Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Never slurp vinegar!

That dear husband of mine came home from the grocery store excited about vinegar. First of all, yes, he does the grocery shopping most of the time. After all, he is the one that is in town all the time and I would NEVER even think to buy VINEGAR, much less be excited about it. He sets them on the counter and wants me to taste test the difference between the vinegars. Trying hard to feign interest in his little scientific experiment/carnival act, but extremely wary, he pours the first vinegar and I taste it. Not a vinegar fan, it is ok...tastes like vinegar. THEN he pours about a half teaspoon of the PLATINUM vinegar and I taste/slurp that. Immediately I am coughing and wheezing, can't breathe on the dining room floor. I manage to crawl and claw my way to the bathroom because as the coughing subsides, the gagging takes over. Sorry to be so graphic, just beware...don't slurp vinegar. Next time he wants me to taste test something it better have chocolate on the label and next time something platinum enters this house, it better fit my finger! That was Monday night and my sinuses still hurt! I have managed to finish a few projects.
The string on the side is a painted shoelace that I am going to use to string the checkers on .

Finally filled the ice skate that has been sitting on my paint table forever.

Another penny rug pillow. One more to go and that basket will be emptied.

Magazine holder...yard sale find for $1.

More finished pumpkins.

Dishclothes from the bus trip.

Old age alert. Yesterday was a killer day for realizing my age. First of all the day started off with an eye appointment. For the past five years, my contacts have been monovision. If you are not familiar with that, one eye is for distance and one eye is for close up. It has worked great for me so far. My glasses, however, five years old are not up-to-date, fashion wise or prescription so off to get new glasses and after conferring with the doc, the final analysis is......BIFOCALS! Nothing, not turning 40, 50, becoming a grandmother, dyeing my hair every three weeks, back problems, aches and pains, menopause, or a hysterectomy has spelled O-L-D to me more than bifocals! Vanity aside, they did tell me to get no-line ones (I hate to even spell the word again) So they are ordered, we won't mention that word again. The next problem came when I tried, dilated pupils, burning sinuses and all to load the software on to my computer for a new printer and a new program for printing at work. It would not work and I was literally close to tears of frustration over it all. I was so mad at myself as the tears came to my eyes. Crying over a computer? Am I crazy? Finally some very nice AMERICAN, English speaking, tech guy named Charlie bailed me out and took over my computer on-line and fixed everything. I love when they do that, just log in to my computer and fix it and explain to me on the phone while I munch down a Snickers bar what you are doing. Chocolate fixes everything! Please make a note of that, John....chocolate not VINEGAR!
Final laugh of the day yesterday. Tyler came to visit us after pre-school. His favorite saying now is "School is not fun" I really hope that changes, could be a long 14 years or so. Anyway, he explained the "rules" to us. 1.) Never hide from a firefighter. 2.) Never take candy from strangers 3.) Never get in a car with a stranger and 4.) Never run onto a football field when I am naked. His father really needs to go back to work! The Mr. Mom thing is wearing thin.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chautauqua Quilt Show

Yesterday I went to the Chautauqua Quilt Show in Lake Chautauqua, New York at the Chautauqua Institute. There, now I have spelled that word enough time that hopefully 1.)I will remember how to spell it and 2.)probably cause spell check to run out of yellow highlighter. The day could have also been called, How Many Times Can You Pass Through Pennsylvania in Twenty Four Hours? Friday night I drove from Pa to Ohio to stay at my Mom and Dad's. Saturday AM (4:30 to be exact) we got up and went to gather the other people on the trip and drive to Warren, Ohio to get the bus. The bus then took us back through PA to New York, then on the return trip, back through PA again and back to Ohio, where I picked up my car and promptly left Ohio and drove home back to PA. At 6:30 yesterday evening I was 1 1/2 hours from home, at that point we rode two more hours on the bus, then I drove two more hours back home...seem a little preposterous? It was a lot of riding and would I do it again? yes! It was a great day with my Mom and her quilting friends. I loved the Chautauqua area, it is beautiful and how I never managed to visit there before? Who knows? It is not more than 2 to 3 hours from here. (unless of course you go by way of Ohio to get there) I was like a complete tourist, I could not take enough pictures of the homes and buildings. The old Atheneum Hotel was enchanting! I would love to stay there sometime, even picked up a brochure, but wow $$$$$ it might be a little out of my league and after checking the calendar of events on the way home and not seeing AC/DC, Aerosmith, Lynryd Skinner, anything Harley, or the Pussycat Dolls on the line-up for the "season", I am pretty sure that I am not getting my husband to visit there. The real clincher was when I read the rule of "no motorcycles permitted in the institute EVER" or something close to that, I knew that my visits there would be limited to bus tour quilt shows with the ladies.
The homes and buildings were beautiful and we kept fantasizing of winning the lottery and sitting and quilting, painting, embroidering, knitting, or just the sitting part on any of these porches overlooking the lake for the entire summer! Kathy and I were doing the most fantasizing because we are the ones with JOBS! I could not decide which porch that I liked best.

This is our little group. I am thinking that my outfit might need a little revision...Stacy and Clinton here I come! Check out the shopping bags, the red ones, not the human ones...we were shopping fools!

This yellow house was for sale so on the way out I had to find a real estate paper and know the price....$13,ooo...short of a million that is! $987,000, if you are not good in math!

The Institute was founded as a Christian Education Center in the early 1900's. There are churches everywhere and there are quotes and Bible verses inscribed on walls throughout.

This was one of the quilt shows. There were seven? of them scattered throughout the grounds and there were six buildings with vendors selling TONS of fabric, notions, ideas, patterns, and ANYTHING quilting, sewing, embroidery,, it was complete sensory overload.

These two "little" cottages would be the first two on my lottery wish list! They were actually not that small when you studied them, but beside those mammoth old Victorians, they looked little. Loved the red and white of this one, so crisp!

With winning the lottery, I could always paint this one some crisp, pastel, sherbet colors!

I even "curb-appealed" this one in my mind with some great off-white, green and mauve combination!

And this is the hotel. There had to be over 100 wicker chairs, settees, couches, little end tables, those wicker fern planters, and some great, huge wicker library type tables on this porch. I was so coveting it all!

And this is what I bought. Of course, more projects. Even though I am not a quilter, I managed to pick up some wool, those great towels at the best price ever, the vintage looking tea towels are sort of a redwork type embroidery. They looked like a great winter project. One of the patterns is for a wool sewing kit and the other is for items all made from potholders. They were really interesting and in my mind I think that I can make some of them BEFORE my Open House that is now one month away and throwing my into panic mode!

And now for the story of the day on the home front. I made the huge mistake of leaving an entire load of wool in the dryer and an entire load of donated fabric in the washer. How did I forget that they were there? Well it has been a busy week and I did have a bout with the flu and yes, I know that was Wednesday, which basically means that everything was in there since Tuesday and maybe that gives someone a glimpse into how my household runs. My dear husband decided to wash his clothes on Saturday (yes, I am spoiled, he does his own laundry, and no I didn't train him, he came with that feature standard) He FOUND the loads of fabric. Normally I am here when he says, "I am going to do my laundry" and I manage to scurry ahead of him to the basement and grab all the "goods" and run back past him. (A feat made much easier since he has lost weight and I now can actually "scurry" past him in the stairwells WITH loads of fabric in my arms and WITH a laundry basket in his arms ) But I was not here and that is where the BIGGER problem occurred. Nice guy that he is, he decided to carry all of the fabric to my sewing room. That was the girls side of the house and he NEVER goes there anymore. It was an entire area that unless I needed something fixed ( and in that case, tidied it up BEFORE I asked) that was non-existent to him. As I was standing in line at an outside vendor waiting for my "eat something on the run so that I can keep shopping sandwich" he called with his startling revelation of my sewing room that is right now littered with among the "ordinary" sewing mess, approximately 60 candy canes in various stages of completion and then seeing that he ventured on to the attic bedroom that looks as though a craft shop exploded. Not at all happy with me, I used the "spchel ...shhhhs..crckkhglle. cell phone shkkkiihhd....batt...skkllchhh..ery must be ckkl;kjikkj....going.klkjkjchs...dead" Shop on!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This and That

Three days without blogging, I have some serious catching up to do. If I wasn't behind enough, yesterday I woke up with some nasty flu type bug that really knocked me down for the day.
Tuesday night I felt fine and we had out Knitting Field Trip to Smicksburg, PA. I know that I mentioned this little shop before and really, I am not getting any payment for mentioning it again, but I am just so happy to have a nice little yarn/fabric shop close by that I have to keep telling about it! Our field trip was to Cozy Comforts in Smicksburg. The owner agreed to stay late until we could all (three of us) get there. Hopefully, our shopping habits made it worthwhile for her to stay the extra time. They have a nice selection of fabrics and yarns at reasonable prices and great samples to inspire!

We were even treated to this wonderful view and sunset on the way home.
I am always truly amazed at God's glory

This is the yarn that I bought Tuesday night and the hat that I finished yesterday in my confinement to the couch. I love this yarn. Not much of a yarn connoisseur, I am realizing that the more that you spend on it, the nicer it is to work with. Not that this was expensive by any means but it is a notch up from what I normally have been using.

The grandchildren events for the week. Tuesday I was admonished by the preschool teacher. As she held up Tyler's backpack by her face to shield him from seeing what she was saying, she sternly whispered to me, "NEVER again tell Tyler that you are picking him up from preschool and taking him to work with you, we did not have a good morning with him because he could not wait for you to pick him are welcome to pick him up anytime, just don't tell him again, EVER" Haven't been chewed out by a preschool teacher in awhile! The words from dear hubby, "I TOLD YOU SO!" Oops!
Logan's wisdom of the week. Tuesday he was sitting on my lap cleaning out my middle desk drawer (one of his favorite activities, there apparently is a lot of fun for kids in pens and pencils and paper clips) He found all the change in there and laid it up on the edge of my desk. He would move it around and then fold his hands, move it around and fold his hands. Finally I asked, "Logan, what are you doing?" He looked at me with all the seriousness of a two year old and explained, "I am playing cards." Seriously, I need to have a talk with his parents.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Peanut Butter Festival

Yesterday morning was spent at the Peanut Butter Festival...well so was part of Friday Night. There is a Smuckers plant in New Bethlehem, Pa and the Festival is a yearly event. Fun, small town event, I love those! This is the welcoming sign as you drive into town. We were there early for the 5k Run yesterday and after the runners took off, I walked to the creek with my camera and got this shot.
All of the downtown decorates with peanuts. All the businesses have peanut displays in their windows and I was fascinated with these light up peanuts. Just where do you go to shop for light up peanuts?

The midway of the festival was not really open at the hour of the morning.

Landscaping in town and the bridge over Redbank Creek.

John is finishing the run. He took almost three more minutes off the time of his last run.

Some of the craft booths just beginning to open.

And the view at the creek again once the fog cleared.

This is the little restaurant in Hawthorn, PA where we had a very nice breakfast buffet. Just a small, homey place, my favorite kind to eat at.

We drove the 5k route after it was over, this was the second leg of it, the first was all uphill. A pretty run though.

Then we hopped on the bikes and rode to Pittsburgh to visit a friend that was in a car show there. This is a pic of Boys and their Toys. They are camp buddies and wanted this pic to hang in the hunting camp. My "toy" is in the background. Apparently they did not want a Girl in the picture! Great day, but I have to admit, I actually had cobwebs on my bike! This has not been a good summer for riding. Cold, busy and lots of rain.

I did manage to finish up a couple more of these penny rug pillows that I have had started for MONTHS! Two more to go and that basket will be empty.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crafting Mania and Free Range Chickens

At 4:30 yesterday morning, my day started after four hours of sleep, refer the last post and the pumpkin latte comment. I thought that a latte was just warm milk....little did I know that it had a shot of ESPRESSO (spelled right, Marilyn!) in it. I won't make that mistake again..the spelling of espresso OR drinking a latte at 9:00 at night.
As a side note here, when I write MY book and go on MY book tour it will be under a pseudonym and I will be interviewed on Oprah behind the same screen that they use for the witness protection program and my voice will be garbled. I will tell me family that I am on R & R in the Caribbean and they will never know it is all about them.
The following pictures are of what happened to my sewing room that I cleaned at five in the morning is preparation for craft day with Shawnee. We thought that since I keep Kendall at home one day a week now, we could have a craft afternoon while Gracelyn and Kendall napped. It partially worked although their sleeping at the same time did not work out quite as well as we planned, there is a tv in there and Wow Wow Wubsie helped after Gracelyn dumped baskets of craft supplies all over the floor.
The next big interruption...I am only calling the 45 phone calls from work MINOR interruptions...was when John showed up at the house with the 8 3/4 pound free range chicken that our pastor brought to the shop for us. The comment from my dear husband of "Do you think that you are smart enough to cook that?" could have got him poisoned...and still could now that I think about it. i know that in our six years of marriage I have not exactly been a domestic diva but I did have another life and I do know how to cook and hey, I think part of the blame goes on him...he made me this way.
At 2:30 when Gracelyn woke up from her nap, I started the chicken, made stuffing, peeled potatoes and popped it in the oven, more crafting and reading stories and feeding Kendall, Shelby visiting, and then supper on the deck. We chose the deck 1.) Because it was a very nice evening and 2.) because I still smelled like baby spit up and needed to air out.
The chicken was really good. Sure would like to get some more of those...very moist and tender. Cleaned up the kitchen with the help of the clean and already showered husband...showered myself and promptly fell asleep in the recliner.
Lessons learned:
Lattes are for the AM not the PM
Craft at Shawnee's house
Espresso is spelled with an s not an x
Free Range chickens have no hormones and a whole soapbox/sermon that we won't go into here
Calling for pizza is still much easier than cooking
Crafting with a 19 month old makes a real mess ( a lesson learned 25 years ago and forgotten)
Now I am off to finish candy canes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shopping with John..

...or here let me pull your fingernails out with pliers. The words "I need some clothes" coming out of my husband's mouth literally send me running, hands shaking for the Zantac. I just know that before it is over, I am going to have a serious case of stress induced indigestion in the very near future. Over the past 6 1/2 years of marriage, shopping has improved with him, but really everything is relative, right? The clothing search with him can only be related to when I received drugs when I was in labor with my first born, I was still in a LOT of pain, but it was endurable. That is how shopping with him now could be described as opposed to 75 pounds ago, endurable...avoidable if possible, but endurable. (if you have a high pain tolerance or some sick sense of sadism) I heard the words yesterday. I cringed. I begged that he wait until Friday night, I just don't have the energy for it if I have to go to work the next day. It can easily produce a "shopping hangover" I would be no good all day. I have Baby Kendall today. I have to be on top of my game. Finally we agreed that I would stay at work and he would shop on his own. Dangerous, but I was willing to take the risk.
Seventy five pounds ago, shopping with John was a complete nightmare. Here is how it would go...enter Penney's and he runs...literally runs to the dressing room. Honestly, this was the only exercise this man got at that time and of course it would always be right after a visit to Fire Mountain, Ponderosa, or some other buffet type restaurant. (We have not been to one of those in nine months) He would hiss out of one side of his mouth from in the dressing room....

I would obediently run and find pants that would fit him. Let me tell you if you have never shopped for men's pants, the bigger they are, the closer they are to the floor. What retailer invented that system? So I am on my hands and knees digging and praying that they will have pants in his size and length and that they will please be loose and not reflect the second helping of meat at the buffet. I take them to the dressing room where he is waiting and excuse myself for walking in on four other men and hand the pants to him and bow my head. Please God, let this be short and let these pants fit. God has not answered many of my shopping trip prayers in the manner which I would like him to...
He hisses one more time. If I am lucky, this process ends in a mere 5 1/2 grueling hours and no one has gotten hurt. I am exhausted, mad and ready to be home.
I am not even mentioning the work jeans that he buys from Walmart that never had his size. I have slid through Walmarts in at least 15 states looking for them. I have seen the people that shop at Walmart, they are buying all these up quick.

Jump forward to seventy-five pounds later and he has a new liking for Macy's. The slick "slim" salesmen there used to intimidate him but not anymore. Now I hear from across the store as he peruses racks of Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger...

Macy's is big, I run everywhere looking for things, I am exhausted, I almost long for the days when I was on my hands and knees looking for that last pair of 46/29 pants on the bottom of the rack.

He shopped on his own last night. He bought pants and shirts. He did well. I think that I might be off the hook. He even brought me a nice pumpkin latte home from Starbuck's. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Knitting Night Resumes

Our Tuesday night knitting group resumed last night at my house. How fun! I have missed my friends and knitting. There was quite a bit of digging on my part to find the dust covered knitting basket and remember what I was doing. Poor Tina, who is even more of a beginner than me, forgot everything and we had to reteach her. Carol is the most experienced and also the most patient. She always helps us and has new things to show us. Last night was a new cast-one technique for me and you know what that means....a new project! Did I really need to START anything new? Carol brought us this bounty from her garden. What a great gift and this will all be part of supper tonight. I can't wait! Gardening is on my If I Didn't Have a Job list. I used to love to garden and "put up" for the winter. We have a new customer at the shop. Normally I don't deliver or leave the shop to see customers. Most of our customers do guy things, mine coal, drill gas wells, pour concrete, sell feed, stuff like that. The remaining ones play football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis and cheer. We print shirts for Poker Runs, Motorcycle Rides, and sweaty gym places, so when we get a customer that has a yarn and quilt shop...I jump on that delivery. Cozy Comforts is a new shop in Smicksburg, Pa and if you are in that area, you have to stop in and visit. They have tons of fabric, notions and yarn. They are new and still stocking the shelves but have great plans for classes and more yarn and fabric, I bought these yarns while I was "delivering' and the fabric starch shown below.
I read about this in a magazine and have wanted to try it. Last night at almost 11 when my safety conscious husband found it on the family room floor and pitched some minor hissy fit about the grandchildren finding it and getting poisoned, I took it to my sewing room and put it on a high shelf, but not before I had to try it. I love this stuff! It smells so good and really finishes off your patching, He was happy with where I put it, but apparently he has not seen the determination and climbing ability of a two year old when they want something.

Found these candy canes at two different yard price, $2.00. Shawnee and I will be turning these into prim candy canes tomorrow and hopefully they will be hot sellers at our Open House.

This is one of my finished projects. It has to be varnished yet though. There are still some chalk marks on it where I drew it that have to be removed also.

And another of the penny rug pillow also.

Tyler had his first day of preschool this year. Last year's preschool didn't work out quite like we planned. We are hoping for much better this year. We don't discuss the "removal" of him from preschool last year, but hopefully someday at his high school graduation, his first preschool experience will be a fun family joke. (The teacher last year requested that he not be brought back after just a month, our perfect angel, how could she? Apparently his lack of concentration and escape artist tendencies didn't set well with her idea of organization...c'mon drink a six pack of Red Bull with a chaser of Starbuck's double expresso and he is not that hard to keep up with) Day one seemed not bad and Jenn (our least structured daughter) is now looking at the calendar for the month and reading about the colors that they are to wear on certain days and moaning about it. Boy is she in for a rough next 14 years or so!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Can anyone top this?

It is worth a prize! A giveaway sort of..designed to make me feel better. How self-centered is that giveaway. Once again, or as usual, I have way too many projects started. Last year Ann at A Hole in the Basket had a UFO challenge. It really got me moving to finish things. Someone needs to host one of those again, I would but it would just be another unfinished project. Anyway, as I STARTED the afghan at the bottom of this post this morning, I felt the need to hide it from my dear husband so that he would not see yet another project laying around. Instead, I replaced (hid) another project with that one.
So here goes, I am going to list everything that I can think of that needs finished and having published it to the "world" I am going to try to finish something every day for the rest of September. The first person that can list MORE UFO's than I have will not only make me feel much better, but will receive a prize in the mail from me! I promise it will be finished.
1. This penny rug, my favorite kind to make 2. Another dishcloth that I started in the car a week or so ago.
3. All these pumpkins that are growing all around my recliner.

Who but a tolerant husband would put up with this mess?

4. The boys room. Jenn and I started painting the designs on the wall last week and did not get it finished and I wanted to paint a chalkboard on their new toy room. Two projects that I am counting as one.
5. The quilts for their room.

6. A pair of socks that I have not picked up since knitting nights ended at the beginning of summer.
7. A wool yarn Christmas sock that I also started at knitting nights.
8 and 9. Two cupboard doors that I have started painting and are stacked in my painting room
10. A birthday present for one of the girls that now may be a First Day of Fall present.
11. The cupboard for Shelby...really this is John's project, it just needs the shelves in it.
12. Some decorative pillows for the attic bedroom, started in March before my friends were here to visit, I wanted them finished for the visit.
13. The candleholder that I painted...needs candles and filler.
14. T-shirt yarn bathroom rug for our bathroom.
15. An ice skate, painted and in the basement waiting for greens to fill it.
16. Another train case, basecoated and waiting for inspiration.
17. And this afghan...honestly I see this young woman in church every week. Her belly is growing and I knew that I would be invited to the shower. Why did I not start this afghan sooner? The shower is Oct. 3.
Bonus items: I did not post the pic, but I still have at least five penny rug pillows started. I am going to consider those wild card items...if I can't get a project done for one day, they are a quick finish.
So that is one project for every day until the end of September. Please encourage me, tell me that there is one of you out there with more! Send me some pics! List them, it is worth a prize!
My plans to sew yesterday went away as I sat with the second cup of coffee and decided to make a quick trip to Ohio to see my Mom and Dad. Shawnee and Gracelyn rode along. When I returned home, the boys were here for a visit so I never picked up a needle. Today is work in the AM, Kendall in the afternoon.