Monday, June 27, 2011

In the Summertime...

When the weather is high.  
You can stretch right up and touch the sky… 

Take one hot summer day in Texas, add one little boy, throw in a trip with Pappy, attach a dog. Find a tank full of water. Dip boy in water. What else could be done?

We're no threat, people, we're not dirty, we're not mean.
We love everybody, but we do as we please.
When the weather's fine,
We go fishing or go swimming in the sea.
We're always happy,
Life's for living, yeah, that's our philosophy.

I finished the Wisp. It was a fun knit. But I did cut it close! I have about 2½ yards of yarn left! Now I only have to block it. I really need to have a blocking party sometime. I’d have all kinds of ‘really’ finished objects!
Just a little bit!
Pink lace section
And where did this gold/yellow come from? Noro.

In the summertime when the weather's high,

Have a drink, have a drive,
Go out and see what you can find.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We Are The Champions

I've paid my dues,
Time after time.
I've done my sentence,
But committed no crime.
And bad mistakes?
I've made a few.
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face.
But I've come through…

My good fortune isn’t always that good. If I buy a raffle ticket, more often than not I end up donating my money to whichever fundraiser is going on at the time. I don’t get picked. My lucky number isn’t drawn. A one in 50 chance for me is the same as a one in 50 million chance. In fact, although I probably have, I don’t remember ever winning a prize, especially not recently. That said, you can only imagine my surprise when Jaqi at il filato dolce wanted to let me know she had nominated my blog for a Liebster Blog award!

What is a Liebster Blog award you might ask? Basically it’s an award given to bloggers who have less than 300 followers. I am honored to receive this award! The Liebster Blog award is not only an award you receive but it’s also a reward to give. I Googled, and found these rules:

This award is meant to highlight small blogs. The blogger receiving the award links back to the blogger who awarded him/her. Then, in the spirit of sharing, the awardee is asked to pay it forward and honor at least 3 fellow bloggers with under 300 followers. 
(I did want to mention there is no obligation to continue this award.)

I’m choosing to continue the award, so with no further adieu, I want to nominate 3 of my favorites.

Miss B is a colleague and a friend. Her blog, That Cat By The Bar, is unique, entertaining, funny and creative. Her writing style is engaging and easy to read. She is honest and speaks from the heart. I’ve learned some things and am often reminded to count my blessings! I smile a lot when I read her blog. I hope you will too.
That Cat By The Bar

Robyn, from Coffee and Cotton, is a knitting friend. She is one of the most creative people I’ve ever run across! She can cook, sew, knit and is a graphic artist. She’s a supermom, super grandmom and super daughter. It seems like she can do anything! She has a wicked good sense of humor and besides coming up with the most entertaining titles for her posts, has great pictures. I enjoy reading her posts, and appreciate her sharing mentions of her family and heritage. Take a look!
Coffee and Cotton

Last, but certainly not least, is a blogger from the ‘other side of the pond’! SinĂ©ad of Knit, Inc., lives in Ireland. She’s another talented knitter. She has lots of yummy finished projects to look at. She’s even designed her own pattern! One of the things I really enjoy is when she reviews a new knitting magazine. She lays it on the line! I don’t remember exactly how I ran across her blog but I’m sure glad I did. Hop over and see what she has to offer!
Knit, Inc

The Liebster Blog award may not be a big deal to some but I can tell you, it made my day. I felt like a champion! I hope it makes someone else feel that way too. Thank you Jaqi!

We are the champions, my friends.
And we'll keep on fighting, til the end.
We are the champions,
We are the champions!
No time for losers
Cause we are the champions, of the world!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Country Boy

Well life on the farm is kinda laid back. 
Ain't much an old country boy like me can't hack. 
It's early to rise, early in the sack. 
I thank God I'm a country boy! 

I was never a country girl. I grew up in the city. I did visit my granddaddy’s farm but it was a cotton farm and there were no animals. I got married and I became a country girl.
New baby chicks

 I married Dr. Doolittle. He makes friends with and talks to the animals. And there have been a few animals! It has been a parade through the years. There have been cats, dogs, goats, turkeys, pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, guineas, ostrich, and rheas. If the pond has water there are fish and ducks and sometimes even geese. Our place is where the colored Easter chicks come when the novelty wears off! Of course there are always the uninvited dropping by as well, like the raccoons, rats, mice and snakes.
Wait for us ma!

Have you ever seen chickens come when they are called? Come over! All he has to do is say “Chickens!” and they come running. It could have something to do with food but still, it’s a sight to see! One of the ostrich used to do a mating dance when it saw him drive up in his truck. An old billy goat would come up and start doing what billy goats do when he got home.
Chow down!

If something could go wrong with any of the animals, it happened when he was gone and I was there alone or with just the kids. One time a big ugly sheep died. It was too big to move, and I don’t do dead animals anyway. The kids were little so I couldn’t even make the boys do it. We had to wait until dad got home and didn’t look in that direction when we went outside. Another time one of the cows was ready to calve. She ran up the mountain and of course, had all kinds of trouble. I had to hunt down some willing helper from town. He came out and had to really work to help that dumb cow out. The goats would get out and I would have to herd them back to the pen. They didn’t come when I called. There was the time a rattle snake struck and luckily got my jeans instead of my leg, right before he drove up.
Brand new baby--the neighbors.

A mouse? Forget it! I can’t even go in the room where it was seen. And because we live out in the country, they sometimes get in. When Callye and Bryce were little there was a mouse. We set the trap and one morning I heard it snap. The horrid creature came running out, with the trap stuck to it, and stopped in the living room, smack dab in the middle. Callye was little and Bryce was a tiny baby. I was desperate and really thought about having Callye get it out, but that might have been considered child abuse. Luckily, someone happened to come by that day. She gave me the “I can’t believe you can’t get rid of a dead mouse look,” got the broom and dustpan and swept it up and took it out. I was already planning for us to stay in the back of the house all day!

Now there are just some sheep (a kind that doesn’t produce wool) and chickens and guineas. Lots of chickens and guineas! When they are laying there can be up to three dozen eggs a day. Some of them are hatching chicks. But when it’s time he calls and they all come running. It’s funny.
That might have been rough!

Time to eat!
Baa Baa white sheep...
A couple of little lambs.
Well a simple kinda life never did me no harm,
A raisin' me a family and workin' on a farm.
My days are all filled with an easy country charm.
Thank God I'm a country boy!

I’ve finished the One Skein, A Stole (Ravelry) out of the Noro sock yarn. It needs to be blocked and I think I’ll like it. I started a Wisp with the Noro silk sock that I’d used originally. I think it’s going to be pretty too.
Wisp in progress.

Is this not the coolest thing ever? I got it from Etsy. It is a knitting pattern written like an eye chart. I couldn’t resist.
Knitting eye chart

The news is on. There's a lot of mean things going on in the city. Maybe being a country girl isn’t all bad after all.

Well I wouldn't trade my life for diamonds or jewels
I never was one of them money hungry fools
I'd rather have my fiddle and my farmin' tools
Thank God I'm a country boy

Monday, June 13, 2011


And so it goes,
As the wind blows,
The seasons will flow…

The dirt is on the move. Yes, the wind is blowing again today. I look outside and see my neighbor’s yard fly by my house! I invite you in and you can leave me a note on the television, the table, the window sill and even on the floor. There’s dust everywhere! It wouldn’t matter if I rushed around wildly with the Pledge. In a few hours there will be a light powder covering all exposed surfaces.

Out here things seem to lean. We can tell which way the wind blows most often because the trees slant that way. We just deal with it. You have to put your head down, sunglasses on, and lean into the wind. Our chickens even lean when the wind is blowing. I heard once that if the wind stopped blowing out here for half a minute all the chickens would just fall over!
A tree in the front of the house

Don’t worry about your hair. Just step outside and you’ll get a new hairdo! You’ll get dirt in your eyes and sand up your nose. Keep your mouth closed or your teeth will be gritty. Hang on to your belongings. If the wind gets hold they may end up in the next county! And heed the skirt alert. We don’t all make a pretty picture like Marilyn did!

There’s no ‘cool breeze’ to this wind either. Temperatures are already three digits and it’s not even summer yet. The rainfall, none since October, is in the negative numbers, measuring less than zero. Walking outside is like opening an oven door. Add the sandblast and it’s not a pleasant experience.
June 8 at 6:00pm

Is there any relief in sight? Not until we get a break in the weather. I heard the news call it ‘global weirding’ because of the extremes across the states. While we are hoping for rain others are hoping it will stop. We all just take it, one day at a time.

And so it goes,
As the wind blows.
The seasons will flow,
To help you through your birth,
As you spend your time on earth.
In the wind.

Sometimes summer knitting is a challenge for me. Out here, especially, even a light scarf can make you sweat! I knit in the air conditioning most of the time so the knitting isn’t hot. It’s just the finished projects! I did get some fun yarn on a trip recently. I just don’t know what to make with it!
Thomas Kvist Lambada, 165 yards
Kind of like light ribbon
Mango Moon Chakra, 75 yards
Built in beads...a necklace type thing maybe?

Any ideas?

And so it goes,
As the wind blows.
And so it goes,
As the wind blows…

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm Always On A Mountain

I hate to say I'm giving up but I believe,
Losin's just become a way of life for me.
Losin' wouldn't be so bad at all,
But I'm always on a mountain when I fall.

Most of my life I’ve almost been a winner. That’s really the words to a song but how it hits home. Maybe I’m just in a low place but I give up. I work hard, try to do the right thing, and what does it get me? Nothing. I’ve decided it must just be fate. Some people are winners. Some of us are losers. You’d think after so many times it wouldn’t matter anymore. But it still does.

I've come so close but never really won.
Just when I thought I finally made it,
I found myself back where I started from.

Losin' wouldn't be so bad at all,
But I'm always on a mountain when I fall.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm Learning To Fly

But I ain't got wings.
Coming down is the hardest thing…

I’m beginning to realize that I may be challenged when it comes to airline travel. It is very easy when I’m with someone who isn’t travel challenged and I follow their lead. It’s when I’m on my own that it becomes a bit more difficult! I do contend however, it’s not completely my fault. Well, ultimately it is, but rationalization works for me.

Southwest Airlines is my favorite airline. They are helpful, friendly, give travel points and drink tickets and don’t charge for luggage unless it’s over fifty pounds. You are allowed two pieces of luggage, or one hundred pounds, so you can take several pair of shoes or bring several pair back! You are also allowed two carry on items, one being a personal item, like a purse, then another bag, like a computer bag or such. This allows many to bypass the luggage check process completely. Alas, the one quart baggie ordnance prohibits me from this luxury, but I do have plenty of leeway to bring back items from educational conferences or shopping excursions.
My one quart baggie with liquids 3 oz or less

Southwest also has a frequent flyer program that allows a traveler to reach what they call an ‘A’ list status after so many trips or now, points. The ‘A’ list provides some perks such as always being in the first 60 to board the plane. It also allows you to bypass long security lines at some airports and you don’t have to check in 24 hours in advance to secure an early boarding pass.

I was on the ‘A’ list for two years. It was great. I would watch my travel companions check in exactly 24 hours ahead of their flight only to receive a ‘B’ or higher boarding document. I would retrieve my pass when we got to the airport and smugly get in the ‘A’ line.

Alas, all good things come to an end. With changes in job descriptions and budget restraints I didn’t travel as much during the year and I lost my ‘A’ status. It’s not really a big deal except for one problem; I cannot remember to check in ahead of time!

On a recent trip to Austin, as I was driving to the airport, I suddenly remembered I had forgotten to check in. EXPLETIVE! Luckily I have the SWA app on my Droid so I carefully checked in with one hand as I was driving.

Fully expecting a ‘C’ boarding pass I was surprised to see a note to pick up the boarding pass at the ticket counter. I had never received that message before!

I got to the airport about 45 minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave. Did I mention I might have left the house a little late? It’s a small airport with little to no waiting so I wasn’t terribly concerned. I went to the self check counter to print my pass and it wouldn’t print. I checked my bag and went through security and went to the counter at the gate and got the pass. It was C 27, but I was on the plane!

I knew I would be a middle seat. When you are a ‘C’ there is little to no eye contact because nobody wants you to sit between them. I was lucky and when I boarded the 3rd row had an empty seat. I asked and was granted the space between two nice, thin, women.

The trip turned out well with my luggage and I both arriving at the same destination Lessons learned? If you are not checked in an hour before your flight is to depart the airline can (and will) give your place to another passenger. From now on I will set an alarm on my phone to remind myself to check in. It’s also possible to purchase an ‘A’ pass by paying a $20.00 fee. In my case that just might be a good investment, at lest until I can get back on the ‘A’ list!

I'm learning to fly around the clouds
But what goes up must come down

I’m getting tired of doing everything twice! It started with the crocheted Summer Twilight Shawl, continued with the green/blue Bias Shawl and now drifted over to the One Skein, A Stole project. I had a random skein of Noro Silk Sock yarn and it called for Noro Sock yarn. My mistake. There’s about 100 yard difference. So I took it out and found another random skein of Noro Sock yarn and started again. It will definitely have to be blocked. I also got two of my Madeline Tosh's in, Malachite and Dahlia. The pictures don't capture the color. They are both beautiful. I'll plan a project for my next airplane trip!
Noro Silk Sock yarn wound in a ball after ripping.
One Skein A Stole
Close up of stole
Madeline Tosh in Dahlia and Malachite
I'm learning to fly
I'm learning to fly

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Where Have All the Flowers Gone

Long time passing…
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago.

April brought no showers which made May short on flowers. I really like flowers. I just love how they look and smell. I just hate to get dirt on my hands! I know it’s one of those quirks, but anything ‘powdery’ on my hands just drives me crazy! I have to wash them almost immediately. Therefore, I can look but not plant. Not in real dirt anyway.
I can grow something!
Traveling back from Ruidoso the other day, we made a stop at Hondo Iris Farm. Every trip up or down the mountain I pass the sign with a longing look. This trip the timing was right, the iris were in bloom and we stopped.
A sample
Stepping into the yard took me back to summers at Grandmother and Granddaddy’s house. There were some daylilies but mostly iris. Most of them were in full bloom. The colors were magnificent and ranged across the spectrum. There were white ones and black ones. There were orange, yellow, pink and purple iris. There were maroon and dark red and coral ones. There was a picnic table in the middle of the garden and a group was celebrating someone’s birthday. I thought how nice it would be to be able to go outside in your yard and view the sea of color.
Some of the flower pictures I took

My grandmother was a gardener. She raised some vegetables and fruits but she really liked flowers, especially daylilies and iris. I was cleaning out some papers and ran across an article about her and her flowers. The article was interesting. It was talking about her daylilies. It said she had, at her best guess, over 4,000 plants. She said there were over 30,000 varieties that had been named and introduced and she had 200 named varieties. Many she had developed herself by cross-pollinating to create a new flower. She would sometimes let my sister and I cross-pollinate. Often the results were pretty but other times she didn’t like the look or the texture and she would throw it away. She was particular!
Grandmother and flowers

I don’t know the people who live in Grandmother’s house now. I pass by occasionally and wonder if there are still flowers behind the fence. And I think not, because you have to have a passion for such things. I think the passion for those flowers might have died when she did. If the flowers are gone I’m not sure the new owners know what they missed.

Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one.
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Thinking of iris made me want to knit something purple. If I’m lacking on a color I guess it would be purple. I took a look but nothing struck me. I did finish the blue/green bias shawl...again. I like it this time. And I just remembered I'm working with some variegated yarn and it does have purple in it. It’s just easy television knitting.

My knitting friend, Beverly, made some cute knitted flowers that you hang on your luggage so you can see yours when it comes off the plane. I liked hers a lot. I guess since I can’t get dirt on my hands I can knit flowers!

What rhymes with purple?
Green and blue bias shawl.
Beads on the end of the fringe

Where have all the flowers gone?

When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?