Sunday, March 31, 2019

THREE MONTHS LEFT/ WEEK 40


Good morning and welcome blog readers.  To any new readers, a special welcome to my lowly blog posting.  Have a seat, grab a beverage, and relax as I tell you my week's story.

I managed to finally finish the prayer shawl I started a few weeks ago.  Normally this shawl is completed in a couple of days.  Not this time.  I was busy trying to complete personal projects instead.  So here is  look at the latest 'To the Point' shawl.


This was made with Caron Simply Soft yarn.  There are many knitters/crocheters who do not like ANY acrylic yarns.  I for one, have no problem using them especially for charity work.  These shawls are given to people who are very ill.  Most of them are in chemotherapy treatments.  Therefore, the shawls need to be very soft and most of all, machine washable and dryable.  Caron Simply Soft fits that bill.

Last week,  I said I was going to concentrate on the 'Hermione's Everyday Socks'.  That is exactly what I did.


Excuse the horrible photo.  It was late last night when I took it.  As you can see, I have completed the leg portion of the sock.  The Fish Lip Kiss heel will be started today (I hope).  These are such an easy knit to do while watching TV.

There was a new project started this week.


Say hello to 'Mimic'.  This is going to be my next personal shawl.  It is being made with Scheepjes Whirl in the colorway Blueberry Bambam.  This will be a different shaped shawl then I have done in the past.  I am very excited to watch it take on a trapezoid shape.

This is the last Sunday of the month where I show you all the dishcloths I made this month.  So here you go.







OOPS!  Not one cloth was made in the month of March.  Shawl knitting obsession was my jam.

Now that we only have 3 months before the next YOP starts, I decided to take a little look at this years project list.

YOP 8

Do not buy any more yarn.  ( there are 10 skeins of sock yarn on the way that was ordered a week ago)  This was a bust.  I have bought quite a bit of sock yarn and shawl yarn.

Finish up what is on my needles/hooks.  (2 shawls, 1 scarf, and 1 pair of socks)  Done either by finishing them or frogging them.

Make a sweater for our cooler weather here. (a sweater is all we need here for winter)  Nope, didn't even start one.

Continue making shawls/lapghans for the prayer shawl ministry  Yes, have made several shawls for them

Make socks Of course.  Always have a pair on the needles

Sew project bags  Sure have

Work on other crafts (plastic canvas, egg carving, ornament kits, etc)  Big fail on this one too

Make a Christmas ornament for each of the Grands Yup and then found out only one family actually puts up a tree!  Kind of made me sad that the other grands do not get to hang their ornaments.

And other items as they strike my fancy.  Have been trying to work with my Cricut Maker to see what items I can design and create.

So there you have it.  There are many YOPer's already working on next year's list.  Don't look at me!  I have no clue what will be on next year's agenda.  I am more of a 'last minute' type of person anyway.

Onto personal news.  

My counter tops have been cleaned, sealed and polished.  What a difference it has made in their looks.  Reminds me of what they looked like the day they were installed.  Now I plan on going through each cabinet and drawer and cull out the unused and un-needed items to give to our favorite charity.  It has been three years since the kitchen was remodeled and it is time for it to be deep cleaned again.

I went to a couple of our Grand Daughter's basketball games this week.  Their team FINALLY won 1 game. She made her first basket of the season during that game.  This was the last week of their season.  Next week, they go to tournaments (every team goes whether they have won a lot or none at all).  That is a double elimination tournament.  Unfortunately, we do not expect her team to  make it past 2 games.  The fact, the tournament is held almost an hour from our house......well, it doesn't break my heart if they are out after their second game.

The menus for the week have been made and I only need a couple items from the store.  That will be taken care of as soon as I finish posting this weeks blog post.  Hopefully most people will still be at church and the stores will not be super crowded.  Hubby and I will wait to do a 'major' grocery shopping spree on Wednesday.  That is senior day and we get an extra 10% off our total grocery bill.  It is well worth it too.

Laundry is all caught up.  I pretty much did a load everyday this past week.  That leaves me free today to get our new patio cushions scotch guarded.............finally.   The patio furniture, itself, needs a good cleaning too.  That can be done while the cushions are drying.  Then we will be all set for spring and summer backyard fun.

I hope your week has been joyful and brought you some smiles and laughter.  

Until next time.............Happy Crafting!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

WEEK 39 of YOP VIII

 Yup, another YOP update with a little personal stuff thrown in at the end.  

For some reason, I don't feel I did much knitting this week.  I think the reason for that is the shawl.  When knitting over 400 stitches per row and doing lace with it, a row can take quite a bit of time.  That was my main focus this week.  The Shawl!!!!!  

It is off the needles!  Can I get an AMEN?  This is not a shawl pattern I will repeat.  It took way too much concentration and counting.  Knitting is my relaxing activity.  This pattern did not allow me to do that.  Don't get me wrong, I love knitting lace patterns but this one was not a pleasure at all.  I also had to stop 10 rows short of the pattern.  The pattern's yardage was waaaaaay off.  Oh well, I will still wear it and it will be perfect for a neck shawl.  It does need to be blocked and hopefully it will 'stretch' out a bit when finished with the blocking.

The only other item I have active is the Hermione's Everyday Socks.


The progress markers do show I did several rows on these this past week.  Self striping yarn is so much fun to work with.  I know I have said that before, but it is so true!

There is a shawl pattern I want to cast on this week too.  Hopefully there will be time to do that.  With our weather warming up, I am spending a bit more time outside walking the dogs and getting our backyard space ready for our summer fun.

Hubby and I went shopping this week for new cushions for our patio furniture.  The last cushions lasted 3 or 4 years.  This time we purchased a scotchguard spray that protects the material from the UV rays as well as weather proofs the fabric.  With the price of cushions, we want them to last as long as possible.

Another thing I learned this week.  We were supposed to be resealing our granite counter tops yearly!  Seems hubby was told this upon installation but failed to pass that information on to me.   This week I will be; cleaning, sealing and polishing my countertops.   I really don't mind doing that.  It is time to do a deep clean of the kitchen anyway.  Seems we have been collecting 'stuff' again that we do not use or need.  

The best part of my week was yesterday.......................all day!  This happened.

Our son graduated with his Bachelors degree and with honors!  We are so proud of him.  The graduation was wonderful and started with bagpipes!  He arranged for a party afterward at one of our favorite Irish restaurants.  What a great time we all had.  OK, I will tell you who everyone in the photo is.  Starting left to right......Linda (His mother in law) Frank (Father in law) Stacie (wife) Josie (Daughter....yes she is growing up too fast) Josh (the grad) Me (proud mom) Joe (Proud dad).

Today, we are doing a little relaxing as we have a birthday dinner to attend tonight.  So, I don't need to cook again today.  While we are relaxing, I will be making menus for the week as well as a grocery list for any needed items.  It sure makes the week go so much smoother when we have menus made. 

Hopefully, all of you are seeing signs of spring where you are.  We are heading up towards 90 degrees this week.  I am not ready for that yet.  We have only had our windows opened for a couple weeks.  It is way too early to turn on the A/C!  

Until next time..........Happy Crafting!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Another doggie day




Today was all about my dogs.  My female has issues with her trachea and therefore needs to be walked with a harness to protect it from getting worse.  This meant I needed to make a trip to the local PetCo.  Off Luna and I went to find the perfect harness for her and one for Enrique too.  I walk them on a double lead like this.

That way I only need one leash.  It makes it so easy.  Luna is my alpha and does not put up with Enrique's wanting to stop every 3 feet to sniff.  Therefore, we can actually 'walk'.

After trying on several harnesses, I finally found one that was light weight, would breath in our heat and would not choke.  Introducing Gooby!

Isn't that dog so darn cute?  I got a red for Luna and a blue for Enrique.  They actually wear the same size which is nice.  Once I adjusted them, it was time to go for a little walk.  The harnesses worked wonderfully.  This is the time of year I love walking the dogs.  The morning is nice and cool yet and everything is in bloom so it is lovely walking around the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, my back and hips are telling me I have not build up enough muscle in them to help support my arthritic joints for a long walk.  I will get there.  Patience is not my best quality though LOL.  

Tonight, as always, is taco Tuesday at our house.  This is my hubby's favorite meal.  His mother taught me how to cook Mexican food and for that I am thankful.  I barely could boil water when we got married.  (In fact, I burnt up a pan by letting it boil dry.)   My mom had tried to teach me, but I had no interest in cooking.  Once I got married, I realized I needed to feed us as going out was too expensive on a policeman's salary.  (I actually made more than he did!)  So, with the help of my mom, my mother in law and many friends, I learned to cook and read recipes.  After 40 plus years of marriage, I can say.............I actually love to cook dinners.  The hardest part for me is:  I am used to cooking for 5 and now there is only 2.  Even though it has been YEARS since we have empty nested, I still make way too much food each night.  So, once a week we do leftover night. When I worked, I would take the leftovers for my lunch. 

Do any of you eat leftovers?  Or do you just chuck them in the trash?

Until next time..................happy crafting!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Scared!!!!

Image result for dog frantically swimming

See that photo above?  This happened to us yesterday.  I haven't been that scared in a long time.  (Not since my youngest went missing for 8 hours and I had to call the police to find him.  He was at a 'friends' house.  He was 7 yrs old at the time)  

Hubby and I were smoking our corned beef brisket and I was out helping him with rearranging things on the smoker.  


This little angel (Luna) loves to stand behind me all the time.  Sooooooo......I had to back up to get out of the way of hubby when he was moving things around and she had to back up too so............................kerplop........................into the pool she went.

Neither of my dogs like the swimming pool.  They avoid it at all costs.  They do not go in to just have a nice swim.  Neither do they want to be in it when we are in it.  Yesterday, the water temp was barely 60 degrees.  Lucky for me, she was dog paddling towards the edge of the pool.  I was able to grab her collar and get her out fairly quickly.  

I got a little wet from the rescue.  I didn't even notice how cold the water was until it was all over.  Good thing we have very low humidity here.  That and the fact we hit 80 degrees yesterday afternoon helped to dry the both of us off fairly quickly. We are still waiting for her collar to dry out.  It is a thick webbed cotton so got soaked pretty good.  

And what did the male dog do while this was happening.  Just stood there and watched her flailing in the water.  Didn't get upset, bark, or race around.....nothing.  But let me take her for a walk without him and there is wailing and gnashing of teeth the whole time I am gone.  Go figure!

Anyway, today should be a bit more quiet.  I have a little laundry to do, a pet store run to make and lots of crafting to pay attention to.  

Until next time.................happy crafting!!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Week 38 Update With an Important Question at the End!!!!!


Hello and may your Saint Patrick's Day be filled with joy, laughter, family and many blessings.  Hubby is going to smoke a corned beef brisket today and I am making Irish soda bread (with raisins) to celebrate the day.  I do know, corned beef is not a traditional Irish meal on this day, but here in the US, it is customary to have it.  Plus, it was on sale and super cheap LOL!  

But we are here to talk about the week of crafting.  I had a blast this week.  My sewing machine was used and I made a teenager happy.


A bag for the local Grand.  She has dreams of going to Paris someday.  Her entire bedroom and bathroom are done with French decor.


Another 'French" bag for her.  I found these materials at WalMart of all places.  This bag has a little something extra added.


These little charms.  They were so darn cute and I knew she would fall in love with a little 'bling' on the bag.

I bought a yard of each of these fabrics so had plenty to also make these:

A couple of throw pillows for her to use in her reading nook.  I had never done pillow covers before.  There was a wonderful You Tube video I found that explained it perfectly.  Of course, I can not find that particular video now to link it for you.  Anyway, it was so much fun to make these items.  The pillow covers are removable as they have an overlapping part in the back where the pillow form can be put in or taken out.  Sewing was my jam all day Thursday.  

There was crocheting this week as well.


A new To The Point shawl has been started.  There are still about 10 rows left to complete it.  This is my 'relaxing' project.  Since I have made so many of them, I barely need the instructions anymore.

Hubby's socks got some love this week as well.


The progress keepers show where I was last week with them.  The Hermione's Everyday Sock pattern is perfect for this yarn.  It does not detract from the stripes and yet adds just a little interest in an otherwise plain sock.

The Summer Flies shawl also got a bit of love.

Once again the progress keeper shows where I was 2 weeks ago.  This is one item I can not do while watching TV.  The count is super important.  There are MANY mistakes in this shawl, yet, the patterns on this shawl are so busy, no one will ever notice them.  I have 7 rows left in this section.  There is one more section after this.  I am a bit worried I will be playing yarn chicken with the last section.  Fingers crossed I have enough.  I bought this yarn in California 5 or 6 years ago.  There is no way I could get a proper dye lot match now.  Not to mention this was a very expensive yarn!

Other than all those things, my week consisted of taking care of my son's fish and cat while he and his family went to California for spring break.  They have friends with a condo on the beach in Encininas.  So they went to relax and I got to do this:


Meet Howie the cat.  He is 16 years old and still going strong.  He was so happy to have me there to rub on.  I gave him lots of love everyday with plenty of rubbings and chin scratches.  His other favorite thing to do to me is this:


He rubs all over my hair and then just before he stops, he will lick it and try and eat it.  He has done this since he was a kitten.  We all just tolerate it.

Last night, after Mass, hubby and I were watching movies on TV.  I looked over and was so happy to see this:


Yup, he loves his homemade socks best.  He keeps a watchful eye out every time I start a new pair of socks.  The above socks are almost a year old and he wears them weekly.  I machine wash and dry them and they still look brand new.  Diversity Yarn by Plymouth Yarn Company is the bomb for socks!!!!!

Question time.............have any of you ever gone on a knitting/crocheting retreat?  I am contemplating going to one this year and was wondering what your take on them is.  Please respond in the comment section.

That is all for me this week

Until Next Time.................Happy Crafting!!!!!!


Sunday, March 10, 2019

WEEK 37 UPDATE


Hello everyone.  How did the past week treat you?  Hopefully, everyone at your abode is healthy and enjoying a lovely day.

Hubby is getting busy here.  He is leaving today to go and visit his mom for a few days.  This is his bi-monthly visit he does to make sure she is doing as well as can be expected.  He is busy getting his cooler, snacks and clothing all packed for the trip.  This is the perfect time for me to sit down and update my YOP blog.

I cast on a new item this week.


Hermione Everyday Socks for the hubby. The Hermione Everyday sock pattern is one of the easiest to memorize and doesn't loose the self striping of the yarn as many 'patterned' socks would. This is Diversity Yarn (again) in the self striping.  

Most of my online yarn shops have stopped selling this yarn.  I happened upon a clearance sale a couple of weeks ago and ordered 10 skeins of it.  That will produce 10 pairs of socks for the hubby and myself.  This is the first time I have made him a 'brown' pair of socks.  

For church and when the need for long pants arises, he almost always wears tan Dockers.  These will be perfect for those pants.  And the best part......he will get 2 pair of them.  

There is going to be some sewing happening soon.  Maybe even this coming week.


As I was walking around WalMart, a few days ago, I happened to find myself in their fabric section.  These two materials really grabbed my attention.  I have enough to make a project bag from each of them as well as a nice throw pillow cover from each one.  This will be for my local grand daughter.  She is fascinated with anything French.  Her bedroom and bathroom have Eiffel Towers and French sayings all over the walls.  I showed her the photo of the material yesterday and she was super excited to have bags and pillows out of it.

Summer Flies shawl is still being worked on but saw no reason for another photo.  There were only 5 rows completed this week.  I will wait until next week to do another photo shoot with it.  It is very slow going right now as I have to count continually as I knit this patterned section I am on.  With hubby gone for a few days, I will work on it so I can count out loud and not disturb anyone other than my dogs.

Speaking of dogs.  Do any of you have dogs that really like to chew one type of material?  I have one that loves all things plastic.  BUT........he only likes it when we are away from the house and it has to be MY plastic.  Case in point:



This is the second knitting notions box he has chewed up.  Was I angry?  Yes and no.  I know he has this issue yet, I still left this out where he could have easy access to it.  When I discovered it (wrapped in the dog blankets) I had both dogs come and sit in front of me.  I held up the pitiful box and asked "Which one of you did this?"  The female dog looked directly at the male and he immediately hung his head, turned around and walked out of the room with his tail tucked between his legs.  I had to leave the room so I could laugh.  They are so much like raising kids again.  There was no 'punishment' as I do not believe in hitting or even yelling at a dog.  He knew he had been a bad doggie.  He sat with my husband the rest of the evening.  It wasn't until we went to bed that he came up to me and asked for loves.  Of course I gave them to him.  Both of my dogs were found wandering the streets of Phoenix.  We have no idea how hard their lives were before we adopted them.  Our job is to make sure they have the best possible life with us and to try and erase any horrors they may have suffered by other humans.  (We know there was abuse from old injuries seen on xrays.  Makes me cry just thinking about it)

Since I still needed a notions 'box' for my knitting supplies, I remembered my mom had given me something I thought might work.


Ta-Da!  A very slim make-up pouch I used to keep my DPN's in.  It is absolutely perfect and NOT plastic.  It fits quite nicely in my project bags too.  Even better than the little box did. So a win win for both Enrique and myself.

Hubby is just about ready to leave, so I will end this and go and double check he has everything he needs.

Until next time..............Happy Crafting!!!!!!


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Perfect Day

Image result for perfect day

Isn't the above statement wonderful?  If we decide it is going to be a perfect day, then those little bumps in the road will just be that.....little bumps.  I woke up this morning and knew right away our weather here was heading for a change.  That is one thing about RA, it is a better forecaster than the local news folk.  Sure enough, the sun is playing hide and seek, the humidity is on the rise and the temperatures are dropping back into the 60's from the 80's.  But, that is just a little bump in the road for today.  I choose to be happy!

Because of the weather changing, I did not make it to Prayer Shawl group.  I did help hubby get things moved around so he could clean the kitchen and bathrooms today.  While he was busy cleaning, I grabbed a cup of coffee, grabbed my knitting, called my dogs to follow me and went into the bedroom and watched a sappy movie.  A perfect morning!  Happy morning!

When he was finished I hastened into the kitchen to make the quiche that had been scheduled for dinner last night. (We ended up going to a fish fry with friends last night.)  While the quiche was cooking I started boiling the ham and bean soup.  My house smells amazing with all the spices that have been used today in both dishes.  The ham and beans will be dinner tonight along with some corn bread.  The quiche was our lunch today.  This was the first quiche I have ever made and being crustless was a big plus for me.


Look at that lovely golden brown cheese topping!  It was very delicious.  It will be made again and again.  Super happy!!

After lunch, I ran to the store to pick up some mushrooms for tomorrow nights dinner.  We are having a meatless spaghetti bake.  The recipe does not call for mushrooms but hubby and I love them and I will add them anyway. Perfectly happy!

On Tuesday, I received this photo in my text messages.


That is my local Grand Daughter.  Seems she rolled her ankle while playing basketball.  Lucky for her, her mom works for a foot and ankle doctor!  Looks like she has a stress fracture of her growth plate in her ankle.  SO, maybe this was more than a little bump in her road that day.  I feel for her.  She has spring break next week and the family is heading to the beach in California.  Not thinking crutches are going to work very well on the sand.

My doors and windows are opened, letting in some lovely fresh air.  Of course, this means my dogs do a bit more barking as people (children) walk home from school.  But that's OK.  It wears the dogs out and then they sleep really well the rest of the day/night.  See me happy?

I hope you are having a perfect day.  My knitting needles are calling my name so I need to go and see what they want.  I am thinking they want to make my perfect day a happy day.

Until next time...............happy crafting!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ash Wednesday

Image result for ash wednesday


And so it begins.  Lent.  It is probably my favorite time of the church year.  Don't ask me why, it just is.  Maybe because the end of lent is Easter and what a joyous occasion that is.

Our day started quite early......4:45 to be exact.  Hubby got a phone call last week asking if we could serve at the 6:30 Mass.  He said yes not realizing it was 6:30 AM!!!!  It is a good thing I love him LOL!

Image result for heart

After Mass, we went grocery shopping.   You know, there are not a lot of people at the grocery stores at 7:30 in the morning.  We were able to get in and out of two stores and home by 9.  Then the chore of putting the food away and vacuum sealing up the chicken thighs and breasts we got.  Also, the 93% lean ground beef was on sale so we picked up 10 pounds of that too.  Today is senior day at our local stores which means we get an additional 10% off our total bill.
Image result for senior discount
  

After all of that, I sat down and read the recipe I decided to make for tonight.  Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche.  Well, wouldn't you know it, it calls for a pie dish and that is one item I no longer have in my kitchen. Four of them were given away three years ago when we remodeled the kitchen. Silly me!   Off to Goodwill I went, and picked up a Pyrex pie dish for $4.  

Spinach and Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche is a great low carb breakfast or brunch tread packed with vegetables and protein. BudgetBytes.com

I would like to thank all of you that offered me meatless recipe ideas.  The quiche came from one of those ideas.  Pinterest and I have become very good friends.  My next 6 meatless Fridays have been planned.  Actually, I found so many yummy ideas, there may be more meatless meals in our future.

Image result for pinterest

My knitting needles are calling my name.  

Until next time...................happy crafting!