Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect.

It's learning to look past life's imperfections

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Thursday, July 31, 2008


We're "Going Green" one baby step at a time. We've been trying to reuse our plastic shopping bags, you know you have them too....... breeding in the closet. So, you have these "plastic" bags neatly folded in the back seat of your car....your ready for the next grocery trip...that's right were going to save a tree, stop global warming and bring peace on earth... and reuse the bags.
Then, you open your window...... Unrestrained grocery bags loose in a car become worse than a car full of balloons! They fly right in your face all plotting to cover the windshield. They plan it while waiting for us... in the hot car. I'm firmly convinced. Try and catch one as it flies past..grab it, slide it under one cheek, ( you know which cheek) slap at the next...just try and tuck it with the other....one ALWAYS gets away! You become the crazy lady waving her arms, trying to drive, shift & put the windows up all at the same time. They communicate ....I'm sure of it, one is always making a bid for freedom out the window, They need a warning label!
So, You make it to the store alive, grab all the bags & stuff them into one to carry, grab your coffee cup and..it spills into...the bags.
To heck with reusing the bags, I'm making some! Got home, logged on to Ravelry and found the "Malika Bag" pattern free! It's a sign! I read through the directions, quick & easy knit, O.K., I can save a tree, have a bag, and use some stash! We were on our way to the 4H auction and this was my sanity saver. I don't know about you but I can only take so many chickens, rabbits, cows & sheep ........after a while they all blend together! Anyway, my quick read of the pattern was to quick, Of course I forgot to take the pattern! The original bag has a spiral design and is wider. But, I LOVE my "Almost Malika Bag" It's unbelievable the amount of things that will fit into it. The second I lengthened the body and handles a few inches. I believe I know a few people who are still fighting the plotting plastic bags...Guess what they will receive this Christmas

Mini Vacation & WIP's

We took a quick, 3 day work related trip to Orlando Fl. last week. Turned into a mini vacation for me. We stayed at the Peabody Hotel, which I highly recommend. It’s a beautiful Hotel, spacious rooms with a welcoming atmosphere

There were nearly 500 gathered at this hotel and still had plenty of room!
Orchids, real ones topping the fountain and everywhere else in the hotel.

Part of the Peabody charm and history is the daily duck appearance in the main area.
Its obvious they are famous (and know it) as they ignored everyone in the hotel

I spent 2 wonderful quiet mornings at the pool goal setting. Redefining prioritizing & putting in writing my personal and business goals. Just me and my notebook making a plan. What a relief to have it done! I'm sure it will be tweeked and adjusted as time goes on
Its funny, we go through life, completing our daily tasks, doing what needs to be done. Be it going to work, providing a roof & food, raising children, some floating,some just managing to survive. I've gotten to the point where I had to ask myself, where do you want to go in this life, what do you want to accomplish. Most importantly why? When was the last time you put in writing your personal goals. Real or, silly to others, they are yours. Start jotting things down for a week or 2, your thoughts, ideas & dreams. What steps will you need to take to attain them? It's made a major difference for me. I cant say things have been perfect, I have a LOT of organizing to do first but, that's part of the plan. I have better direction. I know what I'm reaching for. What are your goals or dreams, DO YOU HAVE A PLAN TO REACH THEM?

On a lighter note.. More WIP's...I did accomplish some knitting on the flights and presentations. Soakers with a wonderful pattern from Sheepy Time Knits. These are knit with Patons Merino & LLB Designs (an Etsy Purchase).

Summer Fruits & Goodness

Don’t you just love summer? All the beautiful fresh colorful fruits and veggies to choose from.
Some of the names of “Green Beans” just amaze me. For example you have:
Greasy Grits” string Beans, sounds nasty but a good standard staple green bean. (Who would in the world would give them that name?)
My new finds this year are the "Gold Mine Green Bean", a beautiful yellow/green shade, not as strong bean flavor and very good. My new personal favorite is “Dragon Tongue”. Is this not the oddest thing? It’s a white green bean with deep purple streaks that show when shaded by the leaves, they will fade to a light pinky purple when exposed to full sun as it grows. I love fresh raw green beans, these are quite possibly the best I’ve ever had. I assumed they were a hybrid but they actually are a “Heritage Bean” . No genetic alterations what so ever, they are the same bean brought from Europe with the settlers.

My friend Johanna’s, family has grown these for years and, have graciously given me some. Guess what will be growing in my garden next year!
Trying to take advantage of all the fresh fruit I have been canning quite a bit. Found a great deal on some peaches, so my canning pot is getting a work out! So far this year we have canned cherries & sliced peaches, Cherry, Peach & Blueberry pie fillings, with enough left to make the same in jams. In my second batch of the peach jam I added the skins (washed) finely chopped. They cooked down to nothing but added a beautiful Amber color and, richness to the flavor.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Birthday Goodies & Rachel Up Dates

Is it just me or has July been a Crazy month for you? I feel like we hit the ground running every morning and have nothing accomplished!
I celebrated my birthday on the 8th & was I ever spoiled! My oldest Daughter Danielle made a wonderful 3 layer Chocolate Cake, butter cream frosting. MMMMMM Good! No photos, we started eating it to fast! She also gave me a book on birds I have been wanting,” The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America” A great outfit from Erika, which I love! Will be great to use in Florida next week.Larry the ultimate fixer & thoughtful husband out did himself this year. I use the “back of the chair “ method to wind skeins on my ball winder. I somehow always manage to tangle the last few yards. Larry came home at the end of such a cobweb tangle and said “isn’t there a tool for that”? After my mental YES arm pumping Tap dance, I explained with the addition expenses etc. I would rather hold off making that purchase.
Of course that does not apply to yarn!
So, this was one of my gifts from him, A large Ashford Swift.!

Cuts my winding time in half.

He also gave me a OBN Photo Light Tent. No wonder he couldn't find the “right box” to make one! I’ve been taking late afternoon-evening photos, bet he thinks super will be on time now LOL! Now I just need to learn how to use it.

I have accomplished some test knitting & started on a few Christmas gifts. Yes, I said it Christmas. Starting now I possibly will have them completed by the 24th!

The best news I had was from Rachel. Another good check up, no new Cancer cells & the site is actually SHRINKING!!

With news like that July is proving to be a wonderful month

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Test Knitting

Part of last week was spent test knitting for Lisa Milan of Digknittydesigns The patterns are available on her website.
Here is her new "Days of the Week" series;

Were is Monday? Well, If you know me very well.........you know I don't DO Mondays!
Have a good tomorrow.

Knitterly Wednesday

What a great week. I've had about 15 wip's (work in progress) going in various stages of completion. Thought it was time I knuckled under and finished them. So, I have a lot of finished projects (FO) to share.

I've been on a kick of baby sweaters. My oldest daughter Danielle took one look at this and said that’s "Carrie Fever" I think the name fits, cropped sleeves, smart and sassy for a 12-18 mo little Fashionista!'

"Cotton Candy" was next, cropped sleeve, traditional soft pink with flecks of color. Cute ceramic kitten button closure. Fits the average 9-18 month in the diaper crowd.

"Play Ground Princess" Just screamed "I want to play" when I finished. This sweater has a lot of give and will fit a newborn by rolling the sleeves to a average 9 month

I had a few pairs of Booties left to seam up. Fun colors for boys or girls, 100% cotton

So, whats on your needles?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Knittin at the Regatta

I did get some knitting accomplished watching the races. With the holiday I kept in theme with an American Heart Flag.

No race boats to to be found but, I did come up with a Sailboat. At least it was watercraft!

Also nearly completed a diaper soaker. Will post with photos later

4th of July at the Madison Regatta

Watermelon Boy, if I heard it once I heard it 10 times,
GrandmaIlove youCanIhavemorewatermelon?
Yeah, I'm easy.

Flotilla of brave geese, passing between heats.

For years we have been sponsors of the Madison Regatta and this year was no different. We had a blast, fast boats, food, plenty of friends and family. And more food. Beautiful hot sunny summer days.

Our tent was directly across from the start -finish line which provided us with excellent seats

Did I say Fast boats? My poor camera was full of shots just like this!

Bridge traffic stopped for the free show

The Ballet of boats.

The crane operators were amazing, transfering the boats to and from the water. They made it look like scooping up a childs toy.

Dont blink or you'll miss it!

We came home hot, sunburned but with a lot of renewed friendships. And a greater appreciation for air conditioning

Saturday, July 5, 2008

We The People

I belive we as a nation forget how truly blessed we are. By no means are we perfect, we too have those who are hungry, homeless, jobless, aged or ill & without medical care. But we have more freedoms than any country I have been.
The first time I traveled out of the United States I was shocked to see airport security and police walking around with M-16’s. My first thought was I had walked into the wrong place at the wrong time! My whole since of naive American security was gone in an instant.

We can travel any time & location we choose, no need to show papers at state borders.
Our women and daughters can travel freely with out “escort” & receive the same education as our sons. I was sent to one country where I was instructed not to wear pants, short sleeves or a skirt shorter than my calf. I was required to have a minimum of 2 male escorts at all times. After 15 minutes I would have preferred 4 or 5!

Child labor and slavery is nearly non-existent, at least it not an accepted practice by our laws.
I was in a Turkish market, planning on purchasing a beautiful rug, less than pennies on the dollar. The merchant expounded upon the quality of fibers & density etc. He offered to show me the products in production. His production line was a small room, no windows with approximately 15 children sitting on the floor knotting the rugs. I left empty handed.

We can choose our place of worship, or choose not to worship.

We can write or speak freely. Express our opinions for or against our government with out punishment or “disappearing”. O.K, so there may possibly be an IRS audit in your future!

We as a nation have made out mistakes, some of our laws have become so twisted the original creators may possibly be turning in their graves. But we allowed that to happen thru our votes or lack there of. Our choices, our free elections.
We were on a trip to Haiti once, just in time for a Coup. We may have political coups but on paper not thru blood shed.
We don’t stand in line for milk, shoes or toilet paper, and hope there is enough to go around.

Many times I’ve heard people from other countries mocked because “they live like sardines”, with large groups living in one house or apartment. To many it’s no sacrifice, its what they are willing to do for freedom. Just ask them, most will gladly explain.

We take so much for granted. What are your basic everyday necessities, the "Mc Mansion", the 2nd car, cable, more TV’s than people in the house?

When was the last time you were excited about ……a 2nd pair of shoes, the ability to purchase groceries instead of needing to rely upon what you were capable of growing, turned on a light switch or water tap….and have it work. I’m not knocking what we have. We work hard, we play hard, I just don’t think we truly appreciate it.

You may or may not agree with me. But, I have the freedom to write what I choose, you have the freedom to comment.

What do you take for granted?