Dip trip, flip fantasia

πŸ˜‰ –Β With the razzle dazzle star I might be

Oh, Patrick and I just came in from a sap run and I’m cold. Not that its really cold out, maybe 40ish, bracing is perhaps a better word, and now I feel the cold leeching away from me in waves and I feel colder for it. I don’t feel warmth soaking in I feel the cold being absorbed away. Its a very strange feeling.

Today I got to the halfway point on the shawl collar of my sweater, I only have 10 more rows and then I can start the sleeves. I should be done by the end of March!

its-too-green-bottom-bind-off

A barter was proposed and accepted this morning at Webs. I will make this:

crochet-yellow-tank

in this yarn – Storm

maleas-yarn

and I will get some of this in return.

Oh holy carp how cool!!

I’ve also been working with tiny crochet and beads. See tiny…

tiny-grey-crochet

see beads…

winters-pearl-pendant

Toots

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I’ve got no use for trouble, trouble’s using me

πŸ˜‰ –Β I’ve lived a dozen lifetimes

My husband is just not a big holiday kinda guy. He likes his quiet and solitary time and there’s just SO MUCH packed into the last 2 months of the year that he tends to retreat a bit. That’s why things like this make me happy.

patricks-snowflake

That’s his snowflake.

Aurelia came home from school a week or so before Xmas and wanted to show everyone that she learned how to cut snowflakes from paper. She and her sister sat down to an evening of making a mess at the kitchen table and he joined the them for a bit.

The girls snowflakes are tree decorations now but I’m keeping this one.

Toots

But my heart is still unknown

πŸ˜‰ –Β Now inches from the water, about to disappear

My week started off in a wonderful place.Β 

Patrick has had Mondays off all month and we’ve been able to spend some nice days in each others company. This week we took a slight road trip north for goodies.

See, Kristin mentioned awhile back that she and The Farmer had this amazing old abandoned apple orchard on their farm, then she went and said that if anybody wanted to come pick apples they could! We don’t live all that far away and I’ve been trying for 2 years to get together with her, so we decided we would go make a morning of it!

It was one of those great blustery autumn days with really warm sunny patches and cool breezy patches – just a beautiful day. We got there around 11, said hi to Kristin, the Farmer, lovely neighbors, the dogs, chickens, mamma sheep and their fall lambs, the guinea fowl and the orchard – oh that orchard.

They are the wildest apple trees, there is such life and a magic about them, all tangled together, gnarled, broken, canted, wild, rose covered – you should see al the little cuts on my hands and all the little thorns I pulled out that afternoon πŸ™‚ – and quiet, so quiet but alive with sound at the same time. I remember days like that as a child spent wandering the hills behind my grandparents place and spending hours without hearing human sounds. I loved every minute of it!

After an hour or so of picking we were at hauling capacity for our little station wagon and we headed back up to the house for a bit. Kristin showed us around, introducing us to the reasons for patricks newest blog posts, showing us her studio, piles of works in progress and recently returned test knits for her latest book-in-progress. Truly amazing stuff. She also gifted me with a nice little stack of postcards of some of her pictures and paintings – she has them for sale on her site scroll down a bit.

The apples were hard to get to in places and we only explored and picked in a very small portion of those 4000 trees. Most of the fruits are very high in the trees now – one of the reasons comercial orchards prune their trees is ease of picking – but we had a wonderful time and filled a huge bin with a falls worth of cider fodder! This weekend, when Patrick isn’t working on his sugar shack, we’ll be grinding and pressing apples.Β 

The girls have 3 soccer games this weekend but I’m sure I can get them to help me wash the apples inbetween. I can’t wait for that fresh cider!

Thank you Kristin!

Toots

Give me the grace to hold my line

πŸ˜‰ –Β there’s nothing to waste,Β it’s only light

Welcome to everyone traveling over from Susan B. Anderson‘s lovely site. Click on the winking smile for my musical inspiration of the day. C’mon in! The crazy is fine.

Some days I think, “Children be damned!”, I want to pull the bus over and grab my camera and live in happy-picture-taking-land. Alas, the schools, the parents, and the company I work for, I’m sure, wouldn’t be so keen on all that. I bet the kids would be fine with it though. “Sorry kids. You’re gonna be a little late to school today. There’s a leaf over there with really cool bug damage that I just need to snap a few pics of, and OH! is that a red tailed hawk!?! Hey look at ….”

Today I saw 5 separate flocks of wild turkeys with a wide range of ages from almost grown juveniles to mere chicks – poor littles are in for a tough fall. Its pretty impressive to see that many of these birds on my little 16 mile loop when you consider that they were almost completely wiped out in New England (the last known native bird in Massachusetts was killed on Mt. Tom in 1851) and only reintroduced in 1972.

Most of my bus route is pretty rural and I drive it 4 times a day but I get to see some pretty beautiful stuff. The only bummer is that everything is SO beautiful in the dawn/early morning light that trying to go back and capture it later in the day with my camera just isn’t the same. This morning there were dozens of spiderwebs all decked out in morning dew between the power lines over Knights Pond, the turkeys, a moose – if I happen to mention how absolutely huge these creatures are, in the case that I see another one, believe me! I drive a school bus and the things head was almost even with mine!Β 

So, no wild turkey pics but I do have lovely new yarn to show you!! See, I’m all about the mollifying.I have 3 Twilight inspired bits on the needles/hooks right now. Two are mine and one is a test knit. This:

is for a scarf and fingerless mitt set called “Reminder and a Promise”. SO yummy, the Shibui is to die for! I want to crawl into it. And the pearl cotton was a total steal at Webs – 10 little skeins for $3.50! 280yds for less than 5 bucks. I can’t wait to get this one out of final design tweaking and really get working with it.

Thats it for today. The Hubby is off to CT to pick up a load of bricks and cinderblocks to build the arch – essentially the oven – for the new in-progress sugar shack for 2009. That’s right a REAL sugar shack, not pallets and plastic wrap anymore! And we even have a name for it. Ready?

Occasional Creek Maple

*giggle*

Toots

New Moon on Monday

πŸ˜‰ – A smile that you can’t disguise

What a week. It has been “get it done!” central around here for the last 10 days or so, and I see no end in sight. Patrick has a post about our list of to do’s and we’re steadily chipping away, of course we keep adding to the damn thing as we go. – (check out my little orange visitor, he’s been hanging around outside my backdoor for almost a week, in a different place each day)

I’ve gotten piles done this week and I’ve had time to spend with friends – how did that happen? Hmm, maybe this list thing works.

I finished the twilight sock – I’ll be writing up the final pattern this week, I made a couple small projects – a washcloth and a crochet swiffer cover (no I’m not joking, Mom), I scrubbed the dining area – walls, floor, breakfast bar, I made curtains for 3 window and our closet which is now sans door for easier access and of course there are always projects for my classes. Phew, that’s a lot! I also managed to whip up a quick pair of earrings and post a tutorial for them.

Have I mentioned that? the tutorial thing? Hmm, well. A couple weeks back I got an e-mail asking me to be a contributor to Craft Tutorials and so far I’ve posted 2! I’m contemplating the next offering and I have several ideas swimming about in my head – I just have to settle on one. I’ll let you know each time I post for the next couple months but I expect you lot to bookmark or bloglines the site!! There is a bunch of great stuff over there and they could use the extra traffic! πŸ™‚ So go already – enjoy!

Now I’m off to shop for a few things for Seab’s birthday. I’m making her a Mimzy bunny and a new backpack for her birthday and maybe a pigeon. Her party is next Saturday but i have almost 2 weeks till her birthday so I’ve a bit of time. I may also make Re a new bag, I try to do something for each of the girls on their sister’s birthdays.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Toots

Got a sweetie down in the chicken house

πŸ˜‰ – Gosh what a racket like an old buzz saw

No pics today.

Game night was a blast – most of us just “watched” Scene-It and shouted answers at each other in between bits of conversation. good times. It was a late night and a long drive home from Worcester and there were massive thunderstorms til about 4 am, so… we’re just finishing up lunch. Mm mm, leftover meatball sandwiches. yum πŸ™‚

Pat and the girls are doing some yard work in prep for the upcoming party day (birthday/bbq in August) and I’m working on finishing up a clothes sort-out. You know, “hmmm. Have I worn this in the last 6 months? Can I see myself wearing it in the next 6?” When the answer is NO, it goes to the Goodwill. Its been a couple years since I did this with my own clothes and it was time. I don’t have a revolving pile of “clothes that are clean but aren’t put away” anymore. My bedroom looks HUGE! I might even rearrange it this week. I haven’t moved my room around in over 6 years – I think that’s a record in my family!

Once I’m done with the clothes I’ll settle in to finish knitting up the final test of my Twilight sock pattern, write up the pattern and try to pop it up on Ravelry this week.

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend.

Toots

And these, are not the hammer.

*Edit

For years Patrick and I have bantered back and forth about television. About the crap on most of the channels and that if people actually paid for what they watched television programming might actually be good. We have declared that we would willingly pay for the television shows and channels that we enjoy watching.

And now, my friends, the time has come to do just that. Patrick and I will now be paying to watch one of the best little bits of episodic “television” that I have ever seen. For those of you that loved Buffy (especially “Once More with Feeling”), Angel and Firefly – go watch, for free, the first 3 episodes of: *Alrighy folks its iTunes time. Go show your Whedon love.

and tell me you don’t want to pay for more. I dare you.

Toots

Car after bus after car after truck

πŸ˜‰ – I’d have the music high, Going 95

Oh Monday. Its been relatively quiet around here today. It was beautiful and sunny but not too hot and the girls spent most of the day outside. We hit the grocery store for a bit, they were surprisingly well behaved, and we had two great meals together. Patrick is off to his folks place to help his Dad with some big deck project for the next day or two so, its just us girls.

We had an all mexican chicken day πŸ™‚ Chicken and snap pea quesadillas for lunch and chicken and chard tacos for dinner. They’re loving the greens because they’re from our own garden. Speaking of:

mini grape bunch

cucumber blooms

first tomato bloom

and my gooseneck phlox ready to bloom

Oh, and Seabra lost her first tooth on Sunday! She’s very excited (she’s also enjoying some radish greens in that pic – eeew, green teeth.)

Later this week I’ll be making new curtains for the kitchen and dining area, I’ll post pics as I go. I might even freak my husband out and paint the room while he’s gone! Mwaahaahaahaa

Toots

In and around the lake

πŸ˜‰ – and they stand there

That bass line kills me. I love Yes – their older stuff anyway, had a huge crush on Trevor Rabin. Oh, ask my husband about the ridiculous Yes concert t-shirt that I wore, like every third day, in 7th grade. Ha! Oh to be twelve again.

My first class for summer Crochet 1 was last night – lovely ladies, just lovely πŸ™‚ Next week we’ll have chocolate and perhaps the juice of some fermented, vine growing fruit – not me. I never teach under the influence πŸ™‚

Does anybody know where I can have a toggle switch installed in my brain – one that will help me to shut of the insane need to start things!?! I have SO many projects on my plate, and yes, I am diligently working along on all of them and thankfully not falling too far behind on house work or time spent with my kids, but Cheese and Crackers! I started two more today- one was a palm sized bit so its done but only as a prelude to a larger something featuring many, many versions of said palm sized bit , I frogged and restarted a third and I’ve sketched out two more ideas.This corset is calling to me but I have promised myself that i will not begin her until I have less than 4 other projects live on the needles/hook. Wish me luck, she doesn’t look like a patient gal.

I need a clone

Toots

Inspired by gravity

πŸ˜‰ that little spot on the ground is my hometown

We had a really great trip, the girls were tough but relatively good for being in totally unfamiliar territory, we were housed and fedΒ  well and enjoyed the time with family we almost never get to see. We left home last Saturday morning happy with the state of the house – aforementioned clean sheets, empty sink and breakfast for when we returned ready to go –Β  and looking forward to the trip. Our drive to the airport was without event as was our walk through security, nice visit with the TSA, that, and we sat quietly awaiting our time to board. The girls had books to read, new crayons and coloring books, beloved stuffed animals, and Mp3 players packed with their favorite songs. Our changeover in Charlotte went off without a hitch – love those moving sidewalks –Β  and we were in Pensacola faster than you can say antidisestablishmentarianism. Considering this was the first time in an airplane for both girls I was pleasntly surprised that they handled it so well, having my in-laws along certainly helped! Saeb sat with Patrick’s Mom, I sat with Aurelia and Pat and his Dad chatted the day away across the aisle on both flights.

We arrived to a quick drive over to Mobile and a lazy afternoon to recover from the travel. Sunday was the big surprise birthday party for Pat’s Grandmother – 90 SHOULD be celebrated. She took the continual shock of new and completely unexpected party guests very well, I think it took about an hour before we stopped surprising her with po-up relatives. I was truly happy to help out Patrick’s Aunt with the cake prepearations, it came out beautifully. I got to reconnect with some of Pat’s cousins that I hadn’t seen in 13 years and to see my girls meet their Great-Grandma.

On Monday we all, almost everyone that was at the party Sunday, hung out at Pat’s Aunts house and got to look through the family photo albums – amazing stuff in there (more on Flicker) there’s a diary/Jounal from the birthday girl’s grandfather, J. A. Dillinger. (Turns out Patrick is not related to the infamous Dillingers, s’alright) He talks about traveling to Nashville during the civil war, kept track of all his business dealings, debts owed and paid, some of it was in purple pencil – crazy. I snapped pics of some of my favorite photos. My favorite pic of Pat’s Mom – I wish you could see the freckles, Pat’s Mom’s Mom in her teen years, and his Mom’s Dad. he looks like Brad Pitt! (Brad’s new movietotally going to see this one)

In the later afternoon we drove the girls out to Dauphin Island to hang out at Fort Gaines, they loved it. Over two acres of open yard, tunnels, stairs, a rabbits warren of rooms and hallways – a latrine!, cannons and a giant anchor? even 90 degree heat couldn’t keep them still.

Tuesday we went out to see the USS Alabama. When we were driving into town on Saturday afternoon we had driven past the sign for Battleship Park – where the ship is docked – and Aurelia very excitedly asked if that meant there was a REAL battleship nearby. You can see the thing from I-10 so I pointed it out to her and both the girls said they really wanted to go. Saebra loved the inside of the ship – rabbit warrens again but didn’t like that we had to keep telling her to stay in sight. Aurelia loved being up on deck and checking out the guns and “deck stuff” but by then Saebra was done so she and I headed back to the gift shop and snackbar to wait out her Dad and sis in airconditioned Bliss. We met another knitter there, Elanor, she was making socks for her DIL while the rest of her family,Β  “clamored around in the boat”. Unfortunatly, Under Siege was filmed on board and Patrick says that we have to see it now, it just makes me laugh. Later that evening we were treated to a ride on the Dog river and one of its tributaries, Rabbit Creek, by Pat’s cousin Jill and her husband Trey. We went looking for rumoured Manatees but never saw any. The girls had a great time (Re FREAKED! when she first stepped on the boat and it took getting off and having Jill and myself talk to her a bit about what fun she night miss if she didn’t give it a try) they both got to steer the boat for a bit and we tooled around in the bay at sunset before docking and heading in for the night.

Wednesday the girls stayed with Grandma and her sister – they went to the Explorium and then swimming while Pat and I took off with his youngest brother and fiancee to have a look around downtown. We hit the Mardi Gras museum, someday you can ask me about the Kool-aid references, we found a cute little park, had some good sushi, excellent ice cream and chocolate and decided that we should find a movie theater for the evening. We ended up doing a double feature, The Happening – seriously!?! I paid for this? and the new Indiana Jones flick, eh – it was fun and we had a nice dinner inbetween.

Thursday I headed out in the morning with Jill and her two munchikins – peanut and truck πŸ™‚ – to Hobby Lobby for some seriously discounted yarn – 99 cents!, we had lunch, said our goodbyes and headed back to the airport. My Swiss Army knife was confiscated – it was in the checked bag on the way down but ended up in my purse for the trip back – argh!!!!! Our plane boarded 20 minutes late because of a maintenance issue with the wheel – yup, makes ya feel good and confident – and then we sat on the tarmac for 35 minutes while the Charlotte airport decided whether or not to let us fly in. Our flight took and extra 20 minutes because the pilot, graciously, flew around a bunch of thunderstorms (Did you know that they are shaped like anvils? – that’s my picture in the last post, three thunderheads that the pilot was steering around) and by the time we landed our connecting flight had departed, of course we didn’t know that till we raced over to our gate. The airline had booked us on the next flight, leaving in 2 hours so we grabbed a bite to eat and by the time we go tto our gate, the wind was blowing and the rain was falling sideways, then our gate changed, then the flight was delayed, then it was delayed again. Then our gate changed again and our flight was further delayed. Then our flight was delayed again to midnight. Then I saw my Stepmother’s brother and I went over to say hi – he was flying home to New Orleans from a funeral and was just as stuck as we were. Eventually we boarded, waited 30 more minutes while every other plane that had been grounded took off and made it home at 3:30, thats am.

Friday, we did nothing. I didn’t even unpack till yesterday. It was great to know that I had no laundry to do (did that Thursday before we left), no dishes or clothes waiting for me. Breakfast was bacon and fench toast with the cinnamon bread I made before we left and Pat grabbed us an early KFC style dinner from the grocery store, easy peasy.

Yesterday was the Delaney family picnic with all of Pat’s Dad’s brothers and sistersand offspring. It was an almost 2 hour drive, it was hot and due to some communication issues, we didn’t know that it wasn’t a potluck like years before but a pay by the plate thing. We let the kids play in the pool and Pat’s Mom offered to pay for our meals but she had just paid for our trip to Alabama – that’s right! Pat’s parents footed the bill for our trip. There’s no way we could have afforded that his year, So I wasn’t going to drain her bank account any further. We said hello’s to a few cousins, got new contact info from them and headed off to my Mom and Sis’ place for an impromptu meal. I fell asleep on my sister kitchen couch, yes she has a loveseat in her kitchen, and woke up long enough to eat dinner and fall back asleep. I hadnt realized how worn out I was by the trip home.

Today we did a bit of house work, dishes, garden, new kitchen light bulbs and Patrick is very excited about his acquisition of an “Action Hoe” mm hmm. We’ve just about got the girls back to a regular sleep schedule, they’re only 1/2 hour or so off still. Pat is asleep now because he goes back to work tomorrwo and wants to be well rested before he sees aht kind of damage a week of his abscence has wrought.

Oh, yeah, yarn! Ha! I made two sun hats for the girls – no pics yet, started socks for my sister, started a bamboo scarf – not sure what I’ll do with it, made a sun hat for Jill’s daughter, and played around with a couple crochet stitch patterns that I have a better idea how I’ll use now. My next Crochet 1 class begins on Wednesday – so soon, I need to go pack up my class things again. I’ll have more crafty pics soon. I promised Pat I wouldn’t say this again but I can type it, I’m glad to be home.

Toots