"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." ~Goethe~

31 August 2009

Parties and more projects...

It was another busy weekend here at the zoo. A little bit of errands, yard work and rearranging going on around here. Plenty to keep a person busy. At least until I had to take medicine for my allergy attack after I mowed the grass on Saturday. Then it was nap time in the family room while the girls were watching one of their favorite movies. Good ol' Benadryl works every time. But that was two hours wasted that could have been used doing something else, with yarn! What do you do? Go with the flow I guess. So the rest of the evening was very "slow" with not much accomplished but coming down off of the Benadryl. Sunday was spent rearranging the craft room. It hasn't been a very inspiring environment lately. Just not a room I have been wanting to hang out in lately. I'm hoping that the new spot for the desk and the shelves of yarn and fabric will help bring out some new creations in the future. I'm already liking the lovely light that comes in from the window and just pours itself across the desk. Very nice! So cross your fingers that all the work yesterday pays off. But as you can tell, not a lot of work was done on the frog.

I just had to show you the rowdy play doh party that was going on Friday. Good thing I came in when I did. There were purple mice, green walruses, blue giraffes, etc. And lets not forget all the brightly colored party food! That would make a group crazy just looking at it all. :) Everyone behaved themselves and a good time was had by all. The color combinations were a bit wild though.

Today the much awaited package arrived with the sock yarn that will make some fabulous sweaters for the girls.

This is "Antique Rose" that Brenna picked out. At first she was a little bummed because she didn't think there wasn't enough red in the color scheme. Once the box was opened, here smile was ear to ear. She has really warmed up to this color very quickly!

Then there is "Berry Bliss" for Em. She was also delighted to see that there was a more intense purple color to this then what was perceived while looking on line.

So just remember, as always noted online, the true colors don't always look like the pic on the websites.

Now to go finish the frog so I can get started on these sweaters. I'm just as excited as the girls are!

I was completely surprised when checking the mail today and saw that my patterns I ordered FRIDAY were here already! Way to go USPS!!! I've always been a big fan you know. :) Wonder why? So after the sweaters there will be some chickens made so that they can find a wonderful spot in the kitchen to take up residence. Awesome!

Notice the pattern for ballerina slippers. Strictly for the girls. How cute!

Well, I must be off. We've got a busy day tomorrow with new lessons in beginning Algebra and trying to figure out the sun's power. Maybe I'll try to explain that one later. :/ Brenna is hitting Glenn up for some dimes so she has some tomorrow while she's doing her lessons. She's becoming a real "miss money bags". She'll try to scam you out of a penny here lately! It's cute listening to her explain to Glenn how many pennies make up a nickel and so forth. It's fun seeing the light come on when they are learning something new. So awesome!

Have a grand day tomorrow! I'm going to stay up a wee bit later just to get those toes onto the frogs hands, even if I pay for it tomorrow when I don't feel like getting up and start the day with my normal cheerful self. LOL!!!! Yeah right! Morning person I am NOT. Anyhoo, hopefully there will be something to smile about in your neck of the woods. There was lots here today with all the lovely little things being delivered to us. (doing a little jig right now!) :)


28 August 2009

Frogs toes and a Dam...

What a combination, eh! Well let me explain. The other day the girls and I had finished the days lessons earlier than planned. So with Glenn being off (and getting bored just sitting around waiting on us) we took a spur of the moment field trip down to the Snake River to see the Swan Falls Dam. Never been there in all these years of living in the area. What a shame it took us this long. (Field trips aren't being done in the public schools around here for now because of no money in the budgets. Another reason we homeschool and the girls can see and learn about so much more than in public schools. And then we don't have to deal with 100 kids plus who don't know how to behave and take the whole experience away from everyone.)

The dam was built in 1900-1901 to supply power to the mining town of Silver City in the Owyhee Mtns. Let's just say we were very impressed when we saw the pics of the horse drawn wagons that were used to bring in all the supplies, materials, concrete, etc. just to build this dam. Simply amazing. All I could think of was, you probably didn't hear those men griping and complaining about all that hard work. Once they put their mind to something, it just got done. You know that wouldn't happen today even with all the machinery that is available to make something like this.

I hope you can read these signs when you click on them. Very interesting information about the whole project. The one side gets abused from the sun and weather.

The part of the generator houses that look like grand buildings is the part of the original dam and the flat boring looking part is what was built in 1994. There was definitely some pride put into the creation of the old part of the dam. I love to look at old buildings. They just have so much more character compared to what is built now a days.

We decided to walk across the catwalk that goes along the whole side of the dam just to get to the other side. Now keep in mind I am the one who doesn't like anything to do with water when I can't see the bottom of things. So I wasn't too giddy when Brenna started skipping across the catwalk like it was no big thing she was over VERY deep water with BIG dam gates nearby. So the skipping was halted when the images of the catwalk collapsing into the river came into my head. Sorry, I am a weenie!
At least Brenna spotted this little guy scurrying around near the beginning of the catwalk and was able to watch him for a bit. There were more of his friends all around.

As we made our way around the old buildings we were able to look into the windows and see what was inside...


and this. So very cool! We saw a sign that said that tours are given on certain days of the week if Idaho Power is given 48 hrs advance notice that you are coming. I think we will be calling one day soon. I really want to go in and see all the cool old equipment!

We finally made it to the other side without anyone falling (or crashing) into the water. FAB! Brenna was amazed that there are 12 huge water gates that were closed to hold all the water back for now. I think I might convince Glenn to come back next spring just so we can see the snow melt water rushing through the gates, from a safe distance mind you.

Here is a look across to the other side of the river were we started from. And yes, the road comes down along the steep side of the canyon to the river. I didn't look too much!

Here's the view of the 12 gates on the bottom side of the dam. Where we were standing is usually completely covered with water in the spring with all the water flow coming out of these gates.

It started to get really hot in the sun and then something really started making me sneeze around all the desert plants on the other side of the river, so we went back across to where we started. We had to check out the old house nearby. Nobody lives there now but how cool. And a little creepy. You could see in a few windows and things looked as if someone was just there earlier in the day but with lots more dust. I believe it's the house where the "dam keeper" use to live. Glenn was creeping us out saying he saw someone standing in front of the attic windows. Nice.

After all that exploring and getting tired of the heat already, we headed back up the canyon to head home. I had Glenn stop just to show how far up the top of the canyon is. I still can't believe I got even that close to the edge just to get this pic. Heat exhaustion or a lapse of insanity. It's the only explanation. It's either that or I was drunk. And I don't drink. So...

Things have been busy with school work, chores, etc. But I have been able to finish the one frog and am half way done with the other. Brenna loves her little frog. She just hasn't decided if it's a boy or a girl yet. No big hurry you know. It will come to her one day. Both the girls like the brown thread instead of the black thread mentioned in the pattern. It's theirs, so they get what they like.

On the second one I've got the body, arm & hands and now the toes done. This is a pic of the toes before you gather them up and then sew them to the end of the hands. Very little. You have to make 12 of these. 3 stitches, 4 rows. I've not made anything that small before the first frog so I was really wondering if I knew what I was doing. Now, piece of cake. I can make toes all day long. Not that I would want to.

I have to get this frog finished NLT this weekend because new yarn will be arriving Monday for the girls sweaters. I finally decided on a pattern from "The Yarn Girls guide to Knits for Older Kids" book (located below in the bookstore). The pattern called for sock yarn, knit with 2 strands at a time. For Em that is 2000 yards of yarn. Now you say, "that's alot of yarn". Yes it is! Especially when you are looking at all the specialty sock yarns out there and that much yarn would have cost me about $100 just for Em's sweater. Well, after figuring that out and nearly having a coronary, I went with Red Heart's Heart and Sole sock yarn. Much cheaper, soft and beautiful colors. So for about $60 I was able to get enough for Em's sweater and Brenna's also. Sorry, but I am a tight wad. And if I'm going to put that much time and work into these I want to make sure they hold up also. There are some other sock yarns I wonder about after making a few pair and having to mend heels often. I will show off the yarn colors the girls picked out when it arrives.

There were patterns bought also. Luckily I didn't pay for those. My friend Di was over last weekend and she forked over the money to pay for quite a few for me and her. I was against this (seriously) but there are times you can't say no to Di. So anyhoo, those will be on the way soon and will show them off as well.

I have had fun making these little frogs and have really admired Susan's patterns now because of them. And after looking around her "stuff" I went to the Loop yarn shop site and bought the pattern for Susan's knit chickens. So completely adorable! I can see some of them made and hanging out around the kitchen. So, now that I have been totally bad and spent money I have to stop for now. Until Glenn gets home tonight and we decide were we should make reservations in Salmon, Id for a quick little getaway with the girls. Nothing like making plans at the last minute! I have convinced everyone to put off the trip to Coeur D' Alene until next spring or early summer. I don't want to rush a trip like that. I'm just hoping that there will be moose to see in Salmon. I hear that they wander around everywhere. Could you imagine. Wow!! I'm getting all excited and there is still a couple of weeks to wait!

Anyhoo, off to come up with another no oven dinner. Too hot for that today. This weekend is suppose to cooler. Thank goodness. Plus I have to go check out what is going on with the Play Doh creations in the dining room. Supposedly there is cake, animals and other "party" things being made. Not sure if cake, animals and party should be going together in the same sentence. Sounds a bit rowdy to me. Supervision may be needed.

Have a FAB rest of the day! Hopefully you found something to smile about.


(sorry for the edit. I didn't like the pics of the dam signs because you could read them. I hope you can now.)

24 August 2009

A day at the FAIR!!!!

So this weekend was again a very busy one. Making sure things were done around the house, a trip down to the market in town and a day spent at the fair. I was one tired girl this morning, trying to get up when Glenn got up for work. It wasn't easy. Before I get on about the Fair, I must tell you about two bits of information that I think are pretty important.

First off, Glenn started a blog; The Wandering Crow. Just something fun he wants to do to play around with his photos and his writing at times. Stop by some time and see what he is up too. I can't guarantee that he will update as much as I do mine, but who knows. :)

And the second is that... Glenn got a ribbon at the Fair for one of his pictures that he entered! I was so happy for him. The girls squealed when they saw it. It was Honorable Mentioned, but hey it was a ribbon his first time out! Something to be proud about! And yes, he is strutting around here reminding everyone he got a ribbon. We just smile, laugh a bit and let him have his day. Like I told him, you can't win anything unless you try. Good lesson for the girls! :) Congrats Glenn!

So now for the regularly scheduled program:

There were simple farm engines to be seen and watched. The girls thought it was cool how some were being used to grid corn and wheat to show how they worked.

Then there were the good ol' tractors. So neat to see these old timers. I remember sitting up on a few of these when I was little. Very cool indeed!

There were a few "korny" pics of the girls having fun with the displays at the fair. Sorry, I couldn't resist! LOL!!!

There were the Texas Thunder horses to be seen. Such beautiful horses and HUGE!!! You must click on the link and see how talented these horses are. Their shoulders came up to the top of Glenn's head. And their hooves were massive! Very glad we were able to see these beauties!

Brenna found her favorite. You can see below why. She fell in love with him when she saw his name. She was talking to him so sweetly. It was adorable!

Who wouldn't love a name like that!

Then it was off to see the bunnies. This one was washing his face. The girls thought that was too adorable.

There was this gorgeous goose. He was very quiet. Unlike the two big white ones in the pen next to him.

This big guy made sure he puffed himself up to show us who was boss. Very pretty colors on his face.

There were baby quail that were hatching right before our eyes. The girls were watching so intently to see which eggs were moving just in case they were able to see the shells cracking open. Too cute!

There were a few beautiful birds to be seen.

And more little babies to watch. The girls thought it was funny to watch some chicks walk right over the top of some that were sleeping. And there were some sleeping right in the middle of the feed tray. Very funny!

There were more hokey pictures to be taken as two little ones were attempting to make animal sounds as the pics were being taken.

They look like they are having a BAAAAAAD hair day! sorry! hehehehe!

Then it was off to the rides. Glenn and Em tried this beast out. Sorry, not me. I stayed on the ground where it was safe. You can see Glenn in the pic on the far right. Em was next to him with hands and feet hanging out all over the place. No fear with that girl. She even went back on it a second time because it was her favorite ride!

Then it was Brenna's turn to ride the roller coaster with Em. They are in the yellow car. She had a blast copying Em with holding their hands up in the air, squealing and laughing the whole time.

Next was the sack slide. Apparently we need to find a huge piece of property so that we can buy one of these. The girls had to go on this quite a few times because they figured out how to catch air as they were coming down the slide. Very awesome! I wonder about them at times. :) I'm surprised we don't live at the ER.

There were the house of mirrors to go in. Brenna laughed so hard when she saw herself in this one. She said she looked stubby. They just thought it was funny that I had to slide down the twisty slide to get out of this thing. Glenn was rolling! Glad I could add to the humor of the day.

We were very glad to get away from this noisy ride. This one could have lost it's sound making capability and no one would have minded. But Brenna enjoyed it.

We were glad to hear that if we were to ever get a BIG piece of property that pigs were not allowed on it because they stink. We breathed a sigh of relief on that one.

Here was a prize dairy cow. Very pretty eyes she had. And we need one on our "big" property we were told.

A few little goats had to be fed. Brenna didn't like the bigger ones. She said they didn't have manners shoving the little babies around stealing their feed. She yelled at one of them for squishing one baby into the fence. Everyone cracked up!

She finally got to pet a sheep and loved it. Apparently we have to get some of them also along with some chickens, goats and a pony. Yeah.

There was a baby bison to pet. The girls did not want to leave him. Brenna said he was pretty.

After riding "Fudge", Brenna needs to have one of her own. She said she wants to ride all day long. Can you feel the pain for the pony! Poor thing! :)

Then there was Em on "Lightining".

We were laughing while the girls were waiting their turn because the kids that were riding at the time suddenly stopped because one of the ponies had to take a "potty" break right in the middle of the ride. Little kids can wait when there is business to be taken care of. Hilarious! The kids weren't sure if they were suppose to get off or not.

Then there was the last ride of the day to get rid of the last of the ride tickets we had. Brenna was happy she got to go on a swing ride. She wasn't tall enough for the big one that Glenn and Em went on earlier. So she was very happy to go on this one with Em!

Everyone was tired by this time. One last stop was to be made as we all headed out towards the main gate for Lemonade ICEEs. The absolute best! A FAB ending to the day.

After we got home and started to settle down for the day, I thought my feet were going to fall off. I must be getting old. No other explanation. But at least it was all for a good cause so that the girls had a GREAT day. Glenn and I just need to start taking large sums of donations so that we can start looking for a HUGE property to keep all the little critters that need to be acquired. Can you feel the pain? I am just thinking about it. I just don't think the girls are kidding about it all though. They are talking about wanting to get into the 4H club so they can have pets. Lord help me. I did see quite a few kids wearing their FFA jackets around the fair. Man, did that bring back memories from high school. You were nothing if you didn't have a navy colored corduroy jacket. Letterman jackets were nothing. I was nothing. But oh the memories from way back then.

Well, off to put on the comfy pj's and grab the frog to finish his face. Can you believe I didn't touch anything "yarny" all weekend! I'm having withdrawals right now. About as bad as when I don't have a bite of chocolate for the day. Pretty bad. So off I go so I can sleep peacefully tonight.

Find something to smile about. You need a smile a day, at least! :)


20 August 2009

Frog Legs anyone?

I had to show the progress that was made on the little frog last night. If there wasn't so much going on around here I would have already had one of these little guys finished by now. It took me a few minutes to wrap my head around how to start the hands after the wee little i-cord legs are done. It was a piece of cake really. The problem: I was tired when I started reading the instructions for the hands. Not good. But it all came out good. I just had to show the scale of this little guys hands & toes. Yes, there are toes. And they have to be made separately and then stitched onto the hands.
All in all, I think "he" is coming along very well. I probably could have knit with 2 strands to make the stitches "thicker" but I still love the yarn with the colorful flecks all throughout. I just used fluff to stuff the body and not a tennis ball like Susan did in her pattern. You do not want to encourage "bad" behavior around here. I can envision little frogs flying through the air if certain little girls knew that tennis balls were inside the frogs. Not good. Avoid the whole situation I say. I mean really, would you want to see your mother "wigging" out because a frog just happened to "hop" across the room by himself? I didn't think so. :) Anyhoo, we must press on with the remainder of the frog so that "he" can stop going around the house with no head. It's just not right.

On the veggie front, there was a heap of kale to be picked today. It is so good in soups and sauted with other veggies. YUMMO!!! And look at the lovely Thumbelina carrots! So sweet. Not sure what the reddish colored one is. Definitely not a Thumbelina carrot. We will just have to take a nibble just to see if it is as good as the others. If it is, we may have to look to see if there are seeds for red carrots next year.

Off for more fun. There is still math to be done being we took a wee break to check out the garden. Then there will be some work getting the veggies ready for the freezer. Thank goodness for left overs. :) My favorite! We had White Bean Chicken Chili last night and it was FAB! Super with cornbread! Plus, who wants to cook when it is so terribly hot out today. 100! Can't wait for next week and the temps are suppose to be mid 80's.

The math, veggies and little froggie are calling. Can't get done by themselves you know. And I can't wiggle my nose and things magically just get done. Haven't been able to figure that one out yet.

Have a wonderful rest of the day to you all! Put a smile on! :)