Friday, July 29, 2011

Man's Rules

Finally , the guys' side of the story!

We always hear 'the rules' from the female side.
Now here are the rules from the male side.

These are our rules!
Please note... they are all numbered '1' ON PURPOSE!

1. Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports It's like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Crying is blackmail, and witchcraft.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one! Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.. In fact, all comments become Null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something Or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say 'nothing,' We will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, Expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1.. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... Really!

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as Football or golf.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know I have to sleep on the couch tonight; But did you know men really don't mind that? It's like camping.

(Please note... Dale sent me this in the mail. Very funny. Also note: when I copy/pasted this to my blog I had to fix several punctuation and spelling errors. I guess another rule is that "guys can't write, and don't care how it looks". Pfffft.)

A Crazy- Busy Week and Knitting WIP's

What a week!

This week we have had Vacation Bible School. Anyone involved in such a venture knows that no matter how big or small the group is, it still ramps up the intensity of busyness.

Added to that... is taking Benjamin back and forth to work at a blueberry farm in our area.

Added to that... two days were missed by me, Jerusha, Josiah, and Isaac, and one day Elizabeth due to the tummy bug going through some of us. Thankfully, no one else got it!

Oh, and yesterday we spent the day picking squash and green beans and getting them put up in the freezer.

Needless to say, there hasn't been a whole lot of time for quilting and knitting, but I have been plugging away at some of my WIP's.... "Work in Progress".

I finished the bottom band and was contemplating how to block it before continuing. I was going to give it a gentle hand wash, then lay it out in the sun on the picnic table, but believe it or not, the days have been cloudy, with some rain!

So, this morning I decided to try and steam block it with the iron. I worked it and worked it, but couldn't get the pattern to open up satisfactorily. I decided to hand wash it, then pat it dry a bit, then hand spread it out on the ironing board and set it in my room in front of the oscillating fan. It will take a bit to dry but it looks good so far. Isaac watched the process and seemed to approve.

Here's a close up of the leaf pattern in the band:

I couldn't resist starting on a neck insert while I still had the ins and outs of the leaf pattern in my head. This is just about 20 rows in... not very much, but at least it is a start.

Meanwhile, every couple days I work a bit on Elizabeth's socks. I'm about 60% through with them.

I've been picking up stitches on my STILL unfinished Seaweed Cardi. There are over 340 for the band around the neck and fronts! Whew! The Bella Blouse and socks require a bit more concentration, so the picking up stitches and then working the ribbing on the Seaweed Cardigan is an "easy" type of knitting I can do in the evenings when too tired to concentrate on something more complicated.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Harbor Drawstring Pants for Isaac

It has been way too hot to quilt or do sewing, so I have been working on some knitting. I finished up Isaac's second pair of drawstring shorts, but made them longer this time, more like "capris". I used CotLin from KnitPicks, in "Harbor". I love this pattern! it is SO easy, perfect for sitting outside watching the kids in the pool and keeping track of Isaac while he is playing.

I've been working on the bottom band to my Bella Blouse too, when I can. I am about 3/4 of the way done with it. I've decided to knit the body of the blouse in the round to help save time. After looking up several projects on, and seeing others who have done the same, I see no reason not to do it that way.

I'm also working a pair of socks for Elizabeth. They have been in the works for a bit, but got put on the back burner since nice,warm socks aren't a big priority in the summer. Now that the drawstring shorts for Isaac are done, my attention is on the Bella Blouse and Elizabeth's socks.

Don't the drawstring shorts look cute on Isaac?

Couscous Vegetable Salad

Here is another great hot weather dish. I LOVED it... my kids... ehhhh, not so much. Too bad, so sad, for them. I'm definitely making this again. I tripled this recipe, and got a lot of the veggies from the garden. Yummy!

Couscous Vegetable Salad

2 cups cooked couscous
1 Cup sliced yellow summer squash
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 chopped red onion
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained.
1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek and it was very good!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. curry powder (you want this... adds a nice zip to the dish and leaves your tongue interested at the finish.)

Mix couscous, summer squash, zucchini, bell pepper, red onion, and garbanzo beans in a large bowl. Combine yogurt, salt and curry powder in a small bowl, then stir into the couscous mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

Bon apetit!

Baby it's HOT outside!

We have had some record high temps this week, one day reaching 105 degrees. That was the actual temperature. What the "feels like" temperature was... I don't want to know, and neither do you.

I planned some cold suppers and one of them was a Fruit and Cheese salad with orange-basil vinaigrette. It was delicious! The kids even loved it. Ha!

Now before you ask, here is the recipe. I made it in the morning, and when we were ready for supper, no problem!

Fruit and Cheese Salad

2 cups sliced strawberries (or 2 quarts like some people I know)
2 cups cubed cantaloupe (yeah right... try 2 whole cantaloupes)
1 cup blueberries (who only uses ONE cup of blueberries? Are you kidding?)
1 cup raspberries (ditto to the above)
2 cups cubed Havarti cheese (Rule #1: you can never have too much cheese. We used two blocks of the stuff. Delish!)
1/3 Cup orange juice (we used 1 whole cup, or whatever was left in the pitcher from breakfast.)
2 Tbsp. oil ( I tripled that)
2 Tbsp. Honey (tripled it )
2 Tbsp. freshly chopped basil ( I HIGHLY recommend using fresh basil for this. Awesome zing!)

Combine fruit and cheese in a large bowl. Mix together orange juice, oil, honey and basil in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake like crazy to combine. Pour over fruit and cheese and toss.

Note: I made this ahead and added the dressing just before serving.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bella Blouse KAL - Starting the Bottom Band

I started swatching for gauge on the bottom band, and after realizing I had it right the first time (which hardly ever happens, believe me!) I just kept going. I have 5 repeats of the leaf motif done, and many, many MANY more to go. I am pleased with the chart one of the ladies in the KAL provided, and it has made me understand the pattern much better. Here are a couple pics... one of the 5 lonely repeats on the band, and the band with the main color swatch:

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Crafty Kids

All my crafting posts made me realize I hadn't posted much about the kids. The latest work of wonder was from Caleb. He made a Thomas the Tank Engine out of cardboard from our recycle bin for Isaac.

Esther is working on knitting a dishcloth for me, and started a quilt from my book "Just Desserts". She hasn't done much work on it this summer yet, but as I am cutting for my niece's quilt, she'll probably want to work on hers. Fine with me! I wasn't clever enough to get a pic of her cutting out for her quilt. I'll try to get some later as she completes the blocks.

New Quilt Project

With the big quilt done I am turning my attention to two projects this summer. A suprise quilt, which I will give more details later, and a wedding quilt for a niece who was recently married.

Here is a poor pic of the fabric and pattern I picked out.

Here's another shot... hopefully some better:

Anyway... my goal this week coming week is to get a good start on the first set of blocks. I have to say with the hotter weather here, quilting is NOT on the top of my list these days. We are spending most of our free time in the pool, and on the Wii downstairs in the air conditioning. Viva el verano!

Bella Blouse KAL

I've joined a KAL on Knitting Daily for the Bella Blouse pattern. So pretty! I've gotten my yarn and started swatching. I'm excited to do this project!

I don't care for how low the "V" in front goes, so I'll wear a tank top under it. The main body will be the salmon color, and the trim will be the linen color. I love those earth tones! LOL The official KAL starts Monday, so by having the swatch done and my yarn picked out, I am a few days ahead. For the moment.

Meanwhile, I'll finish up Isaac's second pair of drawstring pants, which are about 75% done right now. It is an excellent project for when I am sitting outside watching the kids. Not a lot of brain work, no fussy knitting. The Bella blouse has some fussy parts (all the lace work, IMO), but the main part of it is just straight stockingnette stitch. I am trying to decide if I should do that in the round or not. It would go faster for me, for sure!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More of the Usual and Then Some

Summer here is following its usual routines. Gardening, pool time, Wii time, and just enjoying more moments of free time. I have been trying to take advantage of the school break to get some extra sewing and knitting in, but the last several days has been too hot to mess with the quilting, and thus we've been in the pool a lot, so the knitting is at a minimum too. At least with the knitting I can take it outside and sit on the swing while playing lifeguard for those in the pool. Many times I am in the pool with them, and if I'm not, then I'm chasing Isaac around the yard. Sometimes he just stays in one area and I can sit and knit, but even that isn't happening as much as I thought it would.

Still, the summer days are rushing by, and we are trying to enjoy each one. Before I know it I'll be organizing and getting ready to start the new school term.

Yesterday was a lazy day for us for the most part. The weeding was all caught up, and it has been so very dry here, that the weeds are even having a hard time. A good friend stopped by for coffee in the morning, and we chatted for a couple of hours. In the afternoon the kids and I hankered down in the AC in the Rec area and watched "Tangled"... yet again. I've only seen it twice. The kids have watched it a million times since Grandma gave it to them. It is a really cute movie! Fun to watch, and enough sophisticated humor to keep the adults interested. (Please note: I use the words "sophisticated" and "adult" here VERY loosely for some people. Ahem.)

Esther and Caleb had gone upstairs at one point and she came down a couple minutes later holding her left hand saying Caleb hurt her finger. The poor girl wasn't kidding. I could see the tears forming in the corner of her eyes and wondered what on earth could have happened in such a short amount of time. There was no bang, thud, or yelling or anything when they were upstairs either. Her left pinkie was VERY swollen and discolored.

Apparently Caleb climbed over our toddler gate into the kitchen, then as Esther was following she lost her balance and instinctively reached out to balance herself, and ended up giving a little push to Caleb. Caleb, who thought it was on purpose, turned to swat her hand off and ended up hitting the base of her pinkie with his bony knuckle. She didn't think anything of it at first, but then it started to really hurt, and she couldn't move it at all.

I had her put an ice pack on it (a.k.a.... frozen peas)and we watched the rest of the movie.

By then Benjamin and two of his friends, Tim and Devon, had come by to ask if they could buy some gas off of us. I had no problem with that but didn't know how much Dale had paid for it, so I told them to wait until he got home. I figured they would go out and go swimming or do whatever but they all camped out there in the Rec area, probably to take advantage of the AC.

When Dale got home, he was in high demand. Esther got first shot at him due to her injury, so he took a look at that. After icing it for almost two hours, the swelling hadn't gone down much. Also, if you looked at it from the side, it almost looked like it was dislocated, though with the swelling it really was hard to tell. I was trying to get an answer from Dale about taking her to the Urgent Care center. I'm not one to just run up there at every bump and bruise, but after all the icing it didn't look any better, and it still was hurting her, though not as badly as at first I don't think. All I could think of was that line in "Finding Nemo" when the dad is asking Nemo if he felt any rushing fluid, how that could mean a break. Meanwhile Tim and Devon were giving her tips on how to relocate the dislocated joint (as if either one of them had a medical degree). She kind of looked at her finger, and then pulled hard and let it fall back into place. Okay, honestly, makes me cringe, but it did look straighter after that. It was still swollen and hurt though, and I was trying to talk to Dale, but the boys had gotten impatient and started asking about buying gas and I couldn't get a firm answer. Finally Devon mentioned about a makeshift splint made out of a Popsicle stick, so I took Esther upstairs and wouldn't you know it I couldn't find the first aid kit?

I called Dale up and the three ring babbling circus followed him, all talking at once. Dale had Isaac in his arms, and found the first aid kit on one of the top shelves of the bathroom closet, all the way to the back. I found a Popsicle stick easily enough, then wrapped Esther's finger in a splint.

"Mom, is it supposed to be that tight?"
"Yes. I don't want you to move your finger."
I wished I could gauze the boys' mouths shut for 5 minutes so I could talk with Dale and figure out if I should take her up to Urgent Care or not.

Ah, inspiration!

No, not the gauze. But I kicked Esther out of the bathroom and shut and locked the door while everyone was out in the kitchen. Isaac was still in Dale's arms watching the whole proceeding with interest, but that was fine.

After a brief and uninterrupted conference, it was decided to just go ahead and take her up to see what we were dealing with. Esther's finger was too swollen to really tell if it was broken or not, and still didn't have much range of motion.

"I'll take her up if you want," Dale said.
"No, no.. that's okay, I'll do it."
Okay, true confession: It was not a selfless act of the love of a mother. A chance to get in the air conditioning for a couple hours? Without the swarm of magpies? Are you kidding? Yeah, I think I can handle a trip up to the Urgent Care center.

While we were getting ready to go, Elizabeth asked if she could tag along. Since it was just us three, I drove the Tracker up. Yes, I can drive a standard, thankyouverymuch. Aren't you proud, Dad?

We got there and got registered and waited our turn. Esther got called in for the preliminaries, and then we were back out in the waiting room. Elizabeth was on her Ipod, pleased as punch there was a free wi-fi connection, and Esther was reading, I was knitting (in the air conditioning... yes!) when a young couple and their little son came in.

From what I overheard (nosey, aren't I?) he had fallen on the playground and bumped the back of his head pretty good. The dad was holding him against his shoulder, his hand holding an ice pack, bloodied, on the little boys' head. I felt so bad for them! Head injuries can be very scary, especially in little ones. The boy was probably around 4 or maybe 5. He looked so miserable, my heart went out to them. I wanted to assure the mom, who kept pacing back and forth, that it would be okay. From where I sat, it looked like the bleeding had stopped, or at least significantly slowed. Then I realized there was something I could do. You see, I know and remember very well that feeling in the pit of your stomach when your child is hurt. Not hurt like how Esther was hurt. I wasn't worried about it, and knew it would be fine. No "worst case scenarios" for her injury scared me. Worst case for her was a splint on her finger for a couple weeks. Big whoop.

But when blood is involved your imagination as a mother, runs rampant. I could see it on the little boys' mom's face now, and my heart just went out to her. I wanted to tell her don't worry, by this time tomorrow he'll never even care what happened today, it's going to be fine... I could have gone over to her and talked to her, but just then Esther was called in and inspiration hit. I whispered a quick inquiry to Esther, who agreed totally with my plan, as did Elizabeth, though I hated to tell her that her opinion didn't really matter as she wasn't the injured party, and spoke to the nurse as she waited for Esther.

"Can the little boy with the head injury go ahead of us? Esther's injury isn't bad, she can wait."

"Let me check if he is registered, " she said pleasantly.

"Oh, he just got registered, " I replied. We had seen them go through the process.

"Oh, okay. Let me just check real quick," and she was off.

She came back and said they couldn't just push him ahead because there was quite a number of people between us.

"We will be getting him in sooner though because of his head injury, " she explained.

Not good enough for me.

"Well, can we just trade places then? He can go now, and we'll wait for when his turn would be."

Esther and Elizabeth echoed their agreement to that plan.

She looked surprised and then smiled brightly.

"We can do that. That is very kind of you! It will be a bit of a wait, " she reminded me.

"No problem," I assured her.

So we sat back down, and just as we were getting settled the little boy was called in. We never found out how it all ended for the little tyke, but that is okay. It was just the right thing to do.

Esther had an x-ray done, and thankfully nothing was broken. It was classified as a sprain. She has a temporary splint to wear, but can take it off to bathe, or swim, but NO rough housing for a few days.

By the time we got home it was after 8pm, and we were ravenously hungry, but not minding the reason for the delay.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Quilt for a Friend

A group of ladies and I recently made a quilt for a friend who had a full term still birth a year ago. We wanted to have the quilt done and sent by the one year anniversary, so since Dale's and my anniversary trip, my time has been devoted to finishing that up. It was sent last Thursday, completed, with much love and prayers, and she posted on FB today that she had recieved it, so I will post pics now. I didn't want to post until she had it as she does read this blog from time to time.


Back: (The tall dude I had to hold up the quilt disappeared before I remembered to get a pic of the back, so I tried to artistically drape the thing over a chair. Ehhh... looks more like something that got neglected during the folding but oh well!)


This was a hard project for me to do, but I know first hand how it feels to be the recipient of a quilt made by this fantastic group of ladies at CMOMB . Many prayers and blessing to you, Nataly and Joe!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sprout Drawstring Pants

These are too cute! They are supposed to be more like capris, not "pants". I made this pair with CotLin from KnitPicks, in "Sprout". Aren't they adorable? They were very easy. I used a pattern from my book "One More Skein". I am enjoying that book and its predecessor, "One Skein".

I have started another pair, same yarn, in "Harbor". I'm going to make the legs a tad longer this time.

Yummy Breakfast Egg Bake

Breakfast Egg Bake

2 dozen eggs n (seriously folks... welcome to the world of a large family)
half an onion (more or less)
Cut up spinach (whatever was left in the bag)
Sliced fresh mushrooms (well, maybe not so fresh as I was using up a previously opened package)
milk (about "so much" ... like in scrambled eggs)
A handful of flour
a healthy sprinkle of baking powder
a dimple of salt
sprinkling of pepper
1 lb. turkey bacon cooked ( gross.. gag me... we have the real REAL deal in our freezer but I wanted to use up the disgusting store bought stuff first.)
and LOTS of cheddar cheese. Rule #1: You can never have too much cheese.

Mix it all up, spray a huge lasangna pan with Pam, pour it in.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350. Bake for about a half an hour, or until knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

You can serve this with fruit, or bagels with REAL butter, or toast, or nothing. It is delicious by itself. My favorite way is a nice piece with a cup of coffee.