Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ah, the end of summer

The last time I posted to this blog I was dreaming about Spring. Now that we're in the mid-August heat, I have to admit, I'm ready to get back to some cooler temperatures. Apparently I'm one of those people who loves the changing seasons. I'm looking forward now to mums, fall leaves, cider, pumpkin pie, sweater weather. One might think that I'm never happy. Not true. I love looking forward to what comes next.

I haven't done any knitting to speak of all summer. I had thought that I would, but the days just keep getting away from me. Also the hot, humid weather makes me not much want to sit with a ball of wool in my lap. But fall is coming and I'll be ready. I'm starting to sort through the stash, thinking about mittens and hats, sweaters and socks. Ah, heaven in sticks and string!

I did learn to crochet this summer. I had thought I would make a baby afghan, but I made it too wide. So I thought it would be an afghan for the sofa - beautiful colors of pink and deep red. But I misjudged and ran out of yarn when the project was about 40 inches x 15 inches. LONG way from an afghan, eh? HA! I'm debating - order more yarn? It's striped, so the different dye lots shouldn't make a huge difference. Frog it and go again for the baby afghan? Which still may take more yarn, but not nearly as much as I'm figuring it will take for the full-size. What to do?

I've taken on a little business venture. I'm now an Avon representative. DING-DONG! AVON CALLING! Actually, I think this is perfect for me! A way to make a little extra money that doesn't require me to keep a huge amount of product on hand, doesn't require an astronomical start-up cost ($10.00!!!), doesn't make me place a $350 (or more) order every three or six months, and best of all, doesn't make me do parties. Cuz people, I like to party, but I'm not the sales-pusher type. I'll get you a book, encourage you to check out my webstore, answer any questions you have, and wait for you to call me if you want something! Avon seems to sell itself, and I feel like it's going to go well. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

So Long.

It seems to me that these last days of winter are the longest of all, if not for lack of daylight. These are the days that seem to drag by so slowly as to suck the life out of me. I love winter, don't get me wrong. But my kids are itching to get outside and my dog is tired of the house, as well. The days can seem so long, and yet I still am not finding enough hours in the day to get things done. Bedtime can't come soon enough, and then I am sad when it comes and I've yet to accomplish what I set out to do that day. I'm grumpy, stressed, and, as someone's grandmother surely would have said, in a generally bad disposition.

These are the days when you realize you are sitting around, waiting for something to happen. That something is spring. Warm breezes and gentle rains. Green grass and birds singing. Flowers blooming and evening walks. Spring is just outside of your sight, but you know it's coming. So you wait. And you wait. And you wait. It is coming, isn't it?

I'm thinking about tomato plants. I've become obsessed with the thought. I'm sick to death of winter vegetables. I'm not a gardener, but these days? These days I dream about becoming one. Zucchini, onions, radishes, green beans, peppers. Ahhh, I think I've found the antidote to these long days. I've received a spring seed catalog. I'm eyeing a patch of yard, thinking about how well it drains; thinking about digging the dirt and planting something...delicious. You have to admit...even if you don't garden...don't these days make you wish you did?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

There's an App for that.

I am loving my new iPhone, probably a bit too much. It's just so handy. I've downloaded some apps (mostly for free!) and thought I'd mention some of my favorites.

1. Handy Level - I'm so not good at eyeballing something and telling if it is straight or so crooked as to look as if it went through an earthquake. This App is exactly what it's name implies. And again, to use the's handy.

2. ISpadez - I have been addicted to Spades for years. Back in the day, we would spend entire weekends playing Spades, with real actual cards. Then we got old and married, and played with other couples before the little ones came along, again, with real actual cards. Then the Yahoo Games came along, and you could play with complete strangers from your desk at work (ahem!). That was fun because you could get lucky and get paired with a great player, or unlucky and get paired with a moron. Either way, it was pretty interesting. I got a real job, though, and couldn't play anymore. Enter this iPhone app. Technically, I probably could play at work, but I don't. I do play when I'm stuck somewhere, like waiting at the license bureau, or the Dr's office. Oh the joy of wasting time!

3. Flashlight - I didn't think I would need this app. But our power went out one night, and of course, I couldn't find the flashlights that one would normally keep in the house for such an occasion. So I promptly downloaded this app and found my way back to bed!

4. Keeper - This is a (password protected) password keeper. I HATE how I have to have a gazillion different usernames and passwords for different websites and accounts. Some websites make you stand on your head while whistling dixie to find a password they'll accept, but you know you'll never remember. Keeper is great for that. You can type in the name of the site or account, your username and password and it keeps it for you. A great app for a memory challenged gal such as myself.

5. Gorillacam - This app helps you hold your phone straight so your pictures don't come out all wonky-like, and it also helps prevent the shakiness that makes my pictures...well...all wonky-like.

6. PandoraBox - An app that gives you a daily list of apps that have gone on sale - and many are free!

7. Pandora - This is an awesome music app! You type in the name of a song or artist that you like and it creates a radio station that plays similar types of music. It's really great!

8. Yahoo Music - Another music site, although I don't think it's as great as Pandora.

9. Mass Times - This app gives you mass times for Catholic churches in whatever area you are in. I don't know how trustworthy the app is though, as the test one I used was for my own church and it is about two years out of date.

10. iRosary - If you pray the rosary, this is kind of cool. It has the prayers listed, along with the Mysteries. It also has a customizable rosary that moves through your fingers as you recite the prayers.

11. iConfess - This app is just kind of wierd. It is password protected, and has lists of sins that helps you examine your conscience. You can flag any sins you have commited, and then lists them on a special 'For Confession' page, along with the prayers for confession. This is supposed to be for you to reference while you are in confession. I'm not sure, but I think if I tried to pull out my iPhone during confession, Father would probably think I'm a nut, among other things.

12. Facebook - The coolest app ever! You are never far from your friends and family with this app! Now if all those farmers and bakers and mafia people would stop begging me to build their barn, feed their animals, fertilize their crops, take some baked goods off their hands and knock somebody off, I could get down to the real reason I facebook - to see what's going on in everybody's REAL world.

That's it for my app suggestions. Time for me to go find something to do that doesn't require the use of my iPhone. Goodnight, all!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl followed by Snow Day

We watched the Super Bowl last night. I'm a Peyton Manning fan (a little bit), but was glad to see New Orleans win. That city deserved a reason to party and they played a great game.

But now let's discuss the real excitement of Super Bowl Sunday: food and commercials. I slacked off on the snack food this year. We're trying to eat more healthy, and I just wasn't much in the mood for 'healthy' snacks. I did make a nice homemade beef stew (yum!) for dinner and as a concession to 'we have to have something to snack on-it's the Super Bowl' theory that I got from my husband, I made a small batch of ro-tel dip and gave him a bag of tortilla chips. That was it for snacks. I did, however, have margaritas. Cuz, dudes...any excuse for a margarita and I'm all over it!

I thought the commercials were fairly lame this year. I was a little disturbed by the two commercials featuring underwear (not sexy people in underwear, mind you) in a row. Really, could the planners have not separated them out a little bit. Probably would have been more effective if they had not been back to back. Instead, I just cringed while watching them. My favorite was the little boy in the doritos commercial. "Put it back. Keep yo hands of my momma and keep yo hands off my doritos." Hahaha, funny stuff.

I was glad to see the Clydesdales in a commercial. Being from the St. Louis area and having a bad taste in my mouth because of the whole InBev takeover, I do still like the Clydesdales. They are beautiful horses. And does anyone miss the Bud frogs from years ago? They were awesome.

Woke up this morning to just enough snow to make the roads slick and cancel school. I made the mistake of telling the boys too early. If they had thought they had to get up for school, I couldn't have drug them out of bed. But because I told them they could sleep in instead of telling them to get moving, they jumped out of bed full of energy and attitude. No Schoooooolllll!!!! Help me.

Well, here's hoping things calm down around here in time for some knitting to get done. And I'm trying a new recipe for dinner tonight. Going to try's buttermilk chicken tenders. (I'm sure that's not the right name, but it's close). Sounds yummy. I do like trying some of these new healthy recipes. So far, so good.

Oh man, CJ has the TV turned up to 'amplify' mode, the dog won't stop barking at the snow falling, Ryan won't stop yelling at the dog, and I'm on my third cup of coffee. This day is not shaping up like I planned!

Friday, February 5, 2010

World's Worst

Yes, I am the World's Worst Blogger. 'Tis true. You may note that my last blog entry was about a camping trip, with green, green grass and shirtless little boys excited about going to the pool. As I sit here tonight watching the snow fall outside, I realize that some time has passed since my last blog. Sue me.

The issue here is partly that I know that no-one reads this blog. You know how your life is full of things you should do, because maybe they are good for you. But if nobody is watching, you find yourself not doing those things? Yeah. Kind of like this.

But screw it. I'm going to (attempt) to blog anyway. Largely because there has been some undocumented knitting going on in my life since last summer. And I was getting ready to order yarn that was PERFECT for the baby sweater I made last fall, and I have a baby explosion going on with my friends and family. And I cannot for the life of me remember what the hell yarn I used for that baby sweater. I know the color was called Petal. That's it. Don't know where I got it from. Don't know what weight it was. Don't even fully remember the material. Was it Alpaca? (No, I'm sure it wasn't.) Merino? Superwash? What the hell?!?! If I had been a good little blogger, there would have been pictures here, with details. (Why, yes, I am a member of Ravelry, where they have great applications for keeping record of such things. But that would mean I'd have to use it. See the above paragraph where I talked about doing things that are good for you.) Ravelry is a great site, by the way, for finding patterns. I'm just never going to remember to keep my stash records updated. Never. Ever. Not gonna happen. So here I am. Back in blog world. Hold me to it, will ya?

Current WIP: a prayer shawl for a very dear friend in need of prayers. I'm using Lion Brand Homespun in a great color that can't be named in this post because I already lost the damn ball band. (Note to self: Don't do that again.) Using size 13 needles and the pattern Easy Triangle Shawl by Lion Brand.

No pictures as my camera has gone kaput. Maybe a new camera is coming my way. I mean, how can a girl blog and keep good records without a camera? Yeah. Just what I thought. I'll work on that plan.

Until next time, enjoy the snow. There's more on the way.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Camping is a trip

The vacation officially began on Monday. We purchased a used pop-up camper (I don't tent camp anymore - I just don't have it in me.) After loading it up, we got to the campground late in the afternoon, and got all set up and cozy. We had a fire going, roasted hot dogs and made smores (which I hate, by the way. I like all the ingredients of the smore, I just don't like them together. I prefer my marshmallows roasted, and alone.)

We put off going swimming or fishing until the next day and just chilled out at the campsite. WELL...that plan didn't quite work out.

The air conditioner began leaking, so we had a small pan to catch the drip. OK, no problem. We took Jasper along, who I don't trust enough to spend the night outside of his kennel. He still has too much 'puppy' going on and chews everything.

I discovered that two adults, two kids, and a rather rambunctious dog with a large kennel is just too much for a pop-up camper. Oh, its fine when you are outside of the camper, but not good when all are stuck inside it. To top it off, the dog had horrible gas (I know - TMI) and I decided right then that the dog is not camping with me again!

Then the rain began. (Rain that we weren't expecting!) We got about two inches and the leaking drip from the air conditioner became a steady stream. We switched from a small pan to a 5 gallon bucket and it was almost full. By Tuesday morning, we were soaked through. Decided that was enough camping!

We loaded up in a downpour and took our soaked behinds home. After setting the camper up in the garage and placing fans inside to dry everything out, James and C.W. removed and re-sealed the A/C unit. (No more leaks!!!! Good job, guys!)

By Friday, we were ready to try camping again. I'm an optimist, as everyone knows. This time, we left the dog at home with John. And while there was a little bit of rain during the night and some loud thunder, it didn't amount to much.

Some pics:

Ryan and CJ are ready to go to the pool!

CJ LOVES to fish!

Waiting patiently for Dad to bait the hook (although after the first time, CJ was taking care of baiting his own!)

Still waiting on Dad!

Still waiting...

Ryan caught a blue gill! He was hilarious!!! He was so excited, but everytime the fish would jump Ryan would scream "NO!" and try to get away from it. It was very hard to get a pic!

Another pic of Ryan and his first fish.

CJ caught a couple of toads. (Gross, I say!)

But he's proud of them! (No toads were harmed in the making of the blog post. He released them shortly after the photo session.)

All in all, it was a very successful camping trip. We all had a great time and can't wait to go back!
PS - there was no knitting on this trip. I took it along, but quickly realized that relaxation does not take place for Moms on camping trip.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A good day for ducks.

So much rain!

Well, the weekend was interesting. Independence Day was a soggy one here in Missouri, which brought 4 inches of rain to the area. (Taken with my cell phone through the screen on the window - sorry for the low quality!)

The parade was pushed back an hour, and then got started without rain. Sadly, the rain returned before the end of the parade. Hubby and the boys and I were dry, though, driving the fire truck through the parade. Here's a pic of the boys waiting to get the parade started.

Then we had rain off and on all through the day. Ryan played in the water so often, that we made several trips home for bathing and clothing changes. (Good thing we only live a couple of blocks from the park!) I began the day by complaining to my neighbor about all the rain ruining the days festivities. She said "Well, it's a good day for ducks." What a great way to put a positive spin on the day. I decided to be negative no more, and we ended up having a great (though incredibly soggy) day.

It stopped raining long enough for the fireworks show to begin on time. During the fireworks, a fine gentle mist began falling, (which was much better than the buckets that had been coming down all day) and to be honest, the evening was almost perfect. Libby wasn't here, so it couldn't be perfect, but it was as close as one could get under the circumstances.
Today is 'trip to the dentist day'. Yay.