Friday, July 22, 2016

Fungus Among Us and Some Mimi and Some Crochet

A mushroom walks into a bar. The bartender looks at him and says 'Hey, we don't serve mushrooms in here!". The mushroom replies "Why not? I'm a real fungi".

I don't quite get why mushrooms are growing in our yard when it's hot hot hot outside, but they are really creepy.
They start out in the traditional mushroom shape and then all of a sudden explode into this big icky nasty thing. I have to put my garden gloves on when I pull them out of the yard because I just can't touch them with my bare hands.

I have been to Hobby Lobby quite a few times lately, spending way way way too much money. They have a wonderful lightweight cotton yarn that is so soft and makes beautiful coasters. I've also seen blanket squares made from this type of cotton so will probably try a blanket one of these days. The last time I was over there, again spending way too much money because I got a skein of the cotton in almost every color they carry, which they have a huge amount to choose from, and saw these big plastic totes that were on sale for 80% off. They were only $7.98 to begin with so after the discount I got two totes for something like $3.40. I was thinking they would be great for putting my ball or skein of yarn in as I crochet so it's not rolling around the floor gathering cat and dog hairs on it. They do work very well for that purpose so far and also just for toting around the yarn, but Mimi thought they looked like a good thing to sit in. They are tall so when she first tried to get in one she got her body stuck inside the handle. I helped her get unstuck and put her down inside the tote where she sat for a while until she got bored.

These are the coasters I've been working on and have put into my Etsy shop. I got a new pattern yesterday for a round daisy coaster so those will be going into the shop soon too. I've also been working on some dishcloths and face scrubbies, getting a little obsessed with them because they work up so fast and easy.

 These are a bit oversized, not your traditional just barely fit a cup on type coasters.

And here is a picture of Millie looking kind of sad and sitting on Keith's pants as he was getting ready to go to work the other day. She gets downright depressed when he leaves for work but is the happiest dog you've ever seen when he comes back home.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Knocking At The Door

Last night Keith left for work a little after midnight and after he was gone Millie and I went to bed. I was soundly sleeping until about 3am when Millie started barking. I patted her and told her everything was okay but then I heard the screen door bang and now I'm awake because it sounds like someone is breaking into my house! I looked out the window and didn't see anything so then cautiously went to peek out the front door window. Where I didn't see anything. I was going to head back to bed when the screen door banged again and I heard a meow.

It was Buddy, who had run out the front door hours before and we had completely forgotten about. He knows how to hook the screen with his claw and make it bang when he gets stuck out front so that is what he was doing that woke Millie up. None of our cats are climbers, which is a good thing because they stay in the back yard, but at 3am you kind of wish your cat knew how to climb over the fence and come in through the doggy door instead of banging on the screen!

I felt kind of bad that we forgot about him but I'm so used to cats sleeping in corners or being out in the  yard that I don't do a head count before going to bed.

It's still hot here, what else is new. It will be hot here for a couple more months to come and you'd think I'd be used to it by now but NO, I don't  think I will ever get used to it!

I've had a pretty busy week Etsy shop wise with quite a few small orders and two big ones. It seems like every time I start to lose interest in the shop and don't really feel like making things for it someone comes along and makes it all worth while with some extra cash coming my way. I've been wanting to add some crocheted coasters to the shop but am still experimenting with different yarns and figuring out the best size hooks to go with the  yarns that I don't have enough 'good' coasters to get posted just yet. I have found some really nice cotton yarns, some fine and some heavier so am trying to decide which brand I like best. Daughter Jennifer told me about the "I Love This Yarn' brand that Hobby Lobby carries so I finally made it over there, which is difficult sometimes since it's a bit of a drive, and I was amazed at how soft it is and how many colors it comes in. They have it all arranged by color group too so it's easy to mix and match. They have a cotton yarn in that brand that is so soft and comes in some really beautiful colors. I'm getting a little obsessed with buying yarn, though!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The B Word

As in doggy bath!

A badly needed doggy bath after what transpired this morning. First off it has been stinking hot here lately, but when we went out this morning for Millie's front yard time, time that I use to drink my coffee and sometimes do a little crocheting, time that she uses to first run madly about the yard in search of cats that might be hiding under the daisy bushes, then a more calm walk around to sniff everything, then an even calmer lets lay in the grass and watch the world go by, it seemed a little cooler and much more pleasant outside. We do the front yard time every day and she knows what 'go outside' means and gets very excited waiting for me to open the front door. She has been really good about staying inside her boundaries but still likes to warn people off with a bark if they get to close to her front yard. Anyway, since it didn't seem quite so hot I decided today would be a good day to get some much needed yard work done.

I had been wanting to take out part of the star jasmine vine that has been growing alongside the garage for quite a few years, the star jasmine vine that will overnight sprout new tendrils that tend you grab you as you walk up the sidewalk, the star jasmine vine that started out as a very small plant and grew to cover two large trellises. It had gotten so heavy on the second trellis that it has been leaning way over and really annoying me. Because I like things straight. Pictures hanging crooked drive me nuts and so does a leaning over trellis.

So, lots of chopping and lopping and I got the trellis that didn't actually have a plant growing beneath it, just branches from the original plant, all cleaned up and the branches removed, then trimmed the actual plant on the other trellis way way back. No more grabbing at me when I least expect it!

Then I cleaned out the overgrown African daisies out of one side of the front flower bed, they were starting to look half dead and maybe it's time to freshen things up out there. The front flower bed is also always full of leaves from the camphor tree so a lot of raking was also done. I went into the back yard to get the broom and when I came back out Millie was enthusiastically digging a big hole in the nice damp dirt that my raking of leaves had uncovered. Her paws were covered in mud, so after an unsuccessful attempt to wipe the mud off decided that today would be bath day.

I did a little weed whacking of the small patch of grass (weeds) that grows near the street side flower bed, the rest of the yard being basically dead because we don't water those weeds, only the ones near the flower beds that get watered when we're doing the flowers, then brought Millie inside for her bath.

She looks much cleaner now, as does the yard. I have to be in the right mood to do yard work, sometimes I wish we lived in an apartment or someplace without a yard to take care of, but when I'm finished I do feel like I really accomplished something.
Front flower bed where the hole was dug.

And star jasmine and empty trellis.

I've been doing lots of crochet while sitting in the air conditioned house and am getting a little obsessed with it. It's very relaxing and I've been doing things that get finished quickly like blanket blocks and drink coasters. I was thinking about putting the coasters in my Etsy shop but still haven't decided for sure on that. I've looked around at some other crochet type shops and it doesn't seem like they sell all that well, but it might be worth a try. I haven't made anything new for my shop in a long time, I've almost gotten to where I don't really enjoy doing the shop all that much anymore. I do like the little bit of extra money though, so I'm hesitant to completely give it up.

I am not going to show you my most recent crochet since I'm working on Christmas gifts and if I showed you that would ruin the surprise.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Vacation Week and Some More Crochet

Keith started his vacation on Monday and so far he has been working on fixing the side yard fence all week. He started the job last week when he had a day off in between train trips by taking all of the pickets off of two sections of fence that were falling down. Since the neighbors moved last week he figured this was as good a time as any to fix the fence. I was hoping he would take this week to work on inside projects but oh, well...

He has been working on the fence for 4 days now and it is still not finished because he is very exacting when he does a fixing type job which is why they take so long and sometimes NEVER get finished. He can't just put in new posts and hammer the boards back up, he has also been putting bricks down under where the boards will go and why I don't know but maybe by the end of the week the fence will be back up. Or maybe not.
The cats have totally been enjoying exploring a new back yard and Buddy seems to think that the little bit of cement doorstep under their side door is his new spot to sit. And speaking of cats, the people left their tiny new kitten at the house because they couldn't take it with them. We could hear the cat crying and saw it at the back sliding door and then the day before yesterday Keith found it sleeping in a flower pot outside the back door. We don't know if someone came back by and just opened the door for the cat to go out or what, but there was no food or water left for the poor thing so Keith brought it over to get some food for it. I should say 'him' because we think it is a boy kitty, but the poor thing was absolutely ravenous. Very curious, too, and so was Millie when she saw him. She followed that kitten around for hours. Joe had been talking about a kitten that was abandoned at the hotel where they stay in Barstow and how he wanted to bring that kitten home so I texted him a picture of this kitten and said come and get him if you want. Which he did. He doesn't really need another animal (who does?) but the kitten will get a good home with him. I stopped by his house for a minute yesterday and the kitten has made himself very much at home although his other 2 cats are not too thrilled with the whole idea.
Today is Keith's birthday and we think he is 58. We are getting to where we can't hardly remember what day of the week it is never mind how old we are. I'm guessing we will go out to eat tonight and am hoping we will find a restaurant that actually serves us a decent meal. We don't know what it is with the restaurants in this town, we will go to one and it is good and then we will go back again and it is not good. Like Mauricio's Mexican restaurant down the street, good food for quite a few visits and then the last time we went we decided it is now off of our list because it was terrible.

It's been difficult keeping the house clean this week, Keith is not known for his neatness nor does he clean up after himself very well. Things like used coffee K-cups put in the sink instead of 3 steps over and into the trash can and milk left on the counter top. Maybe some dirty socks on the floor or a t-shirt left draped over a chair. Plus with him working and sawing and such in the back yard, lots of dirt getting tracked in the door. But at least he is keeping himself busy instead of laying in the recliner watching Jerry Springer or Cops all day. Could be worse. And since he can't drink beer anymore it's good for him to stay busy and keep his mind off of cold beers. He did kind of luck out on the weather, it's been much cooler this week, cool enough to where we didn't even turn on the air conditioner yesterday.

I was intending to make this throw/blanket big enough for my bed but after putting together another row of it last night decided to make it smaller and use it on the recliner chair. Keith likes to sleep in that chair and it gets dirty from his sweaty head on the back of it. We had gotten a chair cover thing from one of those everything you never thought you needed type catalogs but it didn't stay on the chair all that well and just annoyed the heck out of me so that went into the trash and the crochet throw went onto the chair.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Poor Neglected Blog

It's not that I've been too busy to post here, it's more like I am too lazy and/or have absolutely nothing to post about, ha ha. We are definitely living up to our reputation for being extremely boring and not doing much of anything at all. Other than cleaning up after animals of course.

It's been an odd couple of weeks on our block, first the Diesel the Dog's family moved away so Millie is a bit confused over where her little energetic friend went. She likes to go out front multiple times a day, getting all excited and dancing around by the front door when you say do you want to go outside. YES I DO want to go outside and hurry up about opening that door already! She runs out and chases off any birds that might be lurking near the bird feeder then goes and checks under the daisy bush for the cat that likes to sleep under there. Then she sniffs around for a while and eventually lays down in the yard to enjoy the sunshine and birds singing. But where is my little friend Diesel?

Then this past week the guy across the street packed up and moved back to Florida and then 2 days later the neighbors next door moved back to Visalia. It's like everyone is jumping ship around here, lots of houses up for sale in the neighborhood and it seems like you see another U-Haul truck going down the street every week.

I drink my coffee on the porch while Millie is in the yard early in the day and lately have been bringing some crochet out to work on. It's not too hot yet in the mornings to where you can't sit outside but I do look for a shady spot under the tree. We had a heat wave a week or so ago where it was over 100 each day for about 8 days, the worst day getting up to 108. We are back to the normal high 80s low 90s for a while which after the 108 day seems absolutely balmy.
Millie guarding the yard here.

I have been re-learning how to crochet, not having done any of that type of needlework in probably 25 years, but it's kind of like riding a bike, you get back on and pedal away. I did a few dishcloths but those got boring real quick so have been doing variations on granny squares and a real easy medallion pattern that I found in an old crochet book I picked up at the used book store. I have about 3 projects going because hello, boredom, I'm tired of working on this pattern and need something else for a while! This is what I'm currently working on, it is about 1/3 of the way done and will eventually be an afghan/bedspread type thing. I'm sure the cats will really enjoy it when it's spread out on the bed. That is not who I'm actually making this for but anything is fair play when it comes to a cat. Or a dog for that matter.

I went to the colonoscopy doctor for my follow up and while I have no weird cancers and only had one polyp that they removed, my pancreas is not working right so he prescribed digestive enzymes and gave me some samples of them. I'm having a hard time remembering to take them, which you are supposed to do every time you eat, but hopefully will get into the habit of reaching for that pill bottle before meals soon. I read the paperwork that comes with the pills and was a bit taken aback to find out that they are made out of pig pancreases.

I've gotten a little hooked on the home remodel shows on HGTV lately. I've been crocheting and 'watching' while I crochet and really like a few of the shows, they have some really good ideas on fixing up your house. Unfortunately we don't have any money to implement some of those ideas much as I'd like to. Things like tiling in your shower and updating your kitchen counters and cabinets. Also flooring, they are real big on the laminate floors that look like wood and that is what I want in this house instead of the nasty cheap carpet that we have. Someday we will get our new floors but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them. I probably shouldn't watch those shows in the meantime because it's like going to see a model home in a new neighborhood and then coming home to your old house where it seems even smaller and older and you wish you could afford that shiny new house.

Keith is on vacation next week but I don't think we will be going anywhere except maybe out to dinner for his birthday on the 16th. He has lots of projects that he needs to work on, projects that have been waiting to be finished for years, but he started fixing the falling down fence between our house and the now vacant one so that will probably take up most of his energy for fixing things.

I am just hoping that we don't end the vacation week by strangling each other, we aren't used to so much 'together' time these days and do tend to drive each other crazy sometimes.