Monday, June 29, 2009

Through the Garden Gate

Beginning with Spring


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Son!

We love you!

animated birthday book

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Grandmother's Box

Years ago, I started a box known as "Grandmother's Box". I have knitted blankets, sweaters, hats, and booties. I made the quilt on the left and bought the one on the right at a church auction. I have included receiving blankets that I have crocheted an edge around. It is all ready for the next baby.

When our son and daughter-in-law were home the first week in June, they took me to AC Moore and I bought this thread for a blanket. Thread is Bernat, Softee Baby Yarn, and the color is Baby, Baby. Below is the pattern I used.
I used size G Needle. The pattern called to Ch 106 loosely, but I chained to get the width I wanted.
ROW 1 (right side): Dc in fourth ch from hook (counts as first dc) *skip next 2 chs, dc in next ch, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next ch, skip next 2 chs, dc in next 2 chs: repeat from * across to last 3 chs, skip next 2 chs, 3 dc in last ch.

ROW 2: Ch3 (counts as first dc, now and througho
ut), turn; dc in sp before next dc, *skip next 3 dc, 5 dc in sp before next dc; skip next 3 dc, dc in sp before next dc,
skip next dc, dc in sp before next dc; repeat from * across to last 4 dc, skip next 3 dc, 3 dc in sp before last dc, leave last dc unworked.

Repeat Row 2 until length you want.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!!!!!

It has turned pretty hot this afternoon in our neck of the woods, but this morning was so pleasant. I took my cup of coffee and a book out on to the screen porch. There was a wonderful, slightly cool, breeze blowing. I wish I had a recorder to save the songs of the birds and the beautiful sounds from the wind chime.

The book that I am reading is one of many that a friend has loaned me. The books are published by Guideposts and the series is
Mystery and the Minister's Wife. The books have different authors but the same characters. The setting is in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. I live in North Carolina and our part of the Great Smoky Mountains is also beautiful. These books are a light read and I have really enjoyed them.

"This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Frugal Way of Life

It is surprising how frugal one can be if you set your mind to it. We had a very bad drought in our part of the country a couple of years ago. We had to conserve on the use of water and it was amazing how much water we saved by quick showers--cutting the water on to get wet, soaping up, and turning the water back on to rinse. This routine has stuck with us and now we just continue this and don't even think about it.
As soon
as my husband retired, I set up bookkeeping in Excel and I watch every penny we spend. We have been able to save some and I just think if we had done this all our married life, 48 years, we would be rich. Ha!
I watch the weekly specials at the three major grocery stores near by and we buy only what we usually would buy--no extras. We stopped our local paper but I can access it on line. W
e do buy the Sunday paper and that way, I can clip the coupons for grocery items we use. We also buy in bulk at Sam's or Costco. When we first started buying from Sam's our son came home from college and said he thought he had come to the "land of the giants". Ha!
There is one thing that my DH and I need to really work on and that is our over use of paper towels. When you have made it a habit of grabbing a paper towel, it is so hard to change. I'm
getting old!!!!!
We are content to stay at home and enjoy our screen porch, read books, and I do needlework, and weather permitting, my DH loves to work in his flowers and of course we enjoy the computer. I use our local library instead of buying books. During this past winter, friends and I swapped jig saw puzzles and put them together. This was something my family did as I was growing up. There was NO TV so we always had a puzzle on the card table and would work them as we listened to the radio.
Now, before I
buy anything, I ask myself if it is a WANT or a NEED. There are lots of things I want but don't need them. When you get down to it, I need to get rid of some things I already have. I can just see our kids trying to deal with all this stuff when we are gone.
We will definitely have to watch our pennies next year because we are not going to get a cost of living ra
ise in our social security checks. There was re-evaluation of real estate property in our county this year and that mean our taxes are going up. Our water and sewer fees for the city have also increased. I am going to put every thing in God's hands. We are truly blessed and much better off than lots of people in our country and the world.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Enjoying the Bounty

This is all that was left from the Zucchini Sausage Boats that I fixed for supper last night. Go over to Kelli's blog and get the recipe. Enjoy her blog and then scroll down on the right hand side and you will see the recipe. I halved the recipe for us and instead of bread crumbs, I used some barbeque potato chip crumbs.
A friend called and shared a recipe for me to make pickles with the cucumbers.
Refrigerator Pickles
8 cups sliced cucumbers
2 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon celery seed.
I sliced the cucumbers with my processor and placed them in a large jar that I gotten bread and butter pickles in. I boiled the syrup and and poured over the cukes and they are supposed to be okay like this for a while in the refrigerator. We will probably have them eaten pretty quick.

Monday, June 15, 2009

One For Us!

We got our first tomato yesterday. We debated on letting it stay on the vine one more day, but did not want to risk the squirrels getting it. The green Roma's were on the ground and my DH thought they fell off. Before coming into the house, he went by the birdbath and there was a green Roma that the squirrels had carried and eaten part of. They leave nuts in the birdbath all the time.
A friend of ours shared their bounty. This is just a sampling of what they brought. I have lots of cucumbers and don't know what I am going to do with all of them. I would love to be able to make pickles, but because of health problems, I am limited. Any suggestions for some easy pickles?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flag Day

In August 1949, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day. Since then the President proclaims the commemoration yearly, and encourages all Americans in the country to display the Stars and Stripes outside their homes and businesses. Individual states determine how they will observe the day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Garden View

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First Vegetables

Well, we are so excited about our first vegetables from our garden. We also had our first meal from part of the squash and zucchini. I cubed one zucchini, several squash. an onion and sauteed them in olive oil. I cooked some "curly pasta" and mixed that with the cooked vegetables. After placing it on our plates, we added Parmesan cheese and Ranch dressing. Boy! That was so good.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Living with MS

My DH is LIVING with MS. He had been on injections every other day and they stopped working. A year ago this March he became unable to walk. They tried steroids to build up his strength but that did not work like it had in the past. The doctor finally decided to place him on infusions, Tysabri. These infusions had been taken off the market several years ago because people were dieing with a brain disease. They have now put it back on the market and they are monitoring them closely. He has to go once a month for this two hour infusion.
From March 2008 until August 2008, DH could not get out of the house without being carried out to go to the doctor. A friend called a local church about building us a ramp and one Saturday the team came and built us this wonderful ramp along the edge of our deck out onto the patio. DH was also given a scooter and a whole new world opened for both of us.
The pictures of the garden are a labor of love for him. He went out and got down off the scooter on his hands and knees and pulled weeds from the raised bed where the squash and zucchini are. I did not know until after the f
act that he had rode his scooter out to the shed and got out the big tiller. He was dragging it behind his scooter when a neighbor saw him. The neighbor came and offered to help and DH let him plow that bed. I called the garden center to see if they had the plants he wanted and they did. I told them that DH could not get out of the car when he got there and could someone help him. They said sure and he got the plants and came back home and got down on his hands and knees and planted them. I am so proud of him!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Knitted Dishcloths

My favorite dishcloth to use is the one that I knit using cotton yarn. I buy the yarn in a large cone or ball. I like to buy white because I can throw them in with my white towels and use Clorox. When I went to buy yarn, they did not have white so I chose this verigated yarn.
Cotton yarn and knitting needle of your choice.
Cast on 4, k 1 row.
Next row, k2, inc in next st., k1
Next row, k2, yo, k to end of row
Repeat the k2, yo, k until you have 45 sts on the needle.
Next row, k1, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k to end of row
Continue to do this, decreasing each row until 5 stitches are left. Then, k2,
k2tog, k1.
Bind off the 4 sts.

Waffle Weave Knit dishcloth

Cotton yarn, size 6 needles
Cast on 38 stitches.
Knit 3 rows for border.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: K3, purl to last 3 stitches, k3.
Row3: K3, (P2, k1) 10 times, p2, k3.
Row 4: K3, (K2, p1) 10 times, k3.
Repeat these 4 rows for pattern.
Knit last 4 rows.
Bind off and weave in the ends.

You can repeat these 4 rows, 6 times and then
change colors and repeat pattern 2 times, then change
back to original color and repeat the pattern 6 times.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Just the Two of Us Again

Well, my day started yesterday, Saturday, at 6am. We had a busy last day with the son and daughter-in-law. Jon's boyhood friend came back home with him from their meeting to plan their 20th class reunion. We had so much fun talking about how it was when the boys were growing up and our house was the place to be. It was so much fun being with the boys then and now as men, married. We had our cookout with a friend and neighbor as planned and then my DH went with the kids to see a movie while I stayed at home to rest. I didn't have time to sleep because the phone kept ringing. We all planned to go to bed early because we had to be up at 4am to get the kids to the airport 60 miles away because their plane was leaving at 7am. Well, I could not sleep and was awake at 3:27am, I know because I looked at the clock. Ha! Then, I went to sleep and my DH had to wake me up. It was so cool and pleasant when we left at 5am. We saw beautiful deer by the side of the road going and coming from the airport--thank goodness they did not cross the highway in front of us. Now, you have to leave your loved ones at the curb and can't go in to see them leave. We were back home before their plane left Raleigh. I love the computer! I came home and followed them back home by checking the flight status. This airlines even had a map that showed where the plane was at all times on it's path home. I looked at one point, it was flying over Tulsa, OK where our daughter and her family lives. They are back home safe in CA and we are alone again. Now, we look forward to a visit from our daughter and family in November.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Beautiful Day in NC

This is the last day our son and daughter-in-law will be here. They fly out at 7AM tomorrow morning. This will be a busy day. Our son has gone with one of his childhood friends and classmate to help plan their 20Th class reunion. Oh, wow, my baby has been out of school 20 years!!!!!!!!!!!! My class celebrated it's 50Th reunion last weekend. Can I really be that old?????? This afternoon we are cooking steak, ribs, and shrimp on the grill with a neighbor. Then a quick trip to AC Moore to get more thread for the baby blanket--I will share pictures later of my "Grandmother's Box". Early to bed because we will have to get up before 4AM to get them to the airport which is 60 miles away.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dear Heart's Garden

I am so proud of my husband. He has MS but he gets out on his scooter and gets down and crawls to pull up weeds. A friend plowed up the areas for him and then he planted the tomatoes, squash, and zucchini. I thought I would share some pictures with you. The pinwheels are placed by the tomato plants hoping to scare away the squirrels. They will probably just laugh at me and eat our tomatoes like they did last year. The tomato plant next to the purple pinwheel is a sucker my DH broke off the original plant and stuck in a pot and has now planted it in the ground. We are so proud of this plant and it should help us to have tomatoes for a longer season.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Experience

Our son and daughter-in-law loaded me and my wheelchair into the van and took me to Trader Joe's. They shop at Trader Joe's in SF and were surprised that we have one in nearby Chapel Hill. That was an interesting shopping experience for me. Now we are back home and the house smells soooooooo good. They are making lasagna for our dinner tonight and then they are leaving us frozen meals to eat after they are gone. I am going to be really spoiled before they leave on Sunday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Warm, Sunny afternoon in the Carolina's

Our son and his wife arrived from California for the week. They got in late last night and today has been hectic. My husband and I are both disabled and the kids are going to help to get some things done around here this week. Our son was up early this morning and got the pressure washer out and cleaned the patio and front porch. Tomorrow will be the screen porch. The next door neighbor's little granddaughter is coming one day this week to do Crayola chalk drawing on the patio so it will have to be washed again. That is okay because we will have fun watching Hannah play.

My husband is taking infusions to help with his MS so they have gone to Durham this afternoon to do that. They are then going to the mall to Tiger Direct for our son to help his dad put together a fantabulous? computer.

I am at home resting up.