Sunday, March 27, 2016

Week 13 - He is Risen!

Today is Easter Sunday.  From looking out the window, you would not think it was early Spring. It has been overcast and rainy all day...and cold, really cold!  But there is something in the air and Easter it is.  John and I had a wonderful dinner together of home-grown ham, stuffing, and fresh asparagus.  I made a huge pot of spaghetti sauce, most of which is now in the freezer, with one quart in the fridge for tomorrow's dinner. 
 We have a huge bay window in the morning room and we can look out any time of the day and see all kinds of wildlife coming out of our woods.  John was watching the cows out the window and called me to see this beautiful red fox out in the clearing.  She was obviously to watch.
 I logged onto Instagram to see what new pictures were is my most favorite one.  This is our wonderful son and his amazing wife and the 5 most Special Grandchildren in the whole wide world.  Aren't they beautiful?  Every single one of them.  Hey, W in the bottom right is going to be 9 years old tomorrow....Happy Birthday, make us so proud of you!

Earlier this week our son's company celebrated a re-branding...they are now called Rize Point.  The CEO is a friend as well as our son's boss....he posted something that resonated with me and I thought I'd share with you all.  His 15-year-old daughter had sent him an email earlier that day to remind him what is truly important on that very stressful day. I loved it so much, I asked for permission to re-post it here.  Thank you, Frank Maylett and your wonderful 15-year-old daughter for these inspirational words. 
1. Smile
2. Focus
3. Eat yummy food
4. Dance when good things happen
5. Smile when bad things happen
6. Be social
7. Have some "me time"
8. Help someone out
9. Thank people for their work
10. Praise God
Work is what we do, not who we are. We are spouses, friends, humans, citizens of the world and at times, forgetful and flawed.
Round 2 of Sock Madness 10 came out on Sunday night.  Wow, I am learning so much this round.  The cast on was a bit fiddly - took me over 4 hours to cast on the first time I tried it.  Once I got the beaded cuff done, it went much faster.  I am currently working the gusset on the 2nd sock.  With good fortune, I may be able to snag a spot into Round 3 by tomorrow nite.  Here is the first sock completed.

I'm using a bright turquoise yarn made from wool and is so squishy and soft to work with!  The beads are multi-colored...teal green, copper, gold, and gold-lined clear ones.  The socks remind me of a desert sunset.
Well, I need to get to knittin'!  I want to snag one of the 15 spots left on Team Folo Foxgloves to go to Round 3.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Week 12 - In Which the Season is Confused

The political mayhem that is going on in this country is so disturbing and, frankly, embarrassing.  In the last few years, the United States has become such a laughingstock throughout the rest of the world.  It appears we will have only two choices in the coming election; and neither of those two are good for the country.  Each will bring to the table a collection of lies, subtrefuge, double-talk, bluster, and downright hatred for this country and her citizens.  That's all I can say about these two lying buffoons.  No country will take us seriously with either of these two at the helm.  And while I will definitely vote, I'm really torn about which one to vote for - the Lying Millionaire or the Blustering-Mysoginistic-Racist-Bullying-Narcissistic Zillionaire. As my father said, if I don't vote at all, I have no place to complain.  So I will vote, and then complain about whichever one of them won...neither is good for this country. I voted in our Primary election this past week...and NOT for the apparent front runner in my party. Ok, I'm going to jump down off this soapbox now and talk about important things.  

Like, who told Mother Nature that the first day of Spring warranted dropping snow on the ground?  I woke up this morning to this:
 Yes, folks, that is the end of March!  The temps are in the 40's already so most of it has melted away but, come ON! Snow? 

Last week was one of catch up, too.  I am doing a Block of the Month sew-along online.  Each month for 8 months, the designer tells us which block from her book she is showcasing and we then make 2 of them, fraternal.   Here are my March blocks.  I'm doing mine in sherbet/tropical batiks.  I think this is the 3rd month that the blocks have had curves...sure hope there aren't any more.  I'm really tired of curves!

I had ordered this pocket square of tartan that was designed for the Outlander Book/TV series.  I don't care for brown but this brown is soft and creamy (like hot chocolate) and it appealed to me.  Then, a yarn was introduced called Jamie's Kilt from Lorna's Laces....again, mostly brown but soft and creamy with a touch of heathery green.  I had to have it.  Don't they look pretty?  I see a pair of sock or maybe a little shawl or scarf.  Will keep you posted.

Just got an email yesterday with my team assignment for Sock Madness 10.   I am on Team Folo Foxgloves.  There are 17 teams this year...not exactly sure how many people on each team; somewhere between 40 and 50.  I know that 764 people qualified to go on to Round 2.  That's a lot of folks to wrangle! I wondered what the Folo meant and someone on my team told us that Folo is the number 10 in Malagasy, the language of Madagascar.  Each team name begins in the number 10 in a different language and then a flower name.  The yarn specifications came out at the same time.  This next sock will include beads.....lots of beads.  I didn't want to go out to buy beads so I'm using stash - pale turquoise yarn with copper/teal beads. The specs also call for a cable needle so I'm thinking this will be a cabled sock with beads...hopefully not on the foot portion cause that could be painful to wear. Not sure exactly when the pattern will drop. It could be anytime between now and 36 hours from now.  Will let you know next week what's up on that front.

My drive to work is along about 4 miles of country road till I get to 'town' - if you can call our little burg of 6400 people a town.  Tuesday my drive looked like this:

Yep, that's fog, folks.  Not Tulle fog like we used to get in California but just enough fog to make the drive a bit eerie.  The next day, this is what I saw at the end of my driveway - a beautiful Bradford Pear tree in full bloom.  Bradford Pears are ornamentals that bloom in the early spring, and only for about 5 days then the blooms are gone and it's just a green tree - no fruit. Where Kentucky gets the gorgeous Dogwood trees, we get Bradford Pears. 
Hopefully, this next week will bring some socks to show you, at least partially done anyway.  In the meantime, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week 11 - Qualified!

I finished my Sock Madness Round 1 socks on Thursday afternoon.  While I am not fond of knitting socks from the toe up, these were not bad to knit.  I really dislike knitting the required heel's quite fiddly and doesn't fit as well as I'd like.  If I ever have to knit that heel again, I will stop on the foot about 5 rows less than I did on this pair.  That might tighten up the heel a bit.  All-in-all, it was an easy pair to knit and it took me just about 10 days to knit the pair.  Not bad for a speed competition.  Of course, this is only Round 1...the patterns get much harder as the competition goes further.  Round 1 ends at 11:00 p.m. my time tomorrow.  Then we wait a few days to find out what team we've been placed on, and then to receive the specs for Round 2...once we get those specs, we have between 0 and 48 hours before we get the 2nd pattern emailed to us and then it's knitting like the wind to qualify for Round 3.  Additionally, only some of the members of each team will go on to the next round.  I aim to make it to Round 3 at year I made it into Round 6 but never even cast on for those socks cause they scared me spitless.  I still have the pattern and may one day cast on, just to prove to myself that I can do it.  But not today!

I have to include this cute picture...this is Garnet.  She is currently living on our property with her offspring, Aggie.  Garnet is the first born of our Ruby - remember Ruby?  We sold her to a wonderful older man about 3 years ago when we found out she had a fractured hip and could no longer carry calves to full term.  Well, Ruby gave birth to Garnet about 10 years ago....and we gave Garnet to our neighbor as thanks for letting us keep our cows on his property for the 4 years it took John to get our own fences built.  We move all our cows between the two properties periodically to let the grass grow and recover.  Garnet and Aggie are currently living here at Pieceful Harbor along with our newest calf, Rosie.  John was out this morning, trying to get a picture of Rosie, and Garnet came up to see what John was doing...she probably was looking for a range cube -John always has range cubes in his pockets for the cows! 

Finally got all 3 of the girls up to the feed trough.  That's Aggie on the left, Garnet on the right, and Rosie in the middle.  Compared to the older ones, Rosie is quite petite - only about 200 pounds...not bad for a 9 month calf.


Today is a good day for some red beans a rice!  The past few days have been drizzly and overcast.  John started this pot early today and the house is smelling so yummy....I can hardly wait.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week 10 - Rosie and the Sock

We have another new addition to our 'household".  She is always a bit flushed and her face is always quite pale.  And she is missing her mama something fierce right now.  Folks, I give you Rosie, our white-faced red cow, often mistaken as a Hereford but she has no papers so she can't officially be called that.  She was born on July 3, 2015 so that makes her 8 months old.  And up till yesterday, she had been getting some of her sustenance from her mama....then she was loaded into a trailer and brought over to our property where she will live permanently...she's been bellerin' all night and all day today...but she's eating grass and drinking from the water trough so we know she can do it. It will probably take about a week for her to be totally weaned but we can wait her out!  Behind Rosie is Aggie, a neighbor's cow who is also living at our house for the time being.  
This was Rosie after she ran off the trailer yesterday.  She 'escaped' the trailer and ran around in the field, obviously looking for her mama...Garnet (who also belongs to our neighbor) was checking
her out.

On another note, Sock Madness 10 is upon us.  I have participated for the last 9 years. It always starts no sooner than the first of March each year.  So imagine my surprise, not to mention my anxiety, when I decided to check on Monday nite (Leap Day, February 29) and Shazbot, the pattern is out!  Turns out, the designer lives in Australia and the Powers That Be decided that was good enough reason to release the competition pattern a day early in the U.S, since it was already March 1st Down Under.  So I frantically sought out the two colors of yarn it called for, grabbed my needles, and cast on.  Now the rules of the game are that one MUST use exactly the cast on method in the pattern. And one MUST follow all the other directions and methods in order to continue in the competition.  I had never done the particular cast on called for so I logged on to YouTube to watch a video - I think I might use that cast on again...pretty slick.  Then it was on toward the heel of the sock.  I  am not fond of knitting socks from the toe up.  The heels on those kinds of socks just drive me nuts.  But this sock was a toe-up sock and it used a method of doing the heel that was new to me.  Again I went up to YouTube to watch a video on Japanese Short Row Heels.  Let's just say that I got thru it, (note all the orange stitch markers) and made the heel.
And finished that darned sock yesterday afternoon.  Now all I have to do is do it again for the second sock...and get that done no later than a week from tomorrow at midnight. 
It wouldn't be so hard if not for my knitting assistant who quite frankly has no regard for the hurried-ness of Sock Madness.  His attitude is, if it's not all about him, he just doesn't care.  

Very difficult to knit with both arms full of cat!

 I'm off to cast on the second sock....wish me luck getting that dratted heel done properly.

Thanks for stopping by.