the orange yarn, please

Orange is too cool for shoes.

April 30, 2005

after a week of hacking our way through the dense, unfriendly woods ...

. . .my girl scout troop and i finally reached civilization, where we made merry with large liters of diet dr. pepper and endless vats of fettucine alfredo.

okay, well i may be stretching the truth a little. we actually never got lost, we were only there for one night, the woods were rather friendly, i didn't get to celebrate with any diet dr. pep because it was all gone when i got home (ahem, hubby? you got some explainin' to do!), and i had a filet o'fish instead of the fett alf, but you get the idea. i was happy to get home. i loved camping and being with my daughter and the rest of the troop, but gosh, i missed my boys! (and cloudy, too!)

mike kept busy while i was away and finished up the floor downstairs:
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great job, hun-bun!

our food turned out great, except for the poor orange cakes. to refresh your memory: we were to scoop out an orange, pour in cake mix, and bake them over the coals. well, our coals were leftover from our monkey bread at dinner time, and we never thought to do up some fresh ones. so the cakes weren't done after the prescribed 15 minutes. or 20 minutes. or 30 minutes. after 40 minutes, we decided to give it up and feast on the cookies people had brought instead. the cakes did smell divine, though. they were just, uh, overly moist. here's a shot of marah and her dear friend, L, who no longer has a black box over her face:
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so anyway, i haven't blogged in over a week:
gabe's periodic fever syndrome + mike's far away clients = very little computer time for me

mike's back, and gabe is better now, so voila, here i am. i am late in my thanks, too. my secret pal revealed herself a little early because she is currently away. julie was my pal, and she was so sweet, kind, and generous. thank you so much, julie! her grand finale present was the following:

a cone of classic elite (my first cone!), two soft wool/mohair blend skeins in glorious orange, and a needle case to match the ones she had sent me. let me tell you, julie is a very talented gal! she's also very kind, as she sent marah a needle case, too (marah now feels so knitty!), along with a little glow-in-the-dark sheep, and gabe got a neat little telescope/compass gizmo. thank you, julie! you're a sweetie!
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i also received some sweet raok's this week - marina sent me some luscious lavender sachets that smell just absolutely divine, and jenn, aka knitwit momma, sent me some beautiful knit picks sock garden yarn in "daffodil,"
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along with a great cd with 80s hits. i can see my madonna lace gloves and white duran duran shoes now . . . ah, the (embarrassingly) good ole days . . .

oh, here's some proof that i'm actually knitting - two wips:
the pink opal socks (using yankee knitter classic sock pattern)


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and the 70's suede jacket (done in berrocco cotton twist instead of the suede) from the 2005 knit it! magazine:
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i'm still only on sock #1 of the pair. i just have had no time. the sweater right now is actually just the bottom half of the cardigan from whose top i will eventually pick up stitches to do the rest of the body. it's pretty dull knitting at this point, but that's what i think i need - just "veg knitting," if you will.

and here's one fo - a "yo, drop it!" scarf for my sis's birthday. it's done in giglio ribbon on size 13's i think. i can't remember what i used, needle-wise. it was a week ago - give me a break! it looks jumbled up in the photo b/c it's doubled up and lying on itself:

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thanks to everyone for their camping well wishes, as well as patience with me for not blogging or leaving comments on blogs. honestly, it's just been a bit of a struggle trying to keep myself together and going these days, with all the things swirling around this way and that, but my world's still turning at the end of the day, and i guess that's all that matters. have a great rest o' weekend!

April 22, 2005

wish us luck!

well, my girl scouts and i are off today for some good old-fashioned camping . . . in the rain. wah! i'm hoping to fit things in between the showers, and possibly even keep going despite the showers. sometimes it's fun to do things when there's a light sprinkle out there. but if it's raining hard, it's inside our luxurious quarters we go! it's times like this that i'm thankful that the majority of my girl scouts aren't into tent camping. hooray for pseudo-roughing it!

my fingers are aching from cutting and scooping 22 huge oranges for the cake in an orange dessert tonight. i'll let you know how they are! we're also having walking tacos, where you put your taco meat (i'm having soy, thank you very much - i'm not a fan of ground up intestines) and toppings inside a bag of corn chips, and you can walk around eating it, hence the name. this is a new one for us, like the oranges, so i'm hoping it's good. after dinner, we'll be sitting around the campfire and singing songs, eating s'mores, and having a blast. i hope the rain doesn't show up at that point, although i plan to have a makeshift indoors campfire (some logs and a lantern underneath for the "fire") and some indoor s'mores with my indoor s'more maker. i am prepared!!! (famous last words)

in knitting news, i've started the 70's suede jacket with my berroco cotton twist. this yarn is okay; it is pretty and very springy, but it's also very splitty, which drives me bonkers. i'd post a pic, but my camera is already packed! i hope to work on it tonight while we adults are downstairs, listening to the girls having fun upstairs. my other wips - clapotis and some socks - are not getting much attention, but they'll have their moment, i'm sure. i hope, anyway.

the wildflower walk this week was a lot of fun. the weather was absolutely beautiful, and we saw tons of varieties of wildflowers. of course, my favorites, the dutchman's breeches, were there, waiting for me! i got some pictures, but again, the camera is packed for the camping trip and i didn't upload the pics yet. while we were walking, there was a deer crossing the creek, getting a drink. it would've been a great moment had there not been 30+ people there blocking our view. crapola. still had fun, though!

oh - the red bean ice cream was purchased, not made by me. i wish i could make it! we haven't used our ice cream maker for a few years, but i bet homemade red bean ice cream would be delish!

have a great weekend, and send us some sun, please!

April 17, 2005

oh yeah!

check out the creamy goodness that is red bean ice cream:

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mike worked so hard on the floor today and was really in a bad mood, worried that he wouldn't get it done. well, he's about 96% done! it's nice to have a little bit of good old normalcy back in the downstairs of our home. seriously, what is it about redoing a room in your house that makes the whole place go batty? anyway, i thought i'd reward him with one of his favorite desserts of all time. anyone else out there a fan of this stuff? it tastes great. kind of like chocolate goes exotic.

i have very little knitting news to report. well, i actually did finish up something, but i can't show it until this weekend, after i've given it to the person who is getting it for her birthday! she knows who she is . . . but she doesn't know WHAT it is. ha! sorry, sis :)

aside from the downstairs being a mess, i've also been busy with girl scout stuff. this upcoming weekend, our troop is going camping. okay, we aren't roughing it at all, but we're still camping! just because the place we're staying has a cathedral ceiling, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, electric heat, two floors, etc. doesn't mean we aren't really camping. we're cooking all of our meals outdoors. that means something, right? the one thing we're having that i'm excited to try is "cake in an orange," where you cut an orange in half, scoop out the pulp (and use for something like fruit salad), mix up a cake mix, pour it into the half of orange, and then cook it on the coals. of course, i love oranges because of their color, but i really love orange flavored cake. i'm looking forward to that and the other things we'll be doing (earth day theme - lots of fun recycling crafts!), but the forecast is for rain both days. i can easily adapt all of our activities and meals indoors, but i don't want to have to!

at least i'll have tomorrow - our first wildflower hike of the season. i'm psyched! it counts as school for the kids (i even made up a worksheet for them to help them identify some of the flowers we'll see), and it counts as a pure dose of happiness for me. i live for spring and wildflowers. among other things. here's a shot of some dutchman's breeches i took a few years ago - i hope i see these tomorrow!
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i've got a shout out to give! hey
rox, thank you so much for the yarn you sent for my knitting club! rox, aka fearless knitter, sent a bunch of encore dk and other fun things. my girls are going to love this so much! thanks for your generosity!

well, keep your fingers crossed for sunshine this upcoming weekend, please! and have a great beginning o'the week!

April 11, 2005

i'm floored

it's been quite the weekend here at ye olde orange homestead. one of us had the brilliant (read with sarcasm) idea to redo the flooring. see, our old carpet, which i fondly renamed as "stainmart," was, well, stained. and smelly. remember that old cat-ignores-litter-box problem little cloudy had a few months ago? although she is doing better, the carpet was still wearing her battle wounds, and they were rather pungent ones at that. so we rolled up our sleeves and replaced the floor with some laminate. it has made a huge difference. poor cloudy, however, seems a little at a loss and can't figure out why her litter box away from home has vanished.

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the worst part of the whole project is that when the builders of our home originally poured the cement for the floor, they thought it'd be funny if they didn't pour it evenly, so laying planks of laminate on an uneven floor has been a true delight. argh.

hey, secret pal! thank you for the beautiful circular needle case you made! my secret pal is the most crafty, talented secret pal evah. she has sewn me a little bag, a mini dpn case, a regular-sized dpn case, and now this lovely circular needle case - all out of the same orange-oriented fabric. thank you so much, dearie!
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i also got some really sweet prezzies from some awesome raok'ers. check out the cool note cards and lamb's pride sent by amanda at clothesknit. she also sent a cappuccino filled chocolate bar, but gee, it seems to have disappeared. okay, i just didn't want to shoot a pic of an empty wrapper. thank you so much, sweet amanda! that was a lovely surprise indeed!

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then, today, i got another raok from abby, the knitlette. she sent me this 2-ply jamieson and smith shetland wool that she dyed with wilton. how beautiful! i'm really looking forward to making something lacy and orange :P thank you, abby! you're a sweetheart!

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aw, yeah! i almost forgot to mention that my berrocco yarn finally came in! it is bee-yootiful. check it out:

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bad self-portraits are fun!

20 skeins of pure violet delight!
now i can finally start this up:

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i was worried that spring would pass me by and i'd still be waiting for the yarn for the darned thing. patience, my child. patience.

lastly, i may have mentioned this before, but my darling hubby, the mikemachine, has a fascination with any and all things japanese and chinese. he found this one website where this lady will send japanese snacks from her catalog to you. his order came in the other day (enough to feed a junk food army), and it contained yummy things like macadamia nut oreo bars, banana split sundae pocky sticks, and qoo drink (made by coca-cola). we opened up our big box o'cavities right after we finished day one of working on the floor. it was fun knowing that i had pre-paid my fat grams in advance and could eat what i wanted!
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lastly, if you're in the market for a new felted bag pattern, you have to see the panes bag from trish, the bloomin knitiot. it's really quite cool!

happy monday (oxymoron?), all!

April 07, 2005

take that, winter! and other quips

1. our palette has expanded beyond broken browns and wintry whites.
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the above photo taken by gabe.

2. no more stale snow crunching under our feet.
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3. sour faces are quickly disappearing.
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4. take that, winter!
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(end of spring photo shoot)

5. clapotis resembles underwear at this point. with beads. i'm almost done with the increases.
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marah is proudly modeling my shawl drawers.

6. my berroco cotton twist still hasn't come in. i called the lys in question, and the first response i got was "if you haven't been called, it hasn't come in." well, duh. my question, smarty toots, is when it will be expected. i've waited over a month. i want my yarn. she put on the owner, who said it was backordered twice, but a shipment is coming in tomorrow, so she's hoping it's on there. seriously, if i can order yarn from an online shop and get it within a matter of a week, why can't a lys do the same? gripe gripe gripe gripe gripe gripe GONG.

7. i am happy to report that my homeschool knitters club met and really enjoyed the yarn ends and what not that lauren and jenn sent along. thank you again! my evil plan to turn these girls into stash divas is coming along just splendidly. mwah ha ha ha
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marah gave up after doing an exhausting two rows. :p her faceless friend somehow finds the strength to carry on.

8. i think american idol has worn its welcome on my telly. how in the world could nikko be voted off and scott and anthony be safe? what in the world. anyone have a favorite out there who is still on the show? i'm just underwhelmed with the lot of them this year.

9. i have repurchased part of my youth by winning auctions on various 80's cds on ebay.
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10. "i'm in the kitchen." my creepy find of the week is ghost voices. in looking on the web for haunted places in maine (where we're headed in july for a vacation), i came across this website of professional paranormals, or is it paraprofessional normals, and they have this one activity where they place a tape recorder in a haunted place and just let it record. this group has put these captured ghost voices onto their website. they are supereerie! don't listen to them when you're alone or trying to impress someone with your bravery. click on that link above and scroll down to see the list of available creepy auditory delight.

have a wonderful weekend!


April 01, 2005

i'm a fool

because it's april fool's day, and i didn't prank anyone! i just plum forgot. (do plums forget a lot, hence that expression? just wondering.)

i haven't been blogging much, and i'm sorry. it occurred to me last week that the kids are up to day 146 with our homeschool, which means we have 34 days left, officially. this also means that we have to get crackin' and work hard to finish up our subjects. in our state, we're required to homeschool for 180 days. we can definitely go beyond 180, but i like to be at a certain point in each subject when we reach that day. since the days are a-dwindlin', there isn't much free time to blog and what not.

or knit! i simply have had no time, unfortunately. therefore, i've made very little progress on my pink opal socks, (about 6 inches done out of 7 on the leg of one, count 'em - one, sock) and absolutely no progress on clapotis. the yarn still hasn't come in for the 70s suede jacket, and while my yarn did arrive for the hourglass sweater, i still have to get the needles. whenever i get a chance to run out for some, it's usually evening, and no lys is open. i wish ours were open later around here. they keep bankers hours. i wonder if bankers knit? if they do, they better think twice about going to a lys for supplies after work.

good news! gabe lost his first tooth. he's very proud:
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unfortunately the one that he lost WASN'T the half-broken one on the top. i'll get you, my pretty. and your little roots, too.

i'd like to thank two wonderful knit bloggers for their kindness. first, denise sent me some really pretty wool for a nice pair of mittens. thank you, clever and creative denise! check out the terrificool sergeant pepper's postcard :)
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then, today when i got home, there was a package from the generous jenn. inside was a huge selection of yarn for my homeschoolers knitting club (which meets this tuesday!). thank you, jenn! you should've seen my daughters' eyes popping out of her head when she saw it all. between jenn's recent send and the earlier send from the lovely lauren, my homeschool knitting girls are going to have one fun stash dive! thank you!

one fun thing i did find time to do this week was run to jo-ann's for some material for some capris. i made some two years ago, and they're so fun and easy to make. the pattern's a cinch. anyway, i had been bitten by the sewing bug two years ago, but my broken leg last summer kind of put all creativity on hold (except for knitting, which was very easy to do while lying on the couch, watching passions). now i am def more mobile (did i sound like a rapper when i said "def?") so i'm happily rebitten. yay! i'm a sewer again! :p
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i'm a sewer.