Thursday, December 3, 2009

A little update

BL's Fancy Nancy birthday party was a huge success. All the little girls loved the lavender boas, bejeweled rings, and glow bracelets. The little boys enjoyed their embellished top hats and bow ties. Everyone loved decorating the white wooden frames with glue dots and flat-backed jewels. I took a picture of all the kids on the sofa, printed while they ate cake, and popped the picture in their frame before they went home. I will try to post pictures, I just have to get them off Mum's memory card.

My blogger ornament exchange partner was Sharrie. I received the prettiest little mittens and a carved starfish. Delightful. I can't wait to turn the starfish into a summer necklace, I just have to find the right beads to pair with it. I have no picture of it to show you...I put it in a safe place that is unreachable at the moment.Don't you love the (almost) Native American feeling these evoke? I also love that they're not red and green. Just so pretty and bright. Thank you so much Sharrie!

Thanksgiving weekend was filled with too much eating, my birthday, and a shopping trip with my sister to the Tilton outlet stores at midnight Thanksgiving night. We could not believe how busy it was and one woman told us it had never been that busy before. We had oodles of fun and after missing a turn to get back home, ended up taking the "scenic" route and back home at 5:30am. Not too bad. Pretty good bargains, but we decided next year we'll go to bed early and hit the outlets around 4am when there's plenty left, good deals, more parking and we're not turkey-drunk.

I'm headed to Utah again in January for the Outdoor Retailer show. I know it's over a month away, but I'm looking forward to it. I've made a few friends out there that I have fun connecting with twice a year and I enjoy spending time with our national sales manager. She and I get along really well and have a great time. It also doesn't hurt that we both have kids to bring goodies home for and look out for each other when a deal is to had (or free stickers!)

I have a feeling this will be another mostly handmade holiday as money is very tight again this year. I guess that means I ought to stop blogging and get knitting.

If I don't have time to post again, Happy Holidays to one and all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ornament Exchange 2009

Like I don't have enough to do already, but this looked like a lot of fun. Especially since the fun is all in the surprise that will brighten your mailbox.Thank you, Beki.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Profile Pic

Picture taken on Bubba Lou's first boat ride on Lake Sunapee. It was pretty chilly that day, windy and about to sprinkle on us. Fun nonetheless.

Sad Day.

Bubba Lou had to say goodbye to her furry friend. Bun awoke on Sunday happy to see us, but unable to move his back end. A viral or bacterial infection was suspected. Monday saw Bun worsening and a call to the vet only told us the inevitable (hundreds of dollars in blood tests, to prove he had an infection that couldn' t be treated.) This infection is treatable if caught early enough, but when you can't see symptoms, paralysis sets in and then the antibiotics are too late. I've learned that fox, raccoon, and skunks carry this bacteria. They are common animals in my yard, and Bun has spent many a happy afternoon hopping around eatting yummy green things (that may have come in contact with animal droppings, saliva or urine.)

Some will call me a horrible parent, or an uncaring one, but I did not lie to my little girl about her bunny. I told her that Bun-Bun-Hippity-Hop couldn't hop any more (this she clearly understood as he dragged himself around the yard) and that he was very sad. I told her that we couldn't fix him and we didn't want him to be sad or hurting. I also told her that even when Bun dies and isn't with us any more, we can look at his pictures and paint a special rock for him to put in the garden.

I could have told her that he was "going away" or had "run away." She's too smart for that, and I would hear endless days of "I wonder if Bun is back" or "When will Bun be back" only to have to tell her the truth at a later date, without a proper goodbye. I gently told my daughter the truth and that she could think of Bun everytime she saw fluffy clouds in the sky, because they look like bunny tails. And that's where Bun is, up in the sky playing with the other bunnies that needed to be in a happier place where they could hippity-hop all day.

She cried and held her bunny. I cried and held them both. She told Bun she loves him, gave him a hug and a kiss and told him to have fun with the other bunnies in the sky. At bedtime, BL made it clear that she understood (as best an almost 5 year old can) that we were doing the right thing for Bun "because we don't want him to be sad and hurt bad and have poop on him and not be able to clean his ears." (Bun's tummy had quite a bit of pellets on it Sunday morning since he couldn't stand to relieve himself.)

Today BubbaLou told me she will miss Bun, but maybe someday we could get another bunny. "But not right now, maybe in a few months."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August, Already?

Well, June and July came and went. Utah/Outdoor Retailer was a blast. The weather out there was hotter than hell and drier than dust. FABULOUS! My favorite kind of weather. I returned only to unpack, do laundry, repack and leave 2 days later for the ocean, a nice change after dry, land-locked UT. It's amazing what the ocean can do for you. Not to mention hot sand and salt-water taffy. I feel re-energized, even if I'm still recovering from all the travel.

August 22 I will have a booth at the local Apple Pie Crafts Fair in Newport, NH. I'm just hoping to sell enough to cover my costs. Any profits will be much appreciated and wonderful. I will have a selection of hand-knit, felted bowls, mini-Santa mitten/hat ornaments, hand-knit lace votive holders, and hand-beaded jewlery. I didn't have enough time to get a homesteader's license to sell baked goods, but I will be donating a pie (apple, duh) for their benefit bake-sale. I am sharing the space with a friend/co-worker who makes wooden home accessories like hand-painted signs, frames and boxes. If you're in town, please stop by to say hello.

Bubba Lou starts at the local Montessori School in September. She misses the cutoff for kindergarten, but is ready for it. Montessori puts Pre-K and K in the same classroom and kids learn at their own pace. I think BL will thrive in that sort of enriching environment where learning is encouraged, guided and applauded. I hope so, considering what it's costing us...I shouldn't complain, the increased cost is worth it when I consider how bored BL has been in daycare the last 6 months. She's only there 2 days a week this summer, and hates to go (especially since many of her friends aren't there in the summer.) It makes me sad sometimes to have to take her somewhere she clearly doesn't want to be, but then...I don't want to be at work, either. I truly miss the days when I worked because I wanted to, not because I had to and spent my days being creative with BL.

Sy starts teaching at Lebanon High School this fall, his dream job. He will also be starting his Master's program in October. It's gonna be another stressful, too busy, tighten-our-belts kinda year, but we've learned we can get through just about anything (without throwing things at each other.) The year Sy was in school and not working was the hardest, so I think this year will be manageable. As my hair stylist says, "We see."

And isn't that what life is? One big "We see" and what you make of it is your own.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I couldn't bitch about the weather in the last was simply too precious.

I'm covered in mold. The strawberries rot before we can harvest them. My house smells. My garden won't grow, although I have more radishes than I can eat and the lettuce is doing okay. We've had rain (literally) almost every day the month of June. July isn't looking like it will be any better. If it rains in UT at OR, I will probably just lay down in the street and cry. Wait, that's just more water...I'd drown.

Ugh. And they wonder why people from the northeast are cold, bitter, and pessimistic. You try living through 8 months of cold and snow, looking forward to sun and warmth, and then getting cold, rain, and dampness. You'd be pretty pissy, too. Especially if every summer since you moved to the lake was rainy and not too hot.

On another note, check out Sy's right foot. He discovered a nest of bumblebees while doing some cleaning in the barn. They had decided a roll of insulation was the perfect place. Fortunately, Bubba Lou picked this time to listen to Daddy and RAN!

I can't post the picture of the is too creepy, weird, gross, nasty and I don't want to look at it again.

Toothache Sweet

Bubba Lou and our newest addition, Bun. Bun is a character (rabbit, of course) in one of our favorite books. The next bunny will be Squeaky...same book.

Zeep tiptoe-ing through the flowers. Best he can at 130lbs +/-. A lot of people (that don't know what a wolfhound is) think he's an old dog because his face is so grey. They obviously haven't seen him in's all puppy! And did I mention he loves the Bun and hasn't tried to eat him?
BL's new sweater. My own pattern, Manos Del Uruguay Cotton Stria, 1 skein turq. 4 lime green. Do not buy this yarn. It's stiff, but breaks and splits really easily. My last skein had 9, NINE, knots in it. I'd have knit stripes if I knew I'd be working in that many ends. Otherwise, the sweater is soft and perfect for warmer weather with 3/4 sleeves (ran out of yarn for whole sleeves) and perfectly loose fabric on size US5 needles. BL actually prefers the 3/4 sleeves because they "don't git in my way."

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Sy is holding an empty box that a few minutes ago contained 3 pounds, or 25,000, honey bees. He put them into their new hive with no gloves and no stings. Today the bees have started exploring their new home and surroundings. Bubba Lou knows that you "leave the bees alone." Zeep has also learned that you don't eat the bees, the only way he could (fortunately he wasn't stung, just surprised.) We have a perimeter around the hive roped off so BL and Zeep can't accidentally bump into the hive or otherwise harrass the bees. I know my child and doggie too well.In a few more weeks we'll be adding one or two of these to the homestead:French/English mix angora rabbits. We're definitely getting one of the buff colored (Bubba Lou's pick), and if it's a girl, we're hoping to get a light gray girl, too. Their mama is about 8 pounds with wonderful fur, she was due to be plucked so I had the perfect opportunity to see the fiber. They're about 4 weeks old now, little bundles of fluff. The woman that has them is up the street from my Mom and has alpacas, cows, geese, sheep, goats, llamas, horse, mini donkey and a camel. Yes, a bonafide two-hump camel in NH. I truly had no idea they are so huge, she said she got about 80 pounds of fiber off the camel when he(?) shed this spring. Can you imagine shedding 80 pounds of hair?! Or picking it all up for that matter?!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Sy was on school vacation last week, so we decided to take advantage of the favorable weather forecast and headed to Boston.Day one was spent at the Aquarium. Bubba Lou especially loved the sharks. We ate lunch outside, even though it was a little windy and chilly. The sun would come out from behind the clouds every few minutes and give us a nice warm up. We spent the late afternoon in the hotel swimming pool and did dinner at the Hard Rock. I live less than 2 hours away, and I'd never been. I've been to Hard Rock's all over the country, but never close to home. It was fun...BL got a patch for her demin coat.

Day two, much nicer weather...the afternoon was about 70 degrees and sunny. We took BL to the Public Gardens to see the swan boats and island where "Make Way For Ducklings" takes place. She even met Mr. and Mrs. Mallard...several times. She loved seeing the staues of Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings and patiently waited her turn to sit on the next duck in line until she reached Mrs. Mallard.

B.L. and Mama outside Tadpole Playground visiting with the frogs. We played in the playground in the morning before it got super crowded. When we walked by it later, there couldn't have been room for one more child to play!

FYI, we booked our hotel through Hotwire and I am very satisfied. We ended up in a much nicer hotel than I expected (based on experiences with Priceline) and paid just over $100 including taxes. I checked, this same hotel was booking out our same type of room for over $200-before tax. I will definately use Hotwire again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My, what big...everything you have!

His new favorite toy, a full-size basketball (slightly deflated.) He chased it around the yard for an hour, until I had to fetch it out of the woods one too many times. He can now easily graze off my table and counter tops and weighs in around 110lbs. My dog finally weighs more than I do! His back is just above my hips, I have to bend my elbow to rest my hand on his back now.
My little Easter Bunny. That's her crazy, maniac grin. It usually means trouble is about to ensue. Bwah, ha, ha, ha, ha. Catch me if you can!

1 Sheep, 2 Sheep, 3 Sheep...

24 Sheep
A pre-Easter surprise for BubbaLou's little classmates. Everyone had great fun "biting their squishy heads off". Their words, not mine. The only people who appreciated that they were low-sugar, whole grain cupcakes were the parents.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I began a new diet plan just over a week ago. It started with a 3 day fruit flush (day one, lots and lots of Jay Robb protein shakes, veggies and chicken for dinner, day 2/3 all fruit, veggies for dinner), now I'm on to high protein, no carb breakfast/lunch, high complex carb, low protein dinner. I basically just had to switch my pasta, buy whole grain sprouted bread, lots more fruit and veg. So far I've lost 7 pounds. 7 to go. Not a bad start, and I'm not hungry or craving sweets and carbs like I was. I was afraid I'd be starving all the time, I'm not and I have more energy.

That's the good.

Bubba Lou won't potty train. I've given up and put her back in pull-ups because I'm so sick of dirty panties. I'm at wit's end. A year and a half of this nightmare. I honestly don't know what to do anymore. Rewards don't work. Punishment doesn't work. Bribing doesn't work. She seriously doesn't care. She doesn't care that her skin is raw and hurts, she doesn't notice that she's wet or soiled. Is this a medical issue, or just a stubborn little girl who's going to drive me insane? It's getting worse every day.

There's the bad.

Now, for the ugly.

I'll get back to ya. Maybe I'll take a picture of my muddy, un-landscaped, debris laden backyard and post it. Makes me miss the snow a little.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You have to see these!

Please check these out...

Are they not the cutest little things you ever saw? Not particularly my style, but I may have to do a couple in fun colors to brighten up my home for spring. I love their whimsical design, not too country, not too vintage.


I had it finished. All ends worked in. Tried it on. Decided sweater needed to be 2" longer. Commenced ripping out the border to lengthen the stockinette stitch, am currently reworking the border. Funny how a knit garment on needles is longer than a completely finished one when you try it on. Funny how sleeves that were a touch too long are now a touch too short (hopefully blocking the damn thing will fix that...I'm not re-doing sleeves, it's not in me.)

And I've decided to start a new project on the plane. I can't bear to spend 9 boring hours working on a project I've already spent countless hours on. I need a little (a tiny little) bit of excitement to get through 3 take-offs and landings intact....each way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Off Again

I leave for (hopefully) sunny California next week to attend Expo. It's the biggest natural products show in the nation. I'm working there for All Terrain and Borlind but that doesn't mean I don't have time to sample all the wonderful products and foods. There just isn't enough time to see or do it all. I've made a list of favorite vendors to visit and see if I can get any little freebies to bring home and stretch my tight "organic, natural, earth-friendly" budget. I'll try and remember to give you the details when I return.

In the meantime, check out my artic explorers.We got about another 14" on Sunday night. I don't mind the snow, not even lots and lots of it. I live in New Enlgand, I chose to live here, I don't bitch about winter. Except one thing...I'm so tired of being super cold. It was ZERO when I got out of bed this morning, definitely not walking the dog. Let's hope CA will let me warm up my fingers a little, if nothing else, I won't have to wear Darn Tough wool socks (the best socks in the world, thank you David O!) and Sorels.

I am almost finished the sweater I started a couple of months ago. It went super-fast (did the body in a few days) until I got to the sleeves. Sleeves are always the death of me, especially when you have to knit them on dpns. I have less than 20 rounds to go...think I'll finish it tonight? Not a chance, I think I'll pick up a scarf instead of going around in tiny circles. I'll finish the sleeve on my lunch break tomorrow, work in my ends, take a picture and let y'all see it. I never photo-ed this one in progress, so you just get to see the done deal.

I wonder what I will bring to knit on the plane to CA...that's a lot of opportunity to knit uninterrupted by a small child, dog or man. Maybe start the linen skirt for summer, or finish the lace scarf, or the wool scarf, or the white Rowan sweater. Finish something? Nah, it's getting closer to spring...start-itis has got me.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thank you!

My good friend Abbie and 2 of her children came to visit me yesterday. Bubba Lou and T had a wonderful time together and B.L. shared her toys and swing much better than I ever suspected she would. Zeep was well behaved, but quite curious. No one got an accidental puppy bite. All-in-all it couldn't have gone any better. Until I opened a little bag from Abbie containing a skein of yarn! It is a lovely shade of harvest orange (about the shade my kitchen will be someday) in soft, hand-spun, kettle-dyed wool. I had just the pattern for it:
I love that this pattern looks like I'm weaving instead of knitting. And one skein makes the perfect length/width for my chocolate brown leather coat. Many, many heartfelt thanks to you Abbie! I will think of you every time I wear this (and hopefully we have warm spring before I finish it, but I doubt it.)

B.L. was not left out of the gift-giving. For a belated birthday gift, she got the cutest little kitchen tools with bodies instead of handles and a spoon, whisk, and measuring cup for heads! She LOVES them and says "Thank You" again. We used them this morning to make pancakes.

And to top of our fantastic day, Nana came for a sleepover! Does it get better?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bigger and Bigger

Zeep playing with his new ball yesterday.

Taking his new ball for a tromp around the yard. I can't tell you how much he loves the snow. We're in the process of getting about 18" of snow and he and BL were out for about an hour this afternoon chasing each other. He loves to plow his nose through the snow and throw it up in the air.

Last night, pretending he's a lap-dog. He was the "snuggler" of his litter, and even at 75 pounds he still wants to snuggle up close. We don't usually let him up on the sofa, but sometimes he won't take no for an answer! And don't look at me...I've just returned from a very long trade show in Utah and I'm beat.

Zeep has decided that Bubba Lou's little Ikea chair is "just right."

Snow Angel

If this does not express the innocent joys of childhood and winter, I don't know what else would.

We've gotten another 12" so far today and it's still coming down hard.