Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Stash

 I love my stash and I love adding to it. I've tried the "yarn diets" before, but never took them seriously so always ultimately failed at them. I mean, why deny ourselves something that we enjoy so long as we aren't unhealthy/irresponsible about it? I don't go into debt, neglect my duties as wife/mother (ok, maybe I do let the dishes and housework slide from time to time if I'm really involved in a WIP or am on a deadline), or anything else really bad.

I dragged my entire stash out of its wardrobe thing ('the yarn cabinet') the other night so that I could get some Flash Your Stash pictures and to bag everything up. I've been seeing a few beetle bugs here and there in the house and started to worry about the stash and its (formerly) unprotected state. I've never had a bug problem and don't want to get one now! Anyway, I thought that I would share:

 Above is part of the worsted weight, and all the lace, fingering, and bulky.

Then it's the rest of the worsted, and the sport and dk weights, plus my inkle weaving stash of weaving cotton, crochet cotton, and thread.

I really love collecting Knit Picks Palette, so above is my entire Palette stash, as well as the handspun, fiber, and my Palette sampler.


I got a bunch of cheap ziploc bags and now have everything bagged and labelled with yarn company, name, color, and quantity. It's not beautiful, but it's so much easier for me to find what I'm looking for now. Previously, I was having to dig through layers upon layers of yarn that had just been shoved in wherever it would fit. With this new system, the tags are right there for me to easily see... it's truly grab and go and I love it.

Unfortunately, because I'm no longer shoving things in, not everything fit back into the yarn cabinet. I have a large tote with dishcloth cotton and "offbrand" (non-KP) workhorse wools. Oh, and this doesn't fit either...


I got a KP giftcard for my birthday and this is the order. It really doesn't fit, so it is going into the tote as well. I've been doing some reorganizing of the house and am putting my spinning wheel and excess yarn and supplies into our bedroom (away from curious baby hands), so these new treasures will still be right there for me whenever I may need them. (The 7 balls of Brava Sport there in the front are going to my mom, but the rest is all for me)

Even though I don't believe in yarn diets, I think I am at a point to where I don't really desire new yarn like I used to. Would I spend a gift card if I got one... heck yeah. But I'm not window shopping and drooling over yarn online like I normally do. I think it's a mixture of seeing exactly what all I have (I do keep my Ravelry stash updated as well and it's been an invaluable tool) and a lack of space. I don't have any purchases planned for anytime in the forseeable future, unless it's for a specific project that I just don't have proper yarn for (unlikely to happen). I say all this, but then again KP hasn't released their new yarn lines yet... ;)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Life is Good

 First, let me just get this out of the way:



Yes, you are seeing clearly and no, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you! This is my brother and Norman Reedus. I am still mad at my brother for meeting "Daryl Dixon." He came into my brother's Walgreens (brother Arthur is an assistant manager there, like I used to be) the other night. I love how they have their arms around each other and Arthur isn't smiling, like they are old pals or something. Ha! (Oh, and isn't it so confusing to have two Arthurs in my life? Brother Arthur and baby Arthur). Ok, I admit that I look at this pic at least once daily because I may have the tiniest crush on good ol' Daryl --- who, by the way, is so much more appealing to me than Norman Reedus... he's kinda artsy and sensitive in real life, unfortunately. No one likes a redneck until they carry a crossbow and kill zombies. Or someone needs their car fixed.

Anyway, they have been filming The Walking Dead in the old Griffin Walmart all week. I grew up one county over and lived in Griffin for a while before joining the Army.


Ok, now that I have that out of the way, I must say that life is pretty good right now. I'm very happy overall, even though I still hate where we live. Maybe it's the weather, or Charlie's steady paychecks, or.... I don't know and I honestly don't care what it is because it feels pretty darn good.




My MIL's birthday was on the 5th and we went to their house to celebrate with her. She had a friend take some pictures and she snapped a few as well. The above are my favorites... that boy really is something special!


My garden is thriving. I still don't have any seedlings popping up from where I planted seeds, but those things take time and our ridiculous weather isn't helping. I mean seriously, freezing temps in MAY??? I've had to wrap up Mater the tomato and Beulah the bell pepper twice already and the potted plants have spent a few nights indoors because of how cold its been this week. The plants are doing great, though, as you can tell from my gorgeous champagne bubbles poppy! This was her first bloom and she opened another yesterday. There are 5 more buds waiting to open.

Mater is growing like crazy and has a few teeny tiny buds now. I was skeptical about the Topsy Turvey, but it seems to be working well. My dad got two of them at a yardsale for 1.50 each and my mom gave him two plants for it, planting for in her garden for herself. They were all the same size initially, but now my dad's two have taken off and are a good few inches larger than my mom's and are much fuller looking.


Charlie and I got to go see Bo Burnham, our favorite comedian, live on Mother's Day! We knew he'd be in town then (playing only about 5 minutes from our house), but the time was cutting it close since Charlie had to work so we decided not to buy tickets. Well, our friend Bartos called Sunday morning to say that he had 2 extra tickets if we wanted to buy them from him and Charlie's step-sister happened to be with us at the time and offered to babysit! It worked out perfectly and it was such a good time. A very rare and special treat to be able to go out with my husband!

My 26th birthday was the 8th and it was pretty good. Arthur had a doctors appointment that morning and we had to run to the store for a few things right after, but after all that was done Charlie treated me to a lunch of my choice. I really wanted Texas Roadhouse, but they have the oddest hours and didn't open til 4pm that day, so we went to Red Lobster instead. We had a nice lunch, then came home and Charlie slept for work while Arthur and I played.

I've been spending my days playing outside with Arthur and Barrett, working on some fine-tuning on Barrett's training, tending to the garden, riding my bike, going for walks with Arthur and the dogs, and the regular housewifey stuff like cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. I am getting some fibery fun in when I can, though don't have much to share right now. The Genesis Shawl for my MIL was a big hit on her birthday, but the border wasn't done then so I took it home and get a repeat done here and there. I'm close to finishing, so won't share a picture until it's done and blocked.

I have been doing a little weaving as well, which is great because I can work on it when I have a few moments, but not enough time to get the knitting out. I recently worked on pick ups and made a belt:


It's not perfect as I still have a few issues with tension (I need to get over my fear of weaving too tight... those habits from when I had my RH loom are dying hard), but I like it and wore it when we got to see Bo Burnham. My dad has requested the same pattern in black and brown for a leash for his service dog, Lady.


I recently got this sampler of all 150 colors of Knit Picks Palette! There are 5 yards of each color. I'm a moderator for a large KP group on Ravelry and a generous and dedicated member did a co-op in Palette. She purchased all 150 colors and divided them up into 5, 10, and 20 yard shares, labelled everything, packaged it, and shipped them all out. Quite an impressive task and she had the best attitude about it! I bought a few things today at Michaels to make a little thank you gift for her... she really went above and beyond on this.

That's about it for updates I guess. I did get a Knit Picks giftcard for my birthday, so am trying to figure out exactly what I want to order with it. It takes me days to get an order together... I start by putting everything that I want into my cart, then start culling from there.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Gardening


My mom has always had a huge garden. The flower garden was a very large fenced area with a trellis over the entrance reading, "The Garden of Eden" (and the other side said, "Back to Life!" as you were exiting), and it really did feel like it. Paths ran through many flower beds, there were bird baths, ornamental pieces (my favorite of which was a large cement pagoda), and a large hand-dug, handmade koi pond right in the middle. If we couldn't find Momma, we knew that's where she was.

Her vegetable garden was just as impressive. We never had to purchase fruits and veggies during the summer... we had plenty of corn, greens, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, melons, apples, grapes, peppers, okra, and so much more. Anything that we didn't have, the neighbors always did. I always had my own little section for my herbs and veggies and have really missed the garden since living in the city.

We did get a bunch of seeds started when we were in San Antonio, but the cats kept knocking them over so they never matured. Last summer I was busy learning how to be a mom, so didn't even think about gardening. But this summer is different. I feel like I have this mom thing down pat now and Arthur is at an age where he can enjoy playing in the yard while I keep one eye on him and one eye on the ground in front of me. I don't have a whole lot of space for gardening, but I do have an overgrown bed in front of the house to work with...


This is the "before" picture. It's overgrown with Iris, grass, poison ivy, and some unidentified weeds. I got to work digging it all up:


This was the first day's progress (Arthur eventually woke from his nap so I had to call it a day). I now have it mostly cleared out minus a foot or two closest to the porch. Once I have the ground cleared and the soil worked (and it's after May 10, which the Almanac says will be the last frost), I'll be planting cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, bitter melon, green beans, and squash.


I'm also doing herb pots on the porch (oh, and the iron columns on the porch will be used for my climbing plants). So far I have Rosemary, mint, chives, and lavender. I will be planting more tomorrow with dill, parsley, thyme, and maybe a few others.


This is my experiment with a Topsy Turvy. We bought it in Texas and it has sat in the unopened box since then. I got an heirloom Brandywine tomato plant and am testing to see just how well this thing works. I've heard mixed reviews, but the neighbor lady swears that it makes the plant produce more than normal. We've named it Mater (Arthur loves the movie Cars).

I hope our little garden flourishes and we have a good supply of veggies and herbs this summer! It's expensive to buy them at the grocery store, not to mention that these will be healthier anyway.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Getting Back Into The Groove

 Arthur and I had the best time in Georgia!

We spent the week just enjoying ourselves, family, and that wonderful state. We got to visit with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents... for most, it was only their second time meeting Arthur, so it was very nice to see them.

We went to two privately-funded (non-goverment funded) parks that are near my parents and they were a lot of fun! The first was Noah's Ark, an animal refuge kind of place. They take in animals that need rehabilitating and/or can't be released into the wild. They have an impressive emu collection, buffalo, tigers (We even got to see two of them get into a little spat! Roaring and rolling around and everything!), lions, bears, wolves, etc. They are in need of volunteers, so I plan on doing that once we move down there. They also take in food donations for the animals and my mom will be donating a lot of her excess veggies from the garden for the tortoises. The other park was Dauset Trails, which only houses wildlife native to Georgia. There were black bears, coyotes, bob cats, turkeys, and a bunch of others.

It's taking us (me) a little bit to get back into the groove of things. We've been home since Monday and I had a mini meltdown when I saw the state of things at the house. I didn't expect for it to be perfect, but I also didn't expect what I came home to! The living room had been rearranged, which was ok, but the floor was dirty, there was clutter everywhere (Charlie's method of "cleaning" involved making a larger mess than before, then quitting before it all gets put up again), and the kitchen wasn't pretty. I don't claim to keep a perfect house, but boy was it bad. I was disappointed and Charlie kind of got his feelings hurt because he thought that he put in a good effort. After I picked up some of the clutter and vacuumed good, I was able to calm down and see that he did do a lot; I apologized and things were ok again.

I still haven't gotten the house just the way that I want it, but it's getting there. I got spoiled with a week of zero cooking, zero housework, zero laundry, and a few days of sleeping in while my parents cared for Arthur in the early hours. Oh, and speaking of laundry, Charlie said that the washer went out on us while I was gone! It no longer agitates/spins and smokes during those cycles instead! Yikes! I'll have a look at it tomorrow and may be hauling laundry to the laundromat twice a week from now on (our crappy landlords have a washer and dryer in all their rentals, but refuse to have them repaired/replaced if they mess up).

Here are some pictures:


It was Barrett's 2nd birthday on the 23rd. Arthur and I weren't home for it, but Charlie had a tiny birthday celebration for her. Partner just looks so happy for her, doesn't he?


Arthur made good use of the kiddie pool my mom got for him. He swam daily and had the best time splashing everyone.


Our son has a serious stick obsession. Anything resembling a stick must be his. Here he is dual-wielding bamboo canes on the front porch.


Arthur and Mikah, my brother's 5 week old son. He looks so sweet holding him in this picture, but don't be fooled. Arthur pushed him down when he got tired of him and also kicked him in the head, scratched him, pinched him, and squeezed his head like a melon during Mikah's short visit. He also tried to forcefeed him a piece of bread, which was actually a very kind gesture, lol.

I do have a good bit of knitting going on, but no pictures yet. I'm working my little fingers off on the Genesis shawlette (which is coming out more scarf-sized, annoyingly) in hopes to have it ready for my MIL's birthday on Saturday. I'm completely ignoring the fact that the cotton/linen blend I'm using will probably take a few days to dry during blocking.