Saturday, December 31, 2011

the last post of the year

first off happy new year everyone
i wish you all happiness, health and peace

i wish you good food, good friends, and much laughter
preferably all at once

i'm sitting here in the studio listening to the budgies chirp happily. watching my woodstove struggling to stay lit (it's really warm out)

bernie is layering the ham potato and cheese casserole that i make a lot in the winter-
*** super simple....make a medium white sauce.....add a ton of extra sharp cheddar and some colby jack to it
chop a good ham up into cubes
wash and peel a few pounds of yukon golds
and layer it all like lasagna
then bake at 350 until it's all cooked and bubbly....and you can't stand it anymore!
then eat until you explode

yup it really is that good

i spent part of the day putting yarn in bins
yarn that i acquired this past year (think of it as a 401k for knitters)
i spent another part of the day out in town where i apparently made a new friend
as well as got a LIME GREEN (don't you all faint) 3'' binder for knitting patterns......
i may need to get another one
i have a LOT of knitting patterns

in knitting, i am doing annis 
i am doing it in a wonderful red berry plum purpley color with perfectly matching beads in place of nupps.....see it in the picture?
those beads match should see them in i had to order more as i ran out with only 10 more nupps to go...yup
i am missing 10 beads.....10 BEADS....!  i did order more but until they come i am sorta shit out of luck.... so while i was going to nupp instead, i am realizing that i would never be happy with the mix of nupp and beads in a shawlette that is the perfection of color that this one is........ so it's waiting and waiting for the beads....
and it was such a fun knit!

meanwhile since i am doing stuffs ......... i am also going through stuff and seeing what i can toss
there isn't much since i been collecting for certain projects for years..
but there IS a lot of boxes and such..mainly cause they have our names on them
we plan on taking care of that this year.....we plan on a burn barrel as the shredder sure couldn't handle it all

now just to keep things interesting.... here are two pictures of my silly duck lillianna, taking a SHOWER in the rain.... now normally my ducks hate the rain but i have lilli in with falstaff and she doesn't want to go under the roofed area cause he is in there
so she sat in the rain feeling oh so sorry for herself and took a shower.....
i got weird ducks

ok folks..... this is it...happy new year
i'll talk to you in the new year
so until next year

be good
be safe and be healthy

Thursday, December 22, 2011

26 years

ago today my mom crossed over into the light
16 years ago today was the last time i saw my dad alive

it's a sad day, but also a happy they are all together over there and waiting patiently for me and bernie when it's our time

i spent the day making a present for a friend of mine
i will show it to you all AFTER i give it to her
as i wouldn't put it past her trying to see it early

i had a very good time making it
my mom was right, learn something new when you are sad

i did today
thanks mom

i miss my folks. life is different without them
it was rough losing mom right before the holidays......we buried her christmas eve

for years i hated the holidays.....then i started to adjust to life without my parents
one of the things i found helps the most is my yearly 'cards'
folks that i don't talk to regularly get them
as long as i am busy creating, it isn't so bad

now if i don't talk to all you folks
have wonderful holidays no matter what ones you celebrate
hug your family
kiss your partners
and enjoy your pets and friend

til next time


Monday, December 19, 2011

cold frames, hoop houses, greenhouses and extensions to the season

all winter long i plot my garden for next year.....and lament the lack of cold frames or other winter protection
i do some smallish hoops over isolated areas of my garden beds,- but oh to have a real cold frame and a real hoop house or greenhouse

(real gardeners know this feeling so well- welcome kindred spirits)
today as i survey my frozen little garden, which needs more hay and more leaves and more compost and more protection....... i see so much that yet needs doing

and i am planning.....

new beds... enough for 30 pepper plants
new beds...... enough for 150 beans
new beds........ enough for more garlic, onions, leeks.... broccoli
area for small dwarf apples and pears.....

and i dream of spring

Sunday, December 18, 2011

shades of red.....some pictures and a short video

 over here in this corner< we have the swatch of the merino/tencel

''Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel (Colrain Lace)''  1540.0 yards in merlot...which is a LOT nicer in person.... the color is dead in that picture but in real life it's glowing with depth and a luster that is amazing....i really really like this color and i am so sorry i didn't get a second cone when it was on sale!

i did that swatch then cast on for a shawlette with alternating green and 'gold' beads on the points. i have yet to figure a second pattern for it..... i don't know if i am going to just do a and then stockinette for a crescent or looking at the swatch i realized RIGHT NOW, i could have done something in the triangles between the lace points and then carried THAT through to the top but oh well, i was under a bit of stress when i started this and really, i do think that maybe this will be simple and just a rush of color for winter....there is more on the cone so maybe i'll do a cowl with pine trees and cardinals? with white beads that look like snow? or clear crystals that look like ice? there is always another one huh?
now the photo of the holiday tree, that is a picture of my winter sweater....we bought that for me in either 02 or 03 i got that one and a beige holiday cardi..... i wore the red one to town yesterday, i really could have used the red shawlette or cowl on it too....again the picture doesn't do the colors the least bit of justice, they are richer...brighter, glowing from within- i know that a 'holiday' sweater is a bit tacky but i liked that one and on a scale where one is dancing reindeer with blinking noses and 10 is black velvet and silk........... i give this one about a 7 it really isn't as tacky as you'd think
of course i didn't add anything like christmas earrings or such and i wore it with jeans
but it made bernie happy and i like the color... so i wore a tree on my body!
now the very last thing i wish to show you folks, if you've been with me so our nightly ritual...the woodstove.... since we do heat with wood this is the center of our home life...... at least during the winter. what you can't see are the cats.... this is their GOD, they worship the heat....they start at the flames and if it's out they give us a hard time about it....until we start it again and heat begins to pour out
i need a new hearth broom and an ash rake (an ash vacuum would be nice too maybe next year) i cleaned the glass friday when i cleaned the ash out..... it's nice to see the flames dance.... 
ok there you folks have it, i know i am behind on photo's but well uploading them on the laptop is a pain so i don't
have a good one everyone

Friday, December 16, 2011

oh my goodness it's FRIDAY!!!!

let's see
i went to the new endo monday......we liked her and we hired her
first thing she said 'you have three things against you, as far as losing weight, so as long as you're healthy we are not going to worry about it'
she also pointed out that sumo wrestlers are healthy athletes so we left the weight issue there-
she understood about the thryoid/adrenal/pcos things
she ordered tests
and is going to really look at the thyroid node (so she says...we'll see)
i am going to do the tests i think after christmas
meanwhile wednesday i was to the dentist for a filling
i LOVE my dentist......first off the shot doesn't hurt at all
i don't feel a thing!
there is a slight taste of the novocaine when he gets the needle out
now i do have problems with cold so the suction/air makes me crazy
and i will tell you that it isn't cheap over 350.00 ( i don't know how much insurance is going to reimburse)
by the time the numbness wears would NEVER know work was done!
(the fact that another silver filling is gone-replaced with white resin is also a plus)

ah.... in knitting news, i cast on another shawlette in red (merino/tencel)
with alternating green and 'golden' glass beads
it's pretty cool so far
i took a swatch of an estonian lace edging and worked out the math (i hope anyway)
so we'll see how long it's going to be
this is a coned yarn i got during the webs sale..... 1750 yards for 17.50
at first it looks like a bright scarlet christmas red......BUT knit up it's a glowing bursting with inner light wine color

in studio progress, there is some.....i moved my drafting table and my beading workbench into if thaddeaus peabody would just stop peeing BEHIND the litter box i could finish my studio and get back to work.............

now for duckie updates...malcom is either dyink.....or has resigned himself to being a good boy,
he walks out to his pens with out making me too nuts (i carry him if he's too pokey) he totally runs into his crate at night........IGNORING all other ducks
even today after a pond bath......which normally gets his 'gander up' (drakes are like that) he just came in the house and went to bed
not pissy, not pecky and definitely not interested in mom sitting on him again for is sweet with good boys
the girls......well that is another story....
phoebe jumped lilli and lille gave her a black eye......PLUS a hematoma on her left webbing
serves phoebe right for trying to beat up lilli......meanwhile phoebe LOVES mommy again (thank goodness)
but lilli still hates me......she better get over that shit soon
i tell them every day that they need to be dealing with each other soon...i have run out of winter pens

falstaff is falstaff......
and the baby girls.....well, prudence has me a bit worried...her pupils don't dilate like the others all do- they are mostly pinned........ that's how cleo's eyes looked and she had nuro stuff wrong with her.... which killed her before she was a year old
pru is also a bit more skittery then everyone else

and no one is currently laying so i have to actually buy eggs.....i have 4 female ducks, 4 female chickens and not one freeken eggie!

ok i have to bake some snickerdoodles for bernie now
so off i got
i will post again soon, before the holiday i am sure
AND i hope for pictures

til then

Sunday, December 11, 2011

where in being santa's elf comes to a screeching halt

well today i can say that the progesterone worked....
i really didn't believe it would
and now i am here with the period from hell
oh and an endo appointment tomorrow
and bernie has had something come up at work so i get to drive myself
did i mention the period from hell?
the whole slam dunk.....clots, rubber legs, brain fog.....bloat.....cramps..... hollow belly, and to make it all worse no matter what i do i can't get warm

i am not a happy camper today and i am going to be less happy tomorrow
however this too like corn shall pass
and it better pass faster then corn cause i'm really in no mood

ok in knitting news....i have some
it's red...... it's lace and i am liking what i see......
oh and i am sort of figuring it out as i go...yup winging it
i used to always wing it....then found ravelry and instant downloadable pdf file patterns
so i would use commercial patterns
except this time, i realized that NOTHING was peeking my interest
i knew what i wanted and it was not out there soooooooooo
i swatched
i liked the blocked swatch so i actually did MATH
and cast on
how about that?
i would be knitting now if i wasn't so sick from this period
(i spent most of the day in bed)
so tomorrow i will take my cone yarn and my beginnings and see about sitting in the waiting room with my knitting

ok i am going to go reheat my rice filled sock and sit here in a coma for a while

til next time

Thursday, December 08, 2011

and it's thursday already? seems like only tuesday to me

we were to get snow, but instead we got a ton of really heavy rain and terrible winds
i have about finished that shawl from HELL i been working on (it was a nightmare matter of knit three rows, tink back 4 .......repeat)
plus the yarn while nice......wasn't as nice as i would have liked
it will work i think as a deep fall scarf/shawlette and the pattern is ok
next one is going to be a simple garter stitch lace edged with beads number that is wearable with all my winter coats
either wine red or purple
i am busy being santa's elf......
i don't actually send holiday cards
some folks that had a rough year and are very far away, and maybe i don't talk to regularly, i send 'holiday greetings'

they aren't cards though...... this year i am making some of them
last year was the first year i could afford to send stuff
and i am hoping to be able to do it every year
but it's hard sometimes to come up with small stuff that  can be useful.

anyway what i had planned for this year and what i ended up making are two different things!
so i am hoping to ship some tomorrow

now in other news
potato and leek soup that was accidentally made with ham stock is a most excellent thing
make a note of that
it seriously is
good thing too cause bernie got home after 7 and we didn't eat until after 8
what with the crappy weather and all the soup was a HUGE hit
maybe there is an angel on my shoulder after all?

ok chickies
i am tired and i have to put more wood on the fire
til next time

Sunday, December 04, 2011

a rough layout

 here we go then....this is a rough of what the front door is going to look like... now i realized that the door itself doesn't look good... with the sign (for UPS- they never find us .....and it is also seriously stained from mildew)
but this is sort of what is going to be out there. eventually i am going to have the door purple, (that's the snowman's hat to foreshadow it)
bernie wants a big red bow but i don't think with the orange brick that red bows are in his future....PURPLE, gold, silver......... maybe gold with a red over ribbon but not pure red
i would love to put a wreath on the lantern too but again the yellow/gold bow won't work really well....... a deep purple with gold..... yeah that would do fine!
we still need to put the big mat back and get a second door mat
oh and cut the little guy out.... hahahahaha
but there you go. i am going to be cutting back the yews again every so often until we again get them under control- and it looks like we should either power wash or paint the front ..... i really don't like the wooden porch though... so i would really like to replace it with stone or brick.
bernie wants a railing and seats ..... or at least one see... me, i would love a glassed in vestibule!

now next year i would like to paint a very tall father christmas.... in creams and plums and golds..
we'll see
cause i would also love to paint a witch for halloween along with the pumpkin guy
and do twin urns of stacked pumpkins


Friday, December 02, 2011

books for the holiday......

OR books about the holiday?

i got a few yuletide books over the years, addition to dickens christmas carole which is wonderful no matter when you read it (or reread it- dicken's words envelop you with a richness and comfort that is sorely lacking in every day life)
today's mail brought ( all used mind you)

Yuletide Hearth: Christmas in an 1806 Pennsylvania Farmhouse
Christmas Curiosities: Odd, Dark, and Forgotten Christmas

i have a few others that i like over the years... now mind you my list isn't your normal feel good type list but i do enjoy a bit of history with my holly and mistletoe
so i have 'when santa was a shaman' and The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas
then there is the 'history of the snowman' and Inventing Christmas: How Our Holiday Came to Be, gnomes (remember that one? i loved that one)
and of course i am ALWAYS up for a christmas ghost story

i also have a list of some others i would like (and i will get them from the used book store)

  1. Christmas in Williamsburg: 300 Years of Family Tradition
  2. St. Nicholas: A Closer Look at Christmas
  3. The Battle for Christmas
  4. Pagan Christmas: The Plants, Spirits, and Rituals at the Origins of Yuletide

then there are some take offs on dicken's novel a christmas carole or about a christmas carole
they were pretty enjoyable to read

  1. the man who saved christmas
  2. mr timothy
  3. Ghost Stories of Christmas

and i have no doubt that i will add to this list as well as my bookcases as time goes on
christmas isn't really something we actually celebrate anymore, although i do enjoy doing some of the decorating as long as i get to make stuff
and i enjoy sending some 'holiday' greetings
which of course are not actually CARDS.....
some years we put a tree up
some years we don't
we do most always have a meal (but this year we are planning on a picnic cause we figure we'll be on a road call)
i don't like the whole shop shop shop thing of the holidays and the whole perfect gift thing
i do like making stuff mostly for folks
i could just as easily send my holiday greetings in summer as i could now...the sentiment doesn't change
i want the folks that i care about to be happy, healthy, and laughing- actually i want the folks i don't care about to be that too.... as then i think there would be a LOT less problems in the world

so anyway.... back to yuletide books
any of you guys have some unorthodox yule books that you like?
i would love to i am sure there are a lot that i missed and would love

please leave the titles in the comments section for me ok?

how about holiday movies?
one that i always loved was 'the gift of love' with lee remmick
and of course all the christmas caroles......i have to say bernie loved the jim carey one
i think i like the geoge c scott one the best myself

anyone want to discuss this all with me????
(with us cause a lot of folks join us here even if they don't post)

so tell me.... what are your favorites and why?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

FINISHED.......well except for the cutting out.....

so here is the finally finished snow man with his snow kitten..... except for not being cut out......... now imagine him as a pumpkin guy, with a black cat and you would be close to what i am planning on the backside! i did thoroughly enjoy this (my life painting teacher from art school is rolling in his and her graves)
but all that aside, it's good to have some fun once in a while no?