Monday, December 31, 2007

In truth I love Dennis too

here's a great article written by Amanda at Common Sense. How do I resolve the peace loving idealism I feel in my heart for Dennis with my choice for Hillary? I want the world Dennis wants, but I need to pick a candidate this time around that I feel is electable. I can go caucus for Dennis, he won't be viable at my precinct and I'll end up moving over to Hillary. Maybe that's what I should do, in my mind it would work out perfectly, I could stand up and be counted for both! hmmmm.

2008 and resolutions

I don't know about anybody else, but making resolutions hasn't really worked for me. Oh, I've made plenty... and probably the one that worked the best was the unintentional one about 11 years ago, when in the dead of winter post christmas, pre New years, I realized I'd gone three days without a cigarette and "resolved" to continue... and I have. Technically not a NY's resolution, but still... it worked.

but this year, I was intrigued and challenged and taken in by an idea Christine Kane has on her blog the other day, Resolution Revolution. Her idea was to pick one word, one word to be your word for the year. What an idea! and due to several thoughts, ideas and activities over the last few months, without a lot of contemplation, the word that sprang to mind and stayed with me throughout the weekend was: INTENTIONS. Intentions, to do my actions with intent. to do the actions I intend to do. I don't intend for this to be a heavy word for me this year, just a thought provoking and thought intending word.

What's your word for the year?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Girl in the Cafe

A while ago I signed up to receive a DVD on tour. The name of the DVD is called The Girl in the Cafe, info on the tour can be found here. Ingrid is doing a great job of getting this dvd on the circuit. (I personally am a one-person slow down) This movie is about one person speaking out and actually moving out of their comfort zone and saying/doing something about a situation they care about. This movie is about making you aware of a situation. Yes, the movie is centered around a G8 conference and whether or not the G8 nations are going to do something about international poverty. I felt the actual storyline was more than that... I felt it was about our personal responsibility to take a look around us and become aware of what is going on in our world. Become aware and informed. I've always felt that it is important to become knowledgeable about issues--we can't know about them all, so pick one or two, know them and care about them. share the information you have with your friends. and elect your officials based on their knowledge.

One thing I do know, global economics is not going to solve poverty issues, the only thing global economics is going to do is make money for Walmart; and they aren't helping poverty issues at all--at home or abroad--as a matter of fact, they create them. it is one reason why I simply refuse to give them one penny of my money. I work hard for my money and I refuse to hand it over to people who act and think like they do. Another economic practice we do at home, is to imagine the person's face that made the object we're buying--if we can't do it... ie it is a nameless endless factory issue, we really question whether we need or want it. we do this with all our purchases and have for several years. our practices may not stop poverty but we'd like to think they don't help create the economic black holes.

We also reuse, reduce and recycle as much as possible. I love consigment shops.

Economic responsibility begins at home for all nations. As individuals, we need to look at ourselves and see what we're contributing and also force our elected officials to actually make a difference. something we've obviously not been doing the last 8 years. giving doesn't come with strings. it comes with benefits.

Thanks for the DVD tour, Ingrid, I'm posting it now to New York.

Hillary for President

Hillary Hillary Hillary

This is who I pick... for several reasons. I think its time for a woman president. We moved to a place in our world where the spirit of cooperation needs to reign and there are inherent abilities a woman brings to a position. Hillary also brings a wealth of experience and intelligence. I also admire her because although she has been attacked attacked and attacked again simply based on gender (nice one yesterday Fred) she has refused to do anything but stay on focus for issues over the last 20 years. I appreciate her focus on health care, and I think she is really the only one who can think like a mother, and its time a mother steps up and takes care of this country.

Hillary, its the right thing to do.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

blue days


Aren't these pretty? sensing a theme? I'm working on some winter projects for my daughter and she is a blue lover. One is the Classic Elite Lush scarf -- isn't that yarn gorgeous? and the pattern is working up so nice. the other is a mitten pattern from called Hand Jive. the yarn is andy's merino from farmhouse yarns. I'll keep you posted as to the progress.
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waiting patiently...


A lifestyle return...

When we purchased this property back in '93, besides the house directly behind us, all we could see when we looked out our back window was farm fields. We knew all the land had been platted for building and it was only a matter of time..... and that housing buildup has come and gone. and the wildlife along the creek is slowly returning. and altho this image is a mite blurry; and shows the creek and treeline much closer than it actually is, it is nice to see that hawk sitting there. he/she gets chased out quite frequently by the blackbirds, but he/she returns. he/she also sits pretty regularly in the trees in our yard. and while our dogs chase out all other birds, they have a reverent respect for this one. and while I like seeing this one around I warn her/him all the time that my white cat is not food.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Look what I got in the mail

Yes, I'm a slacker Secret Pal... it took me a few days to get to the post office. and then a few days to post. I apologize -- and I love your goodies!

Can you see all the goodies she sent me? I am soooo spoiled...

chocolate, stickers, two, two skeins of yarn, the book knit scarves (that I was just eyeing at the store) more lavendar, bubble bath fizz, notebook... it is endless. Thanks Secret Pal... you are a treat!

Monday, December 3, 2007

starts and finishes

Here are some socks I finished and started in the last week or two. I finally finished my hogwarts socks.. way past the deadline.. poor pal. my fault for picking a pattern that, while beautiful, is tedious, and time consuming, even if worked on every single day, with size 1 needles. great sock yarn from dharfarmey fibers though!

The socks I started on are for... ssshhh.... but don't they look nice? Claudia's handpaints, lorna's laces for the heels and toes, and a nice pattern from charlene Schurch. great combos, as long as I remain a steady knitter!

Aren't these beautiful?

  I took a little time for one of my other loves on Saturday and took a quilting class. I've always wanted to learn how to make quilts like Karen Stone does. and hopefully I'm on my way. These are definitely process quilts though! First you need to select your colors, then do the cut outs--how long has it been since I used templates? and then, my favorite part, the paper piecing! and oh, the arc sewing--but that actually went together easier than I thought yahoo!

And aren't they pretty? only 34 more to go.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The fourth Thursday of November is not the only day to give thanks, but a good reminder to list out loud what things we are grateful in our lives, so here, in no particular order Jess, in case this is the one day you decide to read my blog...

1. My daughter Jessica.. 22yrs old and graduating this december. the graduating is my expectations being met I know... but still I'm excited. She'll be moving away from central Iowa but its time we all grow up...

2. My husband Dean... who just this morning drove all the way back 35 miles so he could be with me while I tried to capture that rascal Spencer....

3. All the animals in this house... Gretchen, Madaline, Gabriel and yes, even that rascal Spencer who took total advantage of the nice guy at the dog food place and squirmed (yes Mr. Muscle) out of the car while he was trying to put the bag in... he then proceeded to run in the neighborhood (rural) for 45 mins before he finally came to me. Spencer will be spending the next few days in some serious call/recall training.

4. Matthew.

5. Knitting and quilting and all things fiber.

6. Growing, every day.

7. Home, local foods and work to keep me busy.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Wow, I won!

If I said, I hardly ever win... you'd say sure, me neither.

but today, I received an email from informing me that because I blogged about my participation, I won in a drawing, and I had a gift certificate I could put towards another challenge. So, I immediately did. For the 3 or 4 of you that read the site... click on the site link, head over, check out the straw poll that makes a difference, or the bloggers challenge and working together with others just like you across the US, help teachers make a difference in the classroom. These teachers know what makes their students tick, and they just need a few dollars to bring some unique teaching tools to their classrooms.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Caffeine swap II on Ravelry--am I a lucky gal or what?

Here's what I found on my doorstep this week

and all the goodies exposed: two skeins of sock yarn (yahoo!) in colors out of my normal colorways and I love them. stitch markers, dark chocolate, a new mug, green tea and whole decaf starbucks beans. My swap partner read my mind. I hope she reveals herself to me soon. Thanks swap partner, I'll be thinking of you often. Now, I must finish up my shopping at my LYS to get my package out the door so I can make someone else's day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Little Yarny Update

Now that Socktoberfest is over, and I cast on several socks, but unfortunately did not finish a single one.. I've joined up here. This project commitment shall help me finish the projects I've started, resist the yarny calling and appreciate the stash goodness I already have. So help me Yarn Goddess.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

How appropriate that I have an update for my
The first book is a collection of short stories. The book is titled: Strange Happenings: 5 tales of transformation The author is Avi. These short stories are tales of transformations the main characters of each stories undergo. I don't recall that the transformations are positive in nature and usually are the result of some lesson learned by the character; as such I would say these tales are fairy tale in nature. There is one about a cat and a boy, I won't give anything away, but this was my favorite of the 5, especially because the story line didn't give anything away.

My second book to write about today is The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho. This story was written interview style about a woman developing her goddess spirituality, intuition and techniques over time. Also, what can happen to a person if they are perceived as a healer and gain a following. And, what conditions for acceptance can be placed on a person. A line immediately into the book: "no one places her dreams in the hands of those might destroy them. no one that is, but athena." really caught my attention. but also.. it made me think.. don't we all sometimes hand our dreams over to those who don't treat them well?

So, for the RIP II, I chose Peril 1, read four books.. I believe I've done this with one to spare, yeah me! and I've pushed myself to read books I wouldn't have read otherwise--cool ones too!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Voting for the presidency with your dollars?

Hey why not? Corporations have been doing it for years... go to this website: and while logging a vote for your fav candidate--fund some educational projects in the classroom. and let your local teachers know about the projects at also, there isn't any reason, if you live in IA, you couldn't be funding projects in IA.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Look what the postman delivered to me!!!

I was so excited to receive this package... and it came in an envelope labelled Royal Mail. Since my husband in entered in Crown Tournament for the Kingdom of Calontir in a couple of weeks.... is this foreshadowing? Perhaps, but I think it is rather an indication of international mail.

Inside was so many goodies, I'm not sure I'm going to know where to start.. I received yarns from POSH! the Yarn Yard and some silk from Hip Knits. And if that wasn't enough, my SP spoiled me in lavendar--how did she know? I will be totally in the bath. Sorry honey, not my fault, blame SP... Thank You Secret Pal! I hope you are getting spoiled equally as much!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

just another sunday

Earlier this week I finished Coraline by Neil Gaiman. This is another YA book. It is about a young girl exploring an alternate world in a flat next door to hers, inhabited by her "other mother" and "other father" and by the other folks that share the apartment building she lives in. I liked the nice touch about the cat that can be in both places. It was a good read, and I liked the part about being brave and overcoming fears. One might be wondering if all I read is YA books...nope but they are usually good stories, and lately, ones I haven't encountered before... I do find the sci fi ones particularly enchanting.

I'm also keeping busy with my socks.. altho I have no new pix to upload to show. I'm busiest with my hogwarts socks as I'm on deadline.. plus I want to get them done so I can cast on some new socks I'll be telling you about.

I'm also busy uploading my stash and project info to Ravelry. My ID is knittinggardener (go figure). I upload a few things and then I get distracted by looking all around. I think I've put 10k items into faves. A girl just has to have goals.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

as I was just saying...

I was just saying in my journal yesterday that I was going to start following the poster I have up in my office by eleanor roosevelt in order to move through some items on my work and personal task list... and then reading Carla's blog today, I stumbled across the link to this awesome project. You know, there is such a thing as synchronicity and flow. I have a list of items I need to get done. I am going to commit to this project for one month from today. Today's item? Finish up three old items on some overdue work lists--why do they scare me? I don't think I know all the answers... and for me, that is a difficult place to be in.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

endings and beginnings

I finished Neil Gaiman's and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens: the nice and accurate prophecies of agnes nutter, witch just this morning. and apparently I've been missing something all these years. it was great. I loved the storyline, and I love the type of humor that was in this book. I appreciated the tensions between good and evil and I think it would be funny to see an american version of this.. wonder what it would be like in a movie?

And I cast on for another project. We're headed to Phoenix for Thanksgiving to celebrate my dad's 25th wedding anniversary. We'll be joined by my darling niece and nephew so I cast on for a hat for my nephew Chase. Taylor already has one for Winter from me. I'm concerned about my tension.... I usually use the larger needles as I tend to knit tightly, but I may have to go up one more as I was ok on the natural color but got tight on the yellow color... I think I might take it out (gasp) and redo with size 7's just to see how what I get.. I do want it to fit after all... I do love Morehouse Merino kits. This is the second one I have worked on.. the first one was a scarf for my husband, and I loved it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Books books books

I love books. Recently I finished The Water Mirror by Kai Meyer. Book one of the dark reflections. This is another young adult book I just found fascinating. Set in Venice, in a timeframe oddly parellel. it is about orphans, light and shadow, water and stone. Venice is the island under siege. the world is a different place and egypt is under control, but Hell could help out! Flying stone lions, and mermaids are in this book, along with the Flowing Queen, is she a goddess, or an essence? read the book to find out!

and one more: A Harvest of Changelings by Warren Rochelle. This book was about a man (Ben) who married a Fairie and they had a son. This son, along with three others formed a tetrad, and they were called back to the Other world once they reached puberty. Ben must help his son get to the Fairy gate, amid all sorts of "happenings" around that crazy Samhein in North Carolina. This book mixed celtic beliefs and Christianity, which I liked. I was kind of confused about it all happening in NC, which was never really explained, and there were other parts that were skimmed over, but all in all an ok read.

Couldn't have said it better myself

I think clean water is very very important and I think we are all PERSONALLY responsible for doing what we can to make sure the water around us is clean. and that means doing our part before we start pointing fingers.. and I can be a ranter when folks start pointing fingers before they've taken responsibility.. just ask me.

that being said... I'm tired of plastic water bottles.. I'm tired of folks not being willing to bottle up water before they leave their houses... (and please don't reuse plastic bottles not intended for reuse, they leach plasticizers, harbor bacteria, ech! and are generally unsafe) and the assumption that the sealed bottled water you are drinking is safe..huh...naive at best

but I'm going to let this link give you the other real scoop, the drain on our local resources that these water bottles are.. the water bottle scoop

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Catch up

Its raining outside, again, today.. so with a stomach full of some great cinnamon rolls my husband made for me this morning.. I'll try to do a little catch up. first things first.. My Secret pal overseas finally recd her first package I sent way back in Sept!! yeah. I'm so glad our guys don't do postal strikes. you know, I like mail... and I appreciate receiving more than the usual bills, so I'm glad we have more than email. and at the great prices we get for the service. I did try another way of getting her happy halloween package to her this month--we'll see how it works out.

Gardening.. end of year chores... as usual we've put them off lollygagging outside when the days were nice--its our usual way. today in btween cloud bursts, we'll try to get some bulbs planted, and I'd like to get some suet feeders filled.. we'll see how it goes, as I'm also aiming for the Elizabeth II movie this afternoon.

and for some knitting...

I've been working on some socks around here... I've got two in the works specifically because of Soctoberfest... let me show you how they look:
this one is my Monkey sock by Cookie A. I have wanted to do this pattern for a long time. I loved this Trekking yarn, hunted for it all over the place once I saw it on the internet.. and saw how someone used it on Ravelry and am loving how it looks. And it is so EASY for me. This next one I am calling my Halloween sock. I am using the Candy corn special edition yarn by Lorna's Laces. I am using the Wollmeise Sock pattern designed by Monica Jines. I downloaded the pattern off Loopy Ewe.

and here's a little preview of this... with this:

With all this knitting.. I'm getting a little TV time. perhaps too much for my psyche.

Monday, October 8, 2007

RIP update

I finished The book without words: a fable of medieval magic by Avi this weekend. The tale was about a servant girl, a raven and two green eyed boys entwined after a sorcerer appears to be dead after completing some magic from his book. The book tells the tale of gaining trust between strangers, and what happens if you don't. It is also a tale of alchemy and medieval lifestyles and beliefs. I love the young adult stories that are out there today. Wish that as many would have been available when I was growing up. Keep writing Avi!

Friday, October 5, 2007

The red scarf project

When knitting daily put out their blurb on the red scarf project, I looked at the pattern and decided I really liked it this one. I thot about doing the project last year, thot about it alot--right on past the date for doing it. But not this year, this year, I went out and got the yarn, Galway to be exact, and cast on--and this is my project to date. Like those nifty stitch markers? I made them myself... with some help from my SIL Tamara, and some inspiration from here.

Monday, October 1, 2007

An addition to our family


Meet Spencer!

I casually mentioned to my husband on Saturday that perhaps it was time we started perusing the selections at the local animal shelters. Gretchen recently turned 2 and she is pretty well trained for us now and she is so high energy (as a border collie/spaniel mix would be!) and coming on winter it was time to start looking for her new buddy. I don't think either one of us envisioned that we'd find one right off the bat, or that we'd get so lucky and he'd be so cute. Spencer is an 11 mos old german short hair pointer mix. he is our first wirehair. He is very well-behaved--so far! we'll see what I say two weeks from now. Gretchen and Spencer's energy levels mix well. We called our vet on saturday before we introduced gretchen and that was the one thing she said we would be happy about.... so far, so great! And, so far, Gretchen is IN CHARGE. Spencer likes us, and likes her too. He really prefers if one of us is around so that is good, we don't want him to bond too tightly to her, as that will make it hard to train him. And Gretchen still prefers her alone time, and her Mom time, so I'm making sure I'm paying attention to that also. Spencer came from a family home so he likes children and he's had some basic command training. He's had some trouble adjusting to ringing the bell to go outside, so btw that and the "new house" we've had a couple of accidents, but we're adjusting.

and, I can't even begin to express how excited Madaline and Gabriel are about a new puppy in the house....
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Friday, September 21, 2007

its this hot in September?

I can't believe how warm it is for September 21st.. 82 degrees at noon. and today, how windy. poor plants, they are really suffering today.

I took Gretchen on a walk today (small token on my runagogo goal) and despite temps you can tell that the trees, bushes, grasses and wildlife are responding to the less daylight hours and that the Autumnal equinox is almost here.

we have plenty left to do before we call it "fall" in our yard so I'm grateful for these temps that keep the soil temp up! mainly moving some hostas from one area to another, that is the one plant goal I have for this weekend.

on the knitting front, I am sending out a package today to my SP11 secret pal. I sure hope she likes it as I tried to send her a package for her. additionally, I'm working on my hogwart's pal socks, I cannot believe some are done already! and I'm totally in love with the scarf for the red scarf project.

and, I've already fallen in love with the tilted duster, due to Ravelry.

and you thought you'd never hear from me again....

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I received my invitation to Ravelry today...

and while I've only spent like 5 minutes there....

you may never ever hear from me again.

ok. just kidding, but its wonderful. but I'll try not to rave too much for those that aren't on yet.

and now I must get my camera rolling... after I get done looking at all the other gorgeous bits of inspiration there!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What's blooming in our neck of the woods?

Despite the near freezing temps the other night our gardens are still growing strong. This was the first of seven predicted polar blasts this winter, per our ISU extension specialist. I'll have to keep track to see if they come true, and frankly, I'll take all seven if they are as mild as the other night! Our vegetable garden is still going, although it is in the last of its final push on peppers and tomatoes. yet again, no watermelon this year. I'm not sure what we're doing wrong but I'll try again in a different spot next year. We have several sedums throughout the yard putting on their final shade of colors. We also have purple (native and non native), pink, black lady and white asters blooming, and blue lobelia. Helenium was also blooming, I don't know if the cold spell will have knocked them back. Red nasturiums are blooming again in the herb garden. Zinnias and cosmos are still going, although the cosmos look a little worse for wear due to the cold. Scabiosas are blooming as well as some hostas and some heucharas. I still am harvesting rasberries everyday. Verbenias, petunias... native and some in baskets. Morning glories are awesome. And I have some hardy mums that just can't say no to this weather. I hope to pick up some of that beautiful kale this weekend as an accent, it sure looks pretty against frost--altho the weather man says we'll have warmer than normal temps now--good thing, we still have plenty to do outside.

On the needles? well, this september and my virgo urgings have stirred up the desire for new projects in me. I've adopted the red scarf project and picked the pattern from knitting daily. I got some galway yarn from my friend Amber's shop, MISKNITs in Kansas City yesterday and got started right, I'm hooked already! Plus, as usual, a couple of pairs of socks. and I'm definitely moving my sites to fall and winter projects regardless of temperatures.

My allergies are AWFUL this year... they are really keeping me in the house. it is too bad as this is one of my favorite times of the year.

Monday, September 3, 2007

And, its been awhile...

Carl, has this awesome idea for a reading challenge, RIP II, and since my third favorite thing to do, is read! I'm all for it. I haven't decided which peril I will undertake, but I plan to do that before the end of the week. Gothic horror isn't my usual genre, but it could be this fall!

We recently scored big on plants--150 free ones to be exact so this last week has been busy with planting a few plants at a time. My fall allergies have been extreme so I can only be outside moments before I rush back in and wash off pollen and rest for awhile. We also added more plants to the cul-de-sac planting out front. We still have some to go, esp in the new patio garden we are putting in out back.. but we are taking today off literally. Altho I did have to go water some new plants we put in yesterday at one of my rain gardens in town.

On the knitting front, sad to say, but I died... my beautiful socks from Scotland arrived in my socks of death game. I sent my SIP's back to her. I couldn't get into that pattern, I found it boring and just well, very uninspiring.

I'm working on my HP pals socks and looking toward fall patterns.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Additional SP11 questions

Hmmm...I'd better answer these quickly to meet the 22nd deadline. I can be a spacecase about some things...

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without? clearly for me it is stitch markers. I use them to keep track of where I'm at, different stitches, etc. They are real time savers for me. and I sure do like all the cute inventive ones out there. and this last week on vacation, my SIL taught me how to make some.
2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If
so, how much and what type of project? I always take projects with me, the more the better, that way I have something to choose from regardless of what we're doing. I'm sure my husband gets tired of the project bags. Me, I feel rich with possibilities.

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot? The black hills of south dakota, followed by north carolina. and jamaica.

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it? no fav at the moment, altho I'd like to see that new Cat Bordhi book.

5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)? on and off, i'm always looking for new ones and could always take some direction!

And, we're back

Well we're back from the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and I have great pix to post. I'll start with these two here: one of my nephew Chase and one of my niece Taylor. I couldn't love these two more.

It was a very good week and I have more to tell once I've recovered!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

when I grow up...

I'd like to be able to knit like this... simply stunning...

all I need is practice and needle time. I see it in my head, just need to see it on the needles.

It is like gardening. I see amazing gardens in my head. I need to get those gardens out of my head, on paper and into the dirt.

We're here in Rapid City.. the Black Hills.. one of the places I always feel at home. Dean and I are taking care of my niece and nephew while my brother and his wife enjoy NYC. Its around 100 here.. but its a dry heat. It is amazing to me how dry it feels here compared to Central Iowa.

Well back to the kids. a 4 yr old and 1 1/2 yr old take a lot more attention than a 21yr old --WOW am I ready for bed at night! LOVE it! and them.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Secret Pal 11

The questionairre has arrived.... whew looks to be pretty detailed.. but I'm totally psyched!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? My favorite yarns to knit with...hmmm.. mission fall wools. I love the color choices for big projects. and I like rowan. and I like blue sky alpacas... ok, I give, I pretty much like them all. Not a big fan of the fake furs, etc.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? ha! a big bag. not sorted at all. it is a silly game I play with myself everytime I need to find myself a new pair, and me, a sewer? and I haven't fixed the problem.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting since fourth grade. My grandmother taught me. I haven't really pushed myself on hard projects--call it laziness--so with some skills I am still at the beginner to intermediate level.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I keep wish lists on my blog...

5. What's your favorite scent? almost anything Origins has to offer, but their spring fever is one of my favorites, followed closely by their ginger line.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? SURE I love Brachs milk maid flavored caramels... and peanut m&ms.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I love to quilt and make art dolls. I really want to learn to spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)I like chick music: christine kane, dolly parton, bonnie raitt, dixie chicks... but I also like dwight yoakum, lyle lovett..

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? this summer my favs are blue and lime green. who knows this fall? I'm finding that over time I'm trending towards brighter colors.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I'm married, with a 21 yr old daughter. I have two cats and one dog.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? YES to all.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? today it is socks. tomorrow I want to try some fitted sweaters.

13. What are you knitting right now? socks and an afghan

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? it totally depends upon the project, but I do think I reach for my addi's more than anything else.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? no

17. How old is your oldest UFO? not admitting

18. What is your favorite holiday? halloween

19. Is there anything that you collect? zena moon candles..ok, don't collect them, just want them all.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I keep that on my wish list.. I subscribe to Knitters, IK

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? dying wools and intarsia

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? yes, 8.5" long and 8.5" circumference

23. When is your birthday? coming up soon... 8/24

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? hopefully soon she sighs...

The green meme

There is a green meme going around and I'm jumping in the boat....

1. We have a rain garden and rain barrels. We keep as much of our storm water on our property as possible. And, the rain barrel water comes in mighty handy for watering my potted plants in the summer.

2. We compost... we compost it all if its not dairy or protein. We use the compost in our gardens. We think they like it.

3. We save the water from dishwashing --we don't have a dishwasher -- and from cooking and use it in our garden, or just pour it outside rather than down the drain. We like to keep our water, here, in our aquifers. My husband finds this task irritating and onerous, but he does it anyways.

4. We have a front-loading machine, we wash big loads early in the day, and we have always used cold water.

5. We use canvas bags to bring our groceries home. While this is normal at our food co-op, it can buy strange looks at the big grocery store..sigh. We buy local and organic as much as possible. It just makes sense to get my food from someone I knew who grew it and not from a truck that drove 1500 miles. And we have our own vegetable garden.

6. We buy used a lot. Used whatever as long as it makes sense. The day I read that it took 2 lbs of pesticide to make one standard towel.. that is the day I really started thinking about clothing.

7. We are slowly changing over our lightbulbs.

8. We buy quality goods all the time. We simply don't shop at Walmart. We apply the buy local principly as much as possible. Its my money, I worked hard for it, I want it to go to someone who worked hard and gets fair compensation for a quality product.

Wish list: wish I had a better way to collect all the green water in my house from baths and laundry. wish there was a better hybrid SUV.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Its a good day here....

Not much knitting happening here... but I got my big report done.. Huzzah... now maybe I can get back to my needles....because I have socks for the KAL4... socks for my pal... and I have to hurry and finish my 'death by sock' sock as I just heard of my impending death coming to me from Scotland. Plus I want to finish my bamboo t-shirt. Yep, I've got some knitting to do...

and, on the gardening front.. weeding weeding weeding. but my plants have appreciated these nicer days. I've been making notes and making plans about what I want to plant for next year to fill in some holes. I'm thinking more glads and maybe some lilies. We'll see how it works out. I love that life is seasons and cycles with a return for next year.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Weekend Update

This weekend was spent with little knitting unfortunately. Saturday morning was spent helping an older friend get two rain barrels installed at her house. She has a large garden and this will help keep her in water. Then we went to DH's sister's house for a birthday party for MIL. I did get a little knitting done there. I pulled out a WIP I had forgotten about and then wondered how I could have forgotten.. it is a little t-shirt from last year's IK... using bamboo. I LOVE bamboo. It is so nice to use bamboo, oh my gosh. how could I forget. I loved knitting with it and can't wait to get back to it. Wish I didn't have to work today. We did have fun with the family, the nephews are awesome at 1 and 4. The 1 yr old is a spitfire. I love spitfires! This is because I totally don't have to take them home anymore, I raised mine! On Sunday, I spent the whole day crunching numbers for an organization I am treasurer for... I have a report due and my report won't balance... AARGH. I love volunteering I love volunteering I love volunteering.
Today I finally remembered to hightail it over to runagogo and sign up. I've been thinking about it for weeks. and I do walk Gretchen the wonder dog pretty regularly... might as well get track it somewhere. and I'm waiting for the mail to come... ordered some way cool yarn for my Harry Potter sock swap....can't wait to see it....

Friday, July 27, 2007


Found you!

* You signed up on July 7, 2007
* You are #14862 on the list.
* 7742 people are ahead of you in line.
* 6216 people are behind you in line.
* 32% of the list has been invited so far

Guess I'll just keep knitting a little on some socks and a bamboo t-shirt and checking my email, oh, about every 6 weeks for that ravelry invite. one thing, I have a lot of time to photograph my stash, or use it up! ha! Oh, well, I hear its a great thing once you get there.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ah, coffee, the elixir of life......

You Are a Double Espresso

Hey Energizer Bunny Girl! Do you ever slow down?

You're a mix of high energy and ambition, perfectly matched with strong espresso

When you want something you get it - by any means possible

You're driven, determined, and no nonsense. Which is just how you like your java.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

updated rain garden photos

The plants are doing well and Gretchen sure likes to watch all the butterflies that come by. I'm very happy with my rain garden. We added a recycled glass mulch layer around the edges to keep out the grass. The only plants not doing as well are the red cardinal flowers (lobelia cardinalis) but they really like a lot more rain than we've seen. Want to know more about rain gardens? Just email me and ask. They are easy to install... fairly easy to maintain and they help you do your part in storm water reduction. I'd like to do a rain garden for all my knitting friends.
and just in case you think all i'm doing is gardening.... I've finished one gold and purple sock and one of my death by sock socks. need to post pics... always a step behind on that one. also, I found out who my hogwarts sock pal is... seems to be a cousin. Am I excited or what. I just need to pick out a pattern and go go go!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's a Hogwarts Sock Swap!

But first, I've a few questions I need to answer..... then I'm in....

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?

I took the sorting quiz and I sorted into Ravenclaw

2. Shoe size? 6.5 US usually

3. Foot Length? 8.5 inches

4. Foot Circumference? 8.5 inches

5. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.
a. Addi 6"
b. Brittany
c. and I like the circular needle method... Addi turbos preferred

6. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length?

I find the new Lantern Moon needles very intriguiging.

7. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference?

Nope, surprise me and I sure like blue.

8. Allergies? Do you have any? Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals?

I don't have any allergies besides hay fever... The knitting I will be doing will be exposed to cats and one antsy border collie/spaniel.

9. Are you an international participant (outside US)? Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal?

I live in Iowa... some consider us outside the US...ha! I am willing to have an international sock pal.

Well, that's it for the questionnaire! I can't wait to see who I get for my house swap partner. If you'd like to participate in the swap, sign-ups began on July 14th, and spots are filling up fast....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

No Sheep for you secret pal goodies arrive!

Yahoo... I recd over the weekend a little goodie bag from my secret pal. It was full-up of treats. for starters I got from her a skein of Eden print Madil, a 100% bamboo. Yahoo! additionally in the package was a skein of Skacel namaste ribbon yarn. I'm excited to try these both out. and she treated me with gourment coffee, some samples from The Thymes (how did she know?) and a notepad. I'm a lucky no sheep for you gal.


I have a new title... it will probably take some getting used to...

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Exalted Highness Duchess Anita the Recumbent of Deep Throcking
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Monday, July 9, 2007

No Sheep for You

I am part of the No Sheep for You secret pal exchange hosted by Interweave Press. At the end of June, I sent my secret pal a little taste of IA. This fiber is actual made from a process that uses the corn kernels, not the silk or other pieces of the corn. Here is a picture of the fiber and where you can pick it up at: fields of fiber. I picked up the fiber at my LYS and saw some cute pieces made from the fiber: baby hats, scarves and socks. Sure hope she likes it!

On other knitting fronts... I'm working on a sock for me and still working on the first sock for round two of death by socks. I also missed out by a matter of hours getting into MS3... and altho it is monday, I am still crushed.

On the gardening front, 5 days of above 90 degrees means lots of watering in areas we don't normally water.... the side shade garden in the back was watered and today I would have watered up front but it rained this morning! We'll see how cool it remains before I decide if I need to add water. I do appreciate the break from watering pots today, altho it only takes 30 minutes at the most, it gives me a chance to check on them daily.

In the vegetable garden we have cucumbers coming along, tomatoes, beans and peppers. Also, our basil back there is the best it is in the yard. I picked up a new basil plant at the DSM farmer's market on Saturday, and I'm putting it back there too.

On the home front, Gretchen the wonder puppy, went fishing with dad on Saturday and in her running around got a puncture wound that ended up taking up most of our Sunday evening with trips to our regular vet and then a trip to ISU Vet Med; we're so lucky to have a good ER place to take our animals too. Today, she is pouty about the cone, but so much better.

Friday, July 6, 2007

when you can't plant, paint

End of June, beginning of July and it can be hot, humid and blistering here. plants can't take it, animals and man not much better..... so, since I can't plant and can barely stand to weed... we painted! and brightened up one corner. coffee in the morning just feels better. now we get up in the morning and after coffee I have the plants watered good so they can face the day. the lack of plant in the planter though? plain and simple... can't go one week without watering.... we were gone on vacation and the housesitter darling daughter.... just plain missed it. oh well, I have a replacement. I'll take pix next week, and of the rain garden and get them up.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

End of may and its looking better

Here are some shots of flowers from my garden around the 25th. I have Montana bachelor button, poppies, clematis, daisies, sweet william and every day it just gets better and better. Over the long weekend I also planted the rest of my veggie garden with the vine crops like water melon and squash, pumpkin and one little zuchini, and cucumbers. and I planted zinnias and cosmos like crazy. I can't wait to see how it all works out. My sage plants are blooming like crazy too. I miss the bees humming all around them..... I wonder where they all are? maybe its been too wet and rainy. I've seen butterflies and dragonflies and damselflies, and a visitor to my garden saw a hummingbird at my buddliea yesterday. oh, and the goldfinches, orioles, catbirds, cardinals..... you could say its a pretty busy place around here.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

another windy day

Today was too windy to plant so I mulched and mulched. I mulched the area we pulled all the lemon balm from... I don't like lemon balm, it smells like lemon pledge ech! In that area yesterday we planted two phlox and moved a delphinium struggling in and amongst some daylilies. I also mulched the vegetable beds. wood chips are heavy mulch but they are free this year.

I haven't watered yet today because we got a little rain this morning and supposed to get more......

I did take advantage of that small rain to pull some weeds where I want to plants some seeds later on...maybe I'm getting smarter in my old age....

later I'll post some pictures I took this morning.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rain Garden pictures

For some reason, I couldn't get the text to publish with the pix, so I just did it separately....
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