Monday, September 1, 2014

Laboring on Labor Day

Yes, I labored but Fall is coming and I have more of an urge to clean now than I do in the Spring.  I worked on my porch today.  I was inspired by Kim over at Camp and Cottage Living who redid her porch by "shopping" her home.  I love her frugal decorating and I was inspired!
I didn't get it all done but I made a big dent.
Everything here is from a thrift store or a garage sale.  I bought the corner unit years ago at an antique store.  The yellow lantern is a gift from my daughter and is battery operated.  The barn wood painting I did for my children back in 1981.  The green bottle is filled with battery operated fire flies.  That might have been new but it was years ago.
Okay....these are all thrifted items including the tablecoth. 
 The chairs I've had for years and the green rocker is plastic and used to be on my farm porch. 
I have 11 windows on this porch not counting the door.  Awhile back I snagged some white material for cheap at the thrift store.  I washed it and noticed it was already hemmed so I washed the windows (I took down the screens and will wash another time) and put up the "curtains" with cafe clips and tension rods.  There was only 2 pieces of material so I don't know what I'll do for the other windows.
BLT's are the order of the day for my Labor Day supper.   All fresh ingredients from the Farmer's Market and my homemade bread.
A beer and some fresh green beans and I am in heaven!
 I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day if you live in the U.S. and if you don't celebrate I just hope you had a wonderful day period! Happy Trails!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

YOP Week #9

Here we are at Week 9 and Fall is coming..slowly to the South.  The leaves are changing but I'm still running AC so that is not true Fall in my opinion.  It will be Fall when it is not too hot to walk and the windows are all open. LOL!
Meanwhile though, I have some projects to show you.
Designing was part of my goals this year but don't's very simple.  Remember when I told you my daughter's church group took a collection so she could have gas money to come and see me?   Well, to show my gratitude I decided to crochet them cross bookmarks.  I let my daughter pick one out of 3 designs I had "pinned" on Pinterest.  Wouldn't you know when I went to look at it there was no pattern, just a picture.  Opportunity knocked and I opened the door LOL!  I went and bought some colored pencils at the Dollar store and I had graph paper and
 This is what it is turning out as.  I'm using dishcloth cotton and an F crochet hook but it seems a little wide for a bookmark.  I have 10 to make so I'll finish this one and decide if the others should be narrower.  What do you think?
 I finally cast on for the 2nd sock.....but that's about as far as I got.
 Bina the bear is coming along and I really love the tweed....I'm hoping the stuffing doesn't show behind it.  The head is done and this is the hood part of the bear body.
 I did the last preemie hat for August but now it's September so I start all over again..Ha! Ha!  I love this new color....after awhile you like to switch it up a bit.  They're so fun to do and take no time at all.  A great project for the telly.

 My little Millie doll is coming along and when you come to the arms and legs you put their stitches on waste yarn and continue on.  I'm doing a leg now but I just started it so you can't see it.  It is her striped tights actually.  You also "stuff as you go".  I'm very pleased and amazed that I am actually doing this as it is a bit fiddly but my dpn skills are helping greatly.  I could not have done this a year ago!
 I finished the set of dishcloths for my son but they are all different sizes lol!
 This was the last one and my favorite to work on as there was no changing stitches mid-row.  Excuse the wrinkles but I had them folded and ready to pack up when I realized I'd forgotten to photograph them.  I love the seed stitch look but what a pain (the middle one).  Why the first one is so small I have no idea.  The pattern was the set of 3.  Oh well, he'll get use out of them.
 They look so much better folded up!  LOL!
I've gotten behind on updating my Ravelry projects page and also my blog page so please forgive me.  I hope to have it updated this week.  Happy Trails!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Smiles...........

I love dragonflies and it seems every time I go out this one is flying around me but it's probably not the same one as I don't think they live very long.

This flower just appeared in my flower bed a few years ago and I have no idea what it you know Connie?  It's lovely and it has spires almost like a foxglove before it blooms yet the flowers look like lady slippers or snap dragons.
 There was a hummer humming around me and going to the flower until I looked closer and saw a moth/butterfly but it really "hummed" and it was the noise it was making that had me notice it.
My daughter said it could be a sphinx moth?  Does anyone recognize it?
The mums are starting to bloom.......YES!  Fall!  Football started today and I am SO READY for Fall!
Happy Trails!  I hope you're having a great Saturday!

Friday, August 29, 2014

It's been a "bookish" day!

 Today was errand day and there were many.  First it was a drive to Ash Flat to the vet to get Nitty her monthly allergy shot and they were busy!  My vet doesn't do's walk in and sit down and sometimes you get right in and sometimes you don't.  Today was a long wait and Nitty was the biggest dog in the waiting room along with a bunch of tiny ones.  She wanted to play but they definitely didn't.  Nitty is a social butterfly but unfortunately many have watched t.v. and are frightened of Rottweillers but after sitting there together for quite awhile in the waiting room several stopped to pet her on their way out.  Evidently she had calmed their fears and we are educating people about Rottweillers one person at a time.  Dogs are like people....they need to be judged on an individual basis.
Next was the bank, the market and the Dollar store and then "on to the Library"!  YES!!!  I have a running list of books that I take with me and on it were some new ones that I wrote down from Diane at  Lavender Dreams  
We both belong to Good Reads where you can list all the books you've read and want to read and look at your friends books too.  There's also a useful tool that allows you to see what percentage of books you and your friends have in common.  Diane is the highest with 69% compatibility with my tastes in books.  I also noticed she belonged to a book club on Good Reads so I joined it too and now need to play catch  up.  I figured if Diane liked it I would too! 
This was one of the books on the book club list and it was the only one my library had.  I was able to order 2 others from the inter library lending program.
I've been making this artisan bread for years but when I saw this book I thought maybe I could learn some new recipes and/or techniques
The book on John Adams was a 5 star on Diane's list so I picked it up too.
  It had also been on my To Read list for quite some time but her rating confirmed that I definitely need to read this book!
Of course, there are always other tempting titles at the library so I picked up a few more........
I love books about women pioneers and homesteaders and I thought it looked very similar to a book that another blogger had recommended.
David Sedaris has been on NPR many times and makes me laugh so hard that I may have to read this in the bathroom just to play it safe.  His sister Amy is also funny but I don't know if she's written any books.

Now don't go thinking I am a heavy drinker...although once you read my book (which I have not started writing yet) you'll probably wonder why not. LOL!  But the writing thing keeps coming up front and center and although it's not something I relish or look forward too the urging won't leave me alone.  This one was recommended for writers and "wanna-be" writers so I grabbed it.
That was my day went fast and now we're having a nice thunderstorm which we needed so badly and it is perfect weather to curl up in bed with a good book....or several!
Happy Trails!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Moving right along............

I had a great day yesterday and got lots done.  I love those days as they don't happen often enough around here!  I went out and watered early before it got hot, did some weeding and sprayed my freshly made Natural Weed Killer.......
I made a 1/2 batch which consisted of 8 cups of vinegar, 1/4 cup of salt and a small squirt of dish washing detergent.  I'll see if it works.
After that I got in the truck and went to the Farmer's Market in town in the Presbyterian Church parking lot.  I got some home made, by the Amish ladies, cinnamon rolls........they're usually gone by the time I get there but I was lucky yesterday morning!
Some more banana peppers and green beans.........
some onions........BTW...remember when I posted about storing my onions is a paper bag with holes punched in it and placed in a dark cupboard?  It works fantastic and not one bad spot among the last bunch that I stored that way.   These will be getting the same treatment.
And last but not least tomatoes and spaghetti squash......

I finished one of the books I've been reading...........I enjoyed it.  It was the second book by this author written while he walked through Grand Canyon National Park from one end to the other which no one had ever done before back in 1958.
Now I'm reading this one............a classic in nature literature.  It reads like a good novel so far.  That's the kind of nature reading I like.
 I'm rounding the bend on the last dish cloth for my son's housewarming present.  I finished my shawl and now these cloths are almost done.  I feel like finishing things lately which is unusual as I am most known for starting things. LOL!  I'm using DPN's which are a little short for this cloth so I have to be careful it doesn't come off the ends.  It will look much better when it's off the needles.  I'm liking this pattern because there are no stitch changes in the middle of the rows.
I hope you are having a good week.  It's very hot here but Fall is just around the corner!  Football starts this weekend and my mums are starting to bloom!  Happy Trails!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sharks, sharks, and more sharks!

My little grandson called me the other day all excited about school and he wanted to tell me about his new "shark" backpack and "shark" lunch box he got.  I told him Grandma got a "shark" too.  A new Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum!
 Just before my daughter's visit my vacuum cleaner broke down.  Why is it vacuum cleaners always break right before you have company?  I had to wait until after she visited before I could research and look into getting a new one.  I am very thorough when I buy something anymore.  I hit loads of reviews from different places and also compare models within brands as I have found certain models are better than others or they come out with a new model to fix problems they discovered with the previous model.  I finally decided on the Shark Navigator Lift-Away vacuum cleaner.
I was in such a hurry to try it out when it arrived that I forgot to take pictures before I started vacuuming and filling it with dirt! LOL!   Let me tell you I LOVE this vacuum!  It has a hepa filter, it is bag less and lightweight and feels self-propelled when you're doing carpeting.  It gets closer in to baseboards and corners than any vacuum I've ever owned and suction....whoa Nellie!  Previously I had an Oreck as it was recommended by the Arthritis Association for ease of use but they must have gotten kick back from Oreck as I have RA and it was no easy task pushing that behemoth around and it was supposed to pick up on non-carpeted floors also but it did a very poor job.  The Shark on the other hand is basically a Dyson except lots cheaper! I paid $147.60 total including shipping for this machine. It drives like a dream and my carpets which are really old and cruddy are looking better than ever before!  The only "bad" thing I can say about it is it tips over without the tank attached as in when you go to empty it and also the hose is very short when you use the "lift away" function but I can live with those minor infractions and I  may look into seeing if they have a hose extension which would take care of the one issue.
I am not getting paid (I wish) for this endorsement but when I find a great product I like to let everyone know.  I have wasted lots of money on bad products before and I've only had this for a week so if anything goes wrong I will let you know but so far this vacuum surpasses any other vacuum I've ever owned over all my years of vacuuming which are many!
I purchased this through QVC after researching models and prices at Wal-mart and Amazon and a few other places. 
My next "work place assistant" I'm looking into is the Shark Sonic Duo which scrubs carpet and plain floors like your sonic toothbrush cleans your teeth.  It has pads for different applications and it's own cleaning solutions and polishes.  The reviews so far are better on floors than carpet but all in all the reviews are high.  I think I'll wait awhile and bask in my new vacuum and maybe for my Christmas present to me I'll try the Sonic Duo.  As I age, I look more and more for tools to help me as my scrubbing floors on my hands and knees, or anything else for that matter, days are over.
Let me know if you have either of these products and what you think of them.
Happy Trails!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

YOP Week #8

This was a rough week....I got stung by a red wasp on my lower forehead which affected my eyes and sinuses.  Red wasps are very aggressive and this one hit me out of nowhere.  It is still swollen but I had no severe reaction.  Days before "the sting" I 'd been seeing this crow hanging around every time I went outside or looked outside.  We have crows here and I hear them "cawing" and I see them flying in groups but I rarely see them alone and this one had been hanging around for days.  Here it is on my neighbors fence.
The thought did cross my mind that it was a sign of some kind....I have to admit I thought maybe it was trying to tell me my days were numbered...true enough. Well, whether it was a sign or not I don't know but that very day my next door neighbor passed away just feet from me in his home.  He had been sick with bronchitis and had been to the doctor and gotten some inhalers but that day he called 911 but by the time they arrived he was gone.  There was an autopsy and they found 2 clots in his lungs which evidently are what took him so speedily.  He was only 63 and had moved here a year ago after retiring.  He was a peaceful, kind man who loved to sing especially with his choir at church and he was a good neighbor.  You will be missed Paul.
Despite what was going on I still had peaches calling my name.
This one looked like a self portrait after the wasp sting...........
I was right in the middle of blanching them when I got the news about Paul.
I did manage to get them all peeled, sliced and in the freezer...finally but I was pretty exhausted.  
So, needless to say I did not get a lot of fiber work done but I did finish my shawl except for weaving in ends and blocking.
I love it and it is probably one of my finest knitting accomplishments along with my 1 sock! LOL!
I love the color, the yarn, the style and I have definitely been bitten by the "shawl bug"!
I started the 2nd of 3 dishcloths for my son............
and another preemie hat.....

I went to Wal-mart yesterday.  I try not to go on weekends but I really needed some items and I had not had an opportunity to go so while I was there I picked up some more baby yarn for hats.
My eyes for my Lalylala "Bina" bear came in the mail and I chose ones that I thought were the appropriate size....unfortunately I put them on the wrong side....DUH!  Trust me...they are definitely safety eyes as I tried like the dickens to get them off and couldn't! LOL!  Oh well, I'll know better next time.
I hope you all had a good week and I'm sorry I haven't been around to visit this week. Hopefully this coming week will be kinder to all.  Happy Trails!