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Friday, April 06, 2007

a good Friday

Any Friday you can spend at home is a good Friday in my opinion. So here I am at home and enjoying myself. I got up early and did a lot of gardening. I'm moving bulbs around. Taking them from one place to another. I want a space for a patio with a table and chairs that isn't directly in front of the garage doors. Which means, I have to move a large part of my garden and move quite a bit of dirt as well. There is a huge tree stump which no doubt still houses some toads in the spaces left by the slowly decaying roots.

I also removed the sugar snap pea plants as they were done blooming and the harvest was over - too soon. I also pulled out the cilantro which was blooming over much - a sign that it was past its prime in the flavor department. The parsley is still going great guns and I planted basil and radishes in the former pea pod area. Everything else is looking really nice and I'm quite pleased at the improvements. I am thinking of moving the birdbath back to previous position in the woods. But I assume the cats will take this as a team advantage. Cats 2, Birds 0. Squirrels cheering madly in the stands as it means more seed for them.

We had a little outing. Superficially to pick up something my husband needed from work. But really he just wanted to eat at the Indian buffet close by the office. It was worth for me as I don't get such delicious fare often enough. However it may not have been the best choice for him considering the Rx is giving his stomach fits.

The grill king was lamenting that while the weather was absolutely perfect for burning meat outside, he is feeling under the weather and not able to grill. He will probably be going back to work on Monday despite my objections. At least his pain is under control, if not his digestive track.

The really down note of the day is that an old friend in the weavers guild has died this week. Monday there will be a memorial service for her. I just do not do well at these things. But it is important for families to know that the community shares their grief.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

long after Saturday's gone

Made my list for today and it looks like Saturday will be a blur of activity. The photo to post for today would be a cloud of dust in my wake. If I get one tenth of the stuff on the list done and still enjoy the weekend it will be counted as a success. Meeting tomorrow afternoon - a social high point. Granddaughter will spend the night unless she's done something really bad already to rule that out. She's always good for at least one memorable quote of the day. Trouble is, my memory doesn't even hold onto these jewels until I can get upstairs to turn on the computer.

Last night in search of the ultimate Indian cuisine, we came up empty. A couple of our favorites had closed and most don't offer a buffet at night. I really like to try a bit of everything... the flavor variety is so wonderful. So we wound up at the Thai Pepper. The Pad Thai noodles there are delicious. Today the grill king will be in charge. I asked him to clean off most of the salty rub from one of the steaks for me. I'm trying to keep from swelling up like a balloon every weekend. Someone send me an email to remind me to take a water pill later, just in case.

I also have to check my entry forms and see how high that will run up my blood pressure. If I have only a week left, then add 10 points; if I've missed the paperwork deadline completely, add 30 points while I compose my email saying the postman ate my entry form, can I send in another. (Update: chairperson is holding up nicely, allowed me to send in my form which is dreadfully late as long as I fill out the form correctly and remember to include the check.)

Life at work is chaotic. I have run out of fingers to count off the crisis. Everyone is experiencing family emergencies in the midst of all these deadlines and so we're running short staffed and those who can show up are distracted with worry about non-work problems. It's a mess there. Late yesterday, a couple of us were proofing stuff neither of us is really familiar with... and it took both of us and a lot of notes and flipping back and forth in books to be sure we covered all the basics. We were both quietly hysterical at the fact that it took our two brains ten times as long to do this task. But it had to be done - and we were the warm bodies available.

Go plant something now. It's spring today here in Humidity, Texas. And that's what (hum along now) we will remember long after Saturday's gone.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

the kitchen sink

Everything will be blogged about tonight.

At lunch on Saturday, while slicing through a perfectly cooked, thickly crusted steak, the grill king announced he will be inviting more people over to the house for dinner. We really must get suitable tables and chairs indoors and out. His steak success is going to his head. I plan to bring in chicken parts and perhaps fish. For his anniversary present I have ordered a branding iron that says Road Kill. I can only hope it will arrive in time for the next invitees to appreciate it.

My daughter dragged me kicking and screaming to the garden store where they have nothing but plants and pots and fertilizer. Bought a bit. She bought a lot. We had coupons. It was a weekend that begs gardeners to go spend money and try again. She planted hers around her new gazebo. I put a couple of tomatoes in my raised beds and one and only one zuchinni plant. The sugar snaps are still producing. Can I send anyone some parsley? We harvested the one white radish that came up. Granddaughter refused to try the radish, but she did take three nibbles of a sugar snap (don't say the word pea!) and agreed it tasted good. Which earned her a bit of dessert for her adventurous foray into new green foods.
She stayed over last night and woke up with a smiling, "Good Morning, Grandma" even though she was forced to sleep on the floor in a non-zippered "sleeping bag." In other words, I piled two blankets on the floor with a pillow. If the guest room was cleared out a bit and not so close to my craft supplies, I could trust her upstairs. But she wanders after hours sometimes.

J and I spray basted her quilt at my house outdoors and in the process embedded some oak ephemera in the batting layer. I loaned her my walking foot for the sewing machine and although I believe in it, ran a little test and proved to both of us it was a wise purchase. In just two inches of stitching without it, the top layer had slipped 1/8 inch past the lower layer and the sample was curved. The sample with the walking foot matched up perfectly at each end and lay on the table perfectly flat.

I finished warping the 45" wide loom with the 3" wire warp... seems a waste of opportunity, but the little loom is going to be taken to my daughter's house for her use for the next half year. She's rearranged her house to make room for it already. I have no idea what I will put in my bay window now. It never occured to me that she would be taking the loom away when I said she could use it. But of course it makes sense. I just will miss it a lot and the room will feel strange. Maybe I'll set up the card table for some collage work while I watch summer time happen in the backyard.

Anyway, the wire warp. Was a pain. I had forgotten how much. And I really hadn't planned it all until I got down to threading. Moved from just a plain point twill to a rose path and that meant I was short a few wires. So I had to unroll the warp beam and add those and one of the wires snapped and so I had to move one from the edge to the middle - that will come back to haunt me, I'm sure. Then I felt the need to add some beads. Again, designing on the fly - I undid the warps from the front beam and added some to three warps. Fortunately I had used a 10 dent reed which was wide enough to allow the beads to slide through. This will all become clear later when I post a photo. Patience. I'm still designing. But I have several commitments for this warp. A magazine article, a show entry or two.

I found the right screws for the little loom so that is finished. We should be able to weave on the pink warp the next time my granddaughter comes over. And just warping the looms gets me thinking about projects that I want to do. Washing dishes makes me think of projects to weave. I have a dishcloth I wove. Yes, I use it, it is beautiful even though it is orange. I should weave more of these for the fall sale. In green, not orange. I reason I have this one is because it is orange, I'm sure. No one buys orange wash cloths. I crocheted around the edge and that took a lot of time, but it is really, really, nice and is holding up very well. As long as no one goes near it with bleach cleanser, I'm okay with using it. It stays in the drawer when my mom is visiting. No matter how hard she tries, my green sink will never be white.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

hog heaven

Happy New Year! This is the year of the Pig and I was born in the year of the Pig - very auspicious. 2007 is my year. I've got till February 6, 2008 to reap the benefits of all this good karma.
I have to investigate the possibility of a pig collection instead of frogs...not! Frogs are it. No pigs, please. Going to a party today. An open house - the first opportunity to pig out for the new year. Gotta avoid that aspect of pigology in order to take advantage of my best year yet.
I've started off well this morning. Cleared up a lot of stuff on my two worktables. I have neatly organized boxes of things to put in my collage book. A place to start working on the birds on a wire project. And I'm headed downstairs to clear away the zone of destruction following the grill king's spectacular steak event last night. J and I sat down and watched the baby crawl around the floor or bounce in his chair while we did some needle felting. Then I stayed up a bit longer and put some beads on the goddess and updated yesterday's post with her photo. A much more pleasant activity than loading the dishwasher.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


H is learning to crawl. We had to take off his overalls so he could get traction. He only goes a few inches then flumps down and drags his behind along with his arms. He finds rolling from place to place more efficient.

Last night we did the pre-celebration birthday dinner for my SIL. The Grill King was in charge of the steaks. I took over all the other prep. New flavor of rub this time and he didn't like it cause it didn't grab you by the tonsils and scream: This steak was rubbed out! I liked it. The steaks were more rare this time than last time and his was more tender than the piece I picked out. The over baked sweet potatoes with a touch of brown sugar were good enough to write home about.

We will celebrate again by going out to dinner next weekend when my granddaughter can be with us (she stayed with her other GM this weekend and went to an Elmo show), but my SIL needed to open his present to get to work to day on the concrete stones for their garden gazebo. He got a professional selection of trowels and such. Woohoo. Tools with a pretty bow. I suggested he pick up some knee pads and acid proof gloves, too, when he gets the Quikcrete this morning. Safety and comfort first when you're planning on such backbreaking work.

This morning I am contemplating the yarn for the napkin exchange. J is doing this project too, so we have to coordinate use of the warping board and the loom. I think I am going to go out on a limb and use all of the colors of 10/2 cotton that I have - that she isn't already using. I just have to find the sample of Gwen's twill blanket to remember all the interesting threadings she did. It won't be exactly the same, but it will have the same feeling in a finer scale. The colors are mostly the same value and all jewel tones so it won't be a very wild stripe, just full of variety. Anyway, that is the image in my mind's eye. Should I sample this image?

Tomorrow is the study group meeting where we'll be working on the beading project. I have my tubes of bead soup ready to go along with a variety of threads and stuff.

Oh, and I also have to come up with a smart potluck dish. Probably cheese and crackers with cucumbers. I went for a walk this morning so I don't want to undo all that hard labor with an outta control lunch tomorrow. Please nobody bring desserts, please, please, please?