Sunday, January 31, 2016

Week 5 - A Rather Dull Week

This past week was one that we all hope for and rarely get - a dull week.  One where nothing exciting - or dramatic - happens.  No hideous weather, no illness, no car breakdowns costing hundreds or thousands of dollars.  Just a passing of 7 days.  While some folks might chastise me for reveling in this, I can't, in all honesty, feel bad about it.  
Here you see some of the deer that live in our woods, coming out into the sunshine to munch on what's left of the grass.  There is a herd of over 15 deer that live in the woods surrounding this long as they stay away from our orchard (our orchard of 4 fruit trees!), I'm fine with sharing the land with them. 

Finally, (I said it was a dull week -  I'm reaching for stuff to put on the post!) have you ever wondered what leprechaun poop looked like?  Me neither.  But I was cruising thru Etsy the other day and saw this and knew I had to have it.  Sparkly Leprechaun Poop sock yarn!  Very subtle sparkles but so pretty....Not sure how it will knit up, whether it will be stripes or will pool into blobs of color - that's the fun of variegated yarns; seeing them pop when knit up.  

John and I are going to our neighbor's house for spatchcocked chicken done on the grill this afternoon.  We are taking colcannon (OMG, you must try this mashed potato recipe - it's divine!), a spinach tortellini salad (thanks to our wonderful daughter-in-law, Jill made this and we love it) and ice cream for dessert.  

Thanks for stopping by.  See you next week!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week 4 - And a Birthday Occurs

38 years ago today, John and I were gifted a most amazing human to tend and guide and send off into the world.  William John Knotwell III took only 15 hours to make his way into our world and our hearts.  He has grown to be a most amazing man.  A son, a grandson, a husband, a father, a businessman, a patriot, and a friend.  Not necessarily in that order, depending on who is talking about him.  He is a treasure and a gift to all who have the good fortune to enter his world.  Happy, Happy Birthday, John!  We love you and you are always in our hearts and prayers. 

Remember last week when I said that winter hadn't made much of an impact on our part of the world so far?  Remember when I said that winter would take that statement as a challenge?  I was right!  Tuesday our weather turned on us and we had snow, sleet, rain, freezing drizzle, and ice.  My work was closed from mid-Tuesday thru Thursday.  John went to work each day - sorry for him!  

While the snow wasn't all that much - probably an inch or so - the underlying slickness made the roads a bit treacherous.  There were many, many vehicles that had slid off the road into ditches and culverts - even school buses weren't immune to that.  Even Mr. Wonderful wasn't immune to it.  Picture a work pickup with a camper shell hitting a patch of ice on the interstate and slipping and sliding along until it flips over and lands upside down in an 8 foot ditch with John hanging by his seat belt.  There were tons of angels working on his case, cause he didn't have a single scratch on him- not a bruise or even a sore muscle.  3 vehicles saw it happen a stopped to help - one guy wrenched open the door and crawled in to cut John out of his seat belt so he could get out.  After calling work to report the accident, he called me to tell me first "I'm okay!" and then proceeded to give me to bare basics of what happened. He got home about 4 hours later and I made sure he wasn't hurt - not one single bruise or broken skin or anything.  He never got any sore muscles or anything from the incident.  He is one lucky man, that's for sure.

On another note, the time off work gave me the opportunity to photograph some of the knitting projects I'd completed in the last few months.  The below is only one of them.  The 2014 Stephen West Mystery Knit-a-long Shawl - Exploration Station.  An amazing knitted shawl.  

I have also just finished the 2015 Mystery shawl but it's not blocked yet so it doesn't look very appealing.  Will show that once it's done....don't hold your breath, though, cause it takes a while to stretch wet knitwear out and pin it to dry.  

Most of the time during my icy lock-in, I sewed.....I worked on the elements of the Block-of-the-Month quilt from my local quilt shop from 2015....I've got all the parts made and a couple of the pieced borders done...will definitely show you the finished product when I get the top finished.  

In the meantime, know that I appreciate every one of you.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week 3 - Keeping Up

Third week in far, the weather for 'winter' hasn't lived up to the name but I'm sure that now I've mentioned it, Winter will take the dare and roar in with a vengeance!  Last night's low temperature was a whopping 9 degrees and today it is expected to get up to 29 degrees.  Last Thursday we hit in the 60's.  It's hard to dress for the day with the temps rocking to and fro.  

I was supposed to go on a 'retreat' of sorts this weekend - it being a long weekend for Martin Luther King Holiday.  All week I'd felt a bit icky - the only way to explain it.  By Friday I knew I had something akin to a cold and didn't want to share it with my friends.  Elected to stay home. I could still work on the projects I'd planned to tackle, even though I wasn't there.  I traced one of the block for In Full Bloom, ironed on the fusible webbing to the fabrics, and cut the background. I might try to trace the basic design on clear vinyl so I can overlay it to fuse the shaped down on the background. This block is a huge basket of fuschia flowers overflowing downward. There are 2 hummingbirds hovering near the flowers.  The total size is only 10" by 21 1/2" so it shouldn't take long to get it done.  Will show a picture once it's done, I promise.

I am always updating my wishlist on - even if you don't want to use Amazon to purchase, they have a Wishlist section that is so helpful for anyone looking to buy you a gift.  It saves them nagging you with 'What do you want for your birthday, or Christmas, or Anniversary"...they can just look at your list and select from there.  I've even found a free app on the computer that allows me to put things on my Amazon Wishlist that Amazon doesn't even sell!  Anyway, the point is, I've had a wishlist for quite some time now and one of the things on that list was the Lego VW Camper....quite nostalgic and fun as well.  John doesn't think in fun - he is more about the practical or useful.  I finally said something to him this past November about I really, really, really, really want the Lego Camper.....Really!  I think he got the hint!  That camper has over 1300 pieces.  It took me over 4 hours just to inventory the pieces....I worked on it periodically for a week and here it is.

This is about 12 inches long and 7 inches high.  The pop-up top really does pop-up.  The back opens to reveal the engine and the driver's door also opens.  A ton of fun to make.  He also got me Mini Cooper kit for my birthday and I've not started that one yet.

I'm off to work on the Fuschia basket....thanks for stopping by.  See you next week.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 - Week 2

Today we had our first far, only about an inch or so with maybe another inch expected.  It's not even sticking yet to the roads since we've had such a warm autumn and beginning of winter.  This is from the morning room looking east toward the barn.  That's Garnet and Aggie stocking up on hay.
And this is looking west from the morning room.  It looks idyllic but let me tell you, it's mighty cold with the wind chill.

I've scheduled new tires for Hot Poppy this next week, and probably not too soon!  We don't want to take any chances on tires during the winter.

John and I had dinner with some friends last night.  Went into town and spent a most enjoyable evening talking to Lee and Katlin; hadn't seen them in quite a while.  I love those folks and we decided that we wouldn't let so much time pass before we do it again.  I'm writing it in the calendar to set a time to meet.  If you are like me, I check my calendar a lot and usually can get more things done if I write down what I want to accomplish each day.

I've started a new quilting project.  I know, what's so new about that?  Well, a friend recommended an online project for this year.  It's based on a quilting book that recently came out - Sister Sampler Quilts by AnneMarie Chany.  We are doing the Bonfire quilt.  As I understand the program, each month, the designer posts which block we are going to make.  We make 2 of them, but change up the fabric selections in each so we are making fraternal twins, so-to-speak.  We will do this 8 months and will end up with 16 blocks.  There is a group of 5 of us 'locally' (I say that because we all live in southwest Missouri within about 50 miles of each other) who are doing this.  Some are using batiks and some are not, some are going muted and some are not.  No one will be surprised that I am going bright, bright, bright!  Here are my first two blocks - Moon & Stars Sister 1 and 2.

This is the color palette I'm using throughout the entire quilt.  I'll use a solid black to frame where the blocks are set and probably will do my own border setting at the end.  So far, I'm liking this quilt.  

Well, I've got a banana cake to make and a shawl to finish binding off and then some sewing to do.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 - A New Beginning, A New Chance to Get it Right

 Happy New Year to you all.  I was kinda sorta watching the Rose Parade on TV and I was reminded that I had been to that parade - 20 years ago on New Year's Day.  Young John was the trombone section leader and center guide for the Emerald Brigade Marching Band from Poway High School and he led that group of over 400 kids down Colorado Blvd on New Year's Day, 1996.  I don't think they were anywhere near the beginning of the parade, but, honestly, it was the only part of the parade I was interested in seeing and the only part of the parade I really remember.  We had seats way up high in  the stands and one needed binoculars to see faces.  What a wonderful memory.

 John made a loaf of bread on New Year's day....I woke up to the amazing smell of fresh bread.  I love homemade bread.  And it's so easy to make bread in the machine anytime we need it.

I received this cute little nativity set for Christmas.  I love nativities and haven't gotten any new ones for a while.  This one is small - the igloo is only about 5 inches across.  It's made of resin, and the animals are all so stinkin' cute - Moose, polar bear, seal, and husky. Thanks to my Utah family, my nativity collection is growing.  

I see a lot of people who are declaring a Word of the Year.  I decided to jump on the bandwagon and figure out a word that I will focus on for 2016.  Several have come to mind, but I keep coming back to KINDNESS.  Yep, I think that will be my word this year.   Kindness.  

Thank you for stopping by.  And I hope each day a little kindness comes your way.