April 23, 2009

Proof of actual knitting! I have it. Hubbs and I went camping last weekend with our off road club and I actually got some knitting done. Normally I take something but never actually get any time to work on it. This trip we mostly stayed in camp and relaxed. I even got to take a nap! Shocking! I actually finished the Pomatous socks that I'd been working on for the last month yesterday.

Pattern: Pomatous by Cookie A.
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage Hand painted
Started: 03/16/09
Finished: 04/22/09

I also gots proof of actual things growing in my new garden!! When we got home on Sunday I was a bit disappointed that not a whole lot had come up while we were gone. But when I got up on Monday and went out to water a lot more had come up.
Morning glories.



Now I'm just waiting for the pole beans, carrots, lettuce and basil to come up. Just planted those on Monday so I'm going to have to wait for a while longer. The pumpkin is putting on more leaves and getting a bit bigger every day. The watermelon is waiting for a bit warmer temperatures before it takes off but it's doing good so far! The only thing I'm missing right now is mint. I'm on the look out for some but I'm trying to find someone who's willing to give me some outta there garden.

This coming weekend is going to be a gardening, knitting & sewing weekend. I'm planning on getting some petunias to finish out the front garden and I want to get some fabric to make reusable grocery bags and I need to knit myself up a new scarf for using on the motorcycle. I've started riding to work again and it's still cold in the morning. Right now I have a scarf that I use but the dang thing is so long that it's more of a pain then it is anything else. I'm planning on knitting up a short scarf that will button in the front.
It's going to be another busy one! Hopefully there will be some rest in there too!

April 22, 2009

I know it's Wednesday and I haven't posted yet this week. Chalk it up to a very busy weekend of camping last weekend and wanting to get pictures of the garden. Every time I start to get pictures of my new plants pushing their heads up through the soil something gets in my way. But the good news is that all the plants are finally in. I actually have more space in the new raised beds then I know what to do with. Half of the space went to flowers. I planted 4 dahlias, zinnias, sunflowers and four o'clocks in one raised bed. The second bed has pumpkins and watermelons and the last one has basil, carrots, lettuce and pole beans. Next year I'm hoping to have learned a lot and can use my space a little better.

April 16, 2009

Boy, a lot has been going on. Between my office moving to a new location and stuff going on at home, I'm exhausted. Last week my office was being packed up to move to our new location, we had no phones, no computers and nothing to do once your area was packed. Thankfully we were given executive leave for Thursday. I spent all day on Thursday sitting on the couch knitting. I was feeling drained anyway and the weather was crappy so it was a perfect day for me to stay in my jammies and knit to my hearts content. I finished the soap bag that I had started and started and finished some baby booties that I had been wanting to make for a friend whose baby is due in June. Pattern: Melanie's Soap Sack by Melanie Thompson
Yarn: Lily Sugar & Cream in Corn Flower
Cast on: 04/07/09
Finished: 04/08/09
Pattern: Saartje's Bootee's by Saartje de Bruijn
Yarn: Lily's Sugar & Cream in Corn Flower (I know, 3rd project with same color but I had a lot left over from the Market Bag)
Cast On: 04/08/09
Finished: 04/09/09

I also started and finished a tiny purse on the 9th too but I have failed to take pictures of it.

I think I mentioned a while back that I wanted to expand my garden for more room. Well, I got my wish. My mom came over on Thursday night and between her and I and my husband, we pushed my garden out by 16 feet and added three more raised beds. Two of the raised beds are 3 feet x 16 feet and one is 3 x 12. I have so much space now, I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it all. I already have a ton of herbs, three tomato plants and rhubarb. One of the 3x16 beds is all flowers. I planted dahlias, zinnias and sunflowers. The second 3x16 bed has 3 dahlias in it and nothing else. I'm planning to plant lettuce in there but I have to wait for the moon to be right. I also want to plant some basil and some pole beans. The 3x12 bed has a pumpkin, a watermelon and some morning glory's in it. Now I'm just waiting for the seeds to germinate and start popping up through the soil. I can't wait!

This is where the fence was originally. There is one 3x6 bed behind the fence. I have my herbs in that bed with two tomato plants. The third plant is a cherry tomato and it's in a large pot. Here's where the fence is after we move it out 16 feet. It was on the other side of the windows by the corner of the house. Here's the new beds (please note hubby in the picture, what a goof). The two in the front are the 3x16's and the one in the back is the 3x12. The rose bush in the middle will have to be moved over to where the new gate is. It's a climbing rose and I'm planning on training it to grow over the arbor that will go on the outside of the gate and also down the fence. And here's Hubby and I on Sunday after 3 days of very hard work. We had to dig up the old fence, dig new post holes, reset the fence, build the planter boxes, dig about a million post holes to set the planter boxes, and then haul the dirt that we had delivered from around the front of the house to the back. Thank god for my mom. Without her, it would have taken a week. Plus I have to give her credit for fixing the toilet in the guest room that had been running for over a year. It's not that I couldn't or wouldn't fix the toilet I just needed my mommy to make sure the work got done. She also installed the screen door that Hubbs and I bought 3 years ago and never installed.
The good news is that the garden is done and ready for me to grow tons of yummy homegrown food for my family and friends. The bad news is that our project list for around the house still had about a million things left on it. One thing at a time, one thing at a time!

April 8, 2009

The Market Bag is finished!! What a quick knit. Very easy and I'm sure that I will be the most stylish person at the farmers market this summer. This sucker is big. I'm going to be able to bring home a metric ton of fresh locally grown veggies and fruit! I'm stoked! When do the farmers markets open?! Is there one open now?!!! (It's official, I've lost my mind)Pattern: Fantasy Naturale Market Bag by JoAnne Turcotte
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream Solid
Color: Corn Flower (Blue)
Cast on: 04/05/09
Finished: 04/07/09

So I had a ton of yarn left over from the market bag, so I cast on for a soap bag. Apparently, it's a little bag that you put your soap slivers into so that they last longer. I'm about 1/3 of the way done on it and I'm sure I'll have an update on it soon.

I really have enough yarn left over that I could do a second bag. I'm thinking it might be a fun gift idea for my mother-in-law. She likes going to farmers markets too. Hmm, might want to invite her to go with me some time. She's always asking to do things with me. She's such a sweet lady and I couldn't have asked for a better MIL. But if I'm going to make another one for her, I think I'd want a different color so we don't grab the wrong bag.

April 7, 2009

Holy cow! The weather here is so crazy! Yesterday it was almost 80 degrees when I went for my run after work. Today it's pouring rain and in the 60's. I'm so done with winter. My face is already getting a tan from all the time I've been spending running and I was hoping that the old pasty pale legs might be getting the same treatment. But no. The sky just opened up and it's raining so hard I wasn't even sure what was happening. Oh no!! Thunder!!! I gotta go hide in my bed now! Both of the dogs are looking all over trying to figure out what's going on! They're cracking me up! Hope everyone else is having more spring like weather then I am!

April 6, 2009

I LOVE this lotion. It is so smooth and creamy that my skin feels like silk when I use it. I keep it on my desk at work and at home. The soap at work is so drying on my hands that my skin feels tight all the time. This stuff works wonders. Other lotions feel so greasy and icky and leave marks all over my desk, my papers and my keyboard. But this stuff just goes right into my skin and has no greasy residue at all. Not to mention that it's also non-staining.

I keep some next to my sewing machine too. Since it's non-staining I can use it and then touch fabric or yarns without having to worry about it ruining it. I just love this stuff!
So finally some a picture of sock #7, Pomatomus. I finished the first sock of the pair on Saturday night. I really like this pattern but it's the most challenging one I've tried this far. You really have to be paying attention to the pattern when you're working on this one. There are a lot of yarn overs and decreases in the pattern. Pattern: Pomatous by Cookie A.
Yarn: Cascade Yarns, Heritage Handpainted
Color: Red with blue stripe
Started: 03/16/2009
A couple of weeks ago when my mom and I went up to Grass Valley to Fabrics on Mill Street we also ran across the street to Fibers. Fibers is a great yarn shop that we'd been to before and they have a fantastic sock yarn selection. I grabbed some great Cascade Heritage in a fabulous Kelly Green. But while we were there my mom picked up a really cool kit for a market bag. She started knitting on it while I drove on the way back. It was turning OK really great and I wanted one too. But I didn't want to drive all the way back to Grass Valley for the kit, so I started looking on Ravelry for a pattern. I found one I really like and cast on for that on Sunday. I had to go buy some needles because I didn't have any size 15 circular needles.

Pattern: Fantasy Naturale Market Bag by JoAnne Turcotte
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream in Corn Flower
Cast on: 4/5/09
On Sunday I also whipped out a couple of project bags for small knitting items. Sometimes I don't want to take my knitting bag and just want something small to toss into another bag. So I whipped up a couple of draw string bags that I can toss my sock projects into and then toss into another bag.

Detail of first bag.

Detail of second bag.

So that's the recap of my weekend. Unless you want to hear about how we ate out every night and I didn't run once. But no one wants to hear about that. Back on my training schedule today! Got a 3 miler planned for after work today.

April 3, 2009

For the last two weeks I've been training in earnest for my 5K that's coming up May 9, 2009. Yesterdays run was the best so far. Up to this point I haven't been able to find my rhythm and have really been struggling. I haven't been able to run more then half a mile before I have to stop and that half mile is the longest of my life.

Yesterday, I took my running gear to work with me, changed before I left and stopped at the park on the way home. The park is just gorgeous. It's the park where Hubby and I got married almost three years ago. There's a pond in the middle with a fountain and ton's of ducks and geese. Squirrels frolic in the grass and scramble up the huge oak trees that shade the grass area. There is a dog park that's fenced in for all the little (and not so little ) doggies to play and run free. But best of all there's a brand new walking/running track that runs around the entire park. They just put it in last year and it is fantastic. The trail/track is 1.44 miles long and is marked about every tenth of a mile all the way around and is mostly shady due to the huge oak trees. It's really pretty and so very relaxing. The trail only crosses the road in two spots and it's so nice to not spend my entire run worrying about getting hit by a car.

It was a bit breezy and cool yesterday when I started out and I was wishing that instead of my running skort that I had put on my long tights. But once I got warmed up the skort was perfectly comfortable. My new running shoes finally came last week and I think I'm determined to wear them out in the first few weeks.

So like I said, I've been having some trouble finding my rhythm. Normally I just zone out and run. Before I quit running a few months ago I was running 4+ miles without stopping and without having any problems. But since I started back again I just haven't been able to find that rhythm. I was starting out too fast and then being out of breath with in a couple tenths of a mile. Or my feet would hurt (I think that was due to my shoes being worn out and having trouble finding a pair that fit correctly). Yesterday, after I warmed up, I started out and my knees were killing me. It felt like every time my foot struck the ground that my knees were just grinding on the bones. I almost quit and went home but I figured I could give it a couple of minuets and see. I'm really glad I did. Once the joints warmed up, no more pain at all. I managed to run one full time around the park without stopping! I was pretty syked! But being cautious I took it easy the second time around walking when I felt the need. I still need to build up my stamina and speed.

When I ran the park on Tuesday morning I ran two loops around in 32 min's. Yesterday I ran two loops in 30:28. That's an improvement to say the least. I'm still not where I want to be. I'm hoping for a better time at my 5K then 30 min's. I'm not sure I'm going to get that since 1. It's going to be very crowded. This event brings in about 20,000 people. and 2. I don't have as much time as I would have liked to train for it. If i hadn't stopped running back in February I'd be able to breeze through it but that's not going to be the case this time.

Wish me luck! I'm going to need it. Race day is just over a month away! Hopefully I don't train myself into the ground!

April 2, 2009

On my way to work this morning, as I do many mornings, I was listening to Brenda Dayne's podcast called Cast On. I love the sound of this woman's voice. Very soothing. I was listening to episode 51: That's Mistress Dork, to you. In this episode in addition to talking about knitting she talked quite a bit about her days as a Camp Fire Girl. I was never a Camp Fire Girl and I'm pretty sure that we don't even have those here on the west coast, at least we didn't where I grew up. I was, however, a Girl Scout from 1st grade until I graduated from High School. I don't remember attending that many meetings once I was in high school because I had homework and a job that was pretty much a full time gig. But I do remember camping trips and hiking and hoe-downs and father-daughter dances.

The summer between 5th and 6th grades, my troop traveled from California to Tennessee by car to attend the 75th Anniversary of Girl Scouting. As I recall (I'm sure I have a patch on my Senior vest) they called it the Diamond Jubilee. I could be wrong on that one but I remember the trip. My mom and my leader, Ann drove 5 girls cross country to this event. I remember stopping at the Grand Canyon and Inez squeezing the mustard until it exploded on the front of her shirt because she forgot to open the twisty top. I remember stopping at the Lum and Abner store in Arkansas and the Corn Place in South Dakota. And Wall Drug. I remember going repelling for the first time at the Jubilee. I remember meeting girls from all over the US, especially those from the south that couldn't get over the fact that the girls from California say "You guys" instead of "Y'all" like they did. I also remember getting asked over and over if I knew any movie stars and if I spent every day at the beach. It's funny how the stereotypes are. 1st of all, I was 12, I didn't know any movie stars and I lived in Northern California which is like a whole different state then Southern California. and 2nd of all I didn't really live anywhere near a beach and if I did, it was Northern California. The water off the coast of Northern Ca is freezing and you only go in if you have a wet suit! Brrrr!

I remember my dad participating and taking all the girls in my troop when I was about 8 or 9 and taking us all on a hike up the dormant volcano that sits at the end of the valley where I grew up. My dad really didn't like the Scouts because he felt that the troop leader was only trying to instill her values in us girls and those were not values that my father held. I recall him wanting to get a picture of all of the girls together before we started the hike and saying, "All right, all you little women's libbers line up over there." At the time I didn't really understand what he was saying but I do remember out troop leader getting really pissed about it. Now that I'm in my 30's I understand what he was saying it's one of my all time favorite memories of my dad. He's a pretty funny guy once you get to know him.

Thanks to Girl Scouting I got to do a lot of things that I never would have gotten to do other wise. I've been to Mexico to the international Girl Scouting house called Our Cabana, I've been to Alaska on a Wider Opportunity, I've back packed the Grand Canyon and seen the cinder cone volcano in Lassen National Park. I'm thankful for the opportunities that I gained from girl scouting.

I'm also thankful for the love of wild places that I got from Girl Scouts and from my dad. With GS I went on ton's of hikes and back packing trips as I got older. When my parents were still married my dad took me everywhere with him. A lot of those father-daughter trips were doing things like cutting wood and hunting for mouse ear tea (I have no idea what that is now). My dad also took me hunting with him even though he knew with a small girl with him that it was highly unlikely that he would get a deer or squirrels but it was that time with my dad that instilled my love of the wild places. I still love the wild places today.

Hubby and I go camping every chance we get, which really isn't enough. Right now we're planning a trip in two weeks for April 17th. This will be my first snow camping trip. Being that we live in California's Central Valley we're only a couple miles from the Sierra Nevada's and there is still snow up there. Hubby usually goes snow camping a few times a year but I don't generally go, too cold for me. But I'm going to give it a try. The last few times Hubby has gone I haven't been able to go up for even a day trip for various reasons. Some of it has been work and some of it has been "boy's only" trips with other clubs. I'm hoping that some of the other wives will be going so I won't be the only one subjected to the boy's nasty habits that they seem to fall into when there aren't any girls around. I think because I am the only girl a lot of the time they seem to regard me as just one of the boys and forget that their is a lady (if you can call me that. lol) present! Silly boys!