Thursday, May 31, 2007

Passports Needed

When I posted last week about needing passports I wasn't sure where we were going. My mother-in-law just told me to get them. We typically go on vacation with her each year.

Well it turns out we are going on a Caribbean cruise. I am probably more excited than the boys. I have never been on a cruise but from what I hear they are lots of fun. We will have ports of call in Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Mexico...a full seven nights on board ship.

The only problem?? RacerDad will not be able to go. He doesn't have the time off from work.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Meanwhile 13 days later...

The past two weeks have been rather crazy, grab a cuppa your favorite beverage and settle in...

It all started Mother's Day weekend.

That Friday I had to take one of our dogs, Thumper, into the vet. Thumper, a 12 year old basset hound, was having difficulty breathing and not eating. RacerDad and I had a conversation before I went to the vet to discuss just how much we were willing to spend and what measures we wanted to take. I am glad we had talked about it. When I got to the vet, they wanted to begin running several tests to determine his condition. Any option they gave me started at $200 and that would not be conclusive nor include any treatment.

Lest you think we are uncaring pet owners, we had been down this road years ago with a poodle I brought into the marriage, $2000 later we still had to put the poor dog down. Basset hounds have a life expectancy of 10-12 years and though we loved Thumper we could not justify spending huge amounts of money on a dog that had lived a long wonderful life.

When I explained our position to the vet you would have thought I sprouted horns. She told me she could not conclusively give me a diagnosis and thus could not effectively treat the dog. I asked her to give her best guess and make Thumper comfortable. She then let me know that she felt he had a systemic infection, very common in older dogs...usually not curable. I left the vet with a strong antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory drug.

We had baseball games that Friday evening. My MIL came Saturday so that meant a day full of shopping plus baseball games. Mother's Day we went to church and more baseball games. Are you with me people??? Three days and we had seven games, it was not a tournament and it was Mother's Day weekend! I guess it is a good thing I enjoy baseball. Speedy B pitched in one of the Mother's Day games. He was on the mound for 4 innings and only threw 32 balls. He told me that was one of my presents. Gotta love him.

The rain we have had this spring postponed the majority of our games. The league needed to get the rain-outs played before this week's city championship and before the official start of tournament season. So for the most part I have been at baseball the last two weeks. I honestly lost count after I figured out we played 13 games in 5 days. That's what I get for having two boys that play ball...I have no idea what I will do when Smoda starts.

We did end up having to put Thumper down in the midst of all this. The boys took it hard, but then they are realists as well. We had adopted Thumper when he was 10 so his playful puppy days were past. When he came into the family I became "his person" he would follow me from room to room and if I stayed in one place for long he would plop down where he could see me and go to sleep. About the only "playing" he would do for the boys was howl. And boy could he howl! Smoda could make one howling noise and Thumper would join in, nose to the air baying at the top of his lungs. Smoda called the baying sound ha-rooing and named him "Captain Haroo". The boys have requested that the next dog be one they can play that will run and chase balls. I guess my lapdog Trixie doesn't count, she is a miniature dachshund and really can't be bothered to play. As long as the boys pet her she will stay with them, but then as soon as they quit touching her, she is off.

What have I been doing when not at baseball??? Well....I got passports for the whole family (talk about MAJOR sticker shock!!!) All I can say is if you think you might need passports get them early! It cost an extra $300 dollars just to get them expedited. We have also wrapped up all our extra curricular activities (except baseball!), gotten in our new curriculum, cleaned out the boys rooms and mowed the jungle. I was afraid after all the rain Speedy B was going to need a machete to cut the backyard. Oh, and I joined Weight Watchers.

Knitting wise...all this baseball has been awesome for my sticks and string. I finished my green toe up socks, I really enjoyed doing toe up and will plan on doing more. I finished numerous dishcloths and made some tribbles. I also began my Summer Sock Kit from The Loopy Ewe. I love the colors! The pattern is great and I am finding it easy to remember. I did have to put it aside though, size 0 needles and a pattern did not go well with intense competitive ball!

My life should be getting back to normal. Only one son is playing ball now. Cowodie finished his season last night. His team played in the city championship. The teams were very evenly matched, it was a fun game to watch. Cowodie is a catcher and he made a diving catch for a foul ball...he got the out. He also hit in the game winning run. His grin was from ear to ear. But what warmed my heart? After the game, he looked at me very seriously and said "I think this game was my birthday present from God". I LOVE the fact that he recognizes that God deserves the glory in all things.

Well that is about it from my hearth, I have missed you all!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Homeschool Day at Six Flags

Went to Six Flags yesterday with the boys, it was Homeschool Day. We all had a great time. I am still tired today! The older two were able to ride the "big" roller coasters together, good thing since my feet don't get on roller coasters! Batman and Aquaman were the favorites....Aquaman drenched them both.

Smoda was my buddy. His favorite ride as usual was the Tea Cups. Normally my stomach is just fine on rides like that. Yesterday we went with a family that has a 16 year old boy. Let me tell you he could make the teacup spin. I have never spun so fast! Everything was a blur, so I had to close my eyes. When the ride was over I had to sit a minute and get my legs. Needless to say when Smoda said "I want to do that one again!", I let Ben take him alone.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Short Row Heels - revisited

Thanks to two wonderful ladies, Jennifer and Manda, in my local knitting group I was able to master the short row heel. I was so delighted to finish my first toe up sock. It was not as bad as I thought, but I never would have figured out the "picking up of live stitches" on my own.

The yarn I am using is Koigu KPPPM. It is a wonderfully soft yarn, as with each new sock yarn I try...this is my favorite! I have also been pleased with the color variation. There has not been the irritating pooling that I have had with some of the other varigated sock yarns.

Don't you love my setting....bricks?? I was trying to find good lighting so that the yarn colors would show well. The stack of bricks had the best sunlight. And yes that is a Loopy Ewe bag in the background. I love the way I can see at a glance what project is in the bag.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Grown Women Should Not Fall Down

As most of you know this has been a VERY wet spring in Texas, after several years of drought I guess I have forgotten how to walk on soggy ground.

Saturday, Cowodie had an early ball game...needed to be at the field at 8:00 a.m. We were walking from the parking lot to the field not on the sidewalk like the parks department would prefer but down the back trail. It is much closer to the fields, everyone else does it, the sidewalks are too many other excuses would you like??

Anyway dear RacerDad, in a hurry to get to the batting cages and begin warming up was quite a ways ahead of me. The rest of us were strung along the path much like pack mules (remember we are going to a LONG day at the ballfield, so we have chairs, snack basket, cooler, ball bags, breakfast sack, my extremely necessary Dr. Pepper, etc.) I was walking along, on the steepest point, reminding Smoda to be careful when my sandal hit a slick patch of mud (think slimy clay). Down I fell, very gracefully I might add, on my hiney. One foot and sandal totally covered in goo, backside in a soggy patch, Dr. Pepper flying through the air and splashing on my clean foot. Fortunately for me one of the other team dads was right behind me. He graciously helped me up only to watch me take one step and do it all again, minus the DP spray!

I was soooo embarrassed! Did any of my family notice this you ask? Only Speedy B, ever the considerate older son..."Didn't you watch where you were going, Mom??" I was so thankful that the fields were fairly empty at this time of day. I went up to the bathrooms, via the SIDEWALK, and cleaned my foot and leg up. I was wearing navy blue capris, so most of the mud didn't show up. When I got back down to the field, my sweet husband, ignorant of the fall and consequent mess asked where I had been....oblivious to all but the game about to be played!

Today I am so sore. My shoulder and neck are extememly tender, to the point if I move I feel like I am going to throw up. I know it will be fine, but where is a good massage when you need one!

Monday Recipe - Chicken Salad

Warmer weather is hitting here in Texas and so I am starting to bring out my "summer" recipes. The following is a recipe that I received my RacerDad's step-mother several years ago. It is one that they enjoyed on a regular basis and it sounded good so I brought it home. The only problem, RacerDad is not a meat salad kinda guy!

For years this has been a salad I have made to take to "ladies" brunches, I am always asked for the recipe. But my family had never tasted it...until last week. We were off to a baseball double header, which meant I needed to pack dinner and RacerDad said "please, no sandwiches." Oh the dilemma!! I decided to try this salad out on everyone. What was the worst that could happen? I would be buying hot dogs from the concession stand.

Everyone loved the salad. My sweet husband even asked "Why haven't you made this before?" MEN!! Gotta love them.

Chicken Salad

4 cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (you can bake, I typically grill)
2 cups sliced grapes
3/4 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream

Combine mayo and sour cream. Pour over remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

I usually serve this with homemade rolls or croissants, not as a sandwich.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

And the Winner is....

Lori from Lori's Light Extemporenea. She is the proud winner of some sock yarn and needles. I would post pictures and may still be able to, but my camera is not working properly today.

I am sending her a skein of J. Knits sock yarn in beautiful shades of gray and pink this yarn came from my favorite online yarn store The Loopy Ewe. Her prize also includes two skeins of Simple Stripes from Knitpicks and Crystal Palace bamboo dpns size one.

Lest you think I was only prepared for "knitters" to comment, I had a different prize set aside for my non-knitting readers.

Thank you so much to those of you that commented. While I truly blog for myself, more as an online diary, it is so nice to see comments!

Lori, if you will email me your address I will send you your prize package!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Scent Memory

Is it just me or do you have scents that automatically bring to mind certain people, places or events? This morning I was hit with one of those moments.

They say that a baby can recognize its mother's scent in a very short time after birth. I would say that holds true throughout a child's lifetime.

I have several tee shirts that belonged to my mother. She donated blood on a regular basis and seems to have had a shirt for each time! The one I pulled out today says "Give blood (front) ...Get cookies (back). The letter o on front and back are mock oreo cookies. It is a very cute shirt. As I said, mom probably had over 60 shirts from the blood banks so I went through and culled the ones that were worn or on the plain side. Which still left me with probably 25. I folded several and put them in a drawer for "some day" and hung the rest up. Today I decided to take one of the shirts out to wear and as I pulled it over my head, the scent of my mother flooded over me. Such a bittersweet feeling. Over a year and this shirt still smells like mom. Of course it hasn't been washed over and over to remove that scent, but it amazes me that it can still linger.

It is not a particular perfume, she wore several througout the years...nor is it laundry detergent, we used the same brand. But it is such a pleasant smell. It is mom. I hope my boys will have as fond a memory of me someday.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Knitting Fun

Dawn sent this little ditty to an email loop we belong too and it just seemed like fun. Who knew there were SOOO many things related to knitting?? I found one that was not on the list that I am so proud I completed...mosaic knitting!

Make bold all the items you have done; italic ones you plan on doing some day. If you take on the list challenge please comment, I would love to see your knitting accomplishments (especially you Ellen!!)

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with bananafiber yarn (never heard of this one!)
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone elses handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair (GROSS, not intentionally!)
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Quite a list accomplished. but so many more things to learn. I will be a gray haired granny sitting and knitting to accomplish all I desire!