Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Beauty of the Growing Season

I am always is awe of God's awesome creation. As I sit here at my computer and type my mind wanders to the scenes before me. It may be the hay field down the road.

Or it's the tunnel of tall corn that lines my road.

I am astounded to see the honey bee land on this squash flower, pollinate it and that in turn produces fruit.

I am thrilled to see one of my first peaches of the season start to ripen on the tree. As I shot this picture the scent of peaches enveloped me. My thoughts drift off to homemade peach ice cream. That reminds me of something... Want to see?

The peaches remind me on some yarn I purchased at Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair. This is one of my finds. Brooks Farm came to the show all the way from Lancaster Texas. The color is MD3 in the duet line. Come in a little closer to see the twist of the fiber.

It's funny how nature reminds me of fibers. Things like yarn and fabric. The colors of crops, flowers, trees, water the sky and even the ground we walk on inspire me to create things with my hands.
I thank the Lord for all of His creation! God is so good!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's Good To Be Back

It's been a quiet week. Especially with out the Internet. There was no blog reading. No Ravelry. No paying bills online. No surfing what so ever. In a way it was nice. Mostly it stunk! I'll say it again...It Stunk!!!! I was able to find another provider that would service us way out here in the country. The pickings are very slim out here in the sticks. We feel very lucky to have Internet access. I'm still not sure what happened to our former provider. The company took down all their signs. Even the phone number has been disconnected. We were lucky and didn't loose any money. Oh well. It's good to be back.

I have been knitting some nice cotton washcloths. I was inspired by Renna to knit some of these simple but enjoyable cloths. She found the pattern here. The pattern is a waffle stitch that's very easy to remember. The pattern also keeps you interested. I used cotton Lily Sugar'n Cream. The needle size is US6. The Tribble was a great way to use up leftover yarn. You knit the Tribble on the bias. I tried to tell my DH that I was knitting a tie for him. He had that shocked look on his face when I held the bias knitted piece up to his neck. I had him going for a second!

If you have never knitted a cloth give it a try. Once you use your cotton cloth to clean dishes or pots and pans you will never want to use anything else. Just feast you eyes on some of the colors. They offer loads and loads of pretty colors for a very good price.

It's the perfect knit for a hot summer day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Hello all, I love living in the country, however, my internet service is through a small country company and has been down for the last week. I'm having my daughter post this for me till I can get the company to fix my internet. I hope to be back online within the next few days! I miss hearing from you all, barb. If you need to contact me please use the email address on the top of my page and I might be able to retrieve messages on my cell phone and should be able to respond. thanks barb!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Watermelon Salsa

I have a very interesting and different recipe to share with you today. I am always looking for something unique to make for dinner. I feel like I make the same 7 dishes over and over. My stand by menu is good. I like to spice things up if I can. Sometimes I'll try something different that is a total disaster (a very athletic rabbit stew) and I'll have to serve ice cream for dinner instead! Other times it's a huge hit. I could tell you stories of some of my dinner tragedies. One thing that is not in my menu is fish. I can't stand the taste of fish. Ever since I was a little girl I have hated it. I spent many evenings sitting at the dining room table all alone with a plate of fish in front of me. I just don't like it. Growing up with a Swedish-Norwegian back round I had to endure a Christmas Eve dinner filled with the 9 courses of fish and other unique things like Silta. That's a head cheese. Yuk! Anyway, the only fish I can eat is Tuna. I do enjoy tuna steaks on the grill. Now I add this salsa to the side of the steak. It's very good.

Watermelon Salsa

4 cups watermelon, seedless, chopped into small cubes
1/2 cup scallions sliced green and white parts
1/2 large yellow pepper diced
1/2 seeded cucumber diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced(be careful with the seeds use gloves or plastic on your hands)
handful of cilantro chopped fine
1 tsp sugar
1Tbsp olive oil
1 fresh lime juiced or 2Tbsp balsamic vinegar for a deeper flavor

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve at room temp. or chill it. It is great with fish, chicken, pork and beef. It's even great to munch on alone right out of the bowl.

It tastes so summery fresh and is very colorful. To make the Tuna steak marinade the steak in 3 Tbsp. of olive oil for 1 hour. Lightly salt the fish if you like. Get your grill nice and hot. For 3/4" steak grill for 1.5 minutes per side. For a 1" thick steak cook steak for 2 minutes per side. That's it! I also made some fresh zucchini from the garden. I sliced off the ends and cut the zucchini lengh wise. On the cut side I drizzled olive oil and sprinkled some fresh herbs and a touch of salt. Throw your veggie on the grill cut side down.

This is a fast meal that won't heat up the kitchen. Your family and friends will think you are a rock star after they feast on this! BTW I purchased the tuna steaks from Trader Joe's. I always stock up when I go. Trader Joe's charged about $5.50 for 2 nice size steaks. The tuna is wild caught. It's not farm raised.
I hope you give it a try. Let me know who it turned out. If you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer them.
Have a great day. Tommorrow knitting!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Old Red Barn Co. Contest

I was doing a bit of surfing this morning and clicked on one of my favorites. Imagine my surprise to see a contest giveaway. It's a huge give away. I think it's probably one of the best prizes. A quilt! Oh ya, a finished quilt. Something you can wrap yourself and your special someone in! You could lay it out on the soft grass for a picnic. Click Old Red Barn Co. and enter! I would love to win this. How about you? It would be so cool if any of us won! Old Red Barn Co is also giving away runner up prizes. They make handmade soaps and sugar scrubs. Go check it out if you like. It's a very cozy site with lots of great photos. Also good food and fun quilting! Good luck!
Today we are going out on the boat for some fun in the sun. It finally hit 90 degrees for the second time this entire year. A day on the water relaxing is just what we need. I'll be back tomorrow with knitting pictures and a special recipe. I'll give you a little teaser. The main ingredient is a juicy, sweet watermelon.
See you tomorrow!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday's Flower Linden

Today's flower is from our Linden tree. It is also commonly called a Basswood tree. The specific name is Tilia Americana. The flowers are used for herbal tea, and this infusion is particularly popular in Europe. I have not attempted to make tea from the flowers.

Our proud tree is covered with tiny flowers. With all of the rain this season the blossoms are producing in record number. The tiny bells smell a little like fabric softener. The smell is intoxicating.

The timber and has very little grain, so it is a popular wood for model building and intricate carving. Also the acoustic properties make it popular for electric guitar and bass bodies and wind instruments like recorders. It is also the wood of choice for the window blinds and shutters industries. Real wood blinds are often made from this lightweight but strong wood which is well suited to natural and stained finishes.
I encourage you to take some time today and gander at all the different flowers in bloom. Take a deep breath and discover God's awesome creation.
Have a marvelous weekend!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Doing it Continetal Style

Knitting is such a great hobby. It has so many great steps involved. First and foremost is the fiber. The texture and colors fascinate me. The skein above is from Woolen Rabbit. It is a called Opulence. The fiber is a Merino/Silk yarn. Rhubarb is the color. It feels like butter.
My knitting can be improved. I am striving to better my workmanship. I will have to admit that I am a thrower. I knit English style. That's how I learned to knit. I feel very comfortable in my style of knitting. But I know there is more out in knitland. Sometimes I get aches in my hands. I also tend to strain my neck and shoulders. I am perpetually trying to find that perfect spot I can sit in. I am aware that there are other styles of knitting. In the video below Lorilee describes needing to know how to have more than one style in your knitting repertoire. It's a good idea not to do the same movements over and over.

I really want to master the continental style of knitting. It looks so easy. I started to daydream about all of the stockinette stitch that could been knit lightening speed fast. Then I started to think of all the other projects that I would like to make. How about the yarn? I would need to get more in my stash for all of the beautiful sweaters I want to knit. Hmmmm. The wheels were turning. After watching the video I knew I could do it. I pulled out some cotton yarn and a set of bamboo straight needles size 6. I have to say that it is harder than it looks. The tension feels awkward in my left hand. My middle finger is clumsy. It feels so foreign. The first thing that I noticed was how loose I was knitting. Normally I knit pretty tight. I mentally have to tell myself to loosen up when I knit.

This is what my swatch looked like after 4 row of doing it Continental style. To me it seems loose. If you look close you can see some mistakes too!

Then I switched over and knit English style and see what the difference would be. I knit 4 more rows. The only deviance is how tight the stitches are on the needle.

I am wondering how many of you knit Continental style? If you do how long did it take you to feel comfortable. Also what do you think the benefits are? If you have any hints please share them!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fireworks with Kansas

On Thursday evening we ventured out to Summerfest. It's held in Milwaukee Wisconsin the week before the Fourth of July and runs for 11 days. Every day several bands perform. We went to see the 70's band Kansas. My DH always enjoyed listening to their music. We left right after work. The drive only took about an hour. We arrived on a mission to get some good seats for once. Usually we stand way in the back and crane our necks to see the band on stage. Imagine our surprise to actually get some good seats on bleachers about 20 rows back. I will have to say that the people watching was at an all time high! Milwaukee started to light off the fireworks and everyone on the bleachers stood on top of them. I couldn't see anything! Yes, I know I'm only 5.3' but that was ridiculous. I do have to say that the fireworks were awesome. They were lit off right over the water. It lasted for a hour. Then at 10:00 Kansas hit the stage. They sounded great. Kansas sounded a great as the recors. Oh no, did I just date myself with that statement? Big smile The only problem was I couldn't see even the top of the band members heads. We ended up standing way in the back and were able to see Kansas just fine. Sorry, but not any of my Kansas pictures turned out. My daughter laughed when she found out we were going to be out past midnight. Actually she teased us endlessly that ole Mom and Dad would be out until 1:30a.m. I don't know, I'm not that old yet! Or am I? Hmmmmmm.

I continued car knitting on Wicked the way to Summerfest. It is great mindless project to knit in the car. I am finished with the body of the sweater. Yeah! I do have to make another decision about the bottom of the sweater. The pattern calls for a seed stitch. I would like it too look a bit more finished. I'm checking on Ravelry to get some other ideas. I am determined to wear my sweater to the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in 2 weeks!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Knee High by the Fourth of July

One of my very favorite things about summer is sweet corn! I like mine buttered with lots of kosher salt. Easily I can munch down 2 ears. When I make it at home I roast it on the grill. I peel off the leaves and save them for my horses to feast on. Then I place the corn directly on the grill grate. It only takes about 15 minutes to roast it this way. It's fast and you have no mess to clean up. This yarn is from Crazy Monkey Creations and is called Panda Toes. Click here to go to her Etsy store.The colorway is Ripening grapefruit. I think it looks like Sweet Corn. Want a bite?

Here in the Midwest the farmers have an expression "knee high by the fourth of July". It is a gauge of how well your corn crop will be. It means that the growing conditions have been good so far. I have known that saying since I was a child. Every year I make sure to keep a watch on the progress of the corn growing. The corn is almost to my waist. That means a great corn crop for our farmers! Hallelujah!

This is a shot of the field corn crop growing across the road from us. By the time it is ready it will be about 12 feet tall. If Bruce was growing sweet corn it would only grow about 4 to 5 feet tall. One of my all time favorite songs that I sing almost everyday is from the musical "Oklahoma". 'Oh what a beautiful morning' has a line that says; "The corn is as high as an elephant's eye, An' it looks like its climbin' clear up to the sky." The lyrics are very true!

The weekend has been absolutely beautiful. The weather is warm and sunny. Also very low humidity. As I thought back on our past 4th of July weekends I can't remember one as perfect as this one. We did a lot this weekend. So much so that this afternoon we are relaxing a bit. I have lots more to share with you.
I hope your holiday weekend was wonderful! Until next time.................

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Lots of Lace

Gust is coming along little by little. I am really enjoying the process. I am amazed that little ole me is actually knitting lace! So far so good. I had done about 13 repeats of the 12 row pattern. Each repeat takes about an hour to knit. I know I'm slow. Thanks o.k. I really don't want to hurry. Whenever I hurry that's when I make mistakes. Come in for a little closer look.

The pattern is so interesting and has great texture. It really looks like waves. I have never blocked anything before. I suppose the lace will totally change after It's soaked and blocked.

I won an on-line contest on Ravelry last week. This was my score. I opened up the box and was so surprised to find my winnings wrapped up in this cool wrapping paper. Thinking of the blog, I had to take a picture to show you.

I recieved this very informative book. Sew U by Wendy Mullin is a guide to sewing your own wardrobe. What a great book. Now if I could only find a book on how to make your own Time Machines.....