Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sunday Supper - Spinach-Parm Casserole

With the recent fall weather, we've been eating a lot of soups.  Soup and fall just seem to go together.  And while all our soups have had vegetables in them, I don't feel like we are eating vegetables.  I am craving a big old hunk of something green on my plate.  But I'm also lazy and enjoy the occasional frozen Stouffer's lasagna. And I'm a little sick of salad, so what's a girl to do?

Spinach-Parm Casserole from Taste of Home.  Yum!  It's green but tastes like garlic and cheese, and it's supposedly Italian so it should pare well with the lasagna.  Perfect!  Plus, as an added bonus, the hardest part of the recipe is getting out the big pot that's big enough to hold two pounds of raw spinach leaves.  I think his recipe just may get added into the weekly rotation!

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Beaded Socks


I made Hayden some beaded socks.  They would have looked a lot better if I'd used white thread but I had the ecru in the craft drawer and I wasn't sure how her parents would feel about the beads so I went with what I had.

We put the socks on her and she immediately noticed the beads.

She loves to kick her feet and if she is anything like her Aunt Sarah, she will love wearing them and hearing the beads rattle/click/make noise.  

I made socks like these for Sarah from the time she was two until she was seven or eight.  She wore them constantly and they went through the washing machine, with or without bleach, and the dryer with no problems.  Not a single pair ever lost a bead so I feel pretty safe making them for Hayden.

If you have a young lady you'd like to make some for, they are super easy.  I've used round beads, but the triangular ones look better I think.  The thread wraps in the dent of the triangle and isn't as noticeable as on the round ones.  Besides the beads and thin cotton crochet thread, you'll need socks that have fold-over cuffs and a crochet hook small enough to go through the bead.  I use a USA4 hook.

So get your sock, poke the needle through just a tiny bit under the edge of the cuff, grab the thread and pull a loop through the sock.  I hold the yarn double for a few stiches to anchor it and then chain 3 (or 5 for older, bigger girls,) put the hook through a bead and pull the thread through.  Chain one to attach the bead then chain 3 (or 5) and attach it to the sock with another chain stitch.  Then just keep doing that all the way around.  The closer together you attach to the sock (if that makes sense,) the more full, ruffley, and fluffy beads will be, if beads can be fluffy.  Hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say.  

For this pair, I used whatever colored bead I grabbed out of the box but you can make patterns or add a special charm type bead, or use holiday themed colored beads... 

Oh and as a word of warning, do NOT use jingle bells.  Jingle bell socks are only cute for about 30 seconds then they become VERY, VERY annoying.  They also don't wash well. Trust me on that.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Three on Thursday - Socks

 Socktober is fast approaching and I've been putting a lot of thought into it lately.  I desperately need some new socks.  I have no desire to knit them, but I need them.  I knit so many socks years and years ago that I have to absolutely force myself to knit them now.  But, I have giant boat-feet with super wide toes and very narrow heels and women's socks are too short and men's are too wide and, well, I just have to knit my own if I want them to fit.

So, I have spent most of September trying to amp myself up and get myself excited about sock knitting for a full month.  I have lots of plans, but you know what they say about making plans...  

We'll just have to see how it goes.  

Because my goal is lots of socks in a short amount of time, I want them to be fairly plain, with not too much patterning.  But while I don't want much patterning, I also think I'll go bananas from boredom if I try to knit nothing but vanilla socks.  So, some of the simple patterns I'm considering are...

Skyp Socks from Adrienne Ku.  There's just enough texture there to keep me from loosing my mind but not so much that I have to constantly look at a pattern.  They also look like they'd be easy to modify the foot length to accommodate my giant snow ski sized feet.

These are Vanilla Latte Socks and they look even easier.

And you can never go wrong with anything designed by Tincan Knits.  These are called Rye socks and the pattern is for toddlers all the way through adults.  

Oh, and did I mention, all three of these patterns are free on Ravelry? Yay!

I hope you'll enjoy at least one of these patterns whether you will be participating in Socktober or not.  And of course, I also hope you'll join me over at Carole's for Three on Thursday.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Woo woo

 Things are getting a little woo woo around here!

A while back I stumbled across an online business coach/motivator type person on Youtube and I've been following her ever since.  In one of her earlier posts, she mentioned the book, The Success Principles.  I ordered it, fell in love with it, and have been working towards mastering all the suggestions in the book.  Well, okay, I've been working on, like, four of them.  There are a lot of principles to master!  

Anyway...  One of the things discussed in the book is manifestation.  I had heard of manifesting before and it always seemed like a lot of hocus pocus nonsense until I read The Success Principles and then stumbled across a Youtube video explaining the science behind it.  There really is science to back it up. 

And within a week of beginning my own manifestations, things started happening.  It was a little freaky, very exciting and a bit woo woo.  But things, granted, very small things, but things none the less, that I was asking/wishing for/manifesting started happening and continued to happen.  And I got pretty dang excited about the whole process.

When I get excited about something, I tend to run my mouth about it.  A lot.  

I talked about manifesting so much, a friend and fellow manifestor gifted me a set of tarot cards.

Tarot cards!  What the heck am I supposed to do with tarot cards??  But they were really pretty, the art work on the deck is very 'me' and I love looking at them so of course I turned to Youtube for a "What the heck do I do with tarot cards?" instruction video.

Now granted, I still have no idea what I'm doing with them.  But for the last few days, I've been randomly selecting three cards each day and, well, it has been super woo woo because each card I've pulled from the deck has had something extremely relevant to my current circumstance and/or mood that day.  Did I mention it's felt VERY woo woo?  It's been exciting, but pretty dang woo woo.

So what does all that have to do with today's post?  

One of the cards I pulled today was the Ace of Wands which represents inspiration and creativity and means that it's time I start a new creative project.  Well, Soctober is fast approaching and I'll be casting on a new pair of socks soon.  Woo woo!

But then I went to storage today to look for my winter clothes. Our storage units (yes, there's an 's' on there) are like black holes.  We put stuff in, then never see it again. Naturally, I found my coats but not my clothes.  But guess what I did find - a giant box of  beads and all the supplies I need for a project I had wanted to start a few weeks ago but couldn't find any of the necessary materials in the stores.  WOO WOO!

I'm super excited and hope I'll have something more than a bunch of beads to show you next time.

So, out of curiosity, do any of you manifest or use tarot cards to help guide your focus for the day?

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sunday Supper - Tortellini Soup

Wow, it feels like it's been ages since I posted a Sunday Supper.  I know I've been skipping a lot of blog posts recently.  The home life has been a little wild and crazy lately and I'm having trouble keeping up. My apologies.

Hopefully, today's recipe will make up for it.  

Virginia's change of seasons always had produced crazy weather but this summer-to-fall has been super crazy, even for Virginia.  We seem to be having an actual fall this year!  The temperatures went from 98 to 78 overnight.  A week or two went by with daytime temps in the upper 70's and then they suddenly dropped to the low 60's for daily highs.  I'm loving it but I am a little chilly.  With the exception of the sweaters I knit this summer, all my fall/winter clothing is in storage.  My warmest shirt here at the house is a short sleeve t-shirt.  I look ridiculous because I love fall and refuse to spend it indoors, but I'm cold so I'm outside wrapped up in blankets and shawls while wearing my summer sleeveless tops and shorts.  With wool socks of course.

Anyway, the point I'm not making very well is that it's been chilly.  I want soup.  Lots and lots of hot, steamy soup.

And I think this recipe for Tortellini Soup from My 100 Year Old Home will fit the bill just fine.

I also think you could leave out the sausage (or not) and change up the tortellini stuffing (my favorite is spinach) and have a completely different flavored soup.  Well, almost completely.  Well, maybe not even almost.  But different tortellini should make for a slightly different soup.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Three on Thursday - Don't hate me

 Please don't hate me... But I've been thinking about Christmas knitting.  I have that new granddaughter and she'll be needing a Christmas sweater at a minimum, not to mention a stocking and I really, really want to knit her an Advent thing.  Okay, let's rephrase that last bit.  I really, really want to give her an Advent thing that I have knit, I just don't actually want to knit it.  Little tiny fiddly things aren't really my jam and the idea of knitting 24 of the same thing sends me straight to the bottom of a bottle.  But every child needs an Advent thing so...

Anyway, I've been thinking about Christmas knitting.  Knitting for Hayden and even little gifts for friends and family.  And since I intend to do Soctober because I'm in desperate need of some new socks that only leaves November for Christmas knitting, so...  I need to get on the ball!  And quickly!!

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned Smitten by Emily Ivey here on the blog before.  It's a free mini mitten pattern on Ravelry and the pattern includes quite a few suggestions for how to make the display cord.  I think these little mittens are adorable and would be perfect for stuffing with a tiny little gift or candy for each day of Advent.  Or, just knitting five or six little mittens, putting them on a cord and using it as a simple garland somewhere in the home. 

I've also been tossing around the idea of knitting little miniature socks and doing the same thing.  Which would be easier/less complicated?  Thumbs or heels?  I can't decide so I do nothing.

If I was a better Grandma, I would knit this garland designed by Frankie Brown.  This is another Ravelry freebie.  I really like the idea of each item being different.  The different items provide so much more display opportunity than 24 of the same thing but....  It's awfully fiddly.  Unless I'm wheelchair bound and pain-free for several months, I highly doubt I will ever knit this.

But then, this little angel is adorable too.  And it's also a free pattern from DROPS.  And I'm 99.9999% sure I WAY over-ordered white yarn for my poinsettia needlepoint.  I could use the leftovers from that project to make a bunch of these little angels.  I could even give her some arms to hold the Advent number sign or just give her a necklace with the number written on it.  Angels wear necklaces sometimes, right?

Argh! Decisions, decisions!  I'm so bad at making decisions.

Feel free to send me your input.  Meanwhile, I hope you'll join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

James River Yarn Scroll

Well, now I have a dilemma.  I'm not sure what to call the event I attended this past Saturday.  The Second Annual James River Yarn Crawl was originally scheduled for May but was postponed until September due to Covid.  Stupid Covid!  And because things still aren't totally back to normal yet, the crawl went virtual and got renamed James River Yarn Scroll.  So my question is, do I call it the "second annual" or is it a first?  It's questions like that that drive me crazy.

But the important part is, I attended the James River Yarn Crawl/Scroll in person on Saturday.  It was "Visit your LYS" day anyway so....  I only went to two of the shops participating.  I promised myself I was only going to buy one skein from each shop.  I still haven't knit the yarn I purchased at last year's crawl.  Good grief!

So, one skein.  One skein from each shop was all I was allowed.

Darn Rita Mae Yarns!  Rita Mae Yarns was having a trunk show at Yarn Matters and well....  I went to Yarn Matters specifically for the Sunshine on the James River skein from Dyeing for Art but.... Somehow, five skeins from Rita Mae Yarns came home with me also.  The very moment I saw it, I had to have the red and organgey skeins.  It turns out, they were specially died for the crawl as well.  Since Yarn Matters is in Williamsburg, Virginia, the red is named Brick House and the tangerine speckled is Dog Street.  Dog Street is a street in Williamsburg and who wouldn't love to knit with yarn named Dog Street?

And then I saw that gray.  Its name is Blue Steel and it is THE most gorgeous purpley, blueish slate gray you've ever seen.  I can not wait to knit with it.  I plan to knit Anisah which you can find on Ravelry or on Rita Mae's website. 

And then I went to Center of the Yarniverse in Ashland.  And of course I broke my one skein rule there.  Organized Chaos was Yarniverse's sponsored dyer.  As much as I Love their yarn, I already have a ton of it  and I wanted my one skein to be something I'd never knit with before.  I quickly found Dolpin Ride from Yarn Hero.  And then somehow three other skeins of sock yarn jumped into my arms.  I'm counting that as okay since Socktober is quickly approaching.  (We just won't mention that I already had four sock yarns on standby just waiting for October 1st to roll around.)  And then, as if three extra skeins weren't enough, a Knitting Planner jumped into my cart also.  I may take that back though.  I didn't notice it in the shop, but while it's a knitting planner, all the interior pages refer to crochet rather than knitting.  It's not a huge deal but....

So, I'm now the proud owner of ten new skeins of yarn... And I haven't knit a single stitch in almost a week.  I've been needlepointing instead.  

Years and years and years ago I bought two pickup truck loads of yarn and various fiber arts 'stuff' from an estate sale.  And in that pile of 'various fiber arts stuff' was five or six large Christmasy needlepoint canvases.  Well, last week, I had one of those light bulb moments - I could use Palette from Knit Picks instead of trying to track down needlepoint wool.  It's basically the same thing except Palette is much, much cheaper and I already had all I needed except for two colors.  Yay!

So to make a long story a tiny bit longer, I hopped in my car, drove to our storage unit, dug around until I found the canvases and brought them home.  And I've been obsessively needlepointing ever since.  The Palette is working out perfectly and I can't wait for the petal red to arrive so I can start filling in those leaves.  

Friday, September 11, 2020

Tiny Tea Leaves

 Sometimes I really am a horrible person.  Karen from Pumpkin Sunrise gifted me the Tiny Tea Leaves cardigan pattern a while back and now, I can't remember why.  I'm not sure if it was a "Congratulations on the new grandchild" gift or a "Here's something to cheer you up because you sound like you are on the very edge of sanity" gift.  I feel terrible that I can't remember the why, but it does go to show how close to the edge I was there for a while.  

Anyway.... The smallest size the pattern makes is a 2T so I wasn't in a rush to get started on it when I first received the pattern.  I did, however, immediately buy yarn for it.

And now I'm knitting it.  Hayden will turn six months old next week but she's already close to outgrowing her nine month clothes.  The child is thin, but tall.  My hope is that she can roll the sleeves this winter and still be able to fit into it next winter.  We'll see how that plan goes.  

If any of you grandmas out there have knitting for babies hints for guessing future sizes, please, please pass them on.  I've been trying to recall my own kids' growth but they were both practically feral and were naked half the time.  Okay, I should probably explain that.  We lived at the lake so summers were spent in the water and winters, Zack preferred sweatpants and t-shirts and Sarah wore stretchy leggings or skirts and oversized sweatshirts so size didn't matter that much.  And then there was that year that Sarah refused to take off her Cinderella Halloween costume ball gown.  She wore it Everywhere.  We'd get some pretty strange looks in the grocery store but she was happy and I learned early on in parenthood that it was best to pick your battles so....

Anyway.... I'm knitting a Tiny Tea Leaves cardigan and am very thankful I was gifted the pattern.  Thank you, Karen!  You can tell I'm not very far into it but it's a very simple pattern so far.  I'm knitting it with Blossom Heather Wool of the Andes.  I've never been a big fan of pink but I absolutely Love Blossom Heather.  As usual, that photo isn't great.  It's pouring down rain (has it ever not been raining in 2020??) and very dark in here so the color is off in the picture.

Besides knitting, the search for a house to renovate continues.

The most recent house we looked at had that wonderful sign written on a hallway wall.  The house looked like the sign may have been true.  Yikes!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Three on Thursday

 I'm phoning this one in because there hasn't been much knitting happening.  No knitting, but good things have been happening.  The last week has been a whirlwind of doctor appointments and home health interviews and there is now a light at the end of the tunnel.  It's a long tunnel, but there is a light at the distant end.

So... Today's Three on Thursday post is, in no particular order, three of my favorite quotes from TV/movie characters.

1.  "No fate, but what we make."  Sarah and John Conner, Terminator

2.  "So, we got a bump coming up."  Jason Bourne, Bourne Identity

3.  "Buckle up, kids.  Daddy's puttin' the hammer down."  Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

And just so that this post has a photo...

Hayden is learning to feed herself.  She can easily get her fingers and toys in her mouth, but she has a little trouble with the spoon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

All kinds of happiness

 This weekend brought all kinds of happiness.

I finished the Timeless Pullover and I'm so pleased with it.  Labor Day was not the day to try it on though.  I need to sober up just a bit and get out of the sun first.  It's definitely going to be a warm sweater.

Timeless was knit with two strands of Aloft from Knit Picks held together.  As much as I complained about how long it took me to knit it, the sweater was actually a pretty quick knit.  At least, considering I made the biggest size, it was quick.  I really loved the pattern and plan to knit it again, probably in a worsted weight next time.  And, I had lots of the mohair left over and have plans to combine it with some other left over yarn to make a scarf.

Okay, I don't know what's going on there with my chest or my under-eye area.  I don't have bags like that and my chest, while slightly crispy, is not splotchy like that.  Maybe it was shadows from the tree we were under.  I don't know.  Weird!


As soon as I finished Timeless, I cast on something smaller but Hotdawg made knitting a little difficult.  Yes, we named the cat Hotdawg.  Sarah happened to be eating a hotdog when she met him and it turns out, hotdogs are the only thing we tried to feed him that he didn't like.  And yes, we did go buy kitten food for him later that afternoon.  

We never could find a taker for him so we turned him over to Animal Control yesterday evening.  It was a sad moment but he is SO sweet and SO friendly he won't have any trouble finding a forever home.  And yes, our Animal Control people seem to be extremely nice and caring and the animals go to a no-kill shelter.  I'm confident Hotdawg will find a good family who will love him forever.

And it wouldn't have been a holiday without a visit from Hayden.  That child is growing up so fast!  She's not even six months old yet but she's already reaching out to the person she wants to be with, she's starting to crawl, she attempts to feed herself, and she likes to drink out of a cup.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Extreme Cuteness Overload

 We interrupt our normally scheduled Sunday Supper for extreme cuteness overload.

Every morning I get my coffee and go sit on the deck by the pool to do my morning pages.  Do you do morning pages?  You should!  Okay, so 99 days out of 100, what I write is pure dribble, it's normally me whining about something... But on that 100th day, gosh!  Every now and then, some kind of mind boggling, life altering realization hits me and comes out in my writing.  I haven't even been doing them all that long, just a few months now, but I've already had four or five of those light bulb moments that have completely changed my life in some way.

But as excited as I am about discovering morning pages, I'm getting off track.  Let's get back to extreme cuteness overload.

So, yesterday morning I stepped out on the deck and could hear a cat meowing.  It sounded trapped and slightly desperate.  There are a few feral cats in the neighborhood that we see occasionally so I was looking for them.  Couldn't figure out where the meowing was coming from, but eventually I realized it was coming from under the house.  I opened the locked trap door and, yes!  The meowing was definitely coming from deep in that dark, spider webby space.  

How did a cat get into that locked space??

I opened the trapdoor wide and started, "Here kitty, kittying."  Then my imagination took over and I started thinking, what if a bobcat has had babies under there?  (It's not unusual to see a bobcat near our swamp.)  So I took a few steps back and kept on "Here kitty, kittying."

I could hear it getting closer and closer and I was becoming more and more convinced some huge, giant, very aggressive mama was going to come flying out at me and I took a few more steps back.  I know, I know, I'm ridiculous, but I hadn't had the first sip of coffee yet and well, ya'll know I have that unnatural fear of panthers hiding out in the trees.  If it's possible for panthers to stalk me from the tree tops, it's certainly possible a bobcat has had babies under our house.

So, I'm stepping further and further back and the meowing is coming closer and closer....

And suddenly....

THE cutest little kitten came creeping out of the darkness.

I thought he was feral and he hissed at me once, but I put my hand out for him and he quickly came over and let me touch him.  Within minutes he was letting me scratch his head and pet him and he began purring and twinning himself around my ankles.  

The little guy is so stinking adorable!  He's only about six inches tall, and about that in length too.  He is so dang sweet and is not the least bit feral.  He's definitely missing his human(s) and maybe his mama.  

It is killing me that we can't keep him but Mike is horribly allergic to cats and Sarah has a slight allergy.  I posted his picture on a couple of Facebook groups and my page in hopes someone would claim or want him.  I also called Animal Control (our county's Animal Control are super nice and kind.) but they don't have anyone on duty until Monday.  And of course, the SPCA won't take him.  They say you have to hand over any unwanted animals to Animal Control.

So, until Monday, I'm a kitten mama.  Actually, Sarah has claimed that title.  She says I can be Kitten Grandma.

In other words, there will be no Sunday Supper tonight.  I'm too busy playing with my four-legged grandchild.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Off the mats


The most recently finished Reyna is finally off the blocking mats.  For the life of me, I can't get my camera to provide me with a true representation of its color.  The yarn is from Organized Chaos and is called Lagoon.  In real life, it looks like gorgeous green/blue Caribbean water that's full of glowing phosphorescence.  Or magic.  Or something.  The yarn isn't metallic but it glows.  But not in a neon way.  It glows in a "hug me and never let me go" way.  I don't even know how to begin to describe it, but it is Glorious!

And for those of you who are purists and have knit a Reyna before and know what it's supposed to look like, you may notice it looks slightly wrong.  Yes, it does.  I screwed up on the second mesh section and kept on knitting mesh instead of switching back to the garter ridges when I was supposed to.  Rather than rip it, I went with the mistake and then knit more garter ridges than I should have on the next section.  I really like the affect when it's laid out flat, but I notice when worn, the extra mesh is making it puddle weirdly on the chest.  Or maybe that's just my lack of wrapping it around the neck skills.  Either way, I'm very pleased with it.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Three on Thursday - Next Up

 I only have about four to six hours of knitting time left on my Timeless Pullover, depending on interruptions and what I'm watching on TV while I knit.  I'm so happy with the way it fits.  It may be a little weird looking on my waistline but I think it will be fine.  I've only tried it on over top of long t-shirts or full-skirted dresses with bulky pockets and it looks a little weird with those but I think it's going to be perfect with a normal pair of pants or slim skirt.  The sleeves are absolutely perfect!  Not loose and baggy, yet not too tight either.  Just perfect!

Anyway, since I'm so close to finishing that sweater, I'm thinking about my next one.  I thought I knew what I wanted to knit but...   I have yarn in the stash for several sweaters and here are a few I'm considering.

This one is Arboreal by Jennifer Steingass.  The pattern calls for DK yarn which I don't have, but it also says the gauge is 20 stitches over 4 inches which is what I usually get with the worsted weight I do have.  My yarn should work.

But this one has pockets and would be super simple to knit.  This is Tea with Jam and Bread from Heidi Kirrmaier.  This sweater just looks so comfortable and cozy.  And did I mention it has pockets??  And, The Sound of Music is one of my favorite movies so this one may get the nod just because of its name.

But then I've also been wanting to knit some cables.  Not too many cables, just a few.  Christmas is coming sooner than I think and I'm 99.99% sure I don't have time to be casting on a fully cabled sweater for myself right now.  This one seems perfect.  This is Mork by Julia Farwell-Clay.  Besides not having any ribbing, (have I ever mentioned that I don't enjoy knitting the ribbing?) only a few cables, and those up and down lines that should be slimming, the designer's name is Julia.  We have a new home health nurse named Julia and she's fantastic FANTASTIC!  I feel like it might be fate that I stumbled across this pattern.

So which should I choose?  The fair isle sweater since I just bought yarn to knit a fair isle with?  Or the Sound of Music themed sweater with pockets?  Or do I honor our new home health nurse and knit Mork?  Decisions, decisions.  

Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike making decisions?  I dislike decisions even more than I dislike knitting ribbing.  How about helping a girl out and telling me which design you'd choose.

While you are choosing sweater patterns for me, I hope you'll also join me for today's Three on Thursday linkup.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sunday Supper - Zucchini Pizza Casserole


Tell me that doesn't just look yummy!  I sure wish I'd had this recipe for Zucchini Pizza Casserole from Taste of Home back in July when my husband was coming home from work with eight zucchini everyday.  I could have had a winter's worth of this casserole in the freezer just waiting to be baked on some cold blustery night.  But, it's not too late.  The farm stand is still has baskets full of zucchini.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Not quite That open minded

 Let's getting the knitting part of this over with.

And let's also ignore the leather-like, skin cancer about to form, skin.  Yikes!

But knitting - I started yet another Reyna on Sunday.  This wasn't in the plans but I needed something that I could quickly grab and cast on in the car.  I had a bit of a drive, well, ride, in front of me.

Our ultimate goal is to end up 100% debt free and living on tidal water.  But in order to do that, we've got to build/remodel several more houses, sell them and make a little profit each time.  The idea is that eventually we won't need a loan to buy/build the final river house.  

We got excited when a realtor pointed us in the direction of a house in Heathsville, Virginia.  We were going to have to have an open mind about it though.

The house is round.

Round!  Round and ugly but on a deep water creek with direct and quick access to the Chesapeake Bay and it has a private harbor.  

It met the majority of our requirements.  It's on tidal water.  The harbor is deep enough water for a boat (4 to 6 feet depending on tides.) The Bay is only about 20 minutes away by boat. It was a fixer-upper, as in, the house had been abandoned before it was ever finished being built.  It was 2,000+ square feet.  And it was in our price range.  Plus, we were all fighting over who got to claim the turret as their their own room.  We decided to be open minded about the roundness and go take a look.

The listing wasn't quite accurate.  It's not ON the water.  It's IN the water.  The front part/water side of the house is on piers IN the water.  It's hard to see in the photo but if you look closely, you can see the piers in the water... and it was low tide when we were there. 

And that dirt area there beside the steps/walkway is the only parking area.  Hey - at least we wouldn't have to mow grass!

Okay, so the outside needs some work.  Both decks are falling off and I don't know how you clean cedar siding but I know it would look a lot better after it was cleaned.  The wooden steps and walkway were in good shape though.  Ugly, but sound and solid.  

Despite the filthy windows and the cloudy sky, the view was nice.  The harbor opens up on the right just behind that tree to give you access to Cranes Creek which is really more of a river at that location.

Mike was pretty impressed with the carpentry inside, which doesn't happen often.  I'm a yarn snob, he's a carpentry snob.  

The house had never been finished.  The outside was finished and the exterior walls on the inside were finished, but the interior walls separating the rooms had just been framed in and abandoned.  It was interesting construction.  All the rooms were pie shaped.  The first floor had one room about 1/3rd of the circumference of the house that was open and looked out at the water and the other 2/3rds of the level were separated into six bedrooms.  Six very, very tiny pie shaped bedrooms.  There was room for a single bed and not much more.  Each of the rooms did have a closet though.  

In the center of the house was a very pretty spiral staircase.  We went up to the second floor.  The second floor was split so that half the circumference was one open room, and there was a kitchen (we knew that because it was written on the wall) and two more tiny bedrooms and one slightly larger bedroom.  

So are you picturing it?  You're standing in the center of the circle, looking at either the water or surprisingly pretty wood paneling on the exterior walls with a boat load of rooms framed in, each in a pie wedge shape.

Do you notice anything missing?

There was no electrical, plumbing, or even a room framed for a bathroom.  There was also no septic system or drain field.  Who builds a house with no plumbing or electrical?

Oh, and that beautiful spiral staircase...  The stairs narrowed as it went up and the stairs going up to the turret were too narrow for Mike or I to go up them.  We literally didn't fit.  My skinny little daughter barely fit.  Her hips rubbed on each side as she tried.  And when she got to the top, up in that turret we all wanted to claim for our own...  Well, the turret was a turret, not a room.  The top of the stairs had a two foot at its widest triangular landing and that was it.  

Nope, we aren't quite that open minded.  But hey - there wasn't any glitter glued to the ceiling. 


Somewhere out there on the banks of that river, there's a home or a lot just waiting for us.  We just need to be patient and keep looking.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Sunday Supper - Buffalo Chicken Dip (or dinner)

Okay, so this one is supposed to be a recipe for an appetizer dip but...

I think I will make a pot of rice to mix in with this Buffalo Chicken Dip from and call it dinner.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 21, 2020

On The Needles

 Timeless is still OTN.

I am making progress though.  I'm seven decreases in on the first sleeve, only eighteen more decreases to go. And then I can do it all over again on the other sleeve.

Did you notice the sheep stitch marker?  I think she's absolutely precious.  I had signed up to take a bus trip with my LYS to the Maryland Sheep & Wool festival back in May.  Of course the festival was canceled.  Center of the Yarniverse gave me the option of getting my cash back or getting a gift card for the full amount, a 10% discount, and some unnamed freebies.  Of course I chose the gift card option.  The shop just recently opened back up and several of those little sheep stitch markers were in the bag of freebies.

And because I seem to be on a roll with live critter photos recently...

We had another visitor but he didn't ring the doorbell.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Three on Thursday

 I don't think there's an actual link up going on today, but that doesn't mean I can't still post three random things on a Thursday.

I accidentally bought a new knitting book the other day.  I don't feel too terribly guilty about it because I plan to knit that sweater on the cover.  I bought some yarn last week for a colorwork sweater without having a pattern in mind.  Now I have a plan.  I just have to finish the mohair sweater first.

Gregoire Welty, missing from James City County 

We had a little excitement around here the other day.  You know how the news always picks THE most redneck, derelict, uneducated people to interview?  They chose well the other day.

It was the day I had that nauseous blurry vision headache and I'd been laying down, bra-less of course, and without hair clips or pony tails so when the doorbell sounded and I jumped up, I looked like some kind of crazed psycho-killer witch haired woman.  And first, you have to understand how exciting it is for our doorbell to ring.  It's only the second time in over nine months that someone has rung it.  We are country people.  Everyone comes to our back door.  Even the Jehovah Witnesses come to our back door.

So the doorbell rang, I jumped up and saw the Channel 6 news vehicle out front.  Cool!  I went to the door, still bra-less and still looking like a psycho-killer with wild witch hair and probably with pillow marks on my face... and couldn't get the door open.  The lock is approximately 100 years old, literally, and we've been having trouble with it lately.  Well, it refused to open.  So the news guy and I are yelling through the glass door at each other.  And Sarah comes along with a sarcastic comment about how I don't know how to open the door... and of course she was wearing some weird, even by stay at home covid standards, weird outfit.  But she couldn't open it either.  And Mike comes along, in his underwear because he'd injured his knee at work and he'd been laying down icing it and well, I don't know why he was in his underwear, but he was.  He struggled with the door and after a few very loud and very vulgar curse words, got it open.

So there we are, me bra-less and crazy haired, Sarah in a weird covid outfit and Mike cursing in his underwear, talking to the news guy.  Apparently a man from the next county over had gone missing and his car was found only a 100-ish yards from our house.  The news guy was wondering if we knew anything.  We didn't.  But it was quite exciting to report that.  

You know you are living the covid life when not knowing about a missing guy's abandoned car is exciting and a major conversation piece at the next three meals.

If you are interested, here's the most recent Channel 6 news article.

In an attempt to beat the excitement of someone ringing our doorbell, this guy dropped in for a visit.  I don't know what he is but he's fearless.  He's eating a wasp!  I'm not sure if that makes him my best friend or my worst nightmare.  I definitely don't want to tangle with a bug that has a cicada head, a dragon fly body and eats wasps.  And not only is he eating the wasp, he carried the wasp to that location.

It's been a very exciting week!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

On the Needles

Timeless Pullover knit with Aloft

Well, technically, it's off the needles at the moment.  I finally finished the body of my Timeless pullover.  Next up, the sleeves.

My apologies if that photo is blurry or there are tons of typos in this post.  I've had one of those nasty, nauseous, blurry vision headaches all day today and I can't see well enough to tell what that photo really looks like.

I can, however, see well enough to tell that I'm very pleased with the way the body fits.  It's slightly looser than it needs to be but I'd much rather it be too loose than too tight.  And I LOVE the neckline!  It's not all that exciting on the mannequin, but I really, really love the way it looks on me.

Speaking of being pleased with how it looks, I'm thinking of knitting another in some kind of summery type yarn and not adding the long sleeves.  I would probably knit a row or four more on the sleeves but that's it.  It looks really cute without sleeves.  The only glitch with that idea is that the gauge is 5 stitches to the inch, which is generally worsted weight yarn which may be way too hot in the summer. I'll have to see what kinds of yarns are out there.  I don't generally knit summer sweaters, or with cotton so I really don't know.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sunday Supper - Chilled Cucumber Soup

Remember when I went to visit my cousins at the river last month?  They served The best cucumber soup.  I was a little nervous about trying it because the only other time I'd ever had cucumber soup before was disastrous.  I was in a fancy social setting and I thought I might literally gag trying to swallow it. It was some nasty, nasty stuff.  But my cousin's was delicious.  I even had second helpings!

Despite cold soups not being a family favorite and this recipe from doesn't look exactly like my cousin's, I'm going to try it.  It sounds simple enough to make so it won't take a lot of effort. 

Want to take bets on which family member makes the most fuss about it?

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Three on Thursday - Quick and dirty

Today's Three on Thursday post is going to be quick and dirty.  It's almost midnight, it's storming, the power is blinking off and on and I just realized I forgot to write a post.  At this point, I'd just skip it except I skipped a post earlier this week.  On Tuesday, we had some medical drama (thankfully everyone is okay) and then Sarah surprised me with a new puzzle.  The puzzle had water and boats and a cabin and I just kinda lost my mind and sat down and worked the puzzle for almost six hours straight.  My excuse for almost forgetting this post was that I didn't realize it was Wednesday.  Time is slipping past me at a scary rate!

Anyway, three random photos...

What is that you ask.  Well, we've been looking for a fixer-upper house to buy and boy, have we seen some doozies!  This particular house looked fantastic on the outside but the inside was down right scary.  The living room had glitter on the ceiling.  It wasn't gold paint swirled on, it was actual glitter. Glitter glued to the ceiling.  Glitter glued to the weirdly textured ceiling in a four or five foot circle in the center of the room.  Why???

My Not a Reyna is off the needles.  It's obviously not blocked yet.  And it was so humid when I took that photo, the picture is blurry!  It doesn't look like a true Reyna but I think I counter-balanced my garter/mesh sequence screw-up and it looks just fine.  It will look Awesome once it's blocked!  I just drool over that yarn color.

Daddy was giving Hayden bunny ears.  I'm thinking Hayden may be double jointed.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Sunday Supper - Creamy Cucumber Salad

 Okay, I can't say I'm excited about this one.  I don't know why anyone would ruin good cucumbers by putting vinegar and dill on them but....  My husband requested it recently and this recipe sounds like it's pretty close to what my mother-in-law can remember making so...  

If it will make my husband happy, I will make Creamy Cucumber Salad from Cathy at Lemon Tree Dwelling.  It certainly looks easy enough and I can always keep a plain cucumber set aside for me. 

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Friday, August 7, 2020

If it keeps on raining

Trying to get a little fresh air while I knit but there's lightening in that dark storm cloud.

Good grief!  The thunderstorms that keep rolling through are wilder and more intense than the hurricane was.  Literally!
We've had so much rain over the last 24 hours the pool is about to overflow.  Again.

It wouldn't be Friday if I didn't share a photo of Hayden. 

She looks so little in her highchair.  She's almost five months old and wears her baby food just like her daddy did.