Sunday, July 29, 2012

GeekSquad / Knitting

Jesse just finished up another Geek Squad Summer Academy. This is his second year. (and is already talking about next year!) He befriended the head Geek? and was nicknamed the "Warden."

When I was introduced he told me: "I was so excited to see the Warden again this year. I didn't recognize him. He's so much taller and has so much hair!"

I have a picture of the two of them on Jesse's camera. It's old school and needs a card reader to collect the pictures. I'll have to wait till Brian wakes up and can download them.

Tweenbear and Henry. They met at the OMK:Operation Military kids 4H camp in May.

Quite a large turnout.

What is Geek Squad Summer Academy? Geek Squad Summer Academy is a community sponsored event by Best Buy. At Geek Squad Summer Academy, we partner with local non-profit organizations to teach students about the latest technology in a fun, interactive environment. Team building activities in classes such as PC Build, Programming, Digital Photography, Digital Music and Connected World build friendships and self-confidence.

I also used these two "days off" to finish one of my large projects. I love scrappy quilts. So I decided to use my sock yarn leftovers to knit up a wrap. My girlfriends also contributed to the effort. I got to use a lot of yarn that was outside of my price range. MMMM

I love it! It turned out fantastic.

I always love finishing up a HUGE project. After a while they feel like a monkey on your back. (*Laugh* but you have too much time invested to just set it you slog through it.)

Anyway...that's what we did this week. I'm ready for the heat to break. My garden is finally starting to take off. My peppers are flowering and my jellybean tomatoes are covered with goodies.

Love, Ang

Happy 11th Birthday, Tween Bear

Haha I'm not allowed to call him "Babybear" or "LittleBear" anymore. So he's stuck with this...

I do NOT like the heat...either do the boys. So we've been hibernating in the house this summer. I couldn't get TB interested in anything (4H, Chess Club, Swim club) so we made a whole day of his birthday. His best friends are down in Louisiana, and he didn't want a party.

We took him to the Children's Science museum here in LR. It was a win/win deal...Brian got us all in FREE with an Active Duty military ID card. (until Labor Day, I think) So we took our time and saw EVERYTHING. They had a tornado exhibit that was scary. Basically it's a mockup of a basement and they simulate a tornado. (Booms, lightning, crashes and the sound of a piano getting thrown around) I could feel my heart start thumping...gosh, I hate those things.

How many is a Million?  This exhibit really puts that into perspective.

Afterwards we went to lunch at Bosco's Brewery and had the best stonebrick pizza since Italy. I love a really thin cracker crust pizza. mmm

Then off to the Archery store to get him his present. He's been wanting a bow for a while. I just wish the weather would cool down so he can go out and enjoy it. Today it was 107. And in the sun it's just intolerable.

Finally an icecream cake (:o( he didn't want a home made one) with BLACK icing. ***Gah***

Yes, I realize how bad my icing skills are and that I put a 12 on there. Jesse was talking to me about his 12th birthday and what he wants to do. So I wrote what I was thinking: twelve...duh

Happy Birthday!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Crap I know!

It seems the older I get, the more I realize how much I don't know. So when I finally learn something makes my day.

Here's what I learned today: I really hate knitted doilies. I would prefer to knit lacy, beautiful pieces of art instead of crocheting them, but they suck trying to block out. (stretch out) Crochet doilies are perfect. You get them wet, lay out flat, and they stay that way.  ::Laugh:: But these are, as my girlfriend would say, VERY first world problems. A knitted doily will keep scratches off of furniture just as well as a crocheted one.

I also found my local Asian food market. YAY! I've been out of Jasmine tea since Italy. (I'm too snobby to drink it in bags.) Jasmine tea always reminds me of Paris. The park around the Eiffel Tower is covered in Jasmine bushes and they were in bloom when we were there. I remember closing my eyes and thinking: "How freaking cool is this?! A little podunk girl from Nebraska here smelling the jasmine in Paris."

The blurry object to the lower right is a pair of training chopsticks. I'm going to teach Jesse a life lesson. hehe

Stay cool and go leave a butter tub of water outside for the critters.
love, Ang 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Jesse's Cheshire

I'm working on massive projects right now. And in the depths of summer, my knitting mojo starts to dwindle. So I turned to fiber spinning to fill the creative void until fall comes to rescue me.

-My fiber back story-
When we were first married, we had a German Sheppard that would blow his coat yearly. I remember sitting in a three inch pile of combings thinking “This has got to be good for SOMETHING…I wish I knew what to make from it.”

Fast forward 11 years….my cat, Patches, was dying of a cancerous mass on her spine. For the last two weeks of her life she loved, and allowed herself, to be brushed. (I think she gave me those weeks as a goodbye gift.) I was shattered. I still have that bag in my fiber stash, waiting for the day I have enough skill to spin it properly.

So although I spin wool because it’s so easy to get your hands on….my passion is spinning companion animal fiber (rabbits, dogs, cats) My girlfriends tease me about trying to “pluck” their pets. shrug They’re not too far off.

Anyway, that’s my journey to where I am today. I enjoy the process of spinning, but I feel that I’m just fumbling around (in the dark) with it. All of my instruction has been through Youtube videos and books/videos.
-End of Spinning back story- (copied from my introduction on -Central Arkansas Spinner's Guild)

Well, I've been saving my cat fur combings for a while now.  And I had enough spun up for a small project. I finished the little cat (of cat a few days ago and kept noticing that she'd go "walkabout" from her place on my dresser. So, of course, I had to make the little thief one of his own.

He chose the eyes. They were leftover safety eyes from when I knit him a snake. And, according to Jesse, is called "Cheshire" from Alice in Wonderland (but he doesn't have a grin...go figure!)

(Um yeah, I still haven't convinced him that he needs a haircut.)

So, do I have my mojo But I'm getting closer.

Stay cool, everyone. 
Love, Ang

Thursday, July 19, 2012

19July12 - Garden Update

Whew! It's been HOT and DRY here this summer. Today it was 104F with a 114F heat index. I've been watering twice a day. Yesterday I forgot the A.M. watering...and by 5pm I had crispy critters in there. Poor Babies.

This is my Hospital patch. Most of these pots go on my Southern facing front porch/window box. It's been so hot and dry that I took pity on them and brought them under the awning for some pampering.

I'm thinking about clipping back my chrysanthemums. They've already flowered and are looking a little dispirited. Maybe if I clip them back, they'll flower again.

Here's my little garden patch from the arch looking out. To the left is the patio (firepit shown) and back the right is the pool. The far end is in sun ALL day long, so I have my tomatoes/peppers down there. Due to poor planning, I ran out of plants when I got to this end. Those green bits are the dianthus (budded out for another round of flowers. #4)

I'm a fan of small tomatoes. And since I'm running this train, that's what I planted. Jellybean tomatoes. They are SOOO sweet and flavorful. Next year I'll try these and romas.

Mystery tomato that came up from the compost. LOL I guess my compost didn't get hot enough to kill seeds. (that's why I don't throw weeds in mine.)

Here's a mystery vine with yellow flowers. I'm hoping for zucchini. (I didn't think to plant any this year) There's also a volunteer tomato (tied to the rebar support) My rosemary's in there too. She's kinda small...we had roasted potatoes with rosemary last week. Yum!

I didn't get pictures of my zinnias and peppers. The peppers aren't doing much (they take off around Aug) And I cut my zinnias for house flowers. Next year I'm going to plant more colors and plants. I LOVE them!

Only two of my moonflowers survived, and they haven't done much. I've planted them with the Carolina Jasmine over my arch.

Out of pity, I bought some Miracle Grow and sprayed the garden last weekend. Hopefully it'll give them a little love. They've had a tough year!

Love, Ang

Garden 2012


I come from gardening people. It has always broken my heart that for 18 years I had to rent. As soon as my houseplants became  "nice," I'd have to give them away. So here, (at the ripe ol age of 40) I'm starting on my adventure.

This is my second year of gardening here at Shady Lane. I inherited a rocky patch of clay as a garden.  I have no idea why good dirt wasn't put on this's an ideal place for an herb garden. That first year was disastrous.  I didn't know about upgrading the soil and didn't have the $$ to scrape all that yuck away and fill it with good topsoil. So I planted and prayed. LOL! We also were babysitting dogs so it had a lot of foot traffic through there. (I called it the Dogzilla attack of 2011)  Even with all of these setbacks, I still managed to get a bunch of basil and loads of cayenne peppers.

Winter survivors: 2 Oregano, Rosemary, 2 Lavender, Sage, and 4 Dianthus, Chives, and a Purple Petunia.

Planted: (pictured above) Started on 27Feb11
4 Basil
4 cayenne
4 Serrano
4 yellow Zinnias
4 purple Zinnias
4 Jellybean Tomatoes
4 Moon flowers
8 yellow/red marigolds from last year's seeds.

This year we added last year's compost and grass clippings to our garden...and some ash from our firepit. Also, after Brian chipped the crepe myrtle canes, we added that on top as mulch. I can't remember what date I got everything in the ground.

I will totally add the crepe myrtle chips next year...they made a fantastic/free weed they swell up with water and keep the ground from scorching.

I think that brings you up to speed on what I tried this year. I'll give you a picture and update in the next post.

Love, Ang

Ang blogs again!

What is it about blogs? I love to start to fizzle out on them. A few blogs ago I actually had a website print it out. It's so much fun to open it and read about the little things that get lost in daily living.

(Besides, I need a place to keep my gardening notes. I seem to lose handwritten notes. Plus my typing is loads faster than my chicken scratch.)

(Besides, Besides - Writing a in a blog keeps me more engaged in life. I'm always on a search for good blogposts.)

Wish us luck...