Friday, July 22, 2016

It Started Innocently


I keep this back-scratcher next to my bed on the night table with all my other "necessary" junk. I have a table full of "necessities" that you wouldn't believe. Nail files and two sizes of clippers, a lighter to light a candle, an emergency LED light, a battery, the codes to my TV and remotes scribbled on bits of paper, a pencil, four different lip balms (I NEED them!), crochet hooks, bobby pins, and the list goes on and on. I have all that neatly filed away in a little plastic, 3-drawer thingy. ANYWAY, the back-scratcher...

I'm always fiddling with it as I'm watching TV in the evenings. I always retire to the bed by 8:00pm to watch TV or crochet or read magazines. Ken stays in the living room and watches whatever he wants on TV or plays on the laptop or reads or whatever. It's our routine. Jeez, I keep getting off-track with my story.  

I'm always fiddling with the back-scratcher in my hand, extending it out to the longest length and twirling it through my fingers like a baton. It's hard to do correctly because it's a different weight on each end. I thought I might be doing it wrong so I went to YouTube about 10 days ago to see if there were any videos on how to twirl a baton between your fingers correctly. If I was going to be doing it every night, I might as well do it right.

So, of course, I found plenty of YouTube videos showing you how to twirl a baton. And then I got obsessed. I know, I know, you're shocked. I can never just do something...I have to do it to death!

And to prove my point...


That's right. I ordered a baton on Amazon. So now I'm a 55-year-old, baton-twirling fool. But man can I twirl! It's so fun! It's good for your brain as you get older to learn new things. And I'm pretty sure it's great exercise for my fingers and hands too. Too bad I couldn't become obsessed with something that's great exercise for my butt. Hehehe.

I swear batons used to be much thicker, didn't they? I was surprised at how thin it is. But I'm loving my baton and the twirling, twirling, twirling. The dogs have gotten used to it and have stopped barking at me. Ken is sweet to indulge me every time I learn something new and come into the living room and interrupt his TV watching to show him my new cool moves. I'm such a dork. I'm sure he rolls his eyes and thinks that as he watches me and tells me how good I am. Whatever! I hope I never stop learning new things!

Don't expect to see any videos of me twirling here. I'd never do that! How mortifying. LOL.

Pooch pictures and some flowers...

Ollie

Janie

Lantana

Marigolds and I don't know what the little lavender flowers are.

I don't know the name of these either. They started coming up by the garage in the spring and I transplanted them into a planter for the porch.

Crochet...

I've been working on a doily the last few days. It was a mystery doily-along hosted by Cylinda Mathews. I didn't start until after the third week of instructions were out, and the fourth and final instructions came out yesterday. I have two rounds left and will show you mine when it's done. You can find the instructions HERE.

A project I'm about to start...

Chalk paint and wax to give it an antique, distressed look.

I'm going to redo the little table so it matches the beds. I'm also redoing four shutters in the same paint. They will go on the attic door and bedroom door in that room. I'm hoping to start tomorrow if the sun is shining. Today it's too rainy and dark out there. 

Okay, that's it from me this time.
Love ya.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Summer in Full Swing



I took the above pictures along the Columbia yesterday.

On this porch with either coffee or a popsicle is where you'll find us these days.
I'm going to show you a few pictures of the porches.
Staining still needs to be done, and please ignore the shabby yard.
We haven't done a thing to it because of all the construction, and the sprinkler system was just fixed so has been off since last year.






I bought a third rose bush. I wasn't intending to, but when I smelled this rose, I just had to have it. This particular rose is call "Secret's Out!" and it smells strongly of citrus and sweet rose. I smell it every time I walk by it, and you can smell it while sitting on the porch. The other two bushes I planted are climbers, one yellow and one deep red.


This huge moth flew up on the porch and nearly brained himself against the wall. We held him for a little while and then sat him on the porch railing. He eventually recovered and flew away. I looked him up on the innernets because he was so pretty and I wanted to know about him. This is a Sphynx Moth. He has a really fat body and head and such a beautiful and colorful design on his wings.


This pie is so delicious and light.
It's very plain, which is what makes sit so good to me.
Easy and no-bake. Perfect for summer.
I think the original name was White Pie.

Something else I've made recently that was good is Stuffed French Bread.
Try it! It was easy and you'll like it!
I used Garlic Herb French Bread from the Walmart bakery, $1.



Our apple trees are loaded down this year.
We have lots more than we did last year.
The plums are also plentiful and ready to pick.

I meant to get a picture of the vegetable garden, but I forgot this morning. I counted 18 of the large variety of tomatoes, and there are lots of the cherry tomatoes too that I didn't count. We've already eaten several servings of salad made from our lettuce, a couple of jalapenos, a bunch of radishes, and two potatoes. The cucumber, zucchini, carrots, onions, and cantaloupe still need time, but they're looking good.

I haven't crocheted anything since the PINK blanket. I think I'm about to bust out some thread and make a doily next. I need a break from the yarn, but I'm bored without something on my hook to fiddle with.

We have been watching Game of Thrones. OMG, it's so good! Did I tell you this already? I can't remember. I just bought Seasons 3 & 4 for Ken's birthday. We have been getting two episodes at a time on disks sent by Netflix, but we're tired of waiting for the next episodes to arrive in the mail so I just decided to buy the next two seasons. There are six seasons out so we have plenty of watching to do yet. Now I see why it's won so many awards. It really is good. But a warning to you...it's not for the squeamish or for children. It's violent and there is plenty of nudity and the sex. Hehehe. Remember how Chandler on Friends always called it "the sex"? Anyway, adults only!

We've had a very mild summer so far. It's always mid-50s in the overnight hours, and nearly always in the upper 70s during the day. We've had a few days in the 80s and should get more of those coming up.

Things are slowing down here. No more bingo until September, no more Homemakers Club meetings until September, and a lot of our friends are leaving for vacations and such for the next few weeks. We'll be here gardening and porch-sitting and going on the occasional scenic day-trips here in Washington and British Columbia. We still have lots to see around here. 

Hope you're having a good summer!
See ya. 

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

PINK




Groovy Hippy-Pink Afghan
Made in any variegated pinks I could find.
Most are listed below.

PATTERN:  3-Round Grannies using the join-as-you-go method on the third round.
SQUARE COUNT:  120
YARNS USED (ALL WORSTED):
  • Lamb's Pride in Peony Pink and Strawberry Smoothie
  • Ella Rae Classic Print in Color 216
  • Bernat Super Value in Pink Taupe and Empress
  • Berella 4" in Color 9029
  • Yarn Bee Aurora Borealis in Bordeaux
  • Edging in Bernat Super Value Light Antique Rose and I don't know the bright pink color.


EDGING:
  • Round 1:  Sc around, making 5 sc in corners
  • Round 2:  (Dc in two stitches, ch 1, sk 1 st) repeat
  • Round 3:  Sc in ch sp, (ch 4, sc in next ch sp) around
  • Round 4:  2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc in each chain 4 sp, making 3dc, ch 3, 3 dc in corners


Like I said before, I'm not one for making square after square after square for an afghan, but this one was really fun. I enjoyed myself through the whole 120 squares. The join-as-you-go method and sewing in ends with each square made it easy for me. I love how this blanket turned out!

You can see parts of our deck where I took the pictures. They just replaced the kitchen window earlier today, and he's coming back tomorrow to do some touch-up painting around it. After that, it's done! We are happy with it and are ready for them to be gone so we can arrange our furniture and hang plants, do some landscaping around them, etc.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

June Stuff

I'll start with a beautiful peony from the Community Garden in town.
So pretty!
And it matches my current crochet project too...

This is all you can see until it's done.
I'm not one for doing anything with squares, but I'm enjoying this one a lot.
I'm in love with it!

Fletch was not amused or affected one bit by my shenanigans last night.
He was too sleepy.

Can I tell you about the unbelievably cool weather here?
Okay, I just did. Lots of 60-degree days in June!
So weird after living in Texas, but so great.

Porch/Patio Update...



Just a sneak-peek at what the concrete looks like stamped and stained.
The patio by the garage is done the same way.
Starting the roofing tomorrow!

I made a big Spaghetti Salad this morning for later.
It's in the fridge getting cold and marinated.

Spaghetti Salad

1 Cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 Green Pepper, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Red Onion, chopped
3 Roma Tomatoes, dc-seeded and chopped
1 Zucchini, chopped
2 (2.25 oz) Cans Sliced Black Olives, drained
1 lb box of Thin or Angel Hair Spaghetti
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
8 oz Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (the pizza kind)
1 (16-oz) Bottle of Italian Dressing

Cook spaghetti according to package directions, drain and immediately rinse under cold water to cool and stop cooking process. Mix in a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together. Place your cooled noodles in a large bowl.

Add all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight stirring every so often to coat salad in the dressing. Serve cold.

************************

I can't think of anything else to tell you about. We've mostly just been stuck here while they work on our porches. The dogs can't go out back because the fence has been down so all the equipment can get in. Ken made a little run out front with some hog wire where we take them outside to do their business. It's a real pain, but I'm sure it'll be totally worth it when all is said and done. 

We're going to some friends' house at 4:00 for a little get-together with about 4 other couples. I need to get in the shower and start getting ready. It takes me FOREVER these days to get myself ready. I'm so slow.

Janie with the dirty nose says hello.

See ya!  

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Christmas in June

Ta-Dah!!





I thought this blanket was going to beat me and I'd never be finished, but lookie who stayed with it and persevered...ME! Isn't she a beauty? So pretty and Christmasy...and gigantic.

What's that?
More pictures?
Okay!






Pattern:  Holly & Ivy by Carol Pryor, A Year of Afghans Book 4
Yarn:  Red Heart Super Saver in Soft White and Paddy Green, and Bernat Super Value in Cherry Red
Size:  77" long by 62.5" wide
Hook:  Size I
Border:  There is no border in the pattern.  I did a shell stitch along the sides only.  5 dc in side of dc along edge, sc in next ch sp; repeat all the way down the side; fasten off and repeat on other side.

I've already purchased the yarn for my next blanket. Now I just have to decide on a pattern.

In other news...

The patios are under way. Yay!

The veggie garden is coming along nicely. Yay!

It was only in the high 50s today and it rained, rained, rained. Yay!

We had a dog emergency a little over a week ago when Eli threw his back out (again). A trip to the vet, a week of drugs and no running on the stairs (which is how he hurt it) or jumping, and he seems good to go. It's always something with one of them.

I discovered a cherry tree in the back of our orchard a couple of weeks ago. I was exploring out there and looked up and saw bunches of little cherries turning red. We waited another week until they were all red and pretty and we picked them...


We got 1 lb, 12 oz of yummy cherries! I think they're Bing, but I wouldn't swear to it. It looks like we're going to have lots of plums, currants, apples, and pears later on in the summer too.

Take a look at this cool moth...

Is he cool-looking or what?
Love his Autumn colors.

That's all for this time.
See ya.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

I Don't Know What to Call This

Two seconds after I took this picture, this umbrella was lifted in super slow-motion up and over my head. It landed right behind me and one of the metal pieces broken in two. It happened in such slow-motion it was weird. I thought Ken had come up behind me and was taking it down, but when I turned around, nobody was there. It wasn't even that windy. So...we went to Walmart to buy a new one. Do you know how expensive these umbrellas are? CRAZY. They only had one choice in colors, so we didn't buy one. I'm going to order one online. If I have to pay that much for one, at least I'm gonna get the color I want. Hmpf!


It was the first day we'd had sunshine in over 2 weeks, so I made some sun tea in the kitchen window. By the way, you know this is my favorite garden kitchen window, right? It's a goner. The height of it won't work with the deck roof, so it has to go. WAH. A "normal" window will go in its place, at least until the kitchen remodel.

Remember last time I told you that Ken was stung right between the eyes by a bee? Well, Fletch hobbled in the next day with a bee sting on his widdle paw.

Aww...poor baby. He hopped around all evening on three legs, but he was fine the next day. Ken went out there with bee & wasp killer and sprayed the hell out of them. Bye-bye bees! Don't mess with the pups!

Who would have so many dogs anyway?
Oh yeah, it's us.
Look at that motley crew.
We are the crazy dog people.


I'm not sure if this is sage or lavender, but I think it's sage. We went up to the courthouse in Colville and it looked so pretty with the purple blooms lining the sidewalks all over.

Ahhh!  Attack of the Giant Killer Bugs!

(It was actually on my windshield, but if you look at it a certain way, it looks like a bad Chinese movie.)

My current crochet project.
I've wanted a Christmas blanket forever.
So now I'll have one...if.it.ever.ends.

It's seeming to take forever and a day. The pattern was wrong, wrong, wrong about the sizing. I was too far along by the time I stopped and measured it and found out it was 61 inches wide instead of the 46 it was supposed to be. Argh! It's taking so long, I feel like I'm going to puke up Christmas balls with every painful row. (I said balls.) This is a few rows past the half-way mark. Will she finish? YES, SHE WILL! I'm going to keep plugging along until it's done. I want my Christmas blanket!



Somebody made these Lemon Cookies at our last bingo a couple of weeks ago. They were so good. They are very soft cookies. Want the recipe? Okay...

Lemon Cookies

1 box lemon cake mix
1 regular size tub of Cool Whip
1 egg
About 1 cup powdered sugar for rolling

Combine ingredients in a big bowl and stir, stir, stir, until it's mixed up well. (It's really a sticky mess.) Scoop out balls of dough with a cookie scoop, plop it into the powdered sugar and roll it around to cover. Place balls on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. (I said balls again!) Bake at 350 degrees F for about 11 minutes. (The recipe said 8 minutes, but mine were not ready until between 11-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them and don't let them get brown.) Let cool on the cookie sheet for about two minutes before removing with a spatula to a cooling rack. Best when eaten within a day or two.

*****************

So the latest on the deck/porches is the contractor we selected called up (surprise, surprise!) and said he had to get two heart stents put in and can't do any work for a few weeks, and by the time he is able, he'll be so far behind, it'll be NEXT YEAR before he can get to our project. I'm sorry, but I think he's a big fat liar. There, I said it. 

So we called our second choice and supposedly he can start a week from next Monday. Yeah, right. Uh-huh. Whatever, dude.

I've been watching a show called Decked Out on HGTV that shows different decks and patios being built. So just in case I have to make it myself I'll know EXACTLY what I'm doing. LOL. What?? That doesn't sound reasonable to you?

And while I'm bitchin' and moanin', I broke ANOTHER tooth. That's the second one since we've been here. I swear I'm getting dentures. I've had it. Yank 'em! And nobody is going to talk me out of it again. Watch me and see. I've hated these shitin' teeth since I was five years old! Buh-bye, toofies. Go rot in the garbage instead of my mouth. Ew.

Alrightee then! Nice chattin' with ya'll. This really was a pretty pleasant entry until the end part. Oh well...no deleting! It's a house rule.

Bye.