Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas Stocking

Red, white, green, green, white, red, green, red, white; over and over the same three colors. Big stripes, little stripes, medium sized stripes; I sure am glad that Christmas is over and the four stockings are complete.

The experience I gained from doing the same heel, instep, and gusset four times, has really helped me learn how to make socks. I guess that's a good thing since no one even bothered to say thank you.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Everyone seems to be knitting

As I said before, I caught the bug after a 20 year vacation from knitting, and I wanted to knit a pair of socks. I really enjoyed by lessons at my local yarn store, Knot Just Yarn, and Laura was a very patient teacher.

Since the first pair of socks were a little expensive:

Class - $35
Needles - $15.49
Yarn - $17.99
Pattern - $4.95

Hopefully, it won't be the last pair I knit.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Beaded Ornaments

Last September at our Elegant Gathering, Donna taught me how to make beaded ornaments. I made and gave away 37 for Christmas 2006 and this year I've given away 15 and sold six.


It started simply, someone on a website asked for scarves to be sent to the troops in Iraq. Now I haven't knitted or crocheted for quite a while, so I decided to make a couple of scarves. I crocheted two, then found out the Marie's stepson is in the same North Carolina unit, so I decided to make another one. I have now finished three and will make one more for Kyle's friend who is already overseas.

It seems that today everyone is knitting socks. sends me a daily free pattern and they keep talking about a book on socks. I admit it, I am intrigued. I went to Knot Just Yarn and signed up for the class. It's not really a class, it's three one-on-one lessons, with additional help as needed for $35. But I get a ten percent discount on everything I buy.

So far, I am one third of the way done with an $80 pair of socks.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bunny Hop

The rabbits are thick for some reason this year. Little ones and big ones, not to mention the two my bad dogs killed. When I look outside at dusk there are a minimum of four every evening.

Last night, the dogs were at the screen door barking non stop, so I tore myself away from the computer and took a look. Two rabbits, probably teenagers :-), were out in the field playing tag or a bunny game like tag. One would crouch and the other one would run at it top speed then jump straight up in the air, right before the crash.

Very entertaining, both for me, the dogs, and the bunnies.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Big trucks

I live on a highway, so the cars buzz by at about 55 mph. Right in front of the house next door, there is left turn off the highway so when people turn they have to stop all the traffic. This causes several wrecks a year.

This year they are widening the adjacent highway, so large gravel trucks are buzzing by my house all the time. Yesterday, as I was mowing lawn, a man slowed to turn across the highway and the SUV following him stopped too. However, the gravel truck driver had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting the SUV. The brakes squealed and smoke poured from all the tires.

I don't know if the driver glanced at me mowing the lawn, I don't know if the driver was talking on a cell phone. I don't know why he didn't see the brake lights, because I did going the opposite way on a lawn mower. I do know that if the driver had not slammed on his brakes he probably would have killed the SUV driver.

Very scary.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Dogs, mud, and how not to start a new month

Yesterday I mowed the lawn and didn't lock (although I did latch) their fence. This morning I let them out into their yard at 7:30 a.m. and then when I went back out at 9:15 a.m. the gate was open and they were nowhere to be found.

I threw on some clothes, walked to the end of the driveway and out in the field in all three directions, nothing. I yelled and whistled (I'm a good whistler), nothing. I called both my neighbors and then yelled and whistled some more, nothing.

I got a cup of coffee, yelled and whistled again and here comes a mud caked Bear running, straight into the house. I yelled for Rowser and here comes Bette from next door and Rowser following along. She found them out next to her house heading towards the winery, called them, and they came. Whew, I'm so relieved, they are in such trouble.

Now I love my dogs, but they sure have a penchant for getting in trouble and that trouble always seems to include mud. When I lived in the city they dug under the fence and went swimming in the neighbors pool twice. Luckily for me, the neighbors were nice, because judging on the amount of mud Bear came home with, the pool had to have looked much worse.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Mowing the lawns

Mowing the grass around here is never ending. It starts in February and ends, depending on the Fall weather, in October or November. When I first took over the job at the beginning of last year, it took me seven or eight hours, now I can get it done in six.

I'm not really good at avoiding things either, which is not good as there are approximately 20 trees and bushes in my way. Last week I ran into, and tore a big branch off of, one of the apple trees. Luckily, it wasn't the kind of apples I like. I also ripped out a small rhododendron plant.

It's also good that most of the mowing is out of mom's hearing, because she would have a fit if she knew about all the things I had run into/over/or smashed to smithereens.

Last year I almost went off the top of the ditch, backwards and at top speed, because I couldn't remember how to slow down the throttle.

Anyway, I made it through last year, I will make it through this year. Last year I listened to the latest Dixie Chicks cd (no, I do not have an IPOD or MP3 player; yes, I know I am the only person in the world without one), this year I am listening to Spanish language lessons. Hola, como estas?

Friday, June 29, 2007


A couple of years ago, after I retired, I moved to my home town and started remodeling the house I lived in until I was 13. It's an old (over 100 years) farm house and had been a rental since my grandma died in 1976. The inside was trashed.

I gutted the bathroom and kitchen. I moved a staircase from the bedroom into the entry room and enlarged the downstairs bedroom, including adding two closets. I added a storage/coat closet under the stairs.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Last night Chris Mathews' guest was Ann Coulter. I do not understand why people watch her. I don't understand why Chris Mathews would have her on his show and give her an hour of airtime. I don't understand why anyone would waste their money buying anything that she writes.

  • She is a spewer of evil.
  • She is mean personified.
  • She exudes bad karma.
I think she was wearing the same dress she wore last time or she has a closet filled with little black dresses.

Adventures in Jury Duty

Last December I got selected for jury duty. It was actually fun.

Week One
I'm number 808. The first week I call in and they only need numbers 1 through 695. Now I'm in a smallish town and I have no idea where 695 people are going to park to report, so I'm very very happy that I'm number 808.

Week two
Monday through Wednesday they need numbers 695 through 750, number 808 must call in on Wednesday night. So I call in and sure enough they need ME.

Wednesday night/Thursday morning midnight
Must go to bed, must go to sleep, must get up early. Helllllloooooo, I'm retired and I don't get up until 8:30 a.m., you want me at the Public Safety Building at 8:30 a.m., dressed? make up? hair curled? OMG, what are you people smoking? Plus it's very very windy and I'm sure the power will go out and I'll miss the two alarms I have set.

The morning of
Alarms go off and I hear them. Not only that, but I get up and stumble to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee. Get in shower, tell myself only 10 minutes. Fifteen minutes later, get out of shower, stumble back to the kitchen for my coffee. Get dressed, curl hair, make-up on, well this is as good as it gets for me.Time to go, but first I have to take the garbage to the street, because last night it was too windy. Also, must remove two eight foot branches, that blew off the fir tree last night, from the driveway.

At the Public Safety Building (jail) 8:15 a.m.
Get wanded, get x-rayed. What's that in your purse? I don't know, let's empty it out here in front of all the convicts. Check in, take a (hidden) number. I am no longer number 808, now I am number 5. I ask if I can be number 7, but no, I must keep the first number I drew.

Go in sit down, visit with other numbers.

Judge comes in at 8:35 a.m., very funny judge; however, he is the only one who gets coffee.

8:40 a.m.
Lawyers and defendant (in street clothes) come in, judge arranges us by number. Number 5 at end of row one. They tell us all about jury duty, then they start the voir dire, which means "to speak the truth". Tell us about the witnesses, does anyone recognize the names. Several hands go up, mine included. So "number 5 who do you know". Well my best friend's husband is a cop and when they got married I stood up with the deputy (or at least one with the same name). Judge says "yes, it's him".

More questions, number 8 is nutz. Talking about philosophy and blah blah blah until the judge says okay, we know you know, but lets let someone else answer. Anyone been arrested? Convicted? Family members arrested? Convicted? Let me state here and now that there are a large bunch of criminals called for jury duty.

9:30 a.m.
Still asking questions, and I notice that number 5 is getting more than her share of questions to answer. I'm thinking that I must be looking pretty good sitting there with all the criminals. Questioning over and the two lawyers (both very young) go up to the judge and they "pick" the jury. Numbers 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10. Everyone else is dismissed and we, the jury, are taken by Tracy to jury room number 2 where there is coffee and cookies. Also, where I find out that number 10 is the much older brother of one of my friends since high school.

10:15 a.m.
Trial starts, opening statements, object, sustained, object, sustained, object blah blah blah. Jury leave, jury back, object, overruled, okay jury leave, jury back, break, 5 more minutes of trial, lunch for one and a half hours.

1:15 p.m.
More testimony, more breaks, more objections, and now it's our turn.

4:00 p.m.
Guilty; not guilty; no evidence, poorly presented on both sides. It's a phone harassment charge and it literally comes down to a text message.

5:15 p.m.
Call the judge, verdict, Tracy comes and gets us, takes us back to the courtroom, and here is the defendant sitting in his red jumpsuit with a deputy standing behind him. Hmmm What is your verdict. Guilty, poll the jury. Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty Guilty

5:30 p.m.
Jury is dismissed but must go back to room 2 with Tracy and wait for judge. Judge comes back and lets us ask any questions we want. Why is he in jail? Because he was just sentenced for arson against his present ex-girlfriend. A different ex-girlfriend than the one we just convicted him of harassing.

I asked the judge why the jury members were selected from the small numbers, and he told me it was because it saves time to "eliminate" jurors, rather than learn enough about a room full of people to seat a jury. In other words, if you have a small number unless you are a criminal or a crazy, welcome to the jury.