Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Mower

Found what we needed at Sears: 26 hp, 54" cut, 3 blades, V-Twin Briggs & Stratton Turn Tight. On sale, with 12 mo/no interest. It will arrive next week!

Cleaning out the Garage

Hubby and I have been trying to decide what to do about the two, count em, TWO, riding mowers that don't work and have been taking up space in the garage. Bottom line....they gotta go! So, we decided to get them out of the garage, and not allow them back in, and go shopping for a new mower this afternoon. I had suggested tomorrow, but the more he thought about it, he decided to just go do it! (I love a man who isn't afraid of making a decision...which is just one of the reasons we have been married for 37 yrs.)

While he was looking over the mowers trying to decide if one or both were worth fixing up and deciding that they weren't, I started doing a bit of tidying up on my own. We have built in shelving on the wall nearest the back door and it needed to be de-cluttered. After the mowers were out of the way we had room to move a few things away from the area of the back door as well: the two extra dining chairs that go with the dining table that I hate; a table that a friend gave me custody of for the time being; a walker for a tall person in case hubby ever has to have surgery again; the nifty wagon he bought me for Christmas to use when I am doing yard work; and other assorted stuff) Of course, when we get the new mower we will have to make room for that, but in the looks so much better.

Now we need to drop off a ton of stuff that we loaded into the back of the pickup that needs to go to the homeless shelter....drop off the paperwork for the CPA to do our taxes....and go buy a new mower. All in a days work while hubby is off on spring break from the police academy at Grayson College. I have a feeling he will be ready to go back to his position as director of the academy next week to get some rest!

Happy Spring Cleaning to you all!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wildlife and Midsomer Murders

Do any of you folks out there watch Midsomer Murders? We have Netflix and discovered this British TV show last summer. There are quite a lot of episodes available on streaming video or you can get them on DVD if you prefer.

In watching the show we both kept noticing some kind of critter noises that are common at night in these episodes. I finally decided it had to be a fox. I did a search on the internet and lo and behold...I was right! Fox barking.

Then, just yesterday, while on our evening walk together, hubby told me he found what he thought was a fox den in the wooded area on our property. We have lived on the same 86 acres for the past 37 years and only once or twice have I seen a fox. We have both had plenty of sightings of coyotes and bobcats, even a cougar once. 

This recently excavated hole was once the home of an armadillo. But armadillos don't make mounds this big! Besides, there was a clearly distinctive paw print near the mouth of the hole.

I asked my dear hubby to stick his size 13 boot in the photo to get an idea of the size of the den. The dirt is mounded up over a foot in an area about a yard armadillo house, nope! Not this one!

I found another video of a red fox, which is probably what we have here in Texas, and the bark is different from the first one I posted. This sounds more like what hubby said he has heard near the den. Red Fox ( You might want to skip to about the middle of the is not well filmed and is rather longer than is necessary if you just want to hear what a red fox sounds like.)

Line That Tote!

 I like to knit with lace weight yarn, usually a wool and silk blend, and I don't like that the yarn, and what I am knitting with it, tends to get a bit fuzzy from wallowing around in a canvas tote bag. I have two bags from a couple of my favorite knitting shops that I use on a regular basis and decided to make a satin lining for each of them. The Woolie Ewe bag is finished. I thought about putting pockets in the lining, but since the fabric is so slippery I decided not to....maybe for the other bag....not sure.

I didn't take photos of the work in progress, so this isn't really a tutorial, but all you have to do is measure your bag starting at the top, down the front, across the bottom, and up the back, allow an inch to turn under at the top of the lining; measure across the width of the bag, allowing for seam allowances. Since my fabric was super slippery I serged the cut edges and the seams. I mitered the bottom to match the miter on the bag itself, pinning the lining to the inside of the bag, right side showing of course, and did a single row of top stitching from the inside of the bag. I used pink polyester thread for the top and black cotton for the bobbin and the stitching is not noticeable.

The Mountain Colors wool/silk blend lace yarn is much happier in this bag now that it is lined!

I am adding beads to the edge of the Free and Easy Pie Wedge Shawl in place of the yarn overs. I decided that the shawl needed something to give it a bit more drape and keep it from flying around when being worn. I saw this shawl made up at The Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg, VA on a trip to visit our daughter and her family. I really, really wanted the pattern for this skein of yarn that I purchased on that trip, but the lady at the shop said it only comes on the label of Lorna's Laces yarn! So....when I got back home to Texas, I ended up going to the Woolie Ewe for a skein of the yarn that had the pattern printed on the label, that The Knitting Sisters didn't have at the time. Depending on how you look at it, I either bought a $50 skein of yarn for the free pattern, or I bought a $50 pattern and got a ball of yarn for free! But I digress...I am making this shawl for a family member and I am really happy with the way it is turning out.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Getting there...

I will need a different rod and possibly some different rings....but it looks like another 4 repeats of the pattern will be long enough, maybe 5,  then I can work the lace edging on the sides and bottom and that will make one panel.

Knitted curtain panels

I had downloaded a free patten for Print O' the Wave some time ago and decided that it would look nice done up in cotton for panels for my kitchen window. So far, so good! There will be a lace edging along both sides and the bottom. The natural scallop at the beginning will be the top of the curtain and will be attached to the rod with clip rings.