Sunday, March 11, 2018

Week 9 & 10 - Oops, I Did it Again!

Yes, folks, I lost another week else do I explain not getting the blog post done last week?  It certainly wasn't that I just got lazy, was it?  Nope, can't imagine that happening!!

So Sock Madness, the annual Free-for-All International Sock Knitting Contest began a week ago this last Thursday.  At least the Qualifying Round began.  One has 2 weeks (down to the minute!) to knit a specific pair of socks in order to qualify to get onto a team and actually compete.  I downloaded the pattern, went thru the stash to find the yarns I wanted to use, and cast's a lovely pattern by one of my favorite sock designers...I've finished one sock and am almost ready to complete the 2nd one.  I will definitely make it to a team this year.  My goal is to make it to the 3rd round (of 7).  Any further and I'd need to take time off work and knit around the clock to proceed further.  And that's not happening!  Here's my finished first sock.
The markers are there at the request of the moderators so they can make sure I knit the number of rounds they require.  I'm not altogether sure I like the construction of that toe but it's required so, what can you do?  I don't have to use that toe when I knit my regular vanilla socks.

Our nephew and his wife and one daughter came over yesterday.  He offered to help his Uncle John built a birthing corral behind the barn and we took him up on it!  They started around 8:00 a.m. yesterday and finished after dark - tractor lights pointed at the area they were working worked just fine after the sun went down.  The corral is quite large and made of metal and will be wonderful to keep Rosie and Belle secured when it's time for them to have their calves in mid-April.  That way, John won't have to chase them into the woods if they have problems.  As soon as they weather permits, I can post pictures - it's a work of art!  Our nephew is very good at welding and that corral is quite sturdy!

You know, sometimes I see things on the internet that resonate with me, or make me chuckle, or make me think.  Here's one that made sense to me:
Got it!

And lots of folks post that they are Thankful...thankful for being able to provide for their families, thankful that God is watching over them, thankful they have jobs, a roof over their head, etc.  Here's a good thankful reminder:

I need to knit some more on my qualifier sock so I'm going to finish this for the week.  Keep good thoughts and I'll post next Sunday!

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Week 8 - Rain, Cows, Knitting, and More Rain

Last week we were in a drought condition.  This week, not so much.  We've had almost 5 inches of rain so far and that brought us back to where we normally are at this time of the year for rain.  The fields are so soaked.  Here, I'll show you.

See those puddles out in the field...the ground is so soaked, the water can't soak in much more.  This morning, the water has been absorbed and those puddles are gone.  

Wanna see pregnant heifers?  Here they are.

That's Belle on the left and Rosie on the right.  They are both called heifers since they haven't had calves yet...once their first calf is born, they will then be called cows! You learn something new all the time here at Pieceful Harbor!  The calves are due around the beginning of April....we will have a birthing corral built by then so John will have them close to the barn in case he needs to help with the birth/s.  And here's a closeup of Belle - she is our son's.

Little Pudge!

Last week, between gentle rainstorms, I peaked out of the window in the morning room and saw there were probably 50 cardinals over by the compost pile.  It seems John threw out several handfuls of 'scratch' for the chickens and the cardinals swooped down to take advantage of the unexpected banquet.

You really can't get a good idea of how many there were with this one...but you also couldn't see the birds in the picture I took farther away to see the sheer number of them.  We see cardinals and blue birds and blue jays all the time...along with sparrows and hawks and ravens and starlings.  And deer...oh, my, do we see deer!  I think there is a herd of about 12 that live in our woods.  And, of course the family of 5 squirrels that live in our barn.  

Rain doesn't really keep the chickens from getting their fair share of scratch.  I saw these girls outside the barn, pecking away even in the gentle rain the other day.

John is hoping to add more chickens this spring...maybe a different breed so we will post them once they get going.  

Progress continues on the Butterfly shawls...we finished section 1 of 3 yesterday...we try to work on one 'part' each day so we don't get burned out.  It's not complicated, it's just a LOT of work. 

I think that's enough info for this week....thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Week 7 - More Weather

I am soooooo over winter!  I'm sick of being cold....done with snow and ice...finished with stupid coats that make me look like the Pillsbury Doughboy.  DONE.  That being said, the Groundhog saw his shadow so we have 6 more weeks of winter since February 2nd.  That would bring us to around March 20th... I say we declare Spring that day whether we're ready of not!  Everyone with me?

We have pecan trees all around the library and every year this older couple literally swarm the grounds, picking up pecans...probably to either preserve them or to sell them.  This year, I didn't see them gathering nuts during the fall.  BUT, we saw this behind our dumpster the other day....I can't imagine that there was anyone but that couple who did this.  Made us all smile the rest of the day.

My local yarn shop (LYS) is having a KnitAlong...we're doing a pattern called Butterfly (Papillon). It's a shawl that literally looks like a butterfly with extended wings.  It's quite an undertaking...I won't show you the pattern cause that would violate the copyright of the designer...suffice to say, it's involved!  Mom decided she would make one, too.  Now, she rarely does anything but socks.  She cranks out socks like there's no tomorrow - close to 30 pair a year.  She doesn't have a lot of experience in doing much else, at least not for a very long time.  But she committed to doing this.  And I'm so proud of is her progress so far.

I have to say, she never gave up, she kept her cool, even when I was chewing nails and spitting hot rivets with frustration.  I think it finally kicked in and she did great when we sat down to work on it today.  So stinkin' proud of her...she's brave and she's amazing!

Here's mine:

We've had rain all day today....that's a YEAH! far this year we are in drought conditions and this rain is expected to bring us past that.  With luck, we hope to get upwards of 6-7 inches in the next few days...enough rain to put us in flooding conditions...wacky weather.  

I've spent today, when not knitting, putting together some quilt tops and backs to go to the quilter.  None of them is very big, one is a baby quilt, the others are table toppers that just need to get done!  Will show them once they get back and have the bindings done.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Week 6 - Ice Ice Baby

Last week ran the gamut - weather wise - from warm to wicked cold!  We got some snow on Sunday, enough to have schools call a Snow Day for Monday.  The only significant thing about that is when schools are closed, so is the library.  So I had a Snow Day on Monday, followed by my regular day off.  Since I'd had to work on Saturday, that gave me an unscheduled 3 day weekend.  Yeah!  The weather warmed up for most of the week but yesterday it turned cold again and was accompanied by what one weatherman called 'frizzle'.  Freezing drizzle quickly turned into ice and the roads became dangerous to drive on.  By nightfall, the 'frizzle' became 'frain' - freezing rain - and it went downhill from there.  We woke up to ice on the trees, decks, grass, and roads.

Goodness, it was slick!  John tried to drive around the circle drive and the ATV slid all over the place....I still don't know if they are going to call for schools or work tomorrow....we haven't had any sun at all today and the temp hasn't gotten to 30 degrees, much less there hasn't been any melting going on at's quite dangerous for school buses to try to drive down country roads that are icy....I'm hoping for a snow day so I can sew some more.  

Here you can see Miss Belle with her blanket of ice...

She's looking kinda chunky - her baby is due sometime around the middle of April...

We've got a beef roast in the slow cooker and John is baking a spaghetti squash and making a cheesy garlic beer bread to go along with them.  Perfect for a winter Sunday afternoon!

I finally finished getting all the tax info ready for the accountant.  Sent it all off to her yesterday and she sent me an email that she'd gotten it....she usually takes about a week to get them done and then we just wait for the government to send our money back to us!  

Thanks for stopping by...stay warm wherever you are. Or cool, if you are in the southern hemisphere!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Week 5 - Already???

I simply cannot believe it's February already!  I had thought I was doing well to pay attention to my world and I must have blinked - that's the only explanation! - and January is gone!  I will try to pay closer attention to February! Promise.

For the last 11 years I've participated in an international sock knitting competition called Sock has grown to over 2000 people from all over the world who enter this speed-knitting contest.  I have absolutely no expectations of winning nor even coming close to winning.  The first year, I'd only been knitting for less than 6 months and had only knit one or two pairs of socks....I've knit hundreds of pairs now....thanks for the competition.  Each February 1st, the registration is opened for this year's contest.  I signed up - surprised?  We got the supplies list - oh, goodness, it's colorwork again this year.  Let me tell you, I'm not a fan of colorwork (for those of you who know nothing of knitting, colorwork involves using different strands of yarn -kinda sorta all at once- to make pictures, or designs on the fabric you are knitting).  I've never been a fan, and I don't see me being one in the future.  

The first warmup pattern came out today in preparation of the start of Sock Madness 12 sometime after the 1st of March.  One is not required to knit any of the warmup patterns but this one called to me.  So I grabbed some self-striping yarn I had and cast on this pattern.  The pattern name is Nogardaton by Adrienne Fong.  Here it is so far, the first three rows of the cuff.  I'm using a self-striping yarn called Canteloupe and it's so cute!

The 3rd row of this contains bobbles....most of the time I can't stand knitting bobbles but this designer has come up with a fairly easy way to do them and I'm really liking this. 

It snowed most of the day yesterday...didn't accumulate a lot, but the fields are dusted with a layer of white.  The schools in this area closed for today and the library policy is that when schools close for snow, we are closed for snow.  So I woke up today to no work!  I have spent the day doing stuff I haven't done in a very long time.....I sewed most of the day...yep, I sewed!!! I worked on a table runner for a's almost ready to be quilted.  And I made a row from last summer's Row by Row Experience that makes me smile - the Gecko row from a shop in the Phoenix area....Tell me you don't smile when you see this one.

We had a little gecko that lived in our doorbell in the Philippines and he only came out at day, he did not come out...maybe he packed his bags like these guys did and went on another adventure...

Thanks for stopping by.  

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Week 3 & 4 - I'm Already Behind!

4 weeks into the new year and I'm already behind...I figured if I'd been able to blog once a week for the past 2 years, doing it again for another year wouldn't be so hard.  Sheesh!  That's what I get for figuring!!!

So the past 2 weeks have been eventful but still uneventful...let me explain.  While we have been busy, nothing of any consequence has occurred.  We had significant snow during week 3.  Enough to cancel school for 4 days and work for 3 days.  Living in the country, school is cancelled if the buses can't get down roads safely to pick kids.  We were open on the last day of their 4-day closing cause it was easier for us to get into town.  I spent those days (some of them regularly scheduled days off) tidying and knitting and generally working in the studio.  Organizing my thoughts and plans for the year, craft wise.

One of the TV show we really like is a series made in Canada - well, no longer made but still showing in several markets here in the States.  It's called the Red Green Show.  A comedy that just tickles us. One of our favorite sayings from the show is:
Fortunately for me, Mr. Wonderful is not only handsome, he's quite handy.  I got really lucky with him!  It used to be when I was growing up, my dad was not at all handy.  NOT AT ALL!  It took me a long time to get used to NOT calling a repairman as soon as something broke around the house.  Mr. Wonderful is amazingly talented in the repair department!  

This past week our pride and joy, our treasure, our only son, John III, celebrated a significant birthday.  He turned 40!  His staff decorated the office with tons of glitter and candles.  

He says if you want to find him, just follow the trail of's insidious!

To end this week's post, I've got a riddle for you.  A friend of ours who emigrated to Australia when she got out of the Navy posted this on her Facebook tickled me.

Let me know if you get an answer to this...

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Week 2 - January in Missouri

Our temperatures continue to see-saw.   This past week we went from the mid-30s to mid-60s and now down to the mid-20s with snow.  
Even the cows are not immune to the snowfall.  John put out fresh hay for them yesterday and that lump of hay at the front right of the photo fell off the roll...all 3 cows headed for it and laid down in it.  I figure it was really warm for them to lay down.

Since this is a holiday weekend - Martin Luther King Holiday is tomorrow -  and I always have Tuesdays off, I've got an especially long weekend.  I'm tidying up the studio - slowly - and hope to get in some sewing while I'm at it.

My office partner loves to watch cooking shows on youtube.  He decides he wants to make pasta or cook a roast a different way and heads to youtube to see how others do it.  He is particularly fond of this one woman who has a Russian accent and is really funny.  The other day, he started to laugh at lunch...I turned around and this was the disclaimer on her site for whatever she was going to cook that day:

Allergy Warning:
This contains a scale, a calculator, and might contain traces of math!

It struck me and I started to giggle myself!  

Gilligan hasn't asked to sneak outside recently...I can't imagine anyone wanting to go outside with the snow and the cold.  John found him like this when he got up this morning.
Warm, safe and sleeping kitty!

John has to work tomorrow even though it's a holiday for most folks.  I think we will stay home and either sew or knit...maybe watch a movie.  No sense in going out in the snow and cold when we have a nice warm house.

Thanks for stopping by.