Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Focused Mindlessness

Watching the Olympics, I heard this phrase describing embroidery in the time of King Henry VIII. It is also an apt description of much of the knitting I do. This kind of knitting is ideal for tv watching, your hands keep working, but your mind is not totally engaged. It can also be used to describe other activities, like swimming, which I'm this summer for the first time in years. I forgot how much I enjoy it.

I've added to my solar powered collection. I now have an owl, which also looks good in the daytime. It sits on a table below the wind chime made by my youngest daughter. Her current hobby is making things from glass. She has an Etsy shop with lots of beautiful jewelry.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

More Solar Power

I finally have photos of the solar powered lights that were added to my yard this year. The green lights are butterflies. Still don't have a good picture of those. In the front yard, the lights close to the house are insects, which change color. We have had lights before, but they wore out. all these are new. I makes me smile to look at them. Isn't that what you want from your yard?
I think I am surprising myself by how much time I'm spending working on the yard this year now that the whole thing is my responsibility. The lawn was DH's job, which he delegated to a landscaper the last few years. The short story is that we had a relatively new mower, and I won't cut down flowers.
I'm trying vegetables again this year. The tomatoes are doing well, although not red yet.
Last year, the rabbits ate all the leaves from my pepper plants. This year they are in containers on my porch. the first to ripen is a purple variety. It's about 2" long now. I'll pick it when it starts to turn red. I don't know what size it will be, so that seems the best way. The other peppers are coming along. the next biggest one is green.
 Business has picked up at work. The orders are bigger this week. One of the most interesting jobs involved making a sari blouse. The sari comes with fabric on one end for the blouse. In this case It was a coordinate, sewn to the end of the sari. Different from fashion blouses, these are very fitted and short. They are made with about 1" of fabric in the side seams to be let out if needed as the wearer grows/ages. These garments are kept for years, so the flexibility is needed. The sari itself is wrapped to fit every time it is put on.Other than that, it's been hem week at work. I probably do more hems than anything else.

Knitting has been a large pair of birthday socks. My Olympic knitting challenge will start when these are finished. These match a pair knit for my daughter earlier this year.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

What a week

It started with a birthday party for the 5 yr old paleontologist. Not surprising, most of his gifts were dinosaur related, as was his cake, both of them. His day stared with a playground party with his friends. DD said it was the easiest party ever. Note that the cake is made of cupcakes, so easy to serve. DD#1 was there, having ridden her motorcycle in from Jacksonville, Florida. She's staying with them for the week.

My gift to him was a Stegosaurus hat, similar to one I had made for his brother at the same age.

Sunday night my nephew from Hawaii arrived in Ohio. Luckily for me, he was staying with my sister. His plane actually arrived at 1:00 AM Monday morning. The 5 hour time difference was in his favor. My sister and her DH went straight to bed. We had dinner with them Monday night. It made for a long day for me, since it's a 2 hour drive each way. I left work at 12:00 and had a nice afternoon with them. My bookworm granddaughter went down with me. She'll be a high school senior this next year, so it wasn't like herding cats, which I'm out of practice at. Nephew C is at the center. He hasn't been to Ohio for 25 years, since my mother died.

The photo was taken on Tuesday. My sister gave me a trunk load of plants for my yard on Monday. She noticed that my yard was sparsely planted and she had lots fo things that needed thinning. I spent Tuesday in the yard, in the heat, mowing, edging, weeding and planting. I also had bought more solar powered lights, which are now installed. Note to self - get a picture when they are lit. I also bought some dragonflies for the front yard. Half of them aren't dragonflies, but still pretty. It took me four days to notice the difference. They change color; red, blue, green. I am so tempted to buy some more, but I'm resisting so far!

Wednesday, I ate left overs from Tuesday. DD#5 flew into Ohio, but had a business meeting at Kent. She booked a hotel room and invited me to join her. The hotel room gave her peace and quiet to make notes and digest the meeting. She was treated to dinner, so I came down after work. We hung around for the evening , swimming in the pool, sitting in the hot tub, etc. I was knitting a sock for her DH who has a birthday in early August. The hotel is in Cuyahoga Falls, right on the falls. I had to get home quickly in the morning to let the dog out. DD had rented a car, so she came shortly after. She stayed with me Thursday night.

Thursday we were back at my sister's house for a baby shower. Her youngest daughter is due in September and it was a good time for another family gathering. It's a large family with all my kids and their families. At least one advantage of not being able to get everyone at one. Dear Nephew got to meet them gradually. Monday's dinner included DD#4 and her 3 kids. the kids stayed home Thursday. Those attending were Me, my son and his daughter (same as Monday's gathering), DD#1, DD#4, and DD#5. The shower was held in the garage, due to a 70% chance of rain. Of course, in thei drought stricken area, it didn't rain until we were driving home. Yes, I missed getting a picture of the mom-to-be.

Friday we gathered at DSon's house, just my family, so out of town daughters had a chance to spent time with siblings.

Saturday was a high school graduation party at DSon's. Sister came with nephew and her older daughter B. B had just arrived from New Yiork city. More getting to know each other better. She's becoming a teacher, and spent much time talkingtalking education theory with DD#5, a social psychology professor at Florida State. Phone numbers and e-mails were updated as well ad snail mail addresses. This is the year of more communication. One of the benefits of having my DH die. We realized that we needed to connect more with each other.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What to eat?

This is my first summer alone. I've been trying to figure out what I want to eat in the hot weather we had been having. It's cooler now, but easy recipes are always good.. If anyone has any good suggestions, let me know.

So far I've discovered quesadiillas, pasta salad where I make the dressing, pizza whith my choice of ingredients and salmon salad wraps.I found a quesadilla recipe in a weight watchers cookbook, filled with chicken and salsa, topped with cheddar cheese. It was accompanied by a corn and tomato salad, yum! I had not cared for pasta salad , but talked to daughter #5 and found a WW recipe with a yogurt based dressing. I ate part of it with tuna added. Daughter #1 suggested that pizza can be made with any topping. I had some ready made crusts and topped them with spaghetti sauce, chicken and mozzarella cheese. Pizza shop pizza is too salty for me. I also had a quesadilla filled with spinach and goat cheese, topped with parmesan for breakfast the other day.

I sewed myself a knit dress the other day and I think I like it. It's comfortable, but maxi length. the pattern showed it to be shorter. I got lots of compliments, so i guess it looks good.

Most of my knitting has been on the charity scarf I'll be donating a guild meeting tonight. Here's an in progress photo. I actually have no socks on the needles at present. I must be sick!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The dog survived

June's end was quite stressful for my poor dog. Tuesday, the 26th, I did not get a new roof, but my neighbors had three trees removed.

Wednesday, the roof guys came. I had to work, so took the dog with me. That was not a successful as I had hoped. All the customers got barked at. She also barked every time I went to the Ladies room. My shop is in office space, so this was not a good thing! She survived.

I took the finished picture a few days later.

The refrigerator got fixed on Thursday. The fix-it man had a new computer board, but had a few problems leftover form the Sears repair team a couple of years ago. Sears did not fix the problem because they said that we needed to have a grounded outlet. We had an electrician rewire two floors of the house and the basement last summer. I decided that it was time to get the ice maker fixed before the July 4th party with the family. Mission accomplished!

Now that the house is put together again, I can have family gatherings. We found all the pieces to put the tarp up for shade. The tarp and poles were in the garage. The ropes and stakes were in the shed. DH didn't know what had happened to hem, so we didn't use the tarp for a few years. The food was in the garage. As usual, everyone brought a little something extra. Dear son cooked the burgers. The group at the table is working on the ice cream. The grand kids are now old enough to help crank.

When the ice cream was finished, the paddle was put on the table. I missed getting  the picture of the dog, cleaning up the ground with ice cream dripping through the cracks of the picnic table onto her head. Clean-up is an important job, and she loves it. When the party was over, I hosed down the table.

This was the first family gathering at my house in a long time, and with a little help, it all went well. Thursday was a rest day. I got a lot of knitting done on the Christmas stocking project. The first stocking of five is finished except for pompoms. I need to find something the right size to wrap the yarn around that will match the size of the stocking I'm copying. I have made this pattern before. It's an old Bernat pattern, modified. by the customer's mother.