Saturday, December 10, 2005

You gotta see this!

Sorry I havn't posted for so long. December is a crazy month, especially since both my boys birthdays are this month in addition to Christmas! So don't expect too many posts until January.

That being said, I just had to share this link with you. Show your kids, they will LOVE it! Wonder if it's real? Here's what Snopes has to say about it, with some more links! (I'm sure this works best with a high speed connection.)

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 02, 2005

More on universal preschool

Research Disputes Benefits of Early Education
Take the time to read the whole article (pdf). It is very well written, one of the best and most comprehensive I've seen on this topic. One statement from this article expresses precisely my feeling on the subject:

"Fundamentally, the preschool and kindergarten debate is not about the effectiveness or expense of the programs. At heart is the question of in whose hands the responsibility for young children should rest. On that question, plans to entrench the state further into early education cannot be squared with a free society that cherishes the primacy of the family over the state."

I guess I've found my raison d'etre for social activism!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wizards, Lions, and Rabbits, oh my!

I'm nearly done reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in preparation to actually watching the movie, sometime, if we can find a sitter and a free weekend! I'd say rereading, but since I've only listened to my husband read it aloud while I crocheted, this is the first time I've read it myself! I actually wasn't looking forward to reading it; the books are rather an easy read so I figured since I already knew the story it wouldn't be very exciting. It definitely wasn't as exciting as the first time, but still exciting enough to keep me reading all day, and neglecting my work! But such is my penchant when reading!

In addition to HP, another movie that I will be seeing in the theaters (and there aren't that many I will see since movie tickets here cost upwards of $10!) is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Apparently, CS Lewis would not have approved of the movie. The source they cite is this posting of a letter apparently from CS Lewis re the radio version of his books. There is no way to authenticate that this letter actually exists from these sites, but for the sake of argument, I'll say it's authentic. He was against a live action version because an 'anthropomorphic' Aslan would be 'buffoonery' (as can readily be seen in the BBC version!) but he was not opposed to a cartoon, except that he didn't agree with all of Disney's practices. Since computer generated graphics are just (very) glorified cartoons, I don't think he would be too disapointed in the portrayal of Aslan in this newest film, though I do think he would still be wary of Disney producing it! I also don't think he would be displeased with the live actors portraying the other human characters, but I'll wait and see how well the storyline is preserved before venturing an opinion on whether CS Lewis would approve of this version.

One final movie I would like to see in the theater (but we'll see if I really want to pony up the money for it!) is Wallace and Gromit's Curse of the Were-Rabbit. It seems to go right along with my own feelings towards rabbits, considering they continually destroy my own garden!

Off to see the wizard... Harry Potter..... sometime...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Brown turkey, brown yarn, and brown...nose?

Sorry I haven't posted in a while! Can I use the holidays as an excuse? My family came to SoCal for Thanksgiving and we had a blast! In a month we'll be heading back to Utah to visit family there. Aren't the holidays great!?

I finally got my yarn I ordered back in August! It's Mr. Brown. Not sure what I can do with it, maybe use it as trim with another yarn. I'll post it here once I decide!

And in case you were wondering, longer needles are needed for fatter buttocks.

Hoping no needles are in my near future,

Friday, November 18, 2005


Politically speaking, California is a scary place to live. Of greatest concern to me at the moment is the "Preschool for All" initiative that is slated to be on the June 2006 ballot. Personally, I can see many things wrong with this initative, but I know that people will say "Free preschool! Sign me up!" or "If you don't vote for this, you will be hurting our kids" and it will pass. Here's an article from the 'Sacramento Bee' (requires free registration to view) with three studies concerning the effects of preschool on children.

The first example is done by the group that is sponsoring the initiative and shows that children performed better (in kindergarten!) if they went to preschool before kindergarten or lived with parents who read to them regularly. The conclusion they come to is that greater access to preschool will boost academic performance. It studied 10,000 children in CA's lowest performing schools.

The second was done by reasearchers at Stanford and Cal Davis, Berkely, and Santa Barbara who studied 14,162 kindergartners across the country. It concludes that while kindergarteners who attend preschool do tend to do better academically (in kindergarten!) they also found that children who entered preschool earlier were slower to develop socially.

Both of these studies seem pertinent to the issue and well done, except the possibility that the first group was only interested in supporting their agenda. One thing that bothers me about both studies is that they only studied kindergarteners. What happens to these kids for the rest of their lives? That's what I want to know. At any rate, I can rest easy now knowing that reading to my kids is equivilant to preschool! Maybe they should mandate that all parents read to their children instead of spending money on preschool for all.

The final example they use in the article is almost laughable. It is a study of 521 CA Kindergarten teachers. The conclusions are that most CA Kindergarten teachers believe that preschool helps kids. This study was basically an opinion survey and not based on any hard facts, so the only reason I can see that they included it in the article was to boost the pro-universal preschool argument!

Here's a website from a group opposed to the inititive. Granted, many of their arguments are inflamatory in nature but it brings up valid concerns about funding for 'preschool for all' (especially in 'budget crisis' CA) among other things. See #'s 1, 2, and 3. Of greatest concern for me is #12. It is scary beyond belief to me that CA would consider forcing parents to abandon their 2 yo children to the state. And this is not the first I've heard of this idea. It also sounds a death knell for Homeschooling in CA. So far homeschoolers have managed to survive by becoming private schools, but if preschool becomes mandatory that will no longer be possible because the regulations placed on preschools are such that no home could meet them. So then 'they' would have to start making laws specifically for homeschoolers and you can bet they won't be homeschool friendly laws, if 'they' don't outlaw homeschooling altogether.

Parents, that's your scary story for the day because as they say:

'As CA goes, so goes the nation'

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Shorts weather in November!

Well, now I'm sick. I hope it goes away in time for Thanksgiving! My family is coming to sunny SoCal to celebrate with us this year. And it is sunny! Yesterday we had a high in the 80's! Time to break out the shorts! The Santa Ana winds are back, bringing with them hot, DRY air but who knows if it will still be warm by the time my family gets here. My dad wants to go to the beach. Cold! But if the Santa Anas are still blowing it might actually be nice.

I was hoping to do some Thanksgiving shopping today, but the way I'm feeling I don't really want to haul the boys (who both still have coughs and runny noses) around the grocery store. Maybe I can convince my hubby to come home early and go shopping for me. I was planning to prepare the pie crusts and freeze them tomorrow, but I can't do that until I go shopping! Arrrgghh! Why is it that you always get sick at the most inopportune times?!

For any of you that are interested, I have made a cookbook especially for Thanksgiving Dinner. It has recipes and instructions for the turkey, stuffing, cranberries, sides, and of course pies. If you'd like a copy, here's a link. Here's another link for the timeline that goes with it. (They are both Word documents, so you'll need to have Word installed on your computer to view them.) Sorry, no okra recipes this time!

Under the weather,

Monday, November 14, 2005

Past Crochet Project: Love Knot Shawl

Believe it or not, I'm mostly finished with all my Christmas present crocheting! Just a few minor things to finish. I'm quite surprised myself, and I keep wondering if there is someone I've forgotten. Hmmmm.

Since I haven't started any new projects (that I can mention) I'll post one of my past projects for you to ogle. ;) This is my 'Love Knot Shawl'. The picture is really bad; the color is much brighter in person. I should take a better one. It was inspired by this pattern, but I had to modify it as I didn't have the right amount of yarn. I worked it from the point up rather than the top down so it would still be a shawl when I ran out of yarn! Plus, rather than using Lion Brand 'Incredible', I used another ribbon type yarn I had on hand and mixed it with a confetti type novelty yarn. The effect is really nice. The love knot stitch (aka 'Solomon's knot') really shows off the two novelty yarns and gives the shawl a nice drape. Now if only I were trendier I could wear it!

Not much is going on at my house. Both boys are sick and it looks like I'm getting sick too. My older ds missed saying his line ("I choose the right by paying tithing") in the Primary Program yesterday. I was sad about that, but we figured it was better than having him coughing all over the other primary children on the stand. And even though my younger ds acts like he feels fine, he has a sheen of snot all over his forearms that I thought the nursery teachers might not like. No barfing though. Oh wait! There was one incident, but I'll let my hubby tell you about it since he was there.

Itchin' to be stitchin'

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My name is Alberta and I'm a nerd....

We have no Halloween decorations so this year we made Jack-o-lanterns and stuck them on the boy's window. Ever since we did those simple little constuction paper pumpkins, my oldest ds has been going crazy making Jack-o-lanterns of every size and color. Don't get me wrong, these are very cute pumpkins, but frankly I'm getting tired of it. So I've been trying to come up with an equally simple Thanksgiving project to replace them, something my older ds can do himself without my help. Of course, the first thing I thought of was a turkey, but I couldn't think of a way to put it together that would be as simple as sticking cutout eyes and mouth on a circle pumpkin. So next I thought maybe a cornucopia. I couldn't figure out how to make that one simple either, but it got me thinking about the origin of the word 'cornucopia'. I figured it was probably related to 'cornet' (a type of trumpet) and 'copious'. So I pulled out my Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories to look it up. 'Cornucopia' itself was not in there, so I looked up 'cornet' (which it turns out comes from the Latin 'cornu' meaning 'horn') and 'copious' (which comes from the Latin 'copia' meaning 'plenty'). So 'cornucopia' (horn of plenty) comes into modern times directly from the original Latin unchanged! Wild! I wonder how many other words do that? Rob?

Thanks for joining my stream of consciousness ride.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I like to ride my bicycle.

My older ds has finally started riding his bike independently! Don't get too excited, he is still using training wheels, but up until now he refused to go down any small incline unless someone was holding on to the bike and then he'd whine the whole way down. Now he has finally figured out how to use the brakes to slow himself down without stopping completely and that has boosted his confidence enormously. He's also decided that it's more fun to go fast! So now it's my turn to be afraid. All this recent bike riding has piqued my younger sons interest in bikes as well. He begs for turns on his brother's bike, which is way to big for him, and then wants me to push him around on it. Maybe we'll have to return some of the Christmas presents we've already purchased and go get him a bike instead!

In the spirit of my husband's blog, here's the fitness report! Since Monday I have been waking up at 6:30 to be ready to go walking at 7am. I haven't been able to get up that early on a consistent basis since son #2 was born! The key I have found is to get someone else involved. (I'm walking with a girl from our ward.) If I'm just waking up early to do something by myself, it is way to easy to ignore the alarm. But now I know that someone is waiting for me, and if I don't show up they will be disappointed. Plus, it's much more fun to have someone to talk to while you are walking. She has two little girls, each a year or so behind my two boys so we definitely have something of common interest to talk about! I know walking isn't the most strenuous workout but as I've been mostly sedentary lately this is a big improvement!

Trying to avoid becoming a fat bottomed girl,


Friday, October 28, 2005

How does my garden grow?

Well, it's official. My vegetable garden is dead. The gophers finally ate most of my squash plant and the okra has either stopped producing because it's too cold or the rats have finally figured out that okra is good to eat! (Most likely it's the latter.) So now we're going to subscribe to the OC Register and use the b&w pages to control winter weed growth. I discovered last winter that my veggie garden is way to wet and cold in the winter to grow anything except weeds, and there were lots of them! According to Martha Stewart, 6 layers of newspaper covered with mulch is as effective as weedblock cloth and better because it is biodegradable and never has to be torn up. So we'll try it and see if she's right.

On the other hand, my shade/flower garden is quite dry. It currently doesn't have many plants in it, but in a few days I'll get a shipment from Henry Field's with these plants:
Scarlet Bee Balm
Californa Garlic
Maximillian Sunflower

Double Hollyhock mix
Hardy Lavender
Purple Cushion Mum
I'm so excited! I have to plant them as soon as I get them. It will be a lot of work, but I think the end result will be very nice. You'll notice all of these plants are perennials, which means that once they are established it will take less work to maintain a nice looking garden, I hope. I've never tried to grow flowers before, so this will be a learing experience. I hope I don't kill anything!

Testing my green thumb,

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Was that me?

Sorry about the last post. I'm feeling much better now. Not less stressed, but at least I'm not letting it get to me.

Some friends of mine from college came to 'sunny' SoCal this weekend for UEA (Utah Exodus to Anaheim, they're all teachers). They've been spending most of their time at Dizzyland, but last night we met them for dinner at ESPN in Downtown Disney. Good times! The food wasn't stellar (though it was good) but it was fun to catch up with them. Afterwards we went upstairs to the game area and one of them was kind enough to let my older ds use one of her tokens to 'bowl' (not the real thing, but arcade style). He had a blast! My younger ds even took a turn to roll the ball toward the pins. Then the girls went back to Dizzyland and we went to the Lego store to play a bit before heading home. All in all a fun night out with the kids, believe it or not! I think the boys are old enough now that we can get them Dizzyland passes for Christmas.

In other news, my brother and sister-in-law had their second child this morning around 11am, a little girl, 8lbs 6oz, and a week or so early! If they're reading this (though I'd be surprised if they were right after having a baby) Congratulations! My sister and her hubby are due to have a baby in January sometime, their first and another girl. So when we head back for Christmas we'll get to see a new baby and my sister VERY pregnant! We'll take lots of pics.

Looking up!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's a mad, mad, mad household!

Whew! It's been a week since my last blog entry! Guess my life just isn't interesting enough to sustain a blog.

Everything is starting to come due! I've joined a Family Home Evening exchange group and the exchange meeting is next week! I'm still not done with my older ds's costume, and Halloween is fast appoaching as well! I've got to get the garden council together for a meeting with Verano Housing by next week. Plus all the Christmas stuff I've started working on... I guess that doesn't need to be done in a week, but if I don't keep up on it, it will pile up fast! I know, excuses, excuses. But there it is.

Perhaps I should be more like my youngest ds! The other day, he brought in his stackable toys and placed them on one of the recliners. He proceeded to sing a complete rendition of "happy birthday to you." He then blew out the top toy and applauded himself.

Why can't I get my shares of simple pleasures like that?

That's one share for being the mom, one share for being a person in the home, one share for almost going insane in the home......


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Do you like my hat?

Today's lunchtime concert was "The Potter Song" sung by my youngest ds with the words "water, water, water, water, weesey, weesey". I'm amazed he still remembers the song because he hasn't seen it for over a month now! We've avoided it because he is afraid of Snape so maybe it's a traumatic memory resurfacing. My older son tried to join in on the Snape refrain, but that was not acceptable with his younger brother! I can just hear the stories they will tell their therapists in later years....

In crochet news, darthem asked me for a 'tried and true' hat pattern for the cold winters at USU. Well, I've been living in Southern California since I've learned how to crochet, and my experience with winter hats is minimal. But here are some links to the hats I have made as gifts plus some I just found that might work. Enjoy!

Hats I have crocheted:
Homespun pom-pom hat
Hooded Scarf

Hats I like:
T&Q hat and scarf
Ear Flap Hat

More free patterns that you will ever use!
Lion Brand
Hat patterns galore!

I like that party hat!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Finished Projects

Finally, a picture of the blue poncho!

And since it's taken me so long to post it, here's an extra; an extra long wrap. Too long really. And it needs to be wider. I should have shortened the chain or used a smaller hook. Oh well, I'm not going to redo it! It's based on a pattern from 'Crochet!' and I think the yarns they used were thicker than mine. Still, I really like how well the colors worked together. Now that I know how the pattern works, I can make one in any color and with the right proportions! Send me the yarn and I'll be happy to make you one. It's really quick.

These may be the last finished projects I'll post for a while. I've begun serious work on Christmas gifts and I don't want to spoil any surprises. I am taking pictures though, and I'll post them AFTER Christmas! I'll just say it's all really cute stuff.

Dreaming of a white Christmas,

Friday, October 07, 2005

Happy Anniversary to us....

It's our Anniversary today! It's hard to believe it's been 6 years already! We had a babysitter lined up for tonight so we could go see a movie (like Wallace and Grommit or Oliver Twist or Corpse Bride) but as luck would have it the boys are sick. Nothing serious, just colds, but we thought it wouldn't be nice to leave the babysitter with a couple of snotty nosed kids to watch! So we put the kids to bed and are having pie (it's pie month!) and ice cream and watching a DVD instead.

Havin' fun!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Feelin' the heat and dancin' to the music

Today was hot again. It's Santa Ana season which means we'll soon be having more fires. This is the worst weather we have all year here in SoCal. And tomorrow the power will be off in our apartment complex for 6 hours. wheeee. So we will be camping out at the library all day tomorrow. Story time starts at 10:30; after that we will play on the computers till they kick us out!

While we were waiting to go to playgroup this morning (and waiting for my youngest ds to finish his breakfast - he likes to take his time) my oldest ds began singing a song about "hear the sound of the engine". It was all about the Little Blue Engine of "I think I can, I think I can" fame. (He made it up on the spot.) Well, as he came to the chorus he cried out "sing with me!" at which point my youngest ds started singing along! He didn't get all the words, but he was singing a song he didn't know with conviction. The song ended with "chugga chugga choooooo!" repeated several times softer and softer, a real fade out! lol. I am amazed at all the creative things my boys do.

SAHM and lovin' it!


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Gonna hafta face it, I'm addicted to yarn.....

I wasn't going to post anything today, kind of a boring day, running errands etc. But I visited the craft store and picked up a copy of Family Circle Easy Crochet and look what I found advertised! They're giving it away until the end of January 2006! So go sign up! If you don't want one, sign up anyway and give it to me! I'll even make something for you out of it, if you want! (It's only one ball, so it won't be a big something...)

Please support my habit!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

This means something....

It's late but I just have to relate our lunchtime drama for today. We were having toasted tuna and cheese sandwiches. My youngest was actually eating his for a while, not a common occurence. So I went into the kitchen to get my lunch and when I return I discovered that he had started chewing on the sandwich, spitting it out, and rolling it between his hands. Ewww. But I figured as long as it was getting in his mouth we could work on getting it the rest of the way. So we worked on the 'chew and swallow' mantra for a while until I had to answer the phone. When I returned he had started adding water to the 'mix' and making mountians for the smaller pieces to climb.

I wonder if this is how Richard Dreyfuss got started.


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Crochet in the Dark

Sorry I didn't post yesterday as promised, but at 8:10 last night the power went out, with the computer on all ready to blog. This has happened here at Verano before and last time it took them 3 days to get the power back on. This time, thankfully, the power was back on by 11:30. So now we get more 'scheduled' power outages to fix whatever went wrong. grrrr.

So no post yesterday. And I was just lazy enough today (HOT!) that I didn't take a picture of my finished project. Sorry! I'll get it done soon! But in the meantime, let me tell you about my FAVORITE crochet magazine, Crochet! I know, not a very creative name. But very creative content! My lastest copy arrived in the mail today and it has sooo many great patterns; hats for charity donation, sweaters that fit and don't look like they were designed by knitters, a freeform crochet jacket, a scarf crocheted with fleece strips, the cutest robe ever for girls size 2-6, and that's just a few of the projects!! I have looked at several other crochet magazines (all of them, in fact) and this is the best, by far. Creative designs, readily available yarns, no pattern mistakes (yet), all kinds of crochet techniques, I could go on and on. I will be keeping this magazine subscription for a very long time.

Where's my hook!?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hush Puppies!

Okay, one more day on the southern theme. Since I've had a request, and since this is the BEST recipe I've found for them:

Hush Puppies

1 beaten egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 Tbsp. water
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
Cooking oil for deep frying (yum)

In a small mixing bowl stir together egg, buttermilk, green onions, and water. In a medium mixing bowl combine cornmeal flour sugar baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients. Stir just till moistened. In a heavy saucepan or deep fat friar heat about two inches of the cooking oil. Drop batter by Tbsp. into hot oil. Fry a few at a time, about 2 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in 325 degree oven while frying remainder. Makes about 18.

Dropping the batter into the oil can be a bit tricky. It takes some practice to get it right. I find if I use my finger to scrape the batter off the spoon in one quick smooth motion it stays in one piece more often.

Now of course with smothered okra and hush puppies you MUST have blackened fish. Catfish is the traditional southern fish, but just about any fish tastes great blackened. Just buy some blackening seasoning at the grocery store and season the fist to your taste. If you want to go really authentic Cajun, try alligator or turtle. Now everyone says alligator tastes like chicken, but they're wrong. It tastes like alligator!

Mmmmm, hush puppies. Just don't make them too often. They're dangerously addictive. And for you crochet enthusiasts out there, don't despair because I finished my blue ponchette and I'll post a pic of the finished product tomorrow!

Y'all come back now!


Hey, who knew I'd get so many comments about okra! Maybe I should change the name of the blog to Okra Forever! I'm sure there's a niche group out there that would love it. Haha, not really. As much as I like okra, I just don't know that there would be enough to say about it to make an entire blog. A blog entry, on the other hand....

And I have a picture right here! This is one of my okra plants from last year. I love the flower on them, pale yellow petals with a dark crimson center. The okra I planted this year got nibbled on by the omnipresent bunnies, but it recovered surprisingly well considering the damage they did! I'm not sure how much longer it will keep producing since we are approaching 'winter' here. (Yes, you can laugh. But my garden does get frost on the coldest nights!) Right now it's the only thing in my garden that is producing anything.

Okra is a heat loving plant. Maybe that's why it won't grow in upper state New York. Tell your friend I'm sorry for him having to eat frozen okra.

And finally, here's how to make smothered okra:

1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups sliced okra
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

In a 10 inch skillet cook onion and bell pepper in butter about 5 minutes or till tender.
Stir in okra, tomatoes, salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or till okra is tender.


I promise this is the last you'll hear about okra,

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Down home cookin.....

Today for dinner we made my favorite southern meal. MMMmmmm. I had some okra in my garden that was ready (it's one of the few things the rats won't eat) so I thought it would be okay to deviate from our planned menu and do something special. We had blackened salmon (I know, not strictly a southern fish, but it's cheap frozen at Sam's), smothered okra (mmmmm), and hush puppies (the boys call them just 'puppies'). I lived in Arkansas for a year and a half and learned to LOVE southern cooking, especially okra and hush puppies. The boys really liked the salmon and the hush puppies, but it was like pulling teeth to get them to even try the okra! We finally got them to try it by giving them a 'puppy' only after they ate one bite of okra. Sammy did it once (without spitting it out) after we all cheered him on. Brad liked the cheering (and the puppies) so much he ate several bites of okra, but he gagged a little on every bite. Oh well, can't win them all. I'll just sneak the okra into soups from now on.

Coming to you from the stream of consciousness,

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Current project: Blue Ponchette

I guess the title says it all! This is the pattern I'm currently working on that I described yesterday. Only a few more rows and I'm done with the main piece! Then I will join the end to the side of the front to make a point and sc around the neck and bottom edges with a combination of the Sugar and Cream yarn and the Sparkle yarn. I'll post another picture of the finished product!


And the rain rain rain came down down down....

It is still raining. With thunder and everything. I had arranged to meet the Verano Housing Programs coordinator at the community gardens to walk through and decide which plots need to be redone (I'm on the garden council) but about half an hour before we were scheduled to meet, she called and asked to reschedule. I wasn't too sorry about it as it was pouring at that moment. But I had the thought that slogging through the garden in the pouring rain might make a good blog entry. Oh well, I'm much happier to be dry!

In an unrelated topic (but not really because this is officially a crochet blog), I should be a pattern tester! I recently started a project from my last issue of Crochet Fantasy and all was going well until I finished the first row and discovered I had one too many ch1 spaces between my double crochets! So I had to undo the whole row and remove 2 chains from my foundation chain. Oh well, I figured I had just miscounted the number of chains I had made. After finishing a few more rows I deciding that I would like the smaller size better, so I undid what I had done and started over. I chained the amount listed in the pattern (I counted it twice!) and finished the first row and, lo and behold, I had one extra ch1 space again! Once again I undid the row and removed 2 chains from the foundation chain. They had the wrong number listed for both sizes!

Now I know someone had checked the pattern because they had a big picture of the finished piece in the magazine! I don't understand how they missed that mistake since the foundation chain is the very first thing you do when you start crocheting, and it can really mess up the rest of your work if it's not right! Perfectionism and nit picking should really be on the top of necessary job skills for a pattern tester. See, I'd be perfect! lol

Anyway, despite the initial setback, the project is going nicely (and quickly). I'll post a pic of it tomorrow. Don't worry. It's not anyone's Christmas present, so looking won't spoil any surprises!

How dry I am.....

Monday, September 19, 2005

And the heavens were opened!

For the first time in months, it has rained here in Orange County! A loud and occaisionally intense thunderstorm came through this evening. Though nothing like Southern rainstorms, I was impressed and delighted. I can think of only one other thunderstorm that we have had in the 3 years we have lived here. Now I won't have to water my garden tomorrow! ;)

Speaking of water, both of my sons have figured out that their mouth can produce water (spit). Mostly they just swish it around in their mouths and between their teeth, or they let a few spit bubbles out on their lips and quickly slurp them back in. However, my youngest has taken to spitting; actually it is more a controlled drool than an actual "spit". Tonight he leaned over the back of our futon couch and dropped a little puddle right on the floor!

He knows he is not supposed to spit, and his facial expression gave away the fact that he was doing it knowing full-well he was not supposed to. This earned him an immediate "time-out" on the stool in the kitchen. Now, my oldest will cry and complain when he is put in time-out, but he will stay on the stool; not the youngest. He climbed off three time before his time was up (each time we re-set the timer for 2 minutes). After the third time my husband took the stool and son into the bathroom for a time-out. He left the light on and the door open (we don't do scary "spider closet"-like time-outs). My son still screamed because he was left alone but he stayed seated. Ah, the difficulties we go though to avoid corporeal punishment (and other lazy parenting methods). More work but greater returns.

All wet,

Friday, September 16, 2005

Opening Day!

I'm fairly new on the crochet scene, and on the blog scene! I picked up crochet in the summer of 2003 on a whim and discovered I loved it! I've been crocheting like crazy since. Recently I attempted to go a whole week without touching a hook. I did it, but it nearly drove me nuts! So I guess I'm addicted. Oh well, I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to.

This summer I entered the two crochet item pictured above in the local county fair. Neither of the items placed. :-( Now I can understand why the sun dress didn't place, it wasn't my best work. But the poncho... It took some work to finish and looks (and feels) absolutely gorgeous! When I went to pick it up after the fair, the lady who put it on display said she was admiring it. But it didn't even get an honorable mention. It makes me wonder what it takes to place. Oh well! Maybe I'll enter less popular categories next year!