June 24, 2008

Not exactly....

...what I had in mind when I set out to capture a picture of a hay bale, but it'll do.
I've unsuccessfully tried to get a hay picture about a half dozen times in the past few days. We must have drove past about 5 fields full of them on my little road trip, but again...not quick enough on the draw. So when I saw this at a stop light I made sure to position myself nearby and snapped this picture just as the light turned green. Note: do not attempt! Taking pictures while driving is DEFINITELY not safe.
So may I vent to you, lovely blog readers, for just a moment? Thanks. I'll just lay down on the couch. Do you have your yellow legal notepad ready? Ok....I just want to go on record saying that my husband's work schedule sucks! I know that there are many, many women out there whose husbands are overseas and they don't get to see them at all, so I feel a little guilty for complaining, but this is really tough. Doug is literally working ALL the time. He picks up shifts as much as he can, most of which are overnight. When he is not working he is sleeping, so even if he is home I don't get to spend any time with him at all. This just sucks on so many levels. The most obvious being that I don't get to spend any time with him. But the thing I didn't think about when he started all this was how much his funky sleep habits would mess with mine. When he comes home at 4am to go to sleep I inevitably wake up, then I find it hard to go back to sleep. Then when it's time to get up to go to work 3 hours later it's very difficult to get up because my sleep was interrupted. I am tired all-the-time now. If I am home when he is sleeping I have to be careful not to wake him, which means I am very limited in what I can do. He is doing all this because we are struggling a bit financially right now and it's incredible what he is putting himself through so we can catch up. He is being so incredibly selfless so we can get on better footing. I know I couldn't do it. That makes me feel even more guilty for complaining, so I try not to complain to him because I know there is really nothing he can do about it. Summer is "our time". In the summers we enjoy every day to it's fullest, whether we are kayaking, going for a motorcycle ride, or just enjoying the outdoors. We haven't been able to do any of those things so far. Yesterday he came across an amazing opportunity that would allow him to quit one, maybe both, jobs and it would be in the direction he wants to develop his career. There are some hoops to jump through to make it happen, so we will see....but I am praying this all works out because we need some relief. So cross your fingers for me! Ok, selfish rant over. I feel better, thanks for listening!
Next post....a fun giveaway!

June 20, 2008

Road Trip

Just a quickie post. I'm out of town on a work trip, but I have a funny little story for you about our road trip on the way here. We came around one corner and right in front of us was the largest, orange moon I have ever seen. There were four of us in the car and we were all impressed. I started rumaging around in my bag for my camera so I could take a picture, but of course by the time I came up with it the road had curved and it was buried in the trees. So for the next twenty minutes I played hide and seek with the moon through the trees.

The longer it took me to take a picture, the higher the moon rose. As it rose it lost its color and eventually it wasn't worth photographing anymore. I reall wish I had been able to get a good picture to share because it was gorgeous.

It was pretty comical in the car though because I got everyone in the car in on the need to get a good picture for my blog. Melissa, who was driving, was slowing up and speeding down accordingly wih the gaps in the trees trying to give me a good shot. Tony took the camera for a few minutes when the moon was on his side of the car and Wanda was on moon lookout telling us when a good opportunity to take a good picture was coming. At one point I temporarily blinded Melissa with the red light on my camera that flashes when it is being focused. (No I didn't use flash.) Not good to blind the driver.

Fun times. Hope you all have a super weekend!

June 17, 2008

I won!

Has anyone else noticed that there are SOO many contests on the blogs lately?
Well, I won something! Kate hosted a fabulous giveaway on her blog and I won! Yay! I will take pictures when it gets here. I think I will pass along the Karma and have a little contest of my own, but I am going out of town for a few days so it will have to be next week. Check back!

June 13, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

Do you have moments that just inspire you? Yesterday Doug and I went on a long bike ride through the country. There was a field near my house where they were cutting down the long grass and making bales of hay. Something about the sweet smell of fresh hay and the bales sitting out in the field inspired me to write a nice post about summer and all the things about it I love. So I started composing a bit of a post in my head yesterday. Usually my blogging is random and very little preparation goes into it, so I felt like SuperBlogger acutally planning a post out ahead of time. Fast forward to this afternoon. This post wasn't going to be complete without a picture of the bale-laiden field that inspired the whole thing to begin with. The field is about 2 miles from my house, but I figured the short drive in the opposite direction was worth it for the picture. I arrived to find...no bales. I guess they picked them up. Those farmers are too efficient! I remembered another field a few more miles down the road where they had been cutting the grass down and were about to make bales. I thought maybe it was worth the short (now becoming a long) trip on the off chance that there would be a field full of bales to show you. Nope. So now you get a shorter post about summer and my failed attempts to bring you a pretty picture. So, indulge me and imagine an artistic shot of a hilly field with randomly placed bales of hay with the sun setting in the background. Got it? Ok....

Some other things I like about summer (other than sweet-smelling bales of hay):

Ok, I know that technically these are considered weeds, but do you remember how much fun it was to see if you could blow all the fluff off in one breath when you were a kid? I still can't do it all at once...it takes at least two tries.

I have three of these in front of my house. Doug thinks they look a little tacky, but I think they look whimical. I love the bright colors and the way the wind makes them spin. We agreed that the pinwheels could stay as long as they were joined by any pink flamingos or cardboard figures of a large lady's rear end. (Although I secretly think that pink flamingos in the yard would be tacky to the point of being super-cool.)

One great lazy-day activity? Hitting golf balls into the woods behind my house. Don't worry no one lives close enough to get hurt, besides I don't hit them very far and they sometimes end up like this one lodged in a tree. Every few times we do it we go hunting in the woods for the balls to do it again. Great fun!

There are so many other things that I love about summer, way too many to list here. What are your favorite things about summer? Have a good weekend! I'll be off doing another of my favorite summer Saturday activities....yard sale-ing!

June 10, 2008

Stick it to me

Last month I participated in a Handmade Pincushion Swap. Yesterday I got the pincushion from my pal, well actually TWO pincushions!

Isn't that clever? (Sorry for the blurry pic) You should see the details on the smaller one, too...it looks like a cherry blossom tree. Thanks so much Kim, these will get lots of use!

Here's a pic of the one I sent her:

It's hard to tell from this picture, but the centers of the flowers are actually little clusters of seed beads. All in all, it wasn't difficult to make the pincushion, but that kind of fiddly sewing really isn't my cup of tea.

Last week Chance finally met our next door neighbor dog, Jada. She is a pit bull too, but very very shy. We cautiously introduced them (Chance doesn't always like other dogs). They seemed to like each other just fine, although Jada was just a little bit nervous. Every day since then when I take Chance out he is constantly looking over at her house wondering if she's outside.

So cute!

One more thing...everyone should click on over to Eight Crazy Designs. She is having a great contest until Thursday where you can win won of her customer banners or predesigned blog layouts. If you haven't already checked out her blog layouts you must go look now! She is amazing!

June 8, 2008


Today my sister Morgan paid me a visit for some yarny goodness time. She brought a duffel bag full of un-wound sock yarns that she wanted to wine into cakes using my swift and ballwinder. So we spent all afternoon doing this
And all our hard work produced this end result:
Left to right that's three skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Silk,two skeins Lorna's Lace Shepherd Sock, two skeins Knitpicks Gloss, Socks that Rock (!!), Fly-dyed Monarch (this yarn was a pain in the patootie to wind...lots of knots), Peace Fleece, more Lorna's Lace and some Tess Designer Super Sock. This was not all of the yarn she brought to wind, but we ran out of time because the world's cutest nephew was delivered to my doorstep.

Adorable right? I know! He likes to "help" wind the yarn. I let him help wind one skein and he decided suddenly to wind it really fast and the whole thing literally flew off the ball winder across the room. Huge mess! So we decided that was the last skein we were going to wind.

Chance was a little bored with our chosen activity for the afternooon. He had his heart set on playing fetch in the backyard. Sorry buddy!

June 3, 2008

Blog Love

Do you love to leave comments? Do you wish you had more comments to read? If you are looking to up your blog readership and check out some awesome blogs at the same time, go check out The Secret is in the Sauce. If you send them links to three of your posts then you will be added to their list of blogs that they feature each day. Every day (M-F) they pick a different blog to feature and on their blog they tell everyone to go there and leave a comment! Yay for blog love all around.

PLUS, they are having a super-duper contest right now. They are soooo generous and giving away all kinds of bloggy goodies, so what are you waiting for? Go check it out! Click on the link in this post or the button that I added to my sidebar (at the bottom, scroll down). And if you win, you must share the chocolate with me. Mmmm.....

June 1, 2008


So apparently Panera hates Blogger. Every site I tried to browse today while there that was hosted by blogger was blocked. “Content not authorized for viewing.” What exactly about a knitting blog is threatening? Could it be the pointy sticks? Ug. I was able to read most of my faves through bloglines, but couldn’t post to my own blog at all, and I couldn’t post any comments anywhere either. Frowny face.

But, what I wanted to post about was my recent obsession with socks. Here it is in photos:

The sock wars socks were the ones that kicked it off. I actually FINISHED a project. (It’s been a while.) (I did weave in all those nasty ends and graft the toes before I sent them!) I had forgotten how exhilarating that can be. So I immediately cast on for another pair of socks.

These are intended for my grandmother, who had an accident on Mother’s Day. She and my grandfather live in a mobile home and travel the country. They find parks where they can do short term jobs in exchange for hookup fees, etc. So this summer they have been at an amusement park/campground in Iowa. On Mother’s Day Gma was working a ride called the G-Force, checking to see that passengers were safely fastened. The operator of the ride started it before she was clear of the gears and she was…well…squished. She suffered a fractured pelvis bone and lots of bruising, but otherwise she is OK. She was released from the hospital yesterday and is happily back at home, taking it slow and easy. I know that she will have some difficulties moving around as she is using a walker while she is recovering and the trailer is v-e-r-y small. My sisters and I have sent her cards and some knitting/crochet stuff to keep her hands busy, but I thought these socks would warm her spirits (and her feet!). Send some good wishes her way, would ya? Thanks!

This past week I worked a couple of overnight shifts. The night before I started them I decided to try to stay up as late as possible to try and alter my sleep schedule in preparation. What could possibly keep my interest enough to keep me up until 3am? New socks! (Grandma’s socks were at the heel flap which is my least favorite part of a sock other than picking up stitches for the gusset. I hate picking up stitches.) So I cast on for a pair of Monkeys. I just had to see what all the fuss was about. The last time a sock knitting craze (rav link) of this magnitude swept the blogisphere I tried the pattern and was just not impressed. Don’t get me wrong-lovely pattern, love what some people have done with it, just not for me. The monkeys? Well….three repeats in and I must say…all these bloggers are onto something. Monkeys rock!

Last thing, before this blog post gets out of control. Ever have one of those weeks? You know…where NOTHING goes your way? I had one of those this past week. It started out with me being broker than broke. Like, ramen noodle broke. Doug is thankfully now employed, but went about 5 weeks without a job and we just hit that point where his last few paychecks had floated us about as far as they could. No worries, everything is under control now, but it was a tight squeeze this past week. S-t-r-e-s-s-f-u-l. Then things just got plain comical. Thursday morning we got a call from my sister who was worried because her husband hadn’t yet arrived at work but had left with plenty of time to get there on time. So we went on the search for him. Turns out he had ridden his new motorcycle to work and it broke down. Doug went with him to figure out the problem and it turned out to be….he ran out of gas. The funny part is he actually “broke down” at a gas station and it never occurred to him that that cold be the problem, so he pushed the bike about a quarter of a mile up 29 before giving up and walking the rest of the way home (no cell phone). We laughed it up for a bit and then Doug and I took my sis to the dump. We haul our trash to the dump because it isn’t far and a heck of a lot cheaper than paying for pick up. Well, Doug’s old beatup truck had a quarter tank of gas in it. Enough to get to the dump and back, right? Think again. We were about a mile from a gas station and we….ran out of gas. Ha! Serves us right for laughing about Chad’s little motorcycle incident. So we walked to a gas station, found a nice guy to give Doug a ride to the truck with a gallon of gas while Heather and I waited at the gas station, filled up, went home. So now we are even keel right? Two incidents is enough! But wait, there’s more….! Friday afternoon I got a call from Doug who was supposedly on his way to Richmond. Keep in mind that now I have done TWO consecutive overnights and been woken up one of those days to go husband-hunting for my sister, walked a mile in the sweltering heat for gas, not slept, etc. Doug had ran out of gas on mile marker 152 of I-64. For those of you that don’t live locally, we are off exit 124 by about 8 miles, give or take. Yeah…thirty miles. He could potentially walk to a gas station, but see the aforementioned broke as a joke statement. So I got the gas tank that we keep on hand for the mower and went to bail him out, turned around, drove the thirty miles home with exactly enough time to change clothes and go to work. That’s the kind of week where you just have to stop and laugh at yourself because otherwise you would go completely crazy. Ugh.
Novel-length post over. I’m going to go to sleep now. Well, maybe after I knit just a little bit more on my socks…..