So Long Summertime

Tomorrow is the first day of school around here – Abby in First Grade and Tom, observing in high school, for his education block.  I can’t believe it’s over already – the summer that never was.  It never got hot and dry.  There was so much rain, my yard looks like the peak of spring instead of the tail-end of August.  It’s usually pretty crispy around here in August. 

It’s time to start thinking about all the fall activities; like Kid N Ewe in Boerne.  Their vendor spaces are full up and the local hotels are starting to fill up too.  Better make those plans or you’ll be staying in San Antonio!  Anybody coming for it?  There was a rumor that the DFW knitters were organizing a meetup.

I’m packing tonight for a 3 day trip (work).  I don’t know if anything blogworthy will occur, it’s doubtful, but I’ll be checkin’ in with Ravelry remotely.  And knitting through most of my meetings.  I did get a bit of sewing done today. 

Linen_skirt3_3
Linen_skirt2

Linen_skirt_3

Pattern: Vogue V8394
Fabric: floral linen/cotton, white eyelet ruffle and I can’t believe I got so lucky with the buttons, they look like they were made for this fabric.  I love this skirt.  As soon as I finished it, I wore it the rest of the day.  Very easy and quick.  Very comfy and cool, perfect with a tank top after a day by the pool, or the Dutch Tub.

Oh, and the okra is standing at attention.  Soon it will be time for fall gardening in ernest.
Okra

I need a Vacation…

View from the grandparents porch from my vacation.  Well, it’s not that I’m weary, but I didn’t get much done, all that having fun stuff I suppose just eats up daylight.  Actually, we had a good time in Vermont.  It is beautiful, though a bit cool for my taste.  Did you know that Vermont has a law against ugly billboards and other signage along the streets and highways?  It makes for a gorgeous drive anywhere you go.  And the gardens are just stunning.  EVERYBODY has a garden!  Flowers, veggies, both, it’s just amazing and yet you never see anyone out slaving in the garden.  They’re just there, and blooming.  Wierd.  In a good way. 

Lacy Scallops socks I started these socks on the plane waiting for take-off in Austin.  I got most of the leg done before we landed in Burlington.  The pattern is Lacy Scallops from Sockbug.  The yarn is Socks that Rock in Pebble Beach, gifted to me by S t a c i.  The pattern is nice, the yarn is nicer.  I love the colors so much. 

Abby loved all the touristy stuff that we did in Vermont – Ben & Jerry’s (Duh), Sugarbush Farms (we are set for Maple syrup for the year), Quechee Gorge, but the highlight for her was the Abby helps in the kitchen at Billings Farm Billings Farm where she got to don an apron and help out in the kitchen washing beans and cutting potatoes for the wood stove cooking day.  She also got to help with butter making and laundry.  All those hours in front of the Food Network are starting to pay off. 

Abby found a Red Eft while she was making chalk art in the grandparents new blacktop driveway.  I didn’t even know what it was, I had to look it up but they are totally cool and we don’t have any in Texas.  Abby and Red Eft The Red Eft is the transitional stage of the Red Spotted Newt (like a salamander).  After they hatch, they live in the pond or stream for about 3-4 month and then they grow lungs and emerge on land to live a terrestrial life for 2-3 years and then, get this, they return to the water for the rest of their lives (up to 12-15 years!) and grow a broad swimming tail.  How cool is that?  And they are really bright Red Eft up close and pretty!

There was some yarn tourism too.  I found two yarn stores with poor representation on the web, but they were found, nonetheless.  In Woodstock, Vermont, my MIL took me to a little yarn shop by the library and near the Woodstock Inn so while Tom was using the Inn’s wifi to check email, we checked out the yarn shop.  Whippletree’s Yarn shop is small, but has some nice yarns.  Pro_natura I picked up a skein of Trekking that I had not seen elsewhere, it’s wool and bamboo – Pro Natura – in  a nice earthy shade – they carry lots of sensible shades of sock yarn, I guess men actually wear hand knit socks in New England and I guess they need to be in sensible shades.  The Yarn store employee stated that they were working on getting a web site.  I encouraged them to do so.  The other shop was in Norwich, VT, Northern Nights Yarn Shop.  A bigger shop with a great location on the corner across from the park.  They had a nice selection and I bought some Iona Colinette Iona (my first Colinette).  It’s a gorgeous color called Moss and I’m thinking of making something for the new niece – I’m hoping there’s enough yardage for an EZ Baby Surprise or the classic Baby sweater.

So much for vacation.  Tom started school yesterday and Abby starts on Monday and I’m headed to Athens, TX for a 3 day meeting.  Gotta go pack the knitting…again.

Les Poires

Pears Guess what time of year it is?  The harvest this year is smaller in abundance than last year because I didn’t buy a hunting license this year and the squirrels have had open access to my tree.  I think they even taunted me.  But they didn’t get them all.  The ones that are left are sizable.  Since we are going out of town on vacation, this box is going to my friend Tami to put up.  There may not be any left when we get back.  If there are, I’ll make a pear cake.  It was really good last year.  I made a few jars of preserves a couple of nights ago and I have enough to can some halves before we leave. 

Pears2 The jar between the two pears is a pint size wide mouth jar, for scale.  I may need bigger jars.

Basking in the Sunshine

Twirly_skirt Okra_blossum A weekend without rain!  The lawn is mowed.  Abby has a new Twirly Skirt. (Thanks Nancy for the fabric!)

The Okra is almost ready for us to start picking. 

I got to babysit the cutest grandbaby I know and the flower bed I planted at my mother’s new house has surpassed all my expectations. 

080507_2 Moms_flowers_3 I think I had a  good weekend. 

Then this morning, I found out I won a yard of fabric in the Free Fabric Friday contest over at SewMamaSew

Tom has two more days left in this last summer session class he will ever have to take and we leave for our vacation in Vermont this Saturday.

Saving Grace

You know, sometimes something happens that makes me think that people suck.  Not all people, but you know, mean people.  Bitter people, thoughtless or rude people.  They suck.  Skirt_fabric And then about the time that I get really down about the sucky, mean people, somebody does something nice.  Somebody I never met (in person anyway) did something nice for me.  Nancy sent me a package of fabric – just enough for an adorable tiered twirly skirt for Abby, just like she made for her daughter(don’t you love the boots?).  Nancy finds the best fabric.  And she does tutorials.  Have you seen her quilts?  You must – not only is she a knitter, sewer, quilter, gardener, scrapper, she is a fabulous photographer.  And she’s been at the blogging thing for a while too.  I discovered Nancy while surfing knitblog land back when the Clapotis was new and everybody was doing it.  Well, I didn’t see the allure until I saw Nancy’s Clap – there was just something about it, it was the prettiest one I have ever seen.  Well, her blog went immediately into my blogroll.  She is absolutely fearless when it comes to color and I really admire that about her as I am timid and tend to stay in the safe neutral zone.  I’m working on that though, thanks to inspiration from the likes of Nancy and a few other bold souls out there that never became too attached to the beige lifestyle.  Anyway, Abby is very excited at the prospect of a pretty, multi-colored, twirly skirt. I think I’ll make it tonight.

Along with the wonderful package from Nancy in the mail, came my new Interweave Knits mag.  I just love fun mail!  Also, I perused the new KnitSimple at the yarn shop the other day, I didn’t buy it, but I will – there are several really cute things in there including some baby things AND a cabled vest by Kathy Zimmerman that I must have.

I started a new project last night – it’s a bit of a secret – not  a gift and not an original, but I’ll keep quiet for now nonetheless.  I knitted through my second Saving Grace episode last night.  I don’t know about any of you and it seems to be quite contraversal, but I love this show.  Maybe there is too much sex in it – for TV anyway, and maybe it’s wierd that there’s an angel and Grace is soooo not an angel and well, shoot, you just have to love Earl – he’s the best angel I’ve seen come along since Travolta’s Michael.  I love that Grace is too skinny and over forty and foul-mouthed and alcoholic and shrewish and such a bad girl, but good cop.  I love the whole non-formula thing about it and the casting is just fabulous.  No, Grace isn’t someone you look up to or even find particularly attractive, but I love the raw edge to her and that they let a woman create a role like this on TV.  A lot of folks don’t think the angel belongs, and normally I would agree – I mean, this is no Saved By an Angel type show, but I gotta say, I like Earl so much, and I like that it’s part of a crime drama – or maybe it’s a personal struggle with a crime drama backdrop, I don’t know, but I like it.  If you haven’t seen it give it a try.  If you are open-minded you might enjoy it, but I think it definitely requires an open mind. That’s just fair warning.  And Saving Grace just reminds me that some people suck and some people are angels and sometimes they trade places.