Friday, May 30, 2008

Knit Night Outing

My view from knit night last night. We went to a local park, Union park that gets very little use. It is smack dab in the middle of 2 busy streets of traffic and is less than a block in size. I had never been there, though I have driven by it probably every week of my life.

It is a beautiful park cared for by the Master Gardeners of Leavenworth. It is a shame that more people don't enjoy it's beauty. Shame on me too for driving past it so long. My concern was that the traffic would be so loud that we wouldn't be able to hear each other but it was pleasant.
There were only 2 of us last night. Summer is coming and our group is thinning out. Laura and I still had a good time although, I messed up more on my socks than usual because with only 2 of us I talked way more than knit. I think we'll try this again. Though, maybe bring some cushions. Wrought Iron is pretty but not comfy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We're back!

We had a great weekend in Nebraska. Here are some photos from our trip. To sum up the wedding was great. There were references from The Princess Bride & Lord of the Rings. My friends The Clarks were great hosts as always. We somehow missed all major storms this weekend though we were close by. We spent a day in Nebraska City and visited the Lewis & Clark visitors center, John Brown's Cave (we went through the underground railroad passage, cool), & the Arbor Day Tree farm. Our hotel was awesome. The Lied lodge is apart of the arbor day foundation and the details in the hotel were beautiful. To see more pictures click on the link and it will take you to my flickr account.

Friday, May 23, 2008

What I did last night

I cooked dinner! Last nights dinner was White bean with mustard greens soup. It was yum and everybody ate it.Joy #2 ate it with a face but he still ate it. I think he only tried it because he knew where it came from. He knew the farmer who made it for him (the greens in it )and he was somehow invested in it. Does that make sense?

Tried to finish Joy #1's capelet. Almost there. I am working on the sleeves which both consist of 5 rows. Then I'm done!
This should be entitled, "What I did not do." That would be clean up this mess.

And this is from this morning entitled, "Why isn't that kid in school?" He is not sick just worn out and I told him he could stay home today. I am the mom. I trump the school and anyone else who has a stake hold. Today is a fun day anyway and now we might be able to get out of town before 5 pm.

A full report of our trip on Tuesday. I travel laptop free so I will chat with you later. Have a great and safe weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Everything's Turning Up Green

I received my first share from our CSA yesterday! Tons of green and just look at those radishes. Beautiful! We received heirloom lettuce, mustard greens, green onions, radishes, and a dozen fresh eggs. The first thing we tried were the radishes. Perfect. My kids have never had radishes before and they both gave it a try. Joy #2 didn't expect it to be so hot/spicy. He was very funny. Tonight I am going to cook up white bean soup with mustard greens. I've never cooked with mustard greens before. I can see already that this summer will be a great learning experience.

And for more green...Joy #1's capelet is moving slowly. Probably because I haven't knit on it since Sunday. I am almost to the end of the raglan shaping and then I'll only have about 2 more inches to the end of the sweater. So all in all I'm pretty close to finishing. Maybe 65% done. I was going to skip knit night tonight in favor for getting the wash done but I think I need to go and finish this up. Joy #1 will not feel easy about leaving if it isn't done. She'll probably try to make me go buy her a back up capelet.

This green is a bit more brighter than in the pictures. It is Berroco Touche' green tea colorway. It will look perfect with her dress.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Built By Jennifer- Dress Version

I am attending a wedding this weekend (as I've talked about before) in NE. I decided that I would make a dress using Simplicity 3835 because it is casual, comfortable and cute. The wedding I'm attending is out at "our" church camp, Nebraska Youth Camp. It will be beautiful but let's face it. It is not the best place for heels. I purchased 3 yards of a linen blend, natural color. This dress was easy to make, and would have been even easier if I would have paid attention to sizing. When I made the shirt from this pattern I went with a size 16 (normally I'm a 10 and have since found out that pattern size doesn't match up with purchased clothing sizing). So naturally, I just cut size 16. Well, that was wrong. The first try on it was a tent! So I went back to the drawing board and soon discovered that my bust size is a 16 but my waist and hips are a 12. So I laid the pattern over my finished product (unhemmed of course) marked what would be a 12 and resewed. The fit is much better now. I bought some light weight denim to make another version of this dress and I bet that one goes together better. Now i know why they say, make a muslin. I probably never will but I do understand why.

This dress seems pretty plain. I am still debating on embrodering it but when i added some jewelry it dressed it up. Joy #1 says a wide belt would look good too. I'm thinking of lots of possibilites. I would cut into the second dress but I know I have not time to sew it. I'm still knitting away at Joy#1s capelet and there are chores to be done before we head out on Friday.
Outakes while waiting for someone to get off the computer and take my picture.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Anything to get out of housework!

I have done tons of stuff this week. And not one ounce of it has been housework. All I've done since last Sunday was 1 load of laundry & 1 load a dishes. Nothing else. You'd think yesterday would be a perfect day to clean up a bit. Nope. I just didn't have it in me to waste my time cleaning. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed it!

I picked up the rest of the notions I needed for the dress I am sewing for the wedding. Which is next weekend, how did that sneak up? Then we went over to Weston Bend State park and spent a few hours. We had a picnic lunch and walked 2 trails. I'm not sure how many miles but it was more than 3. It was beautiful, the trails are shaded by huge trees and we enjoyed the walk. Joy #2 walked ahead of us with another couple he just met. He was their trail guide showing them cool things that grown-ups walk right by without seeing. Joy #1 and I walked at a more leisurly pace many yards behind them.

After our hike, we rested on the picnic blanket. Well Joy #1 & I did. Joy #2 rode his ripstick around. He just never stopped and that would account for him being all cranky in the grocery store an hour later. He was wiped. It was beautiful and I enjoyed spending time in nature with my Joy's. So much so that we are planning to stop off at the Arbor Day park (we're members) on our way back from the wedding next weekend. This time I think we are going to try and stay in the lodge. Yea!

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Wheels

Bike theft in my town is high. Even higher in the north part of town which I live in. At one point there was a bike chop shop a few blocks from me. I have lived in my home for seven years and we have gone through more bikes than I can remember. I stopped counting at 8. Joy #2 has been the victim of all but 1 of the bike thefts. He starts out really conscious when he gets new wheels. He locks his bike up every night or parks it in the kitchen but inevitably, in time someone takes it. I took a stand a few years ago and said no more. I would not purchase any new bikes.

My mom was telling a guy at work about how many bikes Joy #2 has had stolen. I guess his sons had the same thing happen but not nearly as often! Just a normal conversation with a co-worker and back to work. Yesterday, this co-worker came up to her window (she runs the office and scale at the recycle, dump, transfer station) and said,"Hey, I have a bike for your grandson." She was shocked! They had this conversation months ago. This man has been taking bike parts from the landfill and building Joy #2 a bike! And not just any bike but a one of a kind awesome bike. Light alloy frame, racing tires, sparkly seat, pegs.

I took Joy #2 out there after school to thank the man and get the bike. On the way out there we chatted about what kind of character you'd have to see a need a fix it. Without knowing the recepient, just going above and beyond and doing something extra special. It was cool. Joy #2 got the bike, thanked the man and was totally thrilled! I know very little about bikes but Joy #2 told me about each part, what kind of bike it came from originally and how the craftsman took all the good features of other bikes and made one perfect bike for him.

And to complete the night, Joy #2 had saved up enough money to buy a Ripstick from a neighborhood kid who got one for christmas and couldn't get the hang of it. The top 2 items on his savings list were now his and he has $10 to spare. His new goal is a season swim pass to Wollman Pool.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Contributing to the Economy

I went crazy and wild with my "rebate" check. I bought books from the local bookstore. I have had the Sew U book on my amazon wish list since last fall and now Wendy Mullin has come out with book 2, Sew U Home Stretch, sewing with knitted fabrics. I took my amazon wish list to Barb and she ordered them for me. With her discount and no shipping I pay about the same, sometimes less and I have them within 3 days. Awesome. I also purchased 2 of my all time favorites, but I'm not going to go into any detail because they are a birthday gift for a great lady in Canada. (Debbie, I see you trying to make the pictures larger, you'll just have to wait.)

Saturday, I started another farmer's market bag. This time with a larger guage and some left over cotton ease. This one will stretch large enough to accomodate tons of produce.

This farmer's market bag was knitted by me in the fall of 2006. I have never used it, even though I hit the market weekly last year. I went to the market directly after work on Wednesdays and just never brought it with me. I really liked the way this one turned out and am determined to use it this year!

I am going to make a couple more for the CSA families that I am carpooling with but not right away! I am ready to move on from market bags! The yarn I ordered for Joy #1's shrug is on back order from WEBS so I'm going to have to find it else where. I'd better get on that otherwise it will be the week of the wedding and she will be shrugless.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Small Projects

Mother's Day herb gardens for MeMe & Gran. We have oregano, basil, thyme, & rosemary. I got the herbs at our farmers market. They were more established than the ones we had started. I like the way they turned out. I hope they will give joy to the recipients.

Farmer's market bag #1. Knitpicks Cotlin. Crochet! It turned out pretty good however, I forgot it at home when I went to the market today! Well have to try it again next week. I started a second bag today. I'm sure I'll find a home for it.

Curly Purly wool soaker complete. I finished it up at knit night. I plan on making another one of these. Next time in knit picks shamrock yarn. Same yarn as the french press cozy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Last year at the tender age of 10 Joy #2 started a small lawn mowing service. He started with a couple of regular lawns and then monitored the neighborhood looking for houses with tall grass that might need his assistance. My yard was mowed pro bono because let's face it, I'm his mama. He would average anywhere from $30-$80 a week. Mostly $30 but there were at least 2 $80 weeks. I made him separate his money into save, spend, & give envelopes and we did pretty well the first couple of weeks. He is not a saver by nature and really struggled with the concept. As in, I forced him to use the envelopes and any chance he had of circumventing the system he did.

Lawn Service Flyers

This year he is at it again. He has 4 lawns set up to mow regularly. I am now a paying customer (my choice) and we have new save, give, spend envelopes ready. I bought the Financial Peace Jr. at the Dave Ramsey live event and last night we did the lessons. He is now on commission for some home chores and he has his savings goal.

Riptstick of Doom

We listened together to Dave Ramsey's podcast after doing the financial peace Jr. He thought Dave was awesome. Maybe the key to getting him to become a saver is repetition, repetition, repetition. Well, listen together tonight too.

Random Knitting Projects: Curly Purly Soaker & a monkey sock.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Raised Beds

Our version of square foot gardening. Joy #2 built the beds. Joy #1 marked them into square feet and I tried to figure out what should go where. We have 3 tomato plants, cilantro, rosemary, mint julep, basil, parsley, and oregano in one bed. Bed #2 which is awaiting dirt will be planted with watermelon. Joy #2 has 4 hearty plants he started from seed. This will be a nice addition to the produce we will get from the CSA. I repotted my marigolds into larger containers hoping they will get a bit more substantial before I plant them. Finally, more progress on the garden.

I'd like to say the we three worked in harmony together. Each doing our own part and helping each other but the truth is those two fussed with each other the whole time. We had 2 full fledge fits thrown by Joy#2 brought on by comments of Joy #1. While he was carrying on she would continue to make comments like, "Yeah, get mad. That's sooo helpful." Once I caught Joy #2 charging Joy #1 and had to hold him back from attempting to give her the beat down (today maybe I should change their names to bane of my existence #1 & #2 but God says they are a blessing so I am walking on blind faith today).

Somehow, things did quiet down and we played Skip Bo (all 3 and no one got hurt) on the picnic blanket while waiting for dinner. We also ate on our picnic blanket. Joy #2 and I finished off the night watching Cranford on Masterpiece Theater. Peace had finally resumed.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A million and one...

...things on my mind!
  • The house really needs a good cleaning.
  • My herbs are looking pretty sad in their egg cartons! I need to finish the raised bed (Joy #2 built it I just need to finish adding the soil and plants)
  • Those Mother's Day presents are going to finish themselves
  • Food, it would be nice to have some food in this house
  • I should start a new sock before tomorrow when I go to see Dave Ramsey. That way I will already be in rhythm with the pattern and my mind will not be "focusing on two different things."
  • I need to order yarn for Joy #1's caplet but I just opened a new checking account and won't have my debit card for 2 weeks. I need to figure away around this.
  • I need to get sewing. I want to make more of my own clothes. We are going to a wedding the weekend of May 24th and I want to make my dress. I already have the fabric, pattern, and ideas in my head. I just gotta get to it.
  • Note to self, Joy #1's shrug needs to be done by wedding weekend. Once again, she's small so it's like baby clothes.

Hmm...maybe if I got off the computer I could actually complete one of these tasks. Like housework!!! Have a great weekend!