Tuesday, June 26, 2012

JUNE 2, 2012 - Mink Pond Kids Fishing Derby
So MB reminded me the day before this derby that it was in fact the very next day - a Saturday.  Those that know me know that I don't do Saturday mornings very well... but after much complaining on my part LJ and I were up at the crack of dawn and ready to be picked up by MB and BJ and HW - they even brought me COFFEE!!!! It was about an hours drive to get there after making a few stops, like remembering to pick up RB on the way - oopsie!!!!  The weather couldn't have been much better in my opinion.  It was cooler because of the breeze off the pond and it was slightly overcast so we didn't have the sun beating down on us all day.  Scott was able to join us after he got off work which was great!  Dr. F. was there and LJ hung out with him for a bit and LJ caught a fish - a rather LARGE fish!!!

The caretaker of the property had a potato gun and instead of stuffing it with potatoes he stuffed it full of candy then launched it up into the sky so it rained down candy for the kids to catch. They each had a bucket to do so and had lots and lots and lots of fun doing it.

They also had a pinata for the kids to take a whack at.  LJ gave it a pretty good one too.

I honestly don't know who had more fun that day, the kids or the adults! It was a great day and I look forward to next year.  I just need to set a reminder to remind me a little further away than the day before!

Monday, June 25, 2012

WOW! It's been a long time huh???

WOW! It has been a long time hasn't it?  Almost 2 years actually... to update you on all of it would be waaaayyyy too time consuming and my memory isn't all that great.  I could just post a copy of my past two Christmas Letters but ... I didn't write them.  Sorry Grandma!!! (She faithfully wrote one for 40+ years and it was something that I always mean to do but never finish :( ) So I'll take out my calender for the last two years and go from there...

APRIL 28, 2010
This was a very very very sad day.  My beloved Alley's health had been decreasing over the previous 6 months.  So much so that she didn't come to the office with me every day anymore.  This was something she did EVERY SINGLE DAY since she was just a pup. She couldn't last the 10 minute drive to the office without having an "accident" in the car. It wasn't like she was being malicious about it... it would just kinda fall out.  I had taken her to the Vet and we did try a few things but at this appointment that Wednesday morning I asked the vet THE question, "Is she in pain?" and he said, "Yes."  That was it. That was what I needed to hear.  I couldn't let her go on anymore.

Her ashes now rest on my desk in my office.  I think of her every day and miss her so much.  She will forever be in my heart.  I know that she is ok now because she is up in heaven with my Father In Law  and I know he's taking good care of her until I get there.

JUNE 10, 2010
After an extensive search throughout Monroe County and parts of NJ we found Molly.  We went looking for a female German Shepherd and got close enough for us when we found Molly.  Here is a picture from when we first met her:

We weren't sure what to name her at first. LJ, age 4 wanted to call her Princess... that was NOT going to happen! While we were in the pet store after her adopting the clerk helping me find the things that she needed gave the suggestion of Molly and it STUCK!  She is now our Molly Girl, Moll-a-walla, Mall-a-walla-boo-ooo, Pretty Girl, Mol, and whatever else comes out of our mouths.
 As you can see she was just about the same size as Jezebel (fully grown) when we brought her home.  They get along well and like to "fight" a lot... mostly in my Mom's office while she's trying to work! We decided to crate train her but after a few "break-outs" from the crate we decided to leave her out in the house and have never had a problem! Well . . . except for the time last summer but I'll get to that later.

A friend of ours has a camper and took it to a local camp site for the weekend and invited us all up for the afternoon.  We had a good time just relaxing in the great out doors.  There was a big rock next to where their site was and the kids were climbing all over it when I had a GREAT idea!

I'd say that LJ had a bit of Captain in him!!!

My very good best friend decided to move to Iowa to be closer to the Specialists for her disease.  She had recently split from her husband and needed a fresh start.  When she first told me of her plans my immediate reaction was "When do you want to do it cuz I'll help you get there."  So she packed up all her things - stuffed what she could in the the back seat and trunk of her car and shipped the rest and we were off.  I had planned our route to Des Moines, IA by way of a few yarn shops ... I think we stopped in 4 along the way, almost one in every state we drove through.  It was a fun trip and I'm glad I was able to help her.

OCTOBER 17, 2010
My very first trip to the Rhinebeck New York Sheep & Wool Festival!!! My LYS (Local Yarn Shop) gathered a bunch of us together and we caravaned our way up to Rhinebeck, NY - it was about a 3 hour drive which passed in no time because we were a bunch of crazy knitters with our knitting that did just that all the way there (and back!) OMG what a wonderful time I had that day.  I hung out with my one knitting friend, Laurie for most of the day.  We'd go our own way from time to time but always seemed to meet up again for a bit.  This is what I bought: 

For Halloween this year LJ decided he wanted to be the Blue Power Ranger.  So he was!

Here is LJwith his new girlfriend :) in front of  my MIL's tree.
Actually, she's my BIL's new girlfriend and she fits in with our family quite well :)
We all like her a lot!!!

Here is LJ, age 4 standing in front of our tree

And here we have *most* of LJ's gifts he received from Santa, family and friends.

My BFF is coming home from Iowa!!!!!!! She saw the Doctors in Iowa, they did what they could for her and now she's coming home (that is the very short version of what happened).  While I was happy that she was getting a new start on her life I was sad she wasn't around to just "drop in" at the office.  When she first told me the first thing I said was "When do I need to come out there to help bring you back?" LOL!  The date hadn't been finalized yet but she did return home February 10th ;).

I had my first meeting with Hamilton Elementary School to enroll LJ for Kindergarten!  Kindergarten!!! Oh my how the time has flown...

MARCH 2011
LJ celebrated his 5th birthday with a trip to The Shipp!  That's what he wanted and that is what he got!  The Shipp is my husband's and his brother's favorite pub.  They are both Mugger's after completing a beer list at this local restaurant.

APRIL 2011
We actually did something LOCAL that others travel miles and miles and miles to do.  We went to the Crayola Factory!  I had been there years and years and years ago and had always wanted to go back.  While we didn't get to see the crayons actually made in the factory they did a pretty good demonstration of how it's done.  .

JUNE 2011
LJ graduated from Pre-School.

JULY 2011
The 4th Annual Sydney Decker Memorial Tournament was a huge success! We didn't get quite as many golfers this year or sell quite as many raffle tickets but everyone had a GREAT time and we made quite a bit of $$ again to donate to the Make A Wish Foundation. 

  Here is my Hubby with his buddies.

Here is Dad with his golf partners for the day.

It was my job again to be on the Ring of Gold.  I sold raffel tickets to the golfers before they took their first shot on this hole.  If on thier first shot they got the ball within a 10 foot ring around the hole they would get half of the $$ raised from the ticket sales on that hole.  If more than one golfer made it within the ring of gold they would then split their half of the $$ raised.  I have done this for a few years now and this year I had the best associate - B's girlfriend J :).  We had a good time sitting in the shade, talking to the golfers as they play through and harassing them into letting us take pictures of them before they left.

I had to make a hard decision this summer.  I took LJ out of the Daycare he had been in since he was 18 months old and enrolled him into the program at a Church downtown.  It seems while his current daycare was just a hop from his Elementary school the buses won't drop him there because they are located in a neighboring school district.  However, the bus WILL drop LJ off at his current daycare after school.  I decided instead of waiting until the very end of summer to make that change I did it now so that he could make this transition before making the next one to all day kindergarten.  He LOVES it! And so do I!  It's so much more convenient for him to be 2 blocks from my office.  I can pick him up after work and go do errands or we ALL can carpool and only have to bring 1 car into town 3 days a week.  It's GREAT!  Oh, and they have all kinds of cool projects and mini field trips planned for the rest of the summer.

My BFF and her SO invited LJ to a Fishing Derby at a the Hunting & Fishing Club they belong to.  He had a GREAT time and even caught a fish!!!!


 LJ's first day of school!!!!

My youngest cousin (on my Father's side) got married!!!!!!
 Mazel Tav J& E!!!  Or as my FAB refers to them as YS and YSS!!!
(Youngest Son & Youngest Son's Sweetie)

Rhinebeck New York Sheep & Wool Festival with my FAB!!!!!!  We had a WONDERFUL time!  Even if it did rain a bit.   I didn't purchase much but I did get this beautiful yarn:
The colorway is "Happy" and they were immediatly wound into a cake and cast on for a pair of socks.  Those socks are complete and are now referred to as my Happy Socks.  On our way home - we took our time :) we stopped by Jill Deal's Yarn Shop in Milford, PA and I got a bit of this:
It's lace weight ALPACA!!!!!!!  I can't quite find the right project for it yet but I know when I do it's going to be GORGEOUS!!!

I was lucky enough to be picked to chaperone LJ's class to a local pumpkin farm.  I was in charge of 5 boys and we had a GREAT time!  If this is what it's like to go on a field trip I want to do it every time!!!

We learned about pumpkins:
The kids played in the corn:
 We went through a corn maze for pictures of things made from corn:
Generally we had a GREAT time!!!

 We also had some unseasonable weather this October:

For Halloween this year LJ decided he was going to be Harry Potter.  Mom set about making the cloak and I set about making the sweater and scarf!  I got the patch on ebay and the tie and glasses (that went to school with him and didn't come home) at a party store.
 The whole costume looked GREAT and he was warm too!


We didn't take too many pictures this year but here is a nice one of our tree.


On Martin Luther King Jr. Day Mom and I took LJ to the newly renovated Movie Theater at our local mall to see Chipwrecked.
Most of the area schools had no school this partiular Monday and they were all in the movie theater!!! We had to sit in the very front row but we soon got used to being so close.

Another movie came out this month that I have been waiting and waiting and waitng to see.
It was AWESOME!!! Maybe it wasn't THE best movie ever made, but I LOVED it!!! I had read all the books and was so excited to see which actors were picked to portray each character.  At first Hubby was the only other guy in the theater - which he pointed out to me of course, but eventually there were a handfull that were there too.

As per our family tradition we trekked to Williamsport to meet with FAB and UB to celebrate Hannamas (Hanukah and Christmas).  This time we met in Olive Garden! A place that I am sure that we'll be meeting in again next year.  We had a great big farm style table and didn't have to shout over the crowd or the music (problems we've had in the past).  LJ received a Lego set from ES (FAB's Elder Son) which he set himself to put together all by him self - a first time for that!
 While I'm happy he was able to put it together him self I was a little sad that he wouldn't have to ask me to do it for him any more.

MARCH 2012

My FAB and her husband UB had taken in a cat from someone who passed away, her name was Cleo.  They have had Cleo for quite a few years but recently has gone to kitty heaven.  My cat Clara has not been getting the attention she deserves since we brought Molly home.  Clara used to sleep with us curled up in the crook of Hubbys arm, but not since Molly now sleeps on the bed too (even if it is down by our feet).  Clara used to cuddle with us on the couch (escpeically in the colder months) but not since we brought Molly home.  Molly doesn't sit with us on the couch because now she's just too big (she still thinks that she's the same size as Jezebel even though she's now 50 lbs).  So Clara just wasn't getting the attention that I think that she deserves so when I heard that Cleo had gone to the big window sill in the sky I offered her to FAB and UB and after some "airing out the house" on their part they agreed to bring her into their home.  I drove her to them (a 3 hour drive) and he meowed ALL. THE. WAY. THERE.!!! Once we got there it didn't take her much time to find some really good hiding spots but within a week she had become acclimated to them and they to her.  I am so very happy for her to finally be getting the love and attention she so well deserves.
LJ gave her one of his favorite blankies to take with her that had his/our smells on it so that she wouldn't get too scared or forget about us.  This was their last hug and Molly's last snuffle.

LJ had gone to a friend from Kindergarten's birthday party in January at Bounce U and had such a great time he said he wanted to have his birthday there too. (Sorry Daddy and UB, no Shipp this year!).  So we did!  A friend of mine made him a cake from a mold I got on ebay.  He invited his whole class and some other family friends.  Going into the party we had a confirmed 17 kids, so ok, that's a good number, a few more than we expected.  Then the morning of the party some sisters and brothers and friends of the child that was invited and some cousins all came too!  The Mom's were very polite and gracious and asked if they could "bounce" too and most of them paid for the extra kids which was very very nice and we ended up with 26 bouncers!!!  That was enough that they had to bring in another staff person to bounce with the kids and keep an eye on them.  

APRIL 2012
LJ was invited to another birthday party, this time it was at Poke-A-Nose Pottery and I was very excited for him.  A friend that I went to High School owns and operates it with her husband and I just knew the party was going to be a big hit with all the kids.  I just now realize that we never picked up whatever it was that he painted!!! I guess I gotta call them. Oopsie!!!

Logan was invited to another party at BounceU for one of his class mates.  We have the best of time shopping in the toy section for the gift that LJ picks out for his friends.  This time it was Action Figures.

MAY 2012
FAB drove to my house and I drove us down to the outskirts of Baltimore for the Annual Maryland Sheep & Wool festival.  Neither one of us had been before and while it was a lot smaller than Rhinebeck there was plenty of fiber fun to be had!  This year FAB was on the hunt for Shawl Pins and Shawl Pins she did find - and purchase!!! Here's a picture of the fiberie goodness I was able to purchase while there:
I have started collection sheep and the little white one actually glows in the dark!!!! I am currently working on a Jaywalker sock in the Red, White & Blue skein and it's turning out wonderfully!  I'll post pics later of all the projects I've been working on but since this is a catch up post I won't bore you with those now.

LJ's Elementary School had a Choral concert for all the Kindergarten classes.  Dad had a Rotary function to attend and Mom came with us to go to the concert.  To say that it was cute just doesn't do it justice.  It was very very hot in that gynmasium but it was so worth it!  My little ham is on the bottom left corner:
Here he is with his teacher Mrs. K.
He has loved Kindergarten so much! He's never once not wanted to go to school. I can only hope that this will last!!!

Well that brings me up to this month... so I'm going to end for now.  We've had a pretty busy June so far but I'll leave that for my next post.  I am sure I forgot some events but I got most of them covered.  I also know that I have more pictures but I'll post them at a later date as well.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kool-Aid Dying Attempt #1

Last summer FAB and I took a yarn dying class at Kraemer Yarns in Nazareth, PA. We each dyed two skeins of yarn:

FAB's skeins are on the left, mine are on the right. We had a lot of
fun that day and both were bitten by the yarn dying bug. I'm not sure if FAB has dyed any more yarn as I haven't seen any pictures (hint, hint, hint). I did purchase some bare yarn from Knit Picks but have yet to dye any of it.

A few months ago (I think there was still snow on the ground) I took a skein of the Bare Sock Yarn and wound it into a cake then taking an end from
the middle and an end from the outside and crocheted my own blank. I think I used a size J hook and single crocheted 25 stitches across, turned and single crocheted 25 stitches back until I ran out of yarn.

Until today!!

First things first:

I covered my wood counter top with a heavy duty lawn & leaf bag and secured the edges with blue tape (I love blue tape!).Then I got out my 9" x 9" Pyrex baking dish and put my yarn blank inside with
some cold water.

I let the yarn soak for about 20 minutes. Then I poured out the water and gently squeezed out any excess water. I left enough water so that it was still quite moist but not dripping wet. Then I placed it back in the 9" x 9" Pyrex baking dish. My vision for this dying attempt was to make darker areas and lighter areas. So I mixed two packets of Cherry Kool-Aid and approximately 4 tablespoons of water to make a dark concentrate in a glass jar.

Then using a metal spoon I sprinkled about half of the concentrate onto one
side of the yarn.

Then, with a rubber glove on I flipped the yarn in the baking dish:

Then sprinkled the remaining concentrate on the other side of the yar

I let the yarn sit for a bit because I wanted the concentrated color to really soak into the yarn. I mixed 2 more packages of Cherry Kool-Aid in a mason j
ar and filled it with water and poured the mix onto the yarn and added more water until the majority of the yarn was covered.

I placed the dish with the yarn into the microwave and cooked it for 2 minutes.

When I took it out and checked the water to see how clear it was I found out that 99% of the dye had been soaked up by the yarn.

From what I have culled from various sources about how to dye y
arn, you cook the yarn for 2 minutes - let the mixture rest for a few minutes and then cook it for another 2 minutes until the majority of the dye has been soaked up. In my little experiment this happened just after the first 2 minute cooking time.
At this point I took the yarn (after it had cooled from being zapped in the microwave) to the sink and rinsed the heck out of it. I was still getting some red in the water I was rinsing out of the yarn so I decided to leave it wet (but not
dripping) and put it back into the pyrex dish and microwaved it for another 2 minutes. After it had cooled and I rinsed it again I didn't get any color out of the water when I rinsed it.

Now all I have to do is wait for it to dry. I hug it up in my shower over 2 hangers and put a fan on it to speed up the drying time.

It will probably be dry and ready to knit with tomorrow.

Overall I am pretty satisfied with my results, thus far. I'll save my final judgment for after I knit with it. I have knit with hand dyed yarns before and how they look in a skein can be quite different than after it's been knit or crocheted with.

Now, I'm going to go play with a skein of yarn that is still in one big loop. I'm thinking of tying some yarn around some sections so that the yarn under that section won't get much if any dye on it. Maybe I'll use Black Cherry Kool-Aid this time . . .

Edited to add: I would NOT SUGGEST that you crochet two strands of this sock yarn together as I did in this first experiment. It took me HOURS to un-ravel it. It knotted up and fuzzed A LOT and was a major pain. I won't be doing that part of this process again.