Monday, October 29, 2007

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap Questionnaire

So here goes on my answers to the WWCS that I had mentioned earlier.

What are your favorite kinds of coffee? (Brands, Roasts, anything at all you'd like to share!)
Salt Lake Roasting Company Morning Thunder was my first "favorite coffee" and it is my all time favorite coffee shop/hangout. I also like Caribou Coffee's Reindeer Blend which is a "Winter Seasonal" blend using aged Sumatra. I tend towards darker roast coffees which are generally lower in acidity than light roasts. I defiantly prefer small batch, craft roasted coffees.
Do you prefer whole bean or ground coffee?
I almost always buy whole bean, but since Jenn gave me ground I am falling in love with my french press all over again.
This time of year, there are often Holiday Blends available, and many flavored coffees - do you drink flavored coffee? Do you enjoy special blends? The afore mentioned Reindeer Blend.
How do you take your coffee? Cream and Sugar? Straight up? Decaf?
Black, strong. If I can see the bottom of the cup through the coffee, it isn't strong enough. Once in a while i will have a Cappuccino, I love that foam when it is made right. Dense, tiny bubbles, not big frothy ones.
Do you prefer drinking from a nice thick mug, or a matched cup and saucer? Mugs all the way. I misplace my coffee often enough, I don't think I need a saucer to keep track of too.

Winter and Holidays
PLEASE be descriptive! Your pal will need this information to be sure to put together a package you will enjoy!
What is your favorite part of Winter?

Snow storms. Shadows of our oak trees on the snow during a full moon. Picking out a new Christmas Eve book every year.
Do you celebrate a holiday in December, and if so, which holiday?
Advent and Christmas.
If you celebrate Christmas, do you put up a tree?
Yep. We usually go tree hunting/cutting around the twenty-second of December and put it into the stand that day. Then we (or to be honest, the kids) decorate it the next day, after it has had a chance to "settle." It doesn't come down until after Epiphany, so usually around the seventh of January.
Would you enjoy items related to the holiday, or would you prefer a Winter themed package?
Either one would be fine. The snow thing is all about the whole season of winter, not just the holidays.
Do you collect anything? Are there any holiday or winter-themed items (Snowmen, Angels, Snowflakes, Santas, etc) that you collect?
Well, I have been doing these swaps for a while now and this is a fairly common question I have always said, "No, I don't collect anything." It has recently occurred to me that this isn't quite correct. Apparently I have unknowingly acquired a collection of snowflake themed coffee mugs and other pottery items. I should have asked one of my girls all along. (I also recently realized I might just collect earrings, but I am thinking you don't need to be seeing that mess.)
Do you wear scarves? Mittens? Hats?
Scarves and mittens more so than hats.
What is your favorite holiday or winter treat?
Please share a favorite Winter or Holiday memory.
Well, I remember the Christmas my brothers had Strep Throat and I had Scarlet Fever, but it sure wouldn't be my favorite memory!
I have a lot of great memories of holidays and winter. My brothers and I building really elaborate snow forts in the back yard; going Christmas tree hunting in Island Park with a group from church; the beauty of Christmas Eve services at church; singing "Happy Birthday dear Jesus" on Christmas morning and eating birthday cake for breakfast.

Yarn and Crafting
Do you Knit or Crochet? For how long?
I have been knitting for ten years and I don't crochet.
Do you like wooden, metal, or plastic needles\hooks? Circular or straight?
Circular needles, either wood or metal, depending on the yarn.
What sort of projects do you enjoy making?
I usually have several things going at a time. One will be something complicated that I have to think about or pay attention to at least a little bit, so it usually stays home. Right now that is a charted hat for DTE. Then I always have something that is "mindless" that I can take to meetings or such. That is often a dishcloth and currently it sometimes gets to be DTY's scarf. Then I often have a random extra project thrown in like a sweater or such.
What are your favorite types of yarn to work with?
Do you spin or dye?
I feel like I spin in circles some days. Oh, that kind of spinning.... No. I do however dye both yarn and fabric.
Do you do other crafts such as scrapbooking or needlepoint or anything else?
I do a lot of beading projects, sewing, and weaving.

When is your birthday?
Early December (I can give further info as needed).
Do you have any children? (Furry kind count!)
Three kids, two Bassets, one kitten.
What are your favorite colors?
I don't have any that I would classify as favorites.
Do you have any allergies?
cigarette smoke and strong perfume smells.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

She will not be thawarted

Everything seems to belong to Oribel. There is a difference of opinion on this matter however. Since Hubband and I don't happen to think that the clean dishes are hers, the stove, or anything in-route to the stove, we have had a minor rearrangement of stuff on the counter top. We moved the microwave to the edge of the counter at an angle so she can't get past the front of it. The angle is so she can't get around the back of it either.

Apparently, because everything is hers, I need to do some work on the "going over the top" aspect of getting to her belongings.

FIADS finial topic of the week

The finial week's question for the Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Swap is about our experience in the swap, if we enjoyed the new folks we met, and what we received in our swap box.
Well, I had a wonderful experience, once again! I continue to sign up for swaps because i have enjoyed meeting new people and getting to know them over time. I liked having topics to write about and being able to read what others in the swap had written as well. I think it helped a lot in the "Getting to know each other" department. I have also really enjoyed the items that Stephanie went overboard to make for me. I have been enjoying using both the soap and candles.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What my DTY is up to

Well, my baby is sleeping on the streets of a Portland suburb tonight. Fortunately she didn't get kicked out of her dorm, she is just camping out to be close to the beginning of the line for this. And they get free breakfast! Luckily her school has a camping co-op so she has a tarp and sleeping bag. College classes? Yeah, she'll miss a class or two in the morning.

Swap packages at my door!

I have gotten a couple of swap packages in the mail in the last few days.
Jenn is my partner for the Mystery Theme Swap. It is straight across swap and she seems to have it together more than I do. I got my box from her the other day and I am not even done putting hers altogether, much less taking it off to the post office! She works full time and goes to law school to boot! What is it they say about if you want something done, ask a busy person?

The deal with this swap was to list three items or themes for the partner to work with. Jenn was able to interweave several of my themes and other information we shared over emails in a really amazing way! She used an Italian theme for me because I told her about Hubband's and my vacation there a couple of years ago. She sent me Italian Roast coffee that I have already used in my press style travel mug a couple of times, some chocolate covered coffee beans (always yummy!) some Shepard's sock yarn in the "Gold Hill" colorway because "Tuscany has rolling golden hills, and those colors reminded me of the sunsets in Italy" (way cool as I have been wanting to try Lorna's sock yarn!), a cute sheep measuring tape, sock needles and a sock pattern. She chose the Giotto pattern by Anna Bell.

She also sent me some information about Giotto, a Florentine painter and architect to go with the pattern. You can read the same information she sent me here. She also set me a print-out of his "Flight to Egypt". I hope I can do as good of a job on her box as she did on mine!

The second box revealed Stephanie as my Super Secret Spoiler from the FIADS. She sent me a very cool Jack-O-Lantern face dish cloth as well as some other fun treats. She made the two bars soap she sent as well as the two soy-based candles. Both the soap and candles have coffee in them! She also sent yarn, candy, and bubble-wrap for Oribel.
(No picture of the bubble-wrap in action as it won't hold still long enough!)
What a great Dish Cloth Swap package! All that hand-made goodness plus the up-dated blog look! Thanks so much for your hard work!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

All new Coffee Yarn

The majority of the yarn I was dyeing was superwash merino. I also threw in a few little samples of a few other yarns. The one on the left is tencel, the second one is rayon chenille, and the rest in this picture are various kinds of cotton. None of these were very receptive to this dye process, which I knew about the cotton and had suspected about the tencel. I didn't have any samples around of coffee on these in my dye notebook, so wanted to make a few for that, even though I was pretty sure how they would turn out. If I had done it at about 500% WOG, it would have been darker, but it isn't as wash and light fast as wool.
These three samples are a cotton/viscous blend, a cotton /rayon slub blend, and a cotton silk blend. The silk took it fairly well, but not as dark as the wool did. I am looking forward to the silk wool blend I am dyeing next week. I strongly recommend you click on each of these pictures to get a larger view. I want to try dyeing some bamboo and other "vegan" yarns with coffee. Just because I am into the "learning about stuff" thing.

So here you have a view of coffee dyed merino. Much prettier than cotton. You will notice the slightly darker spot on the twisted skein. That is why I refer to this as a "mostly solid" colorway.
Coffee Yarn in action. Who knew frogs liked to nest in yarn? I thought they just liked to dig holes in the garden or hang out in the garage.
Or that frogs drink out of cups?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What I have been up to lately

I have been dyeing coffee yarn over the last few days. It is a multi-day process and I will do my best to give you an overview of the steps of how it is done.
You need to start with yarn in a skein with several (I think at least four is best) ties to keep the yarn from getting tangled, but not so tight the dye can't penetrate. Yep, forgot a picture of that part. WOG stands for Weight Of Goods, which is the dry weight of the yarn you want to dye. After weighing your yarn it needs to be soaked in cool water to get it completely wet. It is best to then squeeze it out to help make sure the air is all out so the water can get in. Then the yarn needs to have a mordant applied. Since I was dyeing wool with a "natural dye" I used 10% WOG alum and 5% cream of tarter. I have also dyed wool with what is known as "acid dyes" in which case the mordant is citric acid. Kool-aid is an acid dye and already has the citric acid mixed into it, so you don't need to add extra. I have also dyed cotton and rayon, but that is a totally different process and needs a different kind of mordant.
So to apply the mordant you need to place your pre-wetted yarn (or loose fiber if you want to do fleece) into a dyeing dedicated pan (I have a water-bath canner just for this purpose.) Then you need to add enough cool water to cover the yarn and also have free movement for gentle stirring. Then measure out your mordants, mix them with a small amount of hot water to dissolve and add that to your yarn in the pan. Stir gently so as to not tangle up your yarn. Slowly bring to a simmer, cover, and then lower the heat to just below simmer and keep it there for an hour. Gently stir it occasionally with out tangling up your yarn. Turn off the heat and let cool overnight. If you can let it sit for twenty-four hours it is best, but twelve is ok.
Next comes the dye bath solution preparation. This also takes awhile, so you can do it at the same time as your mordant bath, just in a different pan. Since I was using just coffee, I went a head and used a pan I also use for cooking. I DO NOT do this for any other dye bath I make. Not even onion skins. Had I been able to locate the box with the rest of my dye pots in it, I probably would have used a non-cooking pot. So I took ground coffee at 100% WOG and put it into the pan, added water to make a soupy looking mess. You need enough water to make coffee, though it is concentrated. How ark your yarn turns out is based on the dye to fiber ratio, not the amount of water involved. So you need to bring this to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for about thirty minutes. If you want to make it an hour it is ok. Then you turn off the heat and let it sit overnight to steep. After about twelve hours or so, I strain the coffee grounds. I put the liquid in one container and put the grounds back into the pan, add more water, and bring to a boil again. This time I only simmer for ten minutes or so and then let it steep and cool down. (All of this can be going on while the yarn is in the mordant bath.) Strain again and add this coffee to the original coffee. I usually do one more extraction from the grounds at this point, but that will depend partly on how dark the liquid is looking from the last extraction (and how impatient I am getting). The straining is messy, but important. No matter how well you strain your coffee, you will have some end up in your dye bath, but you want to keep out as much as possible. Take my word for it, coffee grounds stick to yarn a lot more than you would ever guess. I use a sieve and then a coffee filter.
Next comes the actual dyeing process. After letting your yarn sit in the mordant bath for twelve to twenty four hours, you need to drain it and gently squeeze out the excess water. (If you use just alum and cream of tarter it is safe to pour this down your drain, regardless of having public sewer or a septic system.) You can now dye it right away, or you can hang it up to dry (As in if you want to mordant several skeins to dye, but only want to dye some with coffee and want to do some with onion skins or something else.)
After draining and squeezing out your yarn, you may put it right back into your empty dye exclusive pan. DO NOT USE A COOKING PAN FOR THIS STEP. Add your coffee solution, which should be at room temperature. Add enough cool water to cover the yarn and make it easily float about. Gently bring to a simmer, reduce heat to just below a simmer, and cover. Keep it just below a simmer for an hour, gently stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and let cool and steep overnight. Again, twenty-four hours is great, but twelve is ok.

For informational purposes, if you do this, your house will smell like hot wet sheep, and then like hot wet sheep and burnt coffee. Not really the greatest smell, but I did tell Hubband at least it smelled like clean sheep, not like the ones he worked with on the ranch when he was younger.
Tomorrow you get to see what it looks like when it is all dried out and ready to go.
Oh, and in case you are wondering where I learned about all this? It was in college as part of my B.S. in Anthropology.

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap

Yes, this is another swap! Another one involving yarn and coffee. I love coffee and yarn, so how could I not join?

Registrations for this swap actually open tomorrow, the 24th of October. Thus, you too can sign up here if you want to get in on the fun!

I just can't decide which button I like the best!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

SP #11 Contest 4

Well, I am supposed to post a picture of my first finished knitting project and my most recent one. I am also supposed to discuss how I feel I have improved over the years.

Well, I may be out of the running from the get go, as I have no picture of my first finished project. I'm not even sure I can remember what it was! It might have been a dish cloth, but I seriously don't remember.
My most recent finished object (or twelve) would definitely be a dish cloth. How have I improved? Well, I am a lot faster now and confidant in the knowledge that no matter what, it can be fixed if there is a mistake. Yes, occasionally I loose some yarn in the process, but I seem to be able to figure out most all of my knitting issues. The one that I am still having issues with? Figuring out if I have gauge or not. I started the Fake Isle Hat for DTE last night. Did I gauge swatch first? No. It is in the round, and I have learned from previous experience that you can't make a flat, back and forth gauge swath and have it then translate to an "in the round" project. So, I am going to knit the whole hat, measure the outcome, and see if it is "gauge." I already know if it is smaller than gauge, I will be making a second one; the large size sample at Yarn Harbor just fit her. If this one fits, very cool, if it doesn't, I guess I'll have to make a new one in a different size needle, or add a pattern repeat.

Why all the dish cloths? Well, exchanges, presents, and instant gratification. I am not the most patient person in the world (one of the big reasons why I knit in the first place) and when I make a dish cloth I have something done. Unlike the ten to twelve feet of scarf I keep working on along with those dish cloths! Yes, I have made something besides Ball Bands, but I gave them all away!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This week's FIADS Topic

Now that it is getting cooler here, it makes me think of apple picking and hay rides. Are you the type that likes to go to participate in all the fall festivities like apple picking, pumpkins, decorating for the fall, hay rides, baking fall goodies, etc. or do you just sit and count the days till Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah?

(I hope the hostesses aren't expecting an whole essay for this answer!)
What I am doing this year is rather different from what we have done in the recent past, and the last several years have been quite different from what we used to do ten plus years ago. Le sigh, one of the downsides of having your children grow up and go away to school. Well, the first change came with moving from a neighborhood with lots of houses and kids to a street with seven houses, and three of those have no little kids.
Anyway, on with a real answer. We used to decorate with pumpkins, carving at least one per kid, and often an extra for Hubband and me. Hey, if you are helping the kids and lots of folks are going to be coming by to look, you might as well have a bunch! In other words, we don't carve pumpkins anymore. I still buy them 'cause I am all sure you know by now that I cook and eat the yummy things. I have been know to decorate with corn stalks, but not more than one or twice I think. I haven't been on a hay ride since DTY was in preschool. Hmm, I wonder if I could convince her to go back there so we could go on one? I think probably not.
I have been to apple orchards to get apples, especially here in Minnesota, but haven't gone out into the trees to pick my own. I might do that this year if it would ever stop raining for more than half a day! I wish I could let some of you having a drought have our rain.
Cooking fall goodies? I am all over that one! Always have been. It is a little harder now, without the kids home to help eat them or take treats to set construction and cast parties; also not having Hubband being able to haul stuff to the office at the drop of a hat. I still find a reason, any reason, to cook or bake up some goodies.
Count the days? Not very likely. Well, I did keep track of the days I had left to get the costumes made, especially if any given year had more than one complex one to do, but not counting down as it were.
I should work on finding some pictures of kids and costumes and scanning them so I can let you know what they look like. Well, only if you guys had any interest in seeing what a Pile of Leaves looks like, or a Pixie on a Toadstool, or a Loaf of Bread. Yeah, yeah, I have been known to spoil my kids when it comes to Halloween costumes. I am sure if I listen hard enough, I can hear my mom and brother saying, "No S**t!" all the way from SLC.
(Maybe I gave them an essay after all!)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A last minute FIADS Topic of the week post

Topic of the week:
Flash your needles and other items you use to make your wares. Dpns, circs, straights, hooks, tape measures, darning needles, favorite stitch markers, needle holders, cases, the works!

So here are the boxes that hold most of my stuff.

Here is what they look like on the inside.

Since I am running a bit behind on this post (it was supposed to be up way before now since we get our new topics on Mondays!), I am only getting in some of my needles and markers. I am not getting in the ones that have stuff on them, bags (or suitcases as needed)that hold said WIPs, or any of those other needed add on items, like the all important tape measure and scissors. Not much I can say about why this topic post is so late, other than I have been a bit distracted!

Maybe more than a little.

It is amazing that she held still this long!

Mystery project revealed

The other day I posted a picture of a WIP and asked if any one had any guesses as to what it might be. Today I am going to give you the finished product. I am being really nice and not leaving you guessing. I would really rather just skip over this altogether and not bring it up again, but I wouldn't want any of you out there to accuse me of being mean. So I am just going to open myself up to letting all of you giggle at my knitting along with Hubband.
It is my current project for the WhoDuKnit group. The book we read this month was Bone Harvest. Here is the quote that should explain it:

"For dinner there would be pot roast, new potatoes creamed with sweet
peas, radishes from the garden, salad, and of course, German chocolate
cake for Arlette's birthday.

Maybe I should have knit radishes instead of cake.
Hubband thinks I should put googly eyes on it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The one who came to live at our house this week

Hubband and I have really been missing having a cat or two around for a while now. I may have been missing it longer than he has, but that is hard to say for sure, I haven't asked him to quantify for me. So last week we decided it was time to do something about it and on Saturday we went to Paws and Claws, our local Humane Society. We picked out a kitten and put in our application. Monday afternoon they called to tell us that our vet verified our information and we could come pick her up. Since we both had places to be that night, I decided to wait to pick her up until Tuesday. She spent the first hour investigating everything she could in the kitchen, family room, laundry, and her bathroom. Then we let in Sadie to meet her. That went fairly well, the kitten let Sadie know that this was her house, "Thank you very much," and Sadie was welcome to be in it, but don't get in the way. When we let Simon in, it was, "Oh my! It has claws!" Well, she does, but since she is only three months old, they aren't very serious claws yet.

She seems to have the basic two kitten speeds, "Full Tilt" and "Sleep." This is what our first several attempts to get pictures of her turned out like.

Then we were finally able to get this; well, several different variations on this theme.

We were finally able to get this while she seemed to be playing "Peek-A-Boo" with Sadie. Besides that game she also is a major string/yarn loving critter. This could prove to be dangerous I think. No lace weight knitting around her for a while. She also thinks the tie-ups for the loom treadles are there just for her. Right. Everything is hers now.

She actually does seem to like to be held until something catches her attention. She also thinks that sleeping by Hubband's feet during the day is a good plan. Of course, that spot had been Simon's, but apparently the two of them worked it out this morning and were able to share feet and a blanket latter.


Her name is Oribel Zerdali. She will be called "Bel the Cat" by someone in our house. Not to name names or anything.
She has a few toys from the store, but will turn anything into a toy. She drug a woven coaster all over the house the other day after finding it next to the fish bowl. Fortunately she doesn't seem to care if there are plants in her water dish. Her favorite toy? A pony bead. Just like Kitty used to do, she carries them back to the tile floor to knock all over the place. The problem? I could only find one for her and she dropped it down the heat vent. Where do I find a supply of pony beads?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Knitters' Coffeeswap Three

There is a new swap/exchange out there, Knitters' Coffeeswap Three. You know, coffee, yarn, and a few other goodies thrown in. Life is good.

1. Whole bean or ground?
Whole Bean
2. Fully-loaded or decaf?
Fully loaded
3. Regular or flavored?
4. How do you drink your coffee?
5. Favorite coffee ever?
Hmm, the iced coffee I had on teh plaza on a hot afternoon in Rome.
6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do?
Kind of fussy. I like dark roast coffee. Usually dark enough I can see the oils. Along thr lines of French Roast or Esspresso roast.
7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee?
Having it brought to me in bed first thing in the morning. Sitting on my deck enjoying my yard while I drink it.
8. Anything else about your coffee preferences?
Not that I can think of right now.
9. Yarn/fiber you love?
Soft. Pretty. Not Scratchy.
10. Yarn/fiber you hate?
Scratchy. Stuff that feels icky.
11. What's on your needles?
Umm, a sock. A shawl. A dish cloth. A scarf. Another scarf. Maybe another sock. Probably something else that I can't think of because I am trying to.
12. Favorite colors?
I like most all of them.
13. Allergies?
Cigerette smoke, strong perfumes.
14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest?
Not that I an think of right now.

To people out there that I thought knew me

For the record: No, I did not call the phone number even if it was an 800 one. Do I look like I have ever had any interest in a robotic camel jockey? It just seemed weird to be in my paper, but since it is an 800 number, I figure it might be running in several different papers around the country.
Have you forgotten that I have a weird sense of humor that I share with no provocation at all? If you are wondering if I am being humorous, stop and think for a moment. When in doubt, remember who my father is, and who I am married to. I come by it honestly. So do my children; poor things, they are stuck to a double dose of both nature and nurture.

I agree with Bubbles, I probably would call if they were offering a Protocol Droid. Because I obviously need assistance in communicating.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Am I missing out on an exciting local Saturday outing?

"CRZ 6100 robot camel jockey. Won 5 world titles. $1495. Call: 800-850-8585"

This add is running in our local newspaper's classified ads. Who knew there were Camel Races around here? Have you checked your paper for world title robots?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ponds, Plants, and missing Kitty

This is a picture of our porch pond in the spring. We haul it out of the shed every spring, put it on the front porch, check for leaks, fill it with water, and bring the goldfish out for the summer. Then we buy just a couple of plants to keep the water oxygenated and to make the whole thing interesting. We used to put a pump/fountain in it each year, but I have replaced it twice in six years and just never got around to the needed third replacement this year. Which is a bit sad because I really miss the sound of the moving water. You will note that there are only three plants in this thing. The taller plant, a water hyacinth, is the one that gave us these awesome flowers.
This is what it looks like now. See all those plants? Yeah, they propagate like crazy all summer long. There are now seven of the water lettuce having started with two. I also have four of the water hyacinth, of which there had been one. Yeah, there is a reason these are classified as invasive non-native plants in a lot of places. I don't worry about them invading, since I keep them contained, plus they won't winter over here. The first fall, I brought the whole pond in to keep it gurgling away inside. Well, that didn't work very well for several reasons. DTE's cat, Kitty, tried to drink out of it, but she fell in. I was not too crazy about a wet, long-haired cat running around the house. The next thing we learned was that Kitty did not like plants in her water dish! She would grab the plants and drag them all over the house, beating them up in the process. No matter how many times we put them back, or reduced the number of plants see if that helped, we would find bedraggled water plants somewhere in the house shortly after returning it to the water. All of that, plus the dogs banging the heavy ceramic pot into the wall and splashing water all over every time they were playing tag together, led to putting the pond pot in the shed, getting a bowl for the goldfish, and donating all the plants to the girl's high school biology lab.

The next fall when I brought the fish back in they had outgrown their inside bowl. Since I wouldn't want to live in a fish bowl myself, I kind of figured they might not either. (Like a goldfish really cares?) Well, I also didn't want to have a boring bowl to look at all winter, so I gussied up the new one a bit.

One of my tasks for today was to finally move the fish inside for the winter. I guess I could leave a plant or two in the bowl this year since Kitty isn't here to go crazy. I would really rather have her and no plants in the fishbowl. I would even be happy with water plants being drug all over the house. Besides, who is going to pet the goldfish this winter without her here?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Maybe there is something about Fall I don't like

I am sure you all were beginning to think I must live in a dream land for all the gushing I have been doing about the wonders and beauty of fall. Yeah, so I forgot there is at least one thing I really don't like, I might even use the word "hate," about fall. The invasion of the bugs.

Every fall the Box Elder Bugs cover the front of our house. They get inside the house too.

And they cover the dog house.

They also cover the side of the house and the door we go out to put the dogs in the yard by their house. That means they dive bomb whoever comes through the garage and opens this door to put the dogs out. They dive bomb your hair, your ears, your nose.

Just in case you need a close up of one. It is just going to get worse. We will soon be covered with these plus Asian Beetles. Not only do they dive bomb everything, get tangled in your hair, and get into your house; they bite, hard! They also release some nasty smell every time they get upset or disturbed. Yeah, they come into the house too.

So, I am going to leave you with this picture of what I worked on today. I just need to stuff it and close off the bottom. Then I'll see if it looks more like what it is supposed to represent. Any guesses?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Today's mail is full of presents!

Today I found several packages in my mailbox.
Unfortunately, Hubband is gone for the afternoon and has the camera with him. So, I will have to give you photos later of the beautiful COFFEE BEAN (!!!!!) stitch markers from Angela, as well as the Portland post card.

Due to the camera being out for an excursion, I will give you pictures from the Internet of the other two packages content. I will post pictures of my own as soon as possible. The second package was this book from Jane, over at WhoDuKnit. It was my "Mystery Prize" for solving a riddle.

The last package I got was from my Secret Pall 11, known to me as Secret Ann. She sent me this book, that had fallen into the "I have checked it out three times" category. Now I can update it on my Powell's wish list.

I will leave you with a picture of the missing dishcloth that I mentioned the other day. I think it turned out pretty cool as it looks good from either side.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Umm, something I forgot...

I realized that with my frustrations with Blogspot earlier I forgot to mention that DTY is a very prime daughter. She is a little more prime than she was a couple of years ago, and as prime as she will be until 2011.

Happy Birthday DTY!

OK, this post and I are both going into a "Time Out". The pictures and their captions are connected properly in the draft and in the "post-publish view window" but not in the actual post that the rest of you are looking at. For now you will have to figure out which ones go where before I hurt something. I am going to go drink a cup of tea and knit a little. I don't know what Blogspot is going to do during its time out.
Oh yeah!!! Thanks to my favorite Uncle, "Time Out" is all done! (And no, he isn't my favorite just because he helped with this problem.)

This is DTY's "Official Hospital Portrait."

As you can see, DTY has always had an awesome smile.


A couple of her Senior Pictures, Fall of 2006.


Senior Prom, Spring of 2007.

Graduation, June 2007.

On her annual backpacking trip, 2007.

Standing next to one of the awesome trees on the Reed campus.

Looking out her dorm room window, late August 2007.

I hope DY has an awesome birthday at school!