Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Bounty

I didn't plant any zucchini or squash this year. It takes up so much room and we don't eat very much of it any way. I have my hands full with beans, with a bucketful ready to can this morning. I did pick up some local sweet corn and a squash for dinner last night.

I love to slice the zucchini (or other squash) thinly, dredge it in flour, then egg and milk, and then in seasoned breadcrumbs. Let them sit in the refrigerator at least an hour before you fry them up crisp. Sprinkle with salt or grated parmesan cheese. I served it with the first-of-the-season sweet corn and some grilled bratwursts.

I'm still waiting for the first ripe tomato.

I got a run in this morning. I decided to go down the road since the flies were so bad on the trail. It was ok until I got to the pit bull at the corner house. I started to turn around, but yelled at it when it was following me. The lady heard me yell and called him, so I kept going. Apart from the dog and the scent of roadkill, it wasn't too bad. I just had to keep my ankles loose. I was glad I had my pepper spray on me at least. Coming back, I kept watching for the dog and a bull frog scared me half to death LOL. Ah well, it's better than shaking the whole house to a workout dvd when the whole family is home!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Notes From The Trail

After several weeks of drama/trauma, I was finally able to take Coco to the trail for our first run in 24 days. She got the staples removed over a week ago and is fully healed from her surgery. My husband isn't completely healed, but I was glad to be able to take a break and head to the trail.

When I pulled into the parking lot behind the library, I saw a deer on the side of the trail, about 50 yards away. She watched us and moved off, just into the wood line. I put on my headphones and started my Nike+ iPod workout. I have heard a buck snort in the woods before, but this doe snorted so loud, it scared me even with music playing. I had almost forgotten she was there until I heard it and realized we had walked up to within 15 yards and my dog didn't see her.

I knew I would have to walk, stretch, and warm-up properly, but got set-upon by flies immediately. It is supposed to rain later and the deer flies were swarming us. Most of them were on Coco, not penetrating her fur, but irritating nonetheless. I ran a good bit of my normal routine, but decided to turn around since they just wouldn't leave her alone.

We had a run-in with a shepherd that wasn't leashed. The lady kept calling it, but almost at a whisper like she didn't even expect the dog to obey her. We got away from it, but not soon enough. I smashed a fly on my ring finger and there was a lot of blood. The darn thing had been feasting on my hand and three fingers were swelling up. I stepped it up a notch as best I could, and got us back to the car. I kept kicking Coco's butt a few times just to keep up the pace and had to brush the flies off of her before she got in the car.

An ice cube, some Benedryl and hydrocortisone cream later and my hand finally feels better. I'm painting my kitchen and hope to finish it up this weekend. I started on the cabinets and got most of them done...about two years ago. I thought this would be a good weekend to paint and get as much done on it as I can. I still have part of the cabinets to do, but at least the rest of it will be done. Interior design is not my strong point, especially on my budget, but I'll post pictures when it's done.

So, I have lots to keep me busy. I have a lot more beans to pick. I'd much rather eat them fresh, but I will be canning this weekend also. Have a great weekend. I'll update more details regarding Bruce's eye injury when I know something. Apparently these sorts of things take a long time to heal and his doctor said it was the worst trauma to the eye he had ever seen. I'm so lucky to have him sleeping peacefully on the sofa. Thanks everyone for your continued support and prayers! It helps more than you know.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'll be taking a break from the blog for awhile. Since today is a "wait and see" day, I thought I'd tell a bit of the tale. I blogged recently about my husband's bike trip here.

My husband, Bruce, had been planning a camping/mountain biking trip, only to have a horrific accident on the first day. His ordeal began Friday when he went over the handle bars on his bike, landing on a downed tree that put a 1/2 to 3/4" stick through his eye. Without getting gruesome, I'll explain that I think it went down from the top and into the sinus, breaking the plate bone behind the cheekbone.

Being far from an accessible road, he then had to climb down the mountain, sliding on his rear end for quickness, all the while bleeding a lot. It took him two hours to get down. He was picked up by a life flight helicopter and taken to a hospital. It wasn't the closest hospital either. I suppose they took him somewhere specific because of the head injury.

He sat in their ER for hours before he was able to call me. Here I am, over a 4 hour drive away, with no car. (Well, I have a junker I only take to town is all.) I hear Life Flight, stick in my eye, get here, they're going to do surgery to remove it. I don't know how to describe that really. I've had major surgery myself, one sudden and unexpected. But this, this was unbelievable.

I'm so grateful for my Mom. She started around 6:30 or 7:00 and drove to my house which is 1 1/2 hours. Then we took the kids and dog to her house and we eventually arrived at the hospital about 3:30 am. I was driving almost 75 mph which is so not me LOL. He had just come out of surgery and was talking to me, but exhausted. I didn't get to talk to a doctor, but they thought the eye was ok and he'd have to wait and see.

Mom and I slept about 2 1/2 hours the next morning before we headed out with our map to try to find the campsite and my car. Thanks to Google for making this trip a lot easier (everything from maps to phone numbers, hotel, pharmacies and more). It took us about an hour and 45 minutes, but we found the campsite. The other guys on the trip were all there. Apparently they didn't know where they had taken him or anything. They helped pack up his stuff between my car and Mom's truck. I was thanking them profusely for getting him help...and for getting his bike back to camp and all that, but I'm fighting back the urge to say "WHY DIDN'T ANYONE CALL ME?" They had an emergency contact paper, but apparently that system doesn't work guys.

I found my way back to the hospital finally. It is a huge hospital...Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA. This is all near State College, Penn State, Bloomsburg area. Lots of walking since the parking is very far away and there are many connected buildings to find your way around. I must have walked miles.
I no sooner walked into the room and he said that the doctors had just been in. He has a broken bone behind his cheekbone (I forget what the plate is called) and that he has to have surgery to have that repaired and to have the lower lid stitched, after the swelling comes down. His options were to wait until Tuesday and have it done there, or head home and contact someone at the Cleveland Clinic.

He opted for going home. We picked up his prescriptions there and I got him a peach gelato with vanilla custard (and one for me too, of course). I was a bit concerned about how tired I was. All that driving and little sleep. Normally, I don't think I could have done it. But he needed me to do this and, other than shooting pains in my hip and the cruise not working, I muddled through. It was bad timing that his pain meds wore off just as we hit the bumpy roads here in Ohio. He was pretty miserable, but we made it.

He is resting, uncomfortably, until we can get a referral. Then we'll see what tomorrow brings. I left on this long trip, not knowing what to expect, but hoping for the best. I am surprised to be back home with him the next day. I'm trying to stay calm and still hope for the best, but it's difficult not to worry about whether his vision will come back or not, which determines whether he can keep his job or not. We weren't prepared for this. I've been lucky to be able to stay home with the kids, and now to have my Etsy shop, but this isn't going to be easy. We had just received papers from AFLAC in the mail and giggling that it pays $35 for a dislocated finger and now he's trying to joke about "anything's better than a sharp stick in the eye!"

I'll be back when things get back to normal around here. Thanks for stopping by. See you soon I hope.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fun list and Vintage Goodness

Thanks fishlegs for including my Blue Hoodie in this fun Hooked-on-Crochet list!!
Do stop by their shop and see what's new! I love this Vintage Basket of Kitchen Goodies.

I don't even know how I reached this page. It was some sort of Flickr search and I typed in "LazyTcrochet". It's pretty cool. I'll have to look for it again.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Project Get Lots Done While He's Gone - Day 1

In hopes of keeping up my momentum and encouraging myself to get a lot of work done while he's gone for a long weekend, I've decided to blog my progress each day.
This is the shawl that I started with the Teaberry homespun. It is a cotton/poly blend and has a wonderful drape to it. I chose to crochet it with a lacey v-stitch pattern. This yarn would have knitted well with beautiful stitching, but I opted for crochet since I can finish it faster.

I did break out the humungous knitting needles and knit this scarf fairly quickly. It was an experiment in yarns. I have some color combinations in mind that I will be able to use up some scrap yarns for more big needle scarves.

That's not too bad for my first day. I'll be working on the shawl today. It will work up more slowly as it gets bigger. You start at the center top and it works fairly quickly to begin with. Now that it's bigger, it takes longer to do each row increase. I'm not rushing it though.

I also received a package in the mail from Joanns. They had a coupon email offer that I took advantage of last week. I got some gorgeous black wool and this shimmery wool/nylon blend yarn. I'm picturing a hood similar to the hooded scarf I made last year, but perhaps on a bolero jacket or something. There's probably not enough yarn for a project like that though.

It will be another skorcher of a day here. Maybe I'll have a film festival and work in the a/c.
Good luck and have a great day!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Knitting Nerd

This is it. This is the weekend of the long bike trip that my husband has had planned for months now. He packed up my car and loaded up his bike for a long weekend of mountain-biking near State College, PA. Yes, I said "my car." Well, it used to be my car. Since his has become too scary to drive, he's been driving mine. The guys at work have long-since ignored the Knitting Nerd and Crochet Geek stickers on it. I do like having my shop name on my car, but I haven't been doing much driving myself these days.

So, I handed him a stack of business cards and sent him on his way. I only now realize that I never did get around to making the wool cycling cap that I promised him. I'll have to get on that, but I'll need him to be home to fit it properly.

With a long weekend and no car, what to do, what to do? I have several projects planned and a room full of yarn. I tend to get overwhelmed with ideas at this point. Or, I'll start something, set it aside and decide to start something else instead. Then I'll end up with 4 projects that all need finishing. So, I'm trying to decide what to work on first. Something that will keep my interested enough to finish it and move on.

I think I'll start with this gorgeous Teaberry homespun. Shawls have always been my favorite project. There are lots of designs floating around in my head. Next, I'm going to play with some knit and crochet hat designs and try to get a basket full ready for my first show in October.

Oh and watch for lots of new listings on My niece modeled for me (thank goodness she didn't pass out in the heat) and I have lots of photos waiting for me.
Have a great weekend! I'll keep you posted of my accomplishments.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I made this purse for my niece. She has modeled for me in the past and we have a photo shoot planned for today. She's headed up to Brushwood and I thought she could use this little purse for the festival.

Oh and check out this odd Ohio beetle I found this morning. It's actually over an inch long. I've never seen one like it here before.

Street Team Finds

Fabulous fiber finds from the EtsyFAST Team...

Monday, July 14, 2008

8 8 8

I noticed the other day that I have 888 hearts. It's been that way for awhile now. I sure hope it's not stuck there until 8/8/08! Lately it seems the number 8 has been popping up all over the place. Maybe I should pick lottery numbers? Make 8 hats today? Browse the forums for 8 hours? I don't think so.

8Bot thinks that numbers are fabulous.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fun Friday

We had a great day in Pittsburgh on Friday. Ikea was fun. Lots of things to look at and dream about there. Unfortunately three specific items that I had picked out online were out of stock. I wanted a particular clothing rack for my Fall shows, a printer stand with book shelves, and some Roman shades that I had all the measurements ready for. What a bummer.

I picked up some remnant fabric, a candle, and a cool hanger. I thought the hanger would be a great way to display scarves.

Here are a few pictures from the zoo. The polar bears weren't swimming, although it was a very hot day. This baby elephant was born less than 24 hours earlier. It was difficult to get a good shot through the glass, especially with so many people crowded around to see the sweet little girl.

I'm not sure what happened to this gibbon's arm, but it was such a pretty shot that I thought it deserved to be blogged.

Last, but not least, was this fun car we saw in Ikea's parking lot. The kids are ready to paint my old Honda now!

What's next? My niece is visiting from Finland. She saw my post on rye bread and said she was craving Finnish rye and that nothing compared to it. So, after some internet research she was able to find a recipe that we're going to try. That and veggie burgers. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Zoo Trip

Taking the kids to the Pittsburgh Zoo today. I have a shopping list for Ikea too! Stop back and I'll show you what I bought.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Experimental Rye

I've been wanting to make some rye bread ever since I bought a big bag of dark rye flour from the Mesopotamia General Store. That's one thing I love about living near Amish country - the availability of bulk goods. I buy my steel cut oats there along with yeast and many types of flour.

I didn't have a specific recipe in mind for rye bread, but I found some listed on and thought I would try it. The first recipe listed here is the one that I made. While the others sound good also, they were too large for my Kitchen Aid and I didn't have enough flour to make 4 loaves.

I ended up using a little more flour than called for because the dough was just too sticky. It kneaded-up perfectly and I shaped it into two oblong loaves to rise. I also had to bake it about 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for. Turn the loaf over and give the bottom a thump to see if it sounds done. It needs to have a hollow-sounding thump vs. a dense thump.

Taste-tests proved this to be a success. When I tasted it, I was disappointed that there wasn't much, if any, rye flavor. I wished I had picked a recipe that called for caraway seeds. I may search for a dark rye or other styles with seeds. That will be the next experiment.
The kids loved it, however. My son requested French toast for dinner and ate three big pieces. Even my daughter, who shy's away from whole grains, said it was delicious - smeared in butter, of course. So, even though it tasted like whole wheat bread to me, getting the kids to eat better makes this recipe a keeper!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Purple Tea

I went to make some sun tea and realized that the only tea bags I had were blueberry-flavored Green Tea with Purple Antioxidants. It was a bit bland-tasting, but I thought it made a pretty picture.

I was curious what would come up if I searched "purple tea" on Etsy. I found some cute purple tea cozies and some tea pot appliques. These Face Cups from amandamoon were so cool. I just had to show them to you.

And last, but not least, the wild rhododendron that we dug up from the woods has finally bloomed. It's been growing for years since we transplanted it, but this is the first that it actually bloomed.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Look at Lion Brand

I stopped by Lion Brand Yarn's website to browse the new colors of Vanna's Choice yarn. It was a wonderful surprise to see the new look of their website.

Lion Brand Homespun has always been one of my favorite yarns.
They offer access to many patterns, instant and secure shopping, and have now added a "MyLBY" section where you can bookmark favorites, share projects, and manage downloads.I love the colors of Lion Cotton used in this dishtowel.
Check out and see what's new.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Summer Fashions

I stumbled into Treasury West just in time to make this list. Stop by to peruse these fun Summer Fashions HERE.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Summer Knits

I happened to find myself in this pretty treasury and thought I would share.
So many pretty summery knits. Thanks Iryna! Hooray for EtsyFAST!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

And now for something completely different....

I've looked and looked and can't find the military march website that I found last year. I remember forwarding it to everyone in my family because we all appreciate music of some sort or another. I used to play in a band and I loved playing marches. Some of my favorites are from John Philip Sousa. "Stars and Stripes Forever" is recognized by the U.S. government as the official march of the United States. "The Liberty Bell" is another recognizable march. Below I have a few samples, including the Monty Python version for you to enjoy.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Take time to listen to this trombone version. These girls are amazing! It makes me want to dig my trombone out of the closet, but I'm afraid I've lost that talent after all these years.


"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." ~ Julia Child

This quote struck me as being applicable for so many aspects of life. As I contemplate what to cook over the fire for the weekend's festivities, my intent is to incorporate the many fresh herbs and salad greens that are available in the garden. My husband and I are both passionate about food and enjoy cooking outdoors. There is a grill that swings out over the fire with a hook from which to hang the cast iron dutch oven.
Dutch oven cooking is so versatile. You can make anything from a roast or stew, to biscuits or cobbler. In keeping with the healthy intent of the weekend, I may roast a chicken with rosemary and thyme and serve some fresh fruit for dessert. The customary s'mores ingredients will be on hand for those with a sweet tooth!
I can't help it....I am passionate about food. I am also passionate for yarn, but that goes without saying anymore. I'll be knitting away this weekend.
I'd love to hear what you're passionate about!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Take me out to the Ball Game...

It's Stitch N' Pitch time! Baseball and needle arts lovers can enjoy the "perfect double play." The 2008 schedule of events includes both Major League and Minor League teams this year.
Stitch N' Pitch brings together two wonderful traditions — Baseball and the NeedleArts. Go to a ball game and knit, crochet, embroider, cross-stitch and needlepoint. Sit among friends, family and colleagues and cheer on your favorite Baseball Team. Beginners, intermediate and experts are all welcome.
Stitch N' Pitch is partnered by NAMP - the Needle Arts Mentoring Program, mentoring children in the needlearts. It is also supported by TNNA - The National Needlearts Association.

Click HERE for a Stitch N' Pitch schedule of events. Cleveland Indians fans can stitch 'n bitch on July 10th and ye olde Pittsburgh Pirate fans can stitch together on July 13th.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sit Back, Relax, and Catch Up

I have always loved early mornings. In the dark of winter I love to knit by the woodstove and sip my coffee, enjoying the quiet before the day begins.
This morning I enjoyed a dew-soaked walk through the garden. I picked the last of the asparagus, some lettuce and some herbs. The picture above was a hen turkey hiding in the wheat a few weeks ago. She spotted me and took off. The wheat is now higher, but not quite ripe.
I've been so busy lately that I'm longing to make something with some of the gorgeous yarns that I have stashed away. I've been blogging a lot of personal and family milestones lately. I enjoy writing about gardening and recipes, Etsy, of course, and my love for all things fiber.
Not too long ago, I was addicted to crochet. I would be constantly working and finishing many things. Now that I'm not doing as many local shows, I've sort of relaxed and am really enjoying my work. I'll knit if I want to, sew a small project and, when I'm not busy painting the kitchen, mix in a little crochet. I have several designs planned for Fall, but I'm trying to be realistic about what I'll get done. I do want to have a full shop in October, so I'm glad I'm not doing my usual October shows.
So, as I sort through my bins of delight and make plans to catch up on inventory for Fall, I'll show you a glimpse of some handspuns that caught my eye on Etsy. These are from my friends at EtsyFAST (Fiber Arts Street Team).

Cantaloupe Garden - from kittygrrlz

Rose Garden - from blackmustard

Campfire from beeskneesknitting