Thursday, September 30, 2010


Penny and I have "gone fishin' " - except that we're actually wool-gathering. We're in New Mexico enjoying the sights of various sites, and attending a Wool Festival. Be back next week!


Double Strap Booties

This pattern by Sylvia Heddwyn is cute and so easy. I crocheted the 6-month size using Caron Simply Soft yarn and a size E (US) crochet hook. I think I will give them to my great-niece, Elizabeth.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Top-Down Cardigan

The cardigan is done. All ends have been sewn in, buttons are on, and I wore it Sunday night to test its warmth. Now it's ready to be used on my trip.

I must say that I'll probably knit more cardigans with this pattern. I did enjoy not having any pieces to seam together, and it used less yarn than I thought it would.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time for another quilt

I've been looking at this batch of fabric for a couple of months now. Quilt books, magazines, other people's quilts have given me much to think about and consider. Perhaps in October I'll be able to start a quilt for Jacy. I'm ready to get busy with needle and thread again.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Last thrift for September

The thrift store had glasses half off, so I bought four more juice glasses. I also found three china plates just the right size to hold a couple of cookies, or a piece of toasted and buttered homemade bread to go along with a cup or two of tea in the afternoon.

And there were lamps! Three glass bedside lamps that need shades.

But the best find was a pre-thrift-store find. I was at Mom and Dad's and saw that they had a large bag of bed linens ready to be taken to the thrift store. On top of the bag were a few sweaters. I asked Mom if she wanted me to take the stuff to the thrift store for her, then I looked at the sweaters and asked if I could have them for Joan. I thought maybe she could use them for an art project at school.

On closer inspection however, and after trying them on, I decided I might like to use them for actual wear. The blue one is of Shetland wool, the gray of wool and acrylic (and is machine-washable) and the yellow cardigan is a '50's or '60's era piece made of "100% Virgin Nylon." Oh, my!

(Apron Thrift Girl is keeping "Thrift Share Monday" going all year long.)


Friday, September 24, 2010

Advice, please!

I'm going on a trip soon. I will have to fly to my destination. I will have to pack more than a carry-on. So here's my dilemma: do I take three (or more) paperback books that I think I will enjoy reading, because they are fairly light in weight?

Or do I take three (or more) hardcover books that I am certain I will enjoy, because I have enjoyed the other books these authors have written? Although I don't anticipate having loads of time for reading, it's likely that I could have at least an hour a day for reading. And I will definitely have my Bible with me.

What should I do? What would you do?


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Practice ripple - edged

I crocheted a border/edge for the "swatch" ripple blanket and now it looks and feels finished. Finally!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The practice ripple - revisited

This is the ripple "swatch" I made for Sam out of leftover yarn two years ago. He uses it faithfully, but I've never been happy with the unfinished look it has. It was just for practice, but I've decided to get more yarn and crochet a border around it. It's won't be much bigger, but it will look more finished.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jezebel Sauce

On the menu at a fancy restaurant we sometimes patronize is an item called "Jezebel Sauce." I've eaten it twice and loved it. It's sweet and hot, and has an impressive after-kick. A few weeks ago, while flipping through some of Mom's old cookbooks I found a recipe for it and decided I had to make it right away. Glenn and Aric were home, and I knew they'd eat it with me, but our supper that night was grilled chicken, which was probably not the best partner for the sauce. We ate it anyway. Lots of it. It was just as delicious as I'd remembered. And it tasted good with chicken, although we all agreed it would probably pair better with beef or pork.

Jezebel Sauce
16 oz. jar of apple jelly
16 oz. jar of pineapple preserves
1 small can of dry mustard
1 jar of horseradish
2 Tbsp cracked black pepper

I halved the recipe, and we still had way too much for us to handle at one meal. But it keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Autumn ripple blanket

I'm almost done with the top-down cardigan and am still working on Mom's shawl. That means I will soon be without a "mindless" knitting or crocheting project. So while I was out this past weekend, I bought a few skeins of inexpensive yarn and started a ripple afghan for Sam. The colors are very good for autumn, and he likes them and keeps asking when the blanket will be done. (I just started it Saturday evening!) I told him perhaps by the end of October. Too bad that it will not be a small project that travels easily. Oh, well - there are always dishcloths and baby bibs to be knit, too!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010


This year looks like it's going to be a good one for our chestnut harvest. Last year we had very few, but already this year the chestnuts are everywhere.

I love the shape and the shade of our chestnut trees, but I do not like to eat chestnuts. They are probably the only nut I have tried and have disliked.

And while the prickly green case of the chestnut looks so pretty and fluffy on the tree,

when it is ripe and ready to be harvested one should not have tender fingers.

Dad picked a bag of chestnuts in about 15 minutes. I'm giving them to my friend, Faye, who loves chestnuts and will actually eat them.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Leftover lunch

For Sunday lunch I made pasties and served them with a romaine lettuce salad.

Yesterday we ate all the leftovers and Marley got the last slice of the pasties, along with some steamed sugar snap peas. Now the fridge is cleared of leftovers and I can start with new meals today.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Cardi is coming along

Only four more inches to go on the body, then I'll start the sleeves!

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Mid-September thrift finds

Over the weekend I took a bag of summer clothes I didn't wear this past summer (I hate to say I'd outgrown them, but some were definitely either too tight or too youthful for me to wear comfortably) to the thrift store and while there looked around. I wasn't really looking to buy anything in particular, although I did want to see if there were any pieces of the Cortez/Aztek flatware that Apron Thrift Girl is searching for.

No flatware in that style, but for us I found a set of six white Termocrisa coffee cups at 25 cents apiece, a lovely small Thermos for $1 ( I love Thermos jugs and picnic baskets, and we do actually use them, but I'm probably reaching critical mass here and don't need to get any more!), four small juice glasses at 50 cents each (and they obviously once held jelly, or horseradish, dried beef, or something of that nature) because we have broken most of our other jelly-jar juice glasses, and a green crocheted afghan for $3.

I was very pleased with the afghan, because as the temperatures drop outside, they drop inside our house (we keep the thermostat on 60 during the winter) and the children like to wrap up in afghans while doing their schoolwork. I used the Thermos yesterday and found that it held two servings (approximately 6 ounces each) of coffee. Perfect.


Friday, September 10, 2010

As it turns out...

... I enjoy target practice. Tom took me to the shooting range his gun club owns and had me shoot two handguns and a shotgun. I think the last time I shot a shot gun or a handgun was when I was in junior high school, and my dad made me practice some "Just in case."

Since then I have had no desire to be anywhere near a gun, although my sons enjoy hunting and Steve had to keep up his skills as a Marine.

But back in June we had an "incident" one night when Steve was away on a business trip and I was alone with our three youngest children. I think what we experienced was a failed home invasion ploy. Failed, because I called Tom (who lives behind us) and he swiftly came in through the back door with his Glock, and confronted the two men at the front door, who knocked on the door at 12:30 a.m. when the house was dark and everyone was sleeping. And who stood silently when they saw the gun. And whose companion in the car said they needed gas to make it to the gas station a half a block away.

Two weeks later an elderly couple in a town 40 miles from us had the same thing happen. But they were nearly beaten to death with a hammer and robbed.

Since then I've been thinking I wouldn't mind relearning how to use a gun, "just in case" I ever have to defend my children.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

What we found under the ivy

Last Saturday Aric and Sam attacked some of the ivy that plagues our yard. Sam hacked at it with his machete and Aric raked away and they uncovered the low stone wall on the west side of the house. What we had thought was a stone or concrete stanchion at the end of the wall turned out to be:

An ornamental concrete planter. Why in the world would someone plant ivy in a planter? It took over and is so entrenched in the fabric of the concrete that the stump and roots are impossible to get out. It's too bad, because I would love to use it as a place for seasonal, annual blooming plants.

Any suggestions for poisoning unwanted ivy roots without permanently poisoning the container?


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Can a woman have too many cardigans?

Over the weekend I cast on stitches for another wool cardigan. The pattern (a top-down cardigan) is one that I bought years ago from my favorite yarn shop in Fredericksburg, Virginia (sadly, now out of business). It's also easy and mindless, which is what I needed while the house was full of lovely guests. I knew if I tried to work on Mom's shawl I'd make a mistake, or drop stitches, or who-knows-what. And the yarn is some I bought years ago at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

Mom asked why I was knitting something in such an awful color and I'll admit this color ("Willow") is not one I typically wear. But I do wear a lot of turquoise and a lot of orange in the fall and winter and I think this color will work well with those colors. Besides, I have no brown, beige or tan cardigans. That's an oversight that must be remedied.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A fantastic weekend

Glenn, Amy and the girls arrived Friday and the rest of the family and friends trickled in around football and mealtimes. Chuck and Kim and their children and grandchildren came to the lake, along with friends of theirs. From Friday through Monday we all enjoyed our time together - Mom and Dad, their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and many, many friends. And many dogs.

Mom and Dad had Chuck's family and his friends stay at their place. We made room for 18 people (including all our children and grandchildren) to sleep at our place. Amazingly, it was never chaotic - and all the right football teams won (except for Navy).

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