel Knits yarn, and the Yarn Harlot group. The whole point is you're supposed to knit something challenging starting on the first day of the Olympics and finishing your project by the last day.

While talking to Faythe about what to knit (her only suggestion being anything other than sock), I came up with a couple ideas. I've always balked stranded socks aka intarsia aka fair isle. Maybe I should give that a try? Or maybe mittens? If I do, this will be my project for the Hazel Knuts group. My other project, and I'm already setting myself up for failure just by choosing it, is a lace shawl. Whenever I try something with lace yarn, I fail miserably. My count gets off, I drop stitches, the yarn name it, it happens.

In other news, after several queries and comments about the size of my stash, I have decided to make 2010 the year of multicolor stash busting. I'm not a fan of multi's but I keep acquiring them either because they come in yarn clubs or because everyone likes them so I am trying to force myself to like them too. (Much like wine. Everyone likes wine so I keep making myself drink it, even though I just don't get it. Though I have recently discovered something tasty that appears to be the acrylic of wines, considering the word "chemical" has been used to describe it on one site. )

My latest project using a multicolor yarn that is taking up space is a Hazel Knits sock club yarn called May Flower. It came with a small hank of green yarn to be used for accents, such as the heel and toe. That is exactly what I'm doing. That and knitting a simple lace flower pattern in the flowery colored yarn. Hopefully they'll pop once they're on a foot.

May Flowers

Ooh, speaking of pop. You have to check this out. These are mom's favorite socks at the moment.

I don't think it means what you think it means.

I think they're rather hideous, but she loves them. She calls them her "mummer socks." She thinks a "mummer" is a person that likes colorful things. I don't have the energy to explain what it really means.

Anyone else participating in Ravelympics?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010