Monday, July 26, 2010

Curse You, Mickey D! Damn You, Dunkin Donuts!

My eyes were opened in a shocking way last week. I was looking forward to a new haircut and color and made an appointment with my favorite stylist. She has her own shop and recently moved to a new location. As part of the change, she now styles hair in front of a full-length mirror. OMG! I discovered (well, I acknowledged…) that I have enough middle-age spread for 2 middle-aged women! What a buzz-kill.

I’m blaming the above-named parties for their Mocha Frappes and Coffee Coolattas and Iced Lattes. I finally wised up to the fact that I’m not really drinking coffee, but actually an ice-cream mixture with maybe a drop of coffee thrown in the mix. I became addicted to these since the Frappes were introduced (that being my drug of choice). The large size has well over 600 calories.

I will be going through frappe-withdrawal, as I’ve made up my mind that I’ve got to stop before it’s too late. My pants are getting tighter and Dunlap’s disease is evident – as in my tummy dun-lapped over my waistband. I’ve got less than 80 days before my husband and I go on our celebration cruise. Time to get back in shape. Mickey D, you won’t be seeing me. Dunkin Donuts – your stock prices will be dipping, not your donuts. My morning coffee will now be a cup of the office brew. And my drink during the day will be a wonderful tea blend I bought this weekend – it’s called Trade Winds and has a wonderful coconut and mango flavor.

Speaking of this weekend – what a wonderful weekend it was. We visited my dear sister and her husband. My son and (future) DIL were also able to join us, with our grandson. We spent Saturday afternoon with my younger sister and her family. We swam in the pool and sat in the shade and shared some wonderful food. It was a great time and I was sorry to see the weekend come to an end.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tomato Daze

My first home-grown tomato sandwich of the season was fantastic! It was worth the wait. There are about 4 more just on the edge of ripening. My Swiss chard has improved immensely. I was throwing away every stalk when it first came in. It looks nice now and I should have enough for a sidedish soon.

The kids are home this weekend, so I want to stop by to see them today. I sure miss little Justin. He's a cutie and a sweetheart.

I didn't get any crocheting done yesterday, but I'm back to work on it again today. Yesterday was a tough day for me. I had a very hard time getting up and moving around, and wasted half the day away.

I'll be starting dinner soon. I'm making stuffed cabbage. Well, not really stuffed. I couldn't find a head of cabbage large enough for me to find leaves that could wrap around the meat mixture. So I'll put full leaves on the bottom of the pan along with shredded cabbage, form the meat mixture into meatballs, and then cover with more full leaves and then bake. I was so disappointed. Even took a ride out to the local farm to check their produce and found it lacking. I saw nicer heads of cabbage in the grocery store.

Well, I am going to pick up the yarn for a bit before I get started with dinner.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Raining and Chaining

Rain! Just in time, as the landscape around here has really turned brown. Our gardens and flower beds need watering every night. We got a good soaking downpour last night, with two more thunderstorms earlier in the day.

My garden is looking good again. My tomato plants must be 5 feet tall, with at least a dozen green tomatoes on it so far. I can’t wait for them to ripen. I really look forward to the first tomato/mayonnaise sandwich of the year! And BLTs – yummmmmm.

The doll I’m crocheting is coming along nicely. After having some trouble crocheting the first hand and arm, the second one went easily after receiving the detailed instructions from the designer. At this point, I’ve finished as much as I can and I’m waiting for an order to come in from Joann’s. I decided to order plastic doll joints to connect the arms to the body. There are instructions to attach the arms using a homemade assembly with wire and plastic lids, or a professional assembly using a stove bolt. I’m going to give these plastic pieces a try to see how it works. In the meantime, I’ve started a second doll! It’s really a fun pattern to work and I’m really enjoying my crochet time. I’m looking forward to my lunch breaks and my return home so that I can spend time with my hook and yarn again.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Hook Has Been Busy!

I've finally gotten into the groove - picked up the pattern for a doll I've been wanting to make for a long time now. I love the Kathleen Early dolls, with lifelike features. I'm making "Lil Buster" to enter into the Grange Fair in August.

The legs and body were a breeze, but I've been hung up on crafting the right arm. I must have been out of touch with crochet for too long, because I frogged this arm so many times, I could have pulled my hair out! But then I would have had to crochet myself a wig! Anyway, try as I might, I just couldn't get the stitch count to come out right. I've been reading patterns for years now, and this pattern is well-written but I was just so confused. I finally e-mailed the designer and asked her for help. She was kind enough to reply with a more detailed set of instructions, and this was just what I needed. I now have the arm completed to the point where it is almost ready to be attached to the body. I'll start the left arm tomorrow, leaving the right unfinished until both are ready to attach. I'm really thrilled with the way it's turning out so far. Pictures will definitely be posted when Buster is finished.

Tomorrow my DH is going river diving, so the kids, the grandson and I will be joining him. Not in the river, but we'll have a little picnic and enjoy a little sun while the divers are doing their thing. It should be a nice day.

I brought my first potatoes in from "my second garden". Actually, these are potatoes that grew from some that must have been left underground last year. We didn't plant any potatoes at the side of the house this year, but a few came up anyway. They are pretty nice.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Well, this is going to be one hot summer! We must have hit 100 degrees today. I went out to the grocery store this afternoon, and couldn't wait to get home. The AC in the car just couldn't kick in fast enough for me.

I started a new crochet project. My sweetheart ripple afghan is going on the back burner again for a while. I took a close look at it, and it's not going to be suitable for the grange fair. In all the time I haven't been working on it, it's been sitting on the back of my loveseat. My min pin has been pulling it down, mushing it into a comfortable bed and the afghan looks beat up already. It's okay. I will finish it and it's going to be a "keeper" afghan. My new project will be for the grange fair. I'm starting a Kathleen Early doll - L'il Buster. It's a fine project to carry back and forth to work with me - I can work on it at lunch time. So much easier to pack than a full size afghan. I'll post photos when I'm finished with it. I always have loved making dolls and animals. It's good to get back to crocheting something close to my heart again.

Stopped to see the kids this evening too. They are thinking of setting their wedding date for August or September next year. Grandson Justin, as always, was cute as a button tonight.

The nice thing about a long holiday weekend is the short workweek that follows.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's The Little Things That Count

Today I saw something that touched my heart. It was the sight of my husband, standing on a ladder, putting a baby bird back in its nest. My son discovered the bird under the tree and came inside to tell us that it was injured and the dogs were barking at it. I went out to see it, and realized it was a baby who, although unhurt, wasn’t able to fly yet. It had fallen out of the nest. I moved the baby away from the dogs’ line of vision, but worried about leaving it on the ground where a neighborhood cat might get it. The poor thing must have been hungry because he opened his beak wide as could be when I picked him up. My DH was getting ready for a trip to NY, but took the time to ease my fears by putting the baby back where it belonged, with Mama Bird harassing him to no end in the process! What a guy! I count my blessings.

The heat wave has broken for a few days anyway. It’s not so humid and “melty” outside. I hate days when the humidity makes the air as thick as soup, and I feel like a wax candle left out in the sun. Yes, I know I said I like the tropics...

To finally bring some crochet into my blog, here is a photo of some items I've worked on. They are round ripple baby afghans going to California as soon as I can get a box together.