Friday, January 27, 2012

And so it begins ...

Lambing season officially began this afternoon. No rest for the weary.

I am an idiot ...

The other day, I cut all the necessary triangles out from these fabrics and randomly paired them up. Then I decided I'd quickly chain piece them while I waited for enough daylight to see where I was walking on the icy path to the barn for morning chores.

When I came back in, I realized I had sewn them all on the wrong side of the triangles. I had to unstitch and re-sew them all the right way. So much for "quickly."
Here's the layout, so far.
You want quick? Mittens -- the fastest EVER to knit. "Cloisonne" pattern from the Yarn Harlot on Ravelry. I made the first one, start to finish, while DH watched a movie. I had already read the book, so didn't need to pay much attention to the screen.

Here's the newest calf:
I've re-named the mother cow "Stormy." Last year, she went as far away from the barn as she could get on a snowy night and had her calf. By the time we found them in the morning, the calf was buried under a couple of feet of snow. It didn't survive. This year, we put her inside way ahead of time. The night it snowed, she had this one and I'm happy to say it's doing fine.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Does this new haircut make me sound fat?

DH and I were recently chatting. He was telling me about meeting someone he has spoken to on the phone a number of times. He described him as being "a real big guy," and then added, "Funny. He didn't sound fat."  Oh, dear. I didn't realize a person could sound fat. Did you?

Here's the Paint Chip Challenge, so far. I've picked some fabrics to go with the assigned colors (see them near the bottom center of the picture).

I've also figured out what I will DO with them ... but I'm not sure I'll show it until it's finished.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Kind" people sometimes ask me if my hair is naturally curly. It is naturally whirly. Or frizzy. Or just plain unruly, depending upon it's mood on any given day. I used to wear it very long in order to be able to tie it down in a ponytail, or snarl it up in a knot to keep it from scaring small children. But with aging and white hair comes a whole new set of hair craziness. I keep it pretty short these days, and my short hair is totally unpredictable. I never know what to expect when I get up in the morning. It may decide to lay poker straight and flat against my head, save a few boing-y strands for flair; or it may stand out as if I'd just licked the electrical outlet. Then again, it might wad itself up in tight kinks that would take a hot steam iron to unfurl. Ya' just never know. The problem is that my hair just gets bigger as it grows, until it reaches sufficient length to give it enough weight to cause it to lie down like normal hair.

Lately, I've been sporting a do that resembles a Frizzy Polish Bantam rooster (go to for some pretty funny chicken pictures and see what I mean).

I've started a project for our quilting guild's Paint Chip Challenge. We were each given a set of color chips from the paint store, and must use them in a quilt. What fun! The whole idea is to cause us to think outside our usual palette. The colors I got were calm, neutrals for the most part. We're allowed to add to the mix (Good thing. Cream, beige and brown -- or, Chalk Garden, Bianco and Spanish Brown -- as they are called on the paint chips, would be a little low key. Hey! I just realized they're nearly the colors I've used in my office. Nothing exciting in here, either.)

I've got a plan for my colors. I'm having fun with it. I just hope I don't manage to lose the paint chips before we have our group display at our quilt show in September. We're supposed to display them with the quilts to show that we've used the colors as given out. I was going to include some photos, but the battery in my camera is dead. I'll charge it up and post photos tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Maybe just one more chapter?

Did I hit the "post" button by accident? Dunno ... something happened.

Any way, I'm reading one of those books that has decided it owns me. I seldom read fiction, but this is a novel. This morning I decided I may as well concede to the winner of the battle for my time and attention, finish the book and be done with it. Then I can move on with my life.

I really only intended to read until it was time to go do barn chores, but grabbed the book after and thought I'd just read through breakfast. Well ... maybe I could read until I had to walk Tuck at 10:00. After the walk in the bitterly face-freezing wind, I decided I deserved a little time by the fire with the book.

I was interrupted by a phone call. From the Fixerman coming IN FIVE MINUTES to figure out why my internet service doesn't work properly. The ISP is the phone company here, so why couldn't he splurge with a long-distance call when he left the office this morning, to give me fair warning? (Do they even charge people for long-distance calls nowadays?)

Last night's dishes were in the sink; puddly paw prints from the dog on the dining room floor; scraps from yesterday's quilting still strewn in the LR. A layer of dust on my desk thick enough to write your name in, if you could find it under the mountains of paperwork waiting to be dealt with. Need I go on?

With the force of a tornado, I grabbed everything not nailed down and put it behind a closed door. I combed my hair and slipped on some clean jeans, with 30 seconds to spare before he pulled into the driveway. When he came in through the kitchen door, I was casually pouring myself a cup of coffee as if panic never crossed my mind. I'm sure he didn't notice that the dishwasher door was ajar because so much had been jammed in there in great haste that it could not be closed properly. I often curse that machine for leaving crumbs in the coffee cups, but in times like this, it's a great repository for evidence of my slothfulness, and for that I am grateful.

So Mr. Fixit determined that my modem was fried. Seems the off-again-on-again power struggle on Friday was enough to send it into a tailspin. It has been replaced. Now everything under the desk matches -- shiny black with eerie-green lights. Like creatures with glaring eyes in some horror movie. (Where did THAT come from? I do not know. Go ask your Mom. -- Sorry Dr. Seuss.)

I'll wipe up the enormous puddle Mr. Fixit left under the desk from his boots traipsing in through the snow. Then I'll go tidy up the kitchen, and get to work. But maybe just one more chapter first?

Hot diggity dog!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Let's try that again ...

I have only intermittent ability to get online and stay connected. My service turns off and on repeatedly, and did that just as soon as I typed the first line the last time. The ISP company is supposed to send someone to repair the lines in the next few days. I suppose I can make do until then. Here's what I was trying to post before:

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways:
Baked, with onions.
Boiled and buttered.
Chunked with apples.
In a stew.
A creamy Autumn bisque.
Smashed with potatoes.
In a casserole, with coconut, almonds and brown sugar.

I have 17 of these jumbo butternuts left to deal with today. In case you can't tell, that squash measures 16 inches tall and about 7 inches across. It's a biggie. I've peeled, cut, cooked and frozen a lot, but now my wrists and hands ache. I'm tempted to pitch the rest out to the cows or chickens to be done with them. But I won't. I'll rest a while and then continue until they're all put safely away for another day.

On another note ...
First: the background to the story. One time DH went with me to Quilt Market and we attended a session presented by Eleanor Burns. He found her silly style quite amusing, as she pitched the scraps from cutting fabrics all over the place -- tossing them over her shoulder and saying funny things. Between other tasks today, I managed to cut out some of the pieces I'll need for a quilt I want to make. DH sat down and glanced at the pile of scraps I'd made on the carpet and said, "What kind of mess have you got here, Eleanor?" He thinks HE's very amusing.

I cannot show the quilt as it progresses, because it's going to be a gift for someone who peeks in here once in a while. I'm pretty certain the one day I post a photo will be the day for the giftee in question to take a peek. So for now, all you get to see is the pile of little scraps accumulating beside the chair where I sat to cut.

How do I love thee?

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Surprise. A GOOD surprise ...

A package came for me. I wasn't expecting anything, so it was a surprise.

Inside the box was another box.

And inside the 'nother box was a little velvet bag.

Do you like surprises? Well, then. I won't tell you what was in the little velvet bag. Next time you see me, you will figure it out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm not typing all that again ...

I have something rather longish I typed in another program, and planned to copy-and-paste post it here. It won't let me, for some reason I don't understand. I do it all the time, but not going to be doing it today, apparently. Tsk! Must be the cyberdemons have decided it's my turn to be the target of their torment. So until they get it out of their system, or I find a way around it, this will be brief. There's not too much going on around here, and certainly nothing worth speaking about.

I had a birthday last week.

Because I already had big plans for the day (a trip to the dentist for some shock and awe work), my friend brought me lunch on Friday. And flowers. And a Happy Birthday balloon. And a funny book of knitting cartoons. Yeah ... Franklin Habit's. He's very amusing.

There was so much food, there was enough for lunch again on Saturday. Even dessert. Ever heard of broccoli pesto? Me, either. I can say it was yummy, especially with some tortellini.

If the predicted storm holds off, I have two quilting events to attend in the next couple of days. There should be some eye candy after that, so c'mon back and sit a spell.