Wednesday, May 31, 2006
So I was travelling around the blogosphere today and I found this site were you could take a quiz and find out which Jane Austen character you are. Of course I had to take it! And guess who I was? And she’s my favorite! But if you look closely I’m also Elinor….that would be okay too. Have I completely lost my mind? I guess this proves how really mundane my day was….
I got a chuckle out of that…
Otherwise, my day has been pretty boring. Went to Target to get some stuff, came home with too much stuff. Making personal pizzas tonite with homemade chunky marinara, fresh pizza dough, fresh mozzarella and I’m going to top them with some basil from my own plants. I can smell the marinara cook as I type and I’m getting pretty darned hungry!
Just went in to get a taste on a piece of french bread and of course its too hot and now I’ve burnt the roof of my mouth! I always do that!
Talked to an old friend last night (my very oldest friend, in fact.
We’ve known each other since we were born and we’re only 24 days apart!). So many of my conversations with my friends these days are centered around trying to live in the moment and not get sucked into wishing away what we have. It’s so easy to see only the laundry, dishes, driving about, groceries (need I go on?) and forget how precious each day really is. In this forever planning ahead and on-the-go society we take it for granted that the sun will rise again tomorrow rather than being amazed and thankful to greet it for yet another day. One way that I combat the treadmill that is our society is refusing to make plans for my kids for the summer. When I was a kid we played by the pool, ate popsicles, read books, layed in the sun. I want that for my kids. I want blessed laziness. Only 15 more days until unabashed slothdom….
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
please, sir, may I have s’more?
Spring has returned to Oregon. I don’t know how long it will stick around this time but I’m making the most of it while its here! This weekend Doug built an arbor for my cottage garden. We had to get it up quickly because I had a Cecil Brunner rose in a pot that had sent roots out the holes in the bottom and we had to move the rose thusly snapping off said roots. This made the arbor a neccessity because it had climbed about 12 feet and it needed a place to rest on. So now I have a beautiful arbor with a lamp in it and a somewhat sad looking rose (It will perk up when I feed it and water it lovingly) on it. The gate will come next with some pickets kindly offered to me by my mom who got them at a salvage yard and had no project for them but couldn’t pass them up! And then hopefully this summer we will put up a short fence. So right now the arbor looks a little like a sore thumb standing in the middle of nowhere in all its grandeur. I’ll put up pix when Doug moves the other potted rose over. He had had enough yesterday and refused to move it.
Even though we didn’t really do anything for Memorial Day, it was a lovely evening so we pulled out the fire pit and made ourselves some s’mores for dessert.
And here’s Henry enjoying his.
By the end of the s’more portion of our evening Henry had eaten 3 s’mores and I was threatening medication! What is it about sugar, fire, sharp sticks and stickiness that brings out the mischievious worst in boys?
I did so much spinning this weekend that my drive belt (or whatever its called) which I knew was on its last legs broke into 3 pieces! Quick thinker that I am, and not to be thwarted in my quest for the creation of perfect yarn, I remembered that you can tie cotton string and use that as a drive belt. Voila! It worked and I continued to spin until my bad shoulder cramped up so horribly that I was going numb in my hand. And did I achieve my goal, you might ask? Yes, I would say so. Pix when I ply (when I regain some feeling other than pain in my right arm…). And on the subject of yarn: I am very disappointed in Koigu sock yarn. Yes, it knits up nicely. Yes, it gets softer and softer with each washing. NOOOO it does not retain its colorfastness! And what it does turn into looks like pastel …..I don’t know what. But its not pretty. And its more expensive! I think I’ll be sticking with Lorna’s Laces and Opal. No more Koigu for me (I’ll bet Doug is happy to hear that! He is amazed that I can spend $12 for ONE sock and have to knit it myself!).
So now that I’m addicted to dyeing, I can’t wait to try the overdyeing that is shown in Martha Stewart Mag this month. I went a little crazy this weekend with the dye. I had a piece of ugly natural colored fabric that was kind of damasky looking. Kind of. It was in the barn and had bat shit and mouse shit on it and was in the throw out pile when my mom, queen of the salvage, spied it and said "Don’t throw that out! Its at least 6 yards, you can do something with it!" Well, folks, she was right. It’s a 60" wide decorator (translates to expensive. Bought in the days of the football money) fabric. I had nothing to lose. So I brought it in with gloves, stuffed it into my washer, added lots of bleach and soap and waited. It came out nice and soft and kinda pretty but boring. I was glad mom had made me save it. I’ve been using it on my window seat cushion (too lazy to sew it up–just wrapping it around the foam. Also easy to remove because big ass labradors like to sit there and put their big noses on the window). Well, this weekend I thought, wouldn’t that be pretty blue? And I remembered I had bought RIT dye at least 3 years ago. I found the dye (that itself is worthy of a blog!) and cut the fabric in half and set about turning it beautiful. And it is! So, what do you do when you’re done dyeing your project but there is still dye in the bucket? I can tell you this, you don’t pour it down the sink! You run around the house looking for things to dye, thats what! I had some white matelesse shams and now they are blue and match my shabby chic (Target) sheets perfectly!
Do not notice the wrinked sheets –only the soft blue shams. I know, crappy picture….
Pretty soon I’m going to have to type with only my left hand because my shoulder is cramped again. I’m so lazy you’d have to guess at the words because I’d just leave out the right hand letters. re t rr w. (More tomorrow)
Saturday, May 27, 2006
it’s still freakin’ raining!
This is him at my kitchen door. Apparently we weren’t feeding him early enough today and he hopped his big fat duck ass up the steps and onto the porch. I am sparing you the sight of the duck crap that is beneath him….
I finally finished my Koigu socks (yea!) and am now working on a pair for a christmas gift (can’t say who) and a bath mitt.
(Yes I know there is dog hair at the bottom of my socks–I wore them to bed last night and wasn’t going to wash them again just for a picture. Sorry.) And I’m spinning! I am so hooked! I went to my lys yesterday and picked up some Perendale roving. It felt pretty soft so I figured that it should be nice if I didn’t butcher it with my wheel. And I didn’t! I’m still doing the thick and thin a bit (really, really thin and not too thick) but it turned out so soft and pretty I was excited! So excited that I actually spun 86 grams and then dyed it! My lys only carries Jacquard dyes and seeing that I’m an impatient and instant gratification kinda girl I figured I’d try it. It was very easy and not messy at all. I don’t know if I’ll get enough variation in color but for now it’s better than KoolAid and I’ll play with it some more before I make the next step. You can bet I’ll be "plying and dyeing" , as my daughter Riley would say, all weekend. Yup, I’m hooked.
So this new yarn that I spun yesterday I’m calling Colette because reminds me of the color of that beautiful rose on my cottage. This is so fun!
Other than that, things have been pretty status quo here. Here’s a sampling of dinner conversation from the other night:
Ruby takes a bite of salad. "Whoa!!! Whoa!!! Did you buy different croutons?" Ruby continues to roll the crouton in her mouth, checking it out with her tongue.
"Yes I did, Ruby. They didn’t have the ones we usually buy."
"Wow. I could tell. These taste different." (Ruby is my 17 year old.)
Yep. Things are so boring around here that the arrival of a new kind of crouton is worthy of stopping dinner for and talking about. Boy, you sure can’t put one past Ruby….She loves her dinners. Every day when she gets out of school she either calls me or texts me and asks, "what’s for dinner?" I guess I can’t complain–much better to have your teenage daughter concerned about her dinner than boy problems or whatever. I think I’ve spoiled them by cooking full dinners every night. College will be a rude awakening, I think.
I’m on a mission this weekend. If anyone needs me I’ll be the one furiously spinning….
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
roses, ad nauseam
Well I’m no closer to finishing those socks but I did ply my yarn and dyed it and I can see that soon we are going to need to go the way of the chemical dyes and leave the koolaid behind. Yep, we all knew it would go this way and here it is. I’m such a color freak that I can’t stand not having all the colors of the spectrum at my disposal. So there it is.
Even though the rain sucks and the gray clouds are thoroughly depressing there is one good thing about it: the photography gods are particularly kind to photographers when it is overcast outside. That said, I went nuts with the roses. The wind, however, was not kind and that’s not good for macro photography so I had to cut some flowers from my garden and drag a heavy vase of flowers around my yard. And shoot at least 1 gig in about 30 minutes flat…
So we got these:
I love the way that the roses look like ballet tutus. These are all my favorite colors: pink,rose,green and a shot of turquoise and it amazes me that I got them all together in a natural setting (except the vintage turquoise bean pot is not out of the garden and natural, but we’ll forget that).
Don’t the delphiniums look so sweet with their green polka dots? If that stalk hadn’t broken and turned downward I never would have known they were there…Well I’m sure you all have had enough of the roses for today.
Heading to the bath now (with my yarn dyeing book…) Maybe some knitting in bed!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
rain, rain go away…
As I cruise around the blogosphere I am seeing one constant remark in almost every blog I read: its raining here today. Now, I read blogs from all over the US and Europe and I find it amazing that we are all experiencing the damn May showers. I am seriously thinking of turning the heat back on! My hands get so cold so quickly I feel like lighting the wood burning stove and cuddling in with a good movie and some sock knitting. And of course something yummy and freshly baked with a good cup of coffee. Except that I’m trying to watch what I eat…I didn’t even brave the rain today with my intrepid labrador–I did the treadmill in the barn and watched Lost on the ipod.
Speaking of hunkering down, as it were, when I go outside these days I can hear finches and bluejays. Because we live next to some huge fir trees the sound bounces and echoes and so, so, so reminds me of the cabin we used to have at Pinecrest Lake in California. Our cabin was surrounded by towering pines and the calls of the finches and bluejays would echo. It was always the first sound I heard in the morning and the sound that would lull me to sleep during a nap. (We used to joke about how it took about 2 days and then you would revert to "cabin mode". That meant that you slept in, took naps, wore your pajamas for long stretches of time, read books and generally let everything go to hell in a hand basket but, damn, if you weren’t relaxed!) I do love it that I’m not awakened by cars or people outside; just my own chickens or duck or peacock and the house wren building a nest right outside my window. This morning I rolled over and started to snuggle into my pillow again and my first thought was "Is it Saturday or Sunday?" As we all know, I had a rude awakening when I realized it was Tuesday. And rainy.
I am getting closer to finishing Koigu socks and should have them done maybe tomorrow. And then I really am going to get a head start on knitting some christmas gifts. Along with upcoming birthday gifts. Along with another pair of socks for me….
I didn’t even make it out to the cottage today: I felt guilty that the dust bunnies in my foyer were the size of terriers. I’m not kidding. So I had to pick up the vacuum and the dust rag.
And I just want to let everyone who reads my blog know: the comments you leave me make me smile from my heart. There.
Monday, May 22, 2006
I’m a cheatin’ ho
Doug was laughing at me last night because I was working on my toothbrush rug and remarked that I felt like I was cheating on my knitting. Yeah. He almost spit out his coffee on that one. I guess I am truly a sick woman…When you start one of these rugs its so satisfying because you make so much progress so quickly. But as the rug gets bigger it’s harder to see the progress. Last night I rugged for about 3 hours and finished one whole row. Only 4 more to go….Willow mentioned that she’s interested in finding out more about how to make rugs. This is a good website with clear instructions: toothbrush rug instructions.
Its raining today and probably will be for a few more days but I didn’t let that stop me on my quest to walk at least 4 days a week. Angus and I went out and walked in the rain today and it wasn’t so bad. Except that my car still smells like wet dog even though I brought a towel to dry him off.
The latest on quackers is that he seems to be pulling out of it a bit. He and Angus were mixing it up a bit today and when Angus came into the cottage he plopped his fat butt on the step and tapped on the door for at least 30 minutes until he finally fell asleep out there. I know it all sounds cute and quaint but now theres a big watery duck poop puddle on the step. I wish he didn’t crap–I’d let him in.
I’m listening to 10,000 Maniacs and it so brings me back to the years right after college, being newly married and a new mom. New Jersey, naps, high chairs, strollers. I listened to the 10,000 Maniacs all the time back then; in the house, in the car. It’s like the background music to my life as a young mother and NFL wife. I wish I knew then what I know now…but isn’t that always the way it is? If I had taken up knitting then I’m sure I wouldn’t have had as much anxiety as I did when Doug was playing. It’s funny how music can do that to me–totally take me back to where I was when I used to listen to it. Humidity, the red maple outside our house, the chain dragging sound of our radiators, the smell of a baby when she first gets up from her nap with her curls stuck to her face. If nothing else, remembering these things reminds you that, as the 10,000 Maniacs say, "these are the days". Those times seemed like thats how things would always be and look at me now: in Oregon, of all places, with 3 kids that can put themselves to sleep, don’t need their food cut and can even wash their own clothes! So what is right now won’t always be. I’m reminded to live in the present and love it for what it is, good and bad.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
i’m tired of pimpin’ for fowl
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about when I used to visit my grandparents. They had a ginormous oak tree in their back yard and they put a king size bed under it to be able to sleep outside when it was too hot to sleep in the house. When we would stay with them we would sleep under the oak tree with them and watch the stars (back then the only thing moving in the sky was a falling star–I don’t think there were many if any satellites!) and listen to stories before we’d nod off to sleep. I always thought that when I had kids of my own I’d take my best memories and somehow recreate them for my kids. I know I cant’ do that completely but at least let them experience something similar. I’m ashamed to say that we hardly ever sleep outside in the summer. I don’t know why–maybe the threat of mosquitoes (I don’t remember my grandparents having any…), but we don’t. And we have great stars out here in the boonies! When you look up in the summer it feels like the sky is going to fall down on you. We have loads of beds in the barn–maybe I should just have Doug drag one on out and put it somewhere for us to sleep outside. But what about the dog? He always sleeps on my bed with me and he’d never settle down outside. And a tent just isn’t the same…I’ll have to ponder this one.
Every time spring roles around I start getting itchy to use fabric. I usuallly stop knitting and move onto creating with fabric. This year I can see that socks are perfect because I don’t have to stop knitting because a project is too big and warm to have on my lap. Socks don’t do that. But I am going to start picking up my toothbrush rug. I started it 2 years ago and seem to only work on it in the summer. It’s pretty close to being finished so maybe I can manage that this year. I love doing this as much as I love knitting because you use strips of fabric that are ever changing and this keeps my attention span from waning. And I love fabric and colors and the rug is always changing with each new strip. My only downfall is that you are supposed to wash the fabric first and I never do (impatient) so I get some stringies at the end when I wash the whole run. I don’t mind and I know that the more I use it and wash it sooner they’ll disappear. The rugs are so nice and soft I love to use them all over the house.
Quackers has now taken up with the barbecue. He just hangs out there for most of the day. I’ve looked up some info on ducks and apparently if you aren’t going to provide them with a companion you have to be prepared to play with them. I am not making this shit up. If anyone out there in blog land knows how to play with a duck please be sure and let me know. I’ve also looked into ordering him a companion but you can only get ducklings and it would be a big pain to raise them all over again especially since we now have 5 cats who would surely eat them. I am in a quandary. Any ideas?