Saturday, November 29, 2008

My 26th Birthday



Sweetie surprised me for my birthday with a visit from our favorite Mariachi.


video
We spent this thanksgiving at home, and I attempted to make the traditional feast. Two days and tons of leftovers later... we are still eating turkey :). The menu consisted of:
Brownsugar-Mustard glazed turkey, garlicky mashed potatoes, lemon green beans, cornbread stuffing, maple sweet potatoes, clover yeast rolls, bourbon gravy, and pear almond cream tart. Several of the recipes I got out of the Thanksgiving "Everyday Food" Magazine.

We took the puppies out for a Thanksgiving walk, and Sweetie took this very charming photo. Dax and Janeway are settling into life with us. And, they have enjoyed visits from several of our friends and their dogs. They are growing like crazy, and soon I think we will need to buy them bigger collars. Luckily, they are beginning to understand the concept of "taking a walk", though Janeway likes to try to walk herself by holding onto her leash with her mouth.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A New Bathroom and A Poor Financial Decision

With our bathroom remodel complete, we are definitly enjoying using it! The shower is awesome, and our custom sink cabinet (made by neighboor Henry) has the perfect drawer to stash all my stuff. We decided to prop our stain glass picture in the window instead of a curtain... it looks so pretty in the morning with the light shining through it.


The picture is one that I purchased in France as a souvenier in 2001. Finally it has a home that suits it perfectly. We opted for hooks instead of a towel bar, we can hang a lot more on it.

Janeway and Dax

Dax doesn't really know what to think of David.
So the story goes that we went to Wal-mart for peanut butter, and came home with two adorable puppies... it was probably the least responsible decision we have ever made, but they are just so sweet! Both girls, they are a mix of Lab (of course), Border Collie (notice the white chest), and Australian Shepherd (they have alot of brown mixed in with their black hair).
They are big Startrek fans, and like to chase David around the yard. The housetraining is going amazingly well. The only accidents that they have had have been in their crate on newspaper and they always potty when we take them outside.



Friday, September 5, 2008

We did it!


Yay! We woke up this morning and followed out work out schedule as planned. Hurrah! It makes me so happy that we are pulling through.


I also made superior progress on my crochet project last night. It is very close to being complete! I think once this is finished I will need to really push myself to complete the next project on my list. Especially since I was so excited about this one. The real test will be completing a project that I have knowingly put off finishing.


In other news... I will restrain myself from beginning yet another project, but one on the new free patterns on the Lionbrand website is absolutly beautiful...
Crochet Magnolia Afghan

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Day of Failure

So, first of all, I am going to blame it on the Republican National Convention.... we slept in... til 6... and did not exercize. No that it is officially out, I don't feel too bad about it, I have been a little sore from the past 3 days, and probably deserved a little rest. :)

I will however be doing my weighted ball exercizes tonight. And I will try extra hard to wake up tomorrow. Oh well.

Knitting club was GREAT! I just love the ladies that I meet with on Wednesdays during my lunch. They meet in a very idealic location... a yarn shop loft above a gift shop on the cute sightseers dream town square. It is lovely. Everyone works on something different... quilting, knit, crochet, you name it... they've done it. It is so much fun to show them what I am currently working on and see their projects in progress. Community is nice.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Happiness Project

I recently discovered a new blog: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

She is an author who decided to take a year and try every "happiness plan" on the market for her soon to be published book of the same name. I mostly have enjoyed her wednesday "tip" day where she gives out life tips she herself has developed or that she has found. The range from how to motivate yourself to exercise or not shop excessively to my favorite, her look at Pope John the XXIII's list of tips on how to lead a better life:

Ten tips for living a better life, one day at a time -- from Pope XXIII.
http://http//www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2008/02/this-wednesda-1.html

The greatest thing about this list, a Gretchen points out is that it is a list for today... just today... tomorrow we will try again, make adjustments, etc... but, today we will try.

UPDATE ON MY GOALS:
- yesterday I only drank one :) soda
- I completed my weighted ball exercises last night
- we woke up, exercised, and said prayers this morning
- I am ready for a wonderful day: knitting club... a chance to work on another goal of completing my project!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fall Garden Planning



As summer turns to fall, I have had my thoughts set on planting an assortment of perennials and flowering ground covers in my flower beds. I am mainly tired of just growing weeds and haven't yet purchased and planted any actual plants (other than my vegetable garden).



http://www.highcountrygardens.com/ has made this planning a lot easier through mail order online shopping. I really like that this site made suggestions based on region and specialized in drought tolerant, sun-loving plants. They also have a good "dead plant" policy. 90 days to make sure everything survives and then a refund, credit, or exchange based on preference. I am hoping that everything lives!

I purchased:


  • 8 Veronica rupestris "heavenly blue" - a ground cover with 4" tall blueish-purple flowers, these I will plant around my already establish amaryllis bulbs.



  • 3 Nepeta "Six Hills Giant" or "Catmint" - looks kind of like super sized lavender, and I couldn't resist the photo of the cat enjoying the catmint!



  • 3 Achillea filipendula "Coronation Gold" - Catmint's suggested companion, smaller in size with round dandelion type flowers (Both this and Catmint will be planted along the shed in the backyard, in between the hardy hibiscus and crape myrtles



  • 1 Agastache Sampler - includes 5 different Agastache plants, which flower from summer through fall and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. These I will plant under my redbud tree, outside my bedroom window. I think the hummingbirds will definitely amuse the cat who likes to perch there.



All the plants are scheduled to arrive by September 26 for a weekend planting hurrah!

Ready to Make Each Day Count

So, sweetie and I have discussed it, and we've decided that it is time to put productivity into hyper drive. Far too much of our time recently has been spent watching tv and being inactive (and in effect unproductive). Sweetie is a great motivator, and is definitely leading by example. He has been cleaning up the breakfast dishes pronto every morning... and I couldn't be happier with such a nice and tidy kitchen.

Last week, he suggested that we retrain ourselves to wake up an hour and a half earlier than normal so that we can really enjoy our mornings together, and always have time for breakfast and our Liturgy of the Hours.

I decided that this is awesome (and has been great), but still not quite enough, so we are adding the exercise that we are always avoiding to the mix. I rearranged the sun room furniture to require no daily moving so that we can get out there and exercise every morning. So far so good, we put in a good 25 minutes of cardio this morning and I feel great!

On a personal level, I have also decided to incorporate my many unfinished projects into this whole thing. I am going to start with the practically complete yet set aside bunch first... in hopes that I will be able to complete one each week.

This week I am concentrating on my newly begun and soon to be complete crochet project. Then I will pick back up a tiny sweater project that is 75% there already.

Here goes...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Falling in Love with Crochet... Again.


After a long absence, a slight hiatus in the knitting realm, and desperation to re motivate to complete many different handmade gifts, I have started another project. It began as a knit project, but soon was torn out and started anew as a crochet project.

I had forgotten how quickly a crochet project forms. How it turns into what you hope it will be so much more swiftly than knits. Granted, I LOVE the smoothness of a knit project and how much for professional my knit projects appear than my crochet, but there is just nothing like seeing the progress of a project develop over a short amount of time. Ah, crochet.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

it's officially spring



The daffodils are all up, and one tulip decided to show its pretty face this year.





The peonies and amarylises have broken ground, and I can't belive how fast they can go from nothing to bushes!





The redbud trees are covered in their purple flowers, and even my half-dead plum tree decided to grow again this year. mmmm plums.
My tomato plants are looking healthy, and even the flower seeds I planted are starting to show themselves.... can't remember what kind they are... oh well. I just love spring.

My First Items





These are some of the first items I will be trying to sell on ETSY.... a pink baby hat with green ruffle trim, and stem-ware coasters complements of my mom... I think the stem-ware pictures turned out really nice. I need to steal a baby to model my hat for better pics of the baby hat :)

No, I will not be selling "little" Marble on the site, however she does like to help me organize my yarn inventory!
But, she doesn't really care for having her picture taken!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Garden Update #1 - 4 days since planting

It seems a bit premature to be updating on the growth of my newly planted garden, however I feel the need to update.

We had terrential rains all day Tuesday, the same rains that then went and flooded the Mid-West. I was worried that these rains would kill my freshly planted tomato and pepper plants, however yesterday they seemed just fine when I checked on them. They looked healthy and had little appearance of "I've just been planted" shock.

No sign of sprouting seeds as of yet, but most packages said sprouting would take place in about 7-10 days, so no worries yet.

A couple of weeks ago, I pruned the two rosebushes inherited from the previous owner. I transplanted the climbing rosebush from a place where it had nowhere to climb to a spot alongside our fence. At first it seemed healthy and happy, but then the leaves started drooping and turning a sick yellow. I rushed to give it a little bit of plant food and a healthy dose of used coffee grounds along with lots of water, and it is now looking a lot better. The bush that was not transplanted got itself a serious haircut and is thriving... lots of new pretty leaves are opening up. Hopefully this care will give me a better rose crop this season.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Of Gardening and Etsy

Sweetie and I have worked hard to get all of the "March" seeds planted in our ever-expanding garden.

We have added: Watermelon, Cilantro, Orange, and Yellow pepper to our original planting plans. Today it is raining like crazy so hopefully the little seeds and plants will stand their ground and not get washed away.

In other news, I have decided to start knitting up goods for ETSY... and online marketplace for handmade goods. Will post pics of my latest creations to be added to the site.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Procrastination can be a good thing






I am beginning to appreciate my terrible tendency toward procrastination.... it is a good thing my sweet little seeds are not in the garden yet. I am still amazed at this sudden snowfall... I thought I lived in Texas.

Friday, February 29, 2008

2008 Gardening Plans

Sweetie and I are planning out our vegetable garden for this spring... Planting will hopefully begin tommorrow and most fears of deep freezes are over in this area.

In hopes to be more systematic about my gardening (and learn from my many mistakes) I am going to try to keep records of what we plant, when we plant it, and how it fairs...





Plant Varieties:



Tomatoes

Variety 1: Early 50?


  • purchase from: Wal-Mart

  • number planted: 1 plant

  • date planted: March 16, 2008

  • notes:

Variety 2: Big Boy?



  • purchased from: Wal-Mart

  • number planted: 1 plant

  • date planted: March 16,2008

  • notes:

Variety 3: Best Bush?



  • purchased from: Wal- Mart

  • number planted: 1 plant

  • date planted: March 16, 2008

  • notes: The packaging said to plant this tomato bush 80% underground... it was strange buring so much of the plant that just the topmost leaves stuck out of the dirt!


Spinach


Variety 1 - Ferry Morse - Bloomsdale, Long Standing



  • purchased from: Tractor Supply Store

  • number planted: 1 pkg/ 12 feet of planting

  • date planted: March 16, 2008

  • notes:I think I planted these too close together

Variety 2 - Ferry Morse - Teton Hybrid



  • purchased from: Tractor Supply Store

  • number planted: 1 pkg/ 12 feet of planting

  • date planted: March 16, 2007

  • notes: again, too close together

Beets


Variety 1 - Ferry Morse - Tall Top Early Wonder



  • purchased from: Tractor Supply Store

  • number planted: 1 pkg/ 12 feet of planting

  • date planted: March 16, 2008

  • notes: requested by mom, planted and then read about a different way to space the seeds... hopefully they work!

Onions


Variety 1 - Super Sweet



  • purchased from: Tractor Supply Store

  • number planted: many... 12 feet x 4 per foot = approx 48 onions

  • date planted: March 16, 2008

  • notes: bulbs

Variety 2 - Yellow



  • purchased from: Tractor Supply Store

  • number planted: ~ 48

  • date planted: March 16, 2008

  • notes: bulbs

Variety 3 - Red



  • purchased from: Tractor Supply Store

  • number planted: ~ 70

  • date planted: March 16, 2008

  • notes: bulbs, planted these last year, about 20 - 3 actually grew

Dill


Variety 1 - Ferry Morse Heirloom - Dill Bouquet



  • purchased from: Tractor Supply Store

  • number planted: 3 foot row

  • date planted: March 16, 2008

  • notes: planted from seed, annual herb

Asperagus


Variety 1 - Dutch Valley - M. Washington



  • purchase from: Tractor Supply Store

  • number planted: 9 crowns

  • date planted: March 13, 2008

  • notes: 2 year old roots, planted in permanent bed, corner of the fence... will make for easier mowing :)




Peas


Variety 1 - Lowes - Sugar Snap, Edible Pod



  • purchaed from: Lowes

  • number planted: 1 pkg/ 12 foot row

  • date planted: March 16, 2008

  • notes:

Squash


Variety 1 - Lowes - Grey Zucchini



  • purchased from: Lowes

  • number planted: 3 hills

  • date planted:

  • notes:

Beans


Variety 1 - Lowes - Black Turtle, Bush



  • purchased from: Lowes

  • number planted:

  • date planted:

  • notes:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Projects, Projects, Projects

Here are a couple of projects I am working on:

1. New set of discloths for my kitchen:



I completed the first 8 on a road trip to visit family, and now am dragging my feet to use up the rest of the yarn to make more. I like discloth making so much because every one is different and it is quick gratification knitting.

2. Sad husband's grey sweater:


The really sad part off this whole situation is that I considered buying sweetie a grey sweater at the store today (it might make up for the fact that I have made little progress on this gift).

3. Awesome shawl for me:


My shawl made with Lionbrand homespun is moving right along... though sometimes I feel guilty working on it. Note about the yarn: it is pretty, but not my favorite... all acrylic and HAIRY... not sure if I will ever choose it for another project :( I am however interested in seeing how it holds up over the years....

4 & 5. Two mystery projects.... these projects will not be reveiled until complete and in the hands of loved ones:


As always, I love the thrill of making something for someone else (sorry again sweetie)... it is lovely to put hundreds off prayers for the people you love into handmade gifts for them....
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