Monday, June 28, 2010

Gardening Fun! OH BOY!

Holy Gardens, Batman!
I'm really excited! I CAN HAZ CUCUMBER!!! Most of the plants in my garden box were purchased as seedlings from an Organic Farm in Warwick, NY. Having the "black thumb" as I do, I totally freaked out when Summer told me, "Mom... you know you have a cucumber in the garden?" WOOOHOOOO! YAYYYY ME! I told Summer to go grab the camera and out to the back yarn we went! Imagine my surprise when I saw a 2.5" pickling cucumber hangin' out!

These are the baby Tomatoes... Heck if I can remember if this plant is the larger variety or the grape sized... I know I have both! LOL
This is our slightly larger tomatoe on a different plant. I reallllly want to say that these are the "Yellow Pear" variety. I know I bought those too... heheh

What the....?!
Can this possibly be my daughters? Both working to pull the tiniest weeds from the box? Elizabeth! I'm comin', Honey! This is the big one!!!
Life has been wicked hectic lately, what with the school year coming to an end, my sister being pregnant and having a slightly detached placenta, her issues with the male figure that was in her life and my Slickster seeming to come down with ear infections.... The poor boy's inner ears are rather red and...get this...he now has a blister on his peepee... Yeah.. things are not going according to *my* plan.. LOL Do they ever though?
Murphy's Law - "Whatever can go wrong... Will..."
Yep.. I'm feelin' that!

Monday, June 21, 2010

So... here I am again! My younger sister, Christin, is having a baby! She's due on or around October 15th of this year and I'm knitting an entire wardrobe for my new neice! The picture above is a set I've done of a Soaker and matching raglan cable sweater!
Close up of the soaker skirt!

This is a pattern that iI found on Ravelry, called "Samantha". It was mildly fiddly, due to the smocking, since I'd not done it before, but it's really coming out beautifully. I do have to finish weaving ends and the picot edging on the bottom. I know that Black is not a usual colour for knitting for babies.. but I never promised the usual .

Close up of the Raglan Cable short sleeve sweater to go with the soaker skirt.
I have come to truly love my knitting, as I've said in prior posts. The fact that I can take a couple of sticks (usually attached by a cable) and some string...and make entire wardrobes for not only babies, but for everyone that I come across, it's really kinda mind boggling.
Some people calling knitting their "Zen", or their "meditation". I call it my sanity. There is something so pleasing in being able to truly create something of give it to infuse within it all the love and affection that I have for that person... Even the most simple pair of socks are a warm hug ... made especially for that person... from me.
Alot goes into my knitting... Alot of heart... alot of soul. A piece of myself (and usually some of my actual hair) goes into each tiny work of art. I only gift my knitting to those who have shown a true appreciation for it... If it's going to be thrown away, or if that person honestly doesn't like it..I'd rather take it back and give them something else...then to have a few MONTHS of work end up in a trash heap, or a salvation army bin somewhere. Too much goes into it for it to be simply thrown away.
Keep this in mind if someone offers you something...anything...handmade. So much goes into whatever that person made..its an insult to just chuck it out...even if it IS butt-ugly

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Adventures in Canning!

The destruction that is my kitchen during my Adventures in Canning!

Absolutely STUNNING strawberries from OverLook Farms, 9W, Newburgh

Boiling lemon zest! Picture is fuzzy only because of the steam rising off that baby!

YUMMEH!!!! Mished up strawberries with the Lemon Zest, boiling away happily!

Sterilizing and keeping the lids and rings at temperature!

Sterilizing the jars! Have I mentioned lately that I'm a nut with the sterilization?

First filled jar of Strawberry Lemon Marmalade!

Yep! Another one! Yeahhhh, baby, YEAH!

Eight Jars of happy goodness! Can't WAIT to see how they turn out!

First run

This is a pic of the jars I made with JenR

Wewt! Newbie Blogger FTW!

So this will be my first Blog....well.. the first that I hope to actually work on

Over time, you will come to find out alot about the things that I *hope* to work on... Some examples are my ravenous passion for knitting! My children, Summer and Brooke, my neices, Jor and Mikkie, and the family's pets... Slick is my Chihuahua and Joey, my mom's chihuahua! Oy, what a handful Slick can be, as I'm sure you'll come to find out!

About myself, I'm a stay at home mom of two purely awesome daughters, mentioned above! I've been married to my husband, Lou, since exactly one year and twelve days after the day we met (October 14th!). Lou and I are almost complete opposites..and I think thats part of why we work together sooo well! He's in law enforcement...I'm a 'hippy'....he's a neat freak.. I'm a slob... He's strict...I'm lenient... We compliment each other, I think, and revel in our differences. We rarely 'fight'...if we have an arguement, thats a stunner... Hard for him to fight with someone who doesn't really fight back. Does this mean I'm weak and sniveling? Oh HELL NO!!! LOL I'm simply willing to pick and choose my battles... I dont fight for the hell of it, and I refuse to be bullied. Some people do think I'm a wuss... but does that really matter? Not really. At least, not to me. I prefer my calm, restful state and will work towards that end, come what may. Lou and I have each other's backs in all things...that is what is important.

Now then! Enough about such things! I spoke of knitting, didn't I? Squeeee! I LOVE KNITTING! Seriously...I think it's far surpassed's definitely obsession now. I've been knitting since a month or two after Brooke was born. This means that I have been knitting for twelve years and one month, give or take. My beloved sister in law was one of the bookkeepers for PatternWorks ( ) back..wayyy back when it was in Poughkeepsie, New York. She picked up knitting, and made Summer, then about two, a lovely ragg sweater (no, not made out of rags, thank you ) in a light denim blue and white. I looked at that sweater...then, thinking of all of those gorgeous handmade sweaters that people 'claim' are native american or Peruvian... I knew I had to learn. If Kelz could do it, dangit, so could I!

I dragged Lou out to Wal-Mart that very night and picked up a 'learn to knit kit' from Leisure Arts ( ) They no longer carry the book/set that *I* learned from, however, you can pick up any of the kits out there and learn... OR pick up a ball of yarn, a pair of US7 or US8 needles and check out the internet! has a TON of learning videos!

It felt like it took FOREVER to learn! Ohhh the mistakes I made (ever start out with something small and suddenly, you look down and it's become a semi-circle? yeah....) and yes, I did throw the needles and yarn more then once... Childish outbursts are usually a part of my learning experience...provided no one else is harmed and nothing is actually broken.

However, that began my knitting journey. These days, at the ripe old age of *gasp* thirty-five, I can pretty much knit anything on needles (though entrelac gives me fits and intarsia gives me headaches). Over time, I'm certain that I will share past. present and future projects with you and look forward to hearing how you feel about them, and how you think they could be done better! Please, though.. if you just hate it cuz you hate it... I can respect that..but don't denegrate my hardwork. I wouldn't do that to you, if our positions were reversed, I promise.

Another of my many *new* hobbies is my garden. A good friend, JenR, I shall call her, made me thoroughly jealous by the sheer uberness of her garden boxes. I bullied Lou into building one for me! JenR has many and I am still most jealous of such bounty.. but this is my first year and we want to be sure that I'll continue on. Shhhh..dont' tell anyone, but i have a BLACK thumb... Yep.. kill everything. (( CRAP! LOL While typing here, totally forgot that I had a dozen eggs on the stove boiling away for egg salad sammichs... yep.. attention span NILL! Okay, back to focus! )) Coming from families that, on one side were Aristocratic Brits, and on the other were/are country farmers...It's darn near shameful to admit that I kill every danged plant I've ever tried to raise ohhh the humanity! However, with JenR's helpful advice, and the wonderful local company, (run by the wonderful Magyar family), and my exceptionally forgiving husband.... I now have a 4'x8' garden box, on the one side of my yard! Once I figure out how to put up pictures, I shall do so! I currently am supporting thirteen tomatoe plants of four varieties, basil, oregano, boston pickling cucumbers, peas and green beans! YAYYY ME! Cross your fingers for me!

Yet another of my new hobbies, of which I am still learning, is CANNING! Another brain child of JenR, who taught me at her house how to make Strawberry Lemon Marmalade, this stuff beats the piddle out of anything at the supermarket or grocery store. Holllllly cow! I cannot say enough about this recipe. If you wish to look for said recipe, it's in the huge Ball book... Jen and I ate some of it the first day she showed me how to make it, spooned over vanilla ice cream from their local Stewarts ( ). Wow. I mean seriously...WOW! My aunt, Ruth, makes all of her own jams and jellies, so I'd definitely had homemade preserves over the years. And believe me... I was like, "strawberries and LEMONS?! HUH?!" Didn't sound so hot to me... When I tell you that my kids.. even my HUSBAND!!! (who *only* eats grape jelly from a commercial store) eat this stuff like it's going out of me.. It's awesome. I made my very first "solo" batch today...we'll have to wait and see if it seals properly and how it comes out (we'll know in about 24 hours, give or take) before the word is 'in' about my canning ability (or disability as the case may be).

Crikey! Been at this for well over an hour now.... Better dash! I SHALL RETURN!