Thursday, June 28, 2007

June Footies

I actually got finished with a pair of socks for the Sock-A-Month 3 knit-a-long, these cute little Sockotta footies.

I was kind of disappointed to find out that a craft show I had been planning to set up at this weekend got canceled. Just my luck, since it was only 25 minutes away and indoors! I had been busy making a whole bunch of extra stuff to take - like a cute baby quilt that I spent last Sunday stitching away on - but fine, I'm trying to look on the positive side. I could use a vacation, or at least a little break, so maybe I can find something fun to do on Saturday . . .

While I was shopping at the big Firefly summer sale at JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store, my husband actually found something I needed! I had been bugging him to take my Mundial scissors in to be sharpened - since they were so dang dull that my thumb went numb for two days after I used them to snip the edges of some blue jean dogs toys I made a few weeks ago - and he found this cool Fiskars Scissor sharpener on sale for about $7. It works great.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tina's Summer Iced Coffee

I thought I'd share this recipe for iced coffee that I came up with. I love coffee and that energy boost it gives me but I don't particularly like drinking something hot and steamy when it's 90 degrees outside. Since I don't do dairy, I use soy milk in the recipe but cow milk would work just as well if you want to use that and you're not lacto intolerant.

Tina's Summer Iced Coffee
1 fresh brewed cup of coffee
2 to 3 heaping TBSP powdered sugar
1/4 cup of soy milk (or plain milk, of you prefer)
a squirt of chocolate syrup
ice cubes

I brew my coffee for this recipe just a little stronger than usual by using slightly more coffee and slightly less water than I would use for a regular cup of hot java. Also, I put two dashes of cinnamon on top of the coffee grounds before brewing it (that is the only way the stuff will disolve in coffee, whether I'm drinking it hot or cold).

In a blender, put about 7 ice cubes, the powdered sugar, milk, a hearty squeeze of chocolate syrup, and your freshly brewed hot coffee. Whiz it up until the ice is gone. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy. Ewww, I love this stuff!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Knitting Needle Rolls

I've been busy making knitting needle rolls this week. The pretty red one on the left is mine, and already holding my ton of needles. I just love this pretty brocade fabric! I like to make these plenty big so that there is a bunch of extra room for adding needles as time goes on, so the Deluxe size has 47 pockets and the Standard size has 34. The two small ones on the bottom are for double points or crochet hooks and have about 12 pockets each, with each pocket able to hold at least three sets of needles. Three of these are in my Etsy shop and the little red one is on ebay because the inside row of pockets is slightly crooked, and, being the obsessive perfectionist I am, I felt moved to sell it for half price.
The sunburn remedy worked amazingly on the kids! After two treatments the bright red burns had turned into a nice tan on their extra fair skin, and there is no peeling.
No more snakes have been spotted trying to terrorize us in our yard, so hopefully Mr Slimey has moved on.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pukey pink tongue-twister, and a big "Duh" moment

My little 8-year-old niece, Chanler, is staying with us for a few days this week while my nephew and my brother are at Boy Scout camp. Everybody is having fun! Actually, she and Tyler had a bit too much fun in the sun today and came in from the pool looking kind of crispy. My home remedy for sunburn is a puree of tomato and buttermilk, applied directly to the burn for half an hour. I know it sounds weird, but it does seem to work. Anyway, while these two were sitting on the kitchen stools with the goop all over their faces and shoulders, smelling like a salad buffet - with me laughing at the sight of them - Chanler said the stuff looked like pink puke. I said "when have you ever seen pink puke?" and we went on back and forth for a while, then discovered the new tongue twister: I puked pink puke. You try saying it five times fast!

That's a picture of the back of my house. I read thru the discription from my "snakes" post and thought a photo might make it sound less confusing. There are stairs going up from the patio to the driveway, and the flower boxes along the top on each side. That's a goldfish pond in front of the patio with a rock garden around it. Yes, that is a chicken in the back yard, and if you look in the big window upstairs, you can see my Boston Terrier, Maizy, watching me take the picture.

I'm finally making progress on my footies. I had made one, finished the toe, then found out it was waaay to small. What the heck! My gauge was just like it said in the pattern, I double checked all the steps, what was wrong with this stupid Sockotta footie!! Then I looked back at the sizing....which was in little girl sizes. DUH! Well fine, then, I just started another using a Sensational Socks recipe substituting a half inch K2, P2 rib for the cuff and leg section.

Have y'all seen the Summer Knitty? They have some great patterns on there this time, including some sock patterns. I have got to try Breeze, Askew, and Sweet Pea . .
and Tangerine Twist. . . and Coupling. Yep, really cool stuff for summer!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Invasion of the Snakes from Hell!!

Anybody else hate snakes? I'm talking about wild snakes that slither up into your yard just to try to scare you to death or threaten to bite you. I'm really not afraid of snakes, as such . . . I mean, I've petted giant ones at the zoo, and pet ones are fine, if you're into that sort of thing. I don't even freak out walking around in the field or the woods and seeing one wiggle by. I just don't want the damn things in my yard near my kids, my dogs, or my farm animals - plus, I really don't want to get bit, either.

I live in Western Kentucky, home to hundreds of the ugly things including poisonous Copperheads and Cottonmouths (AKA Water Moccosins). Two years ago were overrun with cottonmouths, as my husband found a nest of baby ones, then some huge ones to match. There is a lake right behind our backyard, so I guess that might have attracted 'em, who knows. Last year was much better, we only saw a few of the non-poison types in the driveway.

Then this year, INVASION OF THE SNAKES FROM HELL! First off, a group of rat snakes seem to think the spot in front of our bay window where the bricks have settled and left a gap is a hotel for crawlies. We watched four of them crawl out last month in one hours time! Big ones, too, about 6 six feet long! EEWW! You see, that meant that the were technically living IN our house, between our diningroom wall and the bricks exterior!. We dumped a box of moth balls down in there which seemed to keep them out. Of course our house smelled awful from the moth balls, but it seemed to do the trick.

All had been well for the past couple of weeks, then my daughter Brittany came to me a couple days ago and said, "There's a huge snake in the flowerbox! Go shoot it!" Yes, that is normally how I deal with snakes, by shooting them from a safe distance away. No hoe-chopping for me!

So I run out on the back porch and there, in the patio flower box is a huge, ugly snake, trying to crawl down under the mulch in the corner, leaving most of his big ole self draped around my dalias and petunias! No way could I shoot at him, as the flower box is made of brick and attached to the house. {Danger. Ricochet!} From where we stood on the back porch, I tried to yank him out with a hoe so I could kill him by chopping him up with this sharpened edger thing my husband rigged up after the cottonmouth invasion. We were on the porch so there wasn't any way he could have bit us. Anyway, when Mr. Slimey feels the hoe trying to pull him out, he starts shaking his tail which makes a rattling sound! I think, and hope, that I read somewhere that some snakes will fake the rattlesnake thing as a form of self defense, which works pretty well for them since we nearly pissed ourselves when we hear it! So then we were all freaked out and just wanted to scare him away. My daughter Amanda suggested setting off some firecrackers to scare him off, but the only thing we could find was some old sparklers. So I lit one - very bravely when the snake's head was again stuck underneath the mulch - and dropped it on his back, then jumped back up on the safty of the porch. Oh, I wish I'd had a camera with me then because what happened next would have been the world's coolest funny picture. One of the sparks must have burned him 'cuz up comes his head in the classic horror movie strike pose, bringing him face-to-face with the lit sparkler, which he stared at, trying to figure out what the hell it was. Then, as we watched, the mulch between the plants caught on fire! This caused one of the girls to totally loose it. She started to holler that the house was gonna catch on fire and the snake was gonna kill us all, to hell with it, could we PLEASE go back inside. By the time her little fit was over, the small blaze had fizzled out, but I thought I'd pour some water on it just to be on the safe side. Mr. Slimey had crawled completely under the mulch and dirt when the smoke started, so I figured it would be hard for him poke his head up to bite me at this point. My next idea was to use boiling water, just incase he did try. As you can tell by the picture, about the only thing that accomplished was to kill the two plants closest to the house. Oh, and the little rocks lying on the edge were from when we tried to scare him by throwing rocks at him, which went over like a lead balloon.

The good news is that we haven't seen that slimey bastard since. I guess he told all of his snake buddies that the crazy people would torture them if they got near their flowers.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Boston Birthday Party!

All four of my Boston Terriers have June birthdays, so we celebrated a few days ago. Maizy's birthday isn't until the 30th, but she pouted so much last year when everyone but her got a present, so this time we gave them all out at the same time. Mine LOVE unwrapping gifts! It is so much fun to watch them ripping 'em open. In the above picture, Maizy is on the left wearing her fancy panties, Capone is carrying the tennis ball, Gracie is in the front and Pixi has her behind to the camera in the back. As you can tell by the mess, they had a ball! (In case you didn't know, Maizy and Capone are the parents of Gracie Mae and Pixi Poo!)

That is Capone with his new doll, which he chose over the big bone! He LOVES this thing! I came up with the design for these cute blue jean toys hoping that the demin would stand up to all his chewing, 'cuz he just goes crazy with his stuffies! Doesn't he look cute?

I'm trying to get my Etsy shop going, so I stitched up two extra sets of dogs toys. They include a doll, a bone, and a heart.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I switched

Sorry it had been a while since my last posting, but there are two very good reasons for it.

1. I have been busier than a cat covering up poop! With the homeschooling, genealogy, dogs, farm animals, keeping the house clean enough to walk thru and sanitary enough that we don't come down with the plague, and everything else going on around here, I haven't had a spare minute. Since school is out for the summer, I'm hoping to actually have enough time to sit back and enjoy things for a while.

2. I hadn't switched over to the "New and Improved Blogger". Nope, I just hadn't had the heart to bother myself with that until today. Since I had had problems with blogger before, I was afraid that the switch would either screw up my blog or possible mess up my computer in some sinister way. So far so good. I switched it a few minutes ago and the world has yet to end!