Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hey there!

Your Inner European is Swedish!

Relaxed and peaceful.
You like to kick back and enjoy life.

This is so funny because I actually am Swedish (along with many other things) and the church I go to is Covenant (which is a Swedish church that used to be called the Swedish Mission church). I don't know the Swedish language, but I can sing it on occasion. In fact, I sang a verse of Children of the Heavenly Father in Swedish at a funeral for one of our former pastor's wives.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Aaack! It was Eye Camel Friday (yesterday)

Well, the day has come and gone and there was no Eye Camel Friday. You all knew it would happen at some point, but it was a disappointment for everyone anyway, I am sure.

Being as it is Memorial Day weekend Oliver the Camel thought it would be best to lend his pack animal-ness to someone who was actually going somewhere this weekend. So, he packed himself up with camping supplies and mosquito repellent and made his way "Up North" to "the cabin" where most Minnesotans go for the Memorial Day weekend. (I'm totally making this up. I walked into work today and left him at home) Since he is already gone for the weekend there are no Eye Camel pictures to be had this weekend, but to make up for it we will have a stand-in.

Soooo, without further ado I present Eye Bombero Saturday (where I show you a couple pictures of our 14 year-old dalmatian)

This is Bombero's left ear and some of his spots ;o)

This is Bombero's right ear and more of his spots ;o)

This is Bombero smiling on the deck!

Now, in knitting news, I have gotten further on the back of the vest for my dad and I have started a Jaywalker with my pink yarn (I am doing it toe-up, so that I can easily make them longer and into knee-highs (I hope))

Lastly, in honor of our fallen Veterans on this Memorial Day here is a picture of just outside of our gallery. Have a great weekend (and if you are around Dassel this weekend come to our service in honor of Memorial Day it starts at 9 am with a parade out to the Dassel cemetery and then a service at 9:30 with refreshments following at the Universal Lab Museum)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What happened here?

I've been doing something that might surprise you. Of course I am continuing to eat and exercise the way that I should (sometimes, well most times, actually), but I am also doing something very shocking with my time of late.

No, I haven't finished that blue mitten. No, I haven't been working on the Myrtle Leaf Shawl (don't ask, because it is painful).

But . . . . .

I did this

And this

. . . . . and I've been actually starting something with this

. . . . and here is the start of it

The "it" is a vest for my dad for his birthday (last month). It will be simple (at least it looks like it will be) and he likes the color.

The pink (Sundara-cherry blossom sock yarn) is the swatch for a pair of knee-high Jaywalkers that I plan on knitting for me. We shall see how soon those get done though because most things for me don't get finished for a very long time.

Today it has been doing this

And that makes the sidewalk look like this

Soooo, I'll probably have to put in a workout tape when I get home tonight rather than going for a walk or a bike ride. Which is probably for the best. Yesterday, I went for a bike ride in the morning while gale force (maybe not quite gale force, but close enough) winds blew at me. It was difficult to say the least.

Well, it isn't raining anymore at the moment, but it is supposed to rain more tonight and tomorrow. See ya!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Eye Camel Friday(or Oliver takes in the local sites)

Hi, everyone!
I've guess I've been silent this week. I suppose it is because I've been busy trying to exercise for about an hour or more everyday and all that and trying to get myself into some kind of schedule. I didn't do any kind of knitting or making of anything this week-sorry,

BUT, I did plant my garden (along with my mom), and planted most of the flowers that I had hoped to plant around my house. I still have a couple of containers to fill and I would like to rework a section of a perennial garden area that we have, but that means lots of hoeing and planting and buying more seeds and plants and that will have to wait until I have some money in my bank account. (my, my I do enjoy run-on sentences. My old high school English teacher would be shocked. (totally unrelated tidbit-I see her on occasion and she can still make me think about the fact that I don't use proper grammar-I mean I did very well in her class and everything, but I know how to be a good little student when I have to be and then I promptly forget everything anyone taught me))

Yesterday, Oliver the Camel and I walked to the little bandstand park we have across the street from the gallery for a little break.

Here is Oliver enjoying the park swing as the scent of the lilacs behind him waft through the breeze.

And a close-up of Oliver enjoying himself.

We enjoyed the view for a while and took a couple of pictures!

The Railroad tracks behind the bandstand (whenever we have events at the bandstand, we have a couple interruptions from the trains)


Bandstand Railing

Hmmm . . . looking at these pictures makes me excited for Summer. We have a bunch of fun activities at this little park. There is always Dairy/Berry Day when we have root beer floats and strawberry sundaes served (fresh strawberries from local growers-my favorite!) and music from the Mid-Minnesota Concert Band. Then we have a brat feed or two with proceeds going toward fireworks for our town festival on Labor Day Weekend. We also have a street dance (where very few people actually dance- mostly just mill around chatting with friends listening to the live music) on Labor Day Weekend.
Some people may find my little town a bit hokey, but I really enjoyed growing up here and living here, still.

Well, I hope you all enjoy your weekend- I hope to be spending mine outside! (probably not knitting, though-bad, bad knit blogger)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Eye Camel Friday

Well, I forgot to bring home the nice digital camera from work yesterday, so I quick came in this morning and picked up the camera to take pictures of Oliver.

I went on a bike ride along the bike trail kind of near my house (I have to drive to it because my dog, Dakota, likes to follow me). Then, when I got home, Oliver, Dakota and I went for a quick walk up the road to the lake by our house. Along the way, we saw some flowers.

Here is Oliver smelling a May Flower as it is opens. These flowers are along the ditch right before we get to the lake.

We also saw some of these. I looked at the wild flower book that my parents have and I believe this is either a Large-Flowered Bellwort or a Perfoliate Bellwort. Of course, Oliver was no help in figuring out what kind of flowers they are and Dakota just wanted to walk on them.

We then came to the edge of the lake and saw the cattails all fuzzed out.

When we arrived home Bombero, our almost 14 year old Dalmatian, welcomed us. And . . . .

Dakota was warm from our walk.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday is a good day

Well-at least I hope it is for everyone-I didn't know what to put for a heading, so I just wrote that. (and Thursday is a good day-it is nice weather here, I'm a healthy person, some of my favorite television shows are on tonight, etc)

Okay, I have to tell you I started something yesterday. It wasn't knitting-(of course it wasn't knitting-after all, this is a blog about knitting that rarely has knitting content on it).

I started a diet and exercise program (eep). (Isela, you keep doing so much all the time and made me have to start my own thing)
Today's Pic's don't have much to do with today's post because I really didn't want to show you a picture of me in my work out clothes with my tummy bulging. These pictures are much prettier.

My horse, Beauty. (she's being trained to ride and just under 4 years old)

I've been wanting to do something like this, but I never get the courage and get really lazy and all that. So anyway, I started it yesterday and am hoping to lose many pounds and inches. (please, please, please) All through high school I was around 130 (of course, I always felt like I was fat and ugly and now when I look back at pictures I get mad that kids, when I was little and then, thought of me as fat-I was not at all and it just goes to show how much words can hurt someone so bad that it screws up what they see in the mirror). Then in college, I gained some weight, but then I lost it all by some miraculous occurrence (I really don't know how it happened, but I thanked God for it every day-for once in my life, I looked in the mirror and thought - "she's kinda cute").

So then I got married, made meals everyday, didn't get out much, and briefly (ever so briefly because I saw what started to happen to my body) got those b.c. shots. (sorry if this is TMI, just skip over it) I had been on pills, but then I was having a weird reaction to something and my doctor took me off of them to make sure it wasn't them and had me take the shot-not a good idea because (a.) it wasn't them at all and (b.) I gained all the weight back and more that I had lost in college (for whatever miraculous reason) and had kept off for 3 or 4 years, by the way. (mad face goes here) (but instead of a mad face, I'll show you a picture of Reno. He's more pleasant)

Reno is the 20-something horse that I currently ride. He is always gentle and good with me, but he doesn't really enjoy having to be ridden anymore. He would like to be able to stay in the pasture, so I'm hoping, Beauty will be a good and gentle horse for me. (She may not be and then we'll have to find someone who knows horses better than me who would like a pretty young horse)

Since then I have been waiting for that miraculous change to happen and it hasn't. I have tried things to lose weight and I gain it instead, so I really hope that this will be the thing that helps me and takes the weight off. The plan is---the Extreme Fat Smash Diet and it was done by one of the trainers who does Celebrity Fit Club. Now, I've never watched the show (no cable, satellite kind of stuff at my house), but it seemed like a good plan to me as I looked at it. I'm the kind of person who needs a schedule to follow or I won't stick with anything and it has a schedule of things to do and food to eat that I can actually get and afford.

So, here's hoping it will all work out. (cheers)

Most of the food to eat is pretty good and I can have snacks here and there (as long as they are under 100 cal.), so I don't have to totally cut out sugar. Although last night's supper left something to be desired, so I'll have to figure out a way to make Garbanzo Beans and mixed veggies more edible (they are not good with salsa). My mom makes a really good sauce with garbanzo beans, spinach, tomato, and garlic. I'll have to look for the recipe.

Yesterday, I took a walk in the morning for about an hour. This morning I did a Billy Blanks workout video (which I've owned since college) and later on I'm going to go for a 40 minute walk with the dog.

Dan and I with Checotah (his horse) and Reno. We are in front of the teepee that Dan's brother built and at a Glacial Lakes State Park here in Minnesota.

Come back tomorrow for Oliver the Camel's adventure-(he might go on a walk with me tonight!)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Is is just me, or did I do tooooo much this weekend?

Hello, all!

Okay, so I did it. I sang and played guitar on Friday night and survived. Whew. I wasn't that great or anything, but I survived (probably won't be asked to do that again, though). I would tell you about the large crowds that came out to hear me perform, but that large crowd consisted of - the two ladies who work at the shop, one of their husbands, my parents, my husband (who arrived late by the way, bad husband), some other guy, and a family of three that has come into our gallery a few times. Yep, that's what I was nervous about. I sang and played stuff (including a few verses of The Ballad of Jesse James(music comes up right away on this site, so if you are in quiet place you may not want to click on this link)). Anyway, it went by (and as it turned out, I had to play for 2 1/2 hours not 1 1/2 (is was 6:00-8:30 not 6:30-8:00)

This was my day Saturday

10:45 -leave for "the cities" to get to baby shower for one of my best friends
12:30-5:00- have tons of fun with my friend and her family (it was wonderful by the way-her mom makes the nicest food and she made us all feel so special by putting fresh strawberries in our drinks and giving everyone a beautiful gerbera daisy as we left). She absolutely loved the little hat that I made.
5:00-8:00-drive home, stop for groceries, get some art supplies for a drawing I want to do, and finally arrive home.
8 something- have peanut butter sandwiches for supper and sit down for a while to do nothing for a minute
9:30- start making salad for 75 to serve at a surprise birthday for my mom on Sunday
10:45-3 gallons of salad are in the refrigerator all ready to go, so I sit down to watch the episode of Martha that I had taped. (The perfect woman to watch at the end of that kind of busy day-she doesn't sleep and probably makes salad for 75 every day)


10:30- go to church
11:45- leave church to rush to my parents house (before they get home from church) and pick up old family photo albums for the surprise party that will be at church later this afternoon.
12-ish-try to figure out something quick I can make for lunch, wrap faux birthday present from my brothers, me and my dad (because the present we ordered for my mom won't arrive for another couple weeks), brother-in-law calls and want to come over, lunch ends up not being as quick to make as I would like sooooo . . .
1:15- eat lunch
1:45-3:30-brother-in-law arrives, husband and brother-in-law go outside to walk around the farm and figure out what they need to do for the pasture in order for everything to be ready by the end of the month when the horses go out on it, I finish off the scrapbook I had started about our trip to Israel (only on page needed to be finished) because Dan and I will be making a presentation at church about our trip to Israel at a church service that we are having this afternoon right before the surprise party for my mom that will also be happening at the church, try to figure out what to say at the presentation and write down a few notes.
3:30-run into town to put gas in the car (because we will not make it to church and back on the amount of gas we have in the car) and pick up supplies for punch for the party.
3:45-leave for church
4:00-5:00-family service at church where Dan and I talk about our trip to Israel
5:00-8:00-SURPRISE, my mom has a ton of fun (my dad and I sent our invites to all sorts of her friends and to a bunch of her cousins that she hadn't seen in a while), oldest brother and his family from come up from Iowa, youngest brother (he's older than me, but he is the youngest of my three brothers) and his family come out from "the cities" (middle brother lives in Idaho and has a 2 year old and an 8 month old, so he stayed put.),
8:15 -9:00 or so- clean up the church from the party and pack up the vehicles with presents and leftovers.
9 something-arrive home and do as little as possible until it is time to go to bed.

Then this morning before I came to work I went outside and picked a bunch of violets from the hundreds (maybe even thousand) that are growing wild in our yard. Ahhhh . . .violets have a wonderfully calming effect.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Aaack! It's Friday, again-(plus, Eye Camel Friday and a new FO!)

Golly, I sure have a tendency to forget that its Friday. The same thing happened to me as last week. I know full well that today is Friday. Golly geewhilikers, I sure know that it is Friday today (for reasons that I will tell in a bit, and let me tell you I am getting NERVOUS).

Alrighty, now for the show (by the way, at this very moment there is a song from Pirates of Penzance playing on the radio. I love that show. I played a policeman (and, yes, I do mean man) in it and had the most fun dancing and goofing off.)

This week Oliver the Camel pretended to be Tiny Tim and went on a little "Tiptoe Through the Tulips"

You wouldn't think that Camels could sing, but I can tell you he was singing in that clear, freakishly high Tiny Tim voice "won't you tiptoe through the tulips with meeeee?"

Now, down to business. I know that you guys probably don't believe that I ever really knit or do much of anything with yarn because I never really finish a whole lot, but I now have something to show you.

This little hat was made for by best friend from college's baby that is due in June. It is made with handspun yarn from this post and lion brand handspun for the lining. (I love the color and the look of the wool, but it is way to scratchy for a little baby head and the lion brand handspun acrylic is really soft) The basic pattern came from a free lion brand pattern for use with velvetspun, but I modified the pattern for the yarn I used (a lot less bulky) and made up the green lining stuff.
Mmmm, I think it is really cute!
Here's the lining. I pretty much made another little hat inside because I wanted to make sure that the little one's head wouldn't get itched anywhere, plus I really like how the green yarn shows through the natural wool. (By the by, I just made that all yesterday and sewed in the two little ends this morning--see, I can get things finished if I have to. (The baby shower is tomorrow))Here are Rebekah (made of plaster, twine, and wax) and the hat having a little fun.

And the thing you have all been waiting to hear since I told you I was NERVOUS as the beginning of the post. I'm going to be playing guitar and singing at our local coffee shop tonight. Eeep! I'm a little nervous. Soooo, tonight I am supposed to play music for about an hour and a half. I don't think I have enough music for all that, so hopefully I can take a break part way through. Now, don't get me wrong, I could play for hours if I had a piano in front of me, but this isn't that kind of coffee shop that has a stage and piano and everything. This is just our little coffee shop in our 1200 person town, so I will be bringing my guitar (that I have played for under 2 years) and my voice (that I've had for 20 something years) and that's it. I am hoping that people won't get scared off by me singin' some acappella because I don't know no 1.5 hours of music on my geeetar. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Flowers in My Yard

Yesterday's post was of the flowers in the road ditch and today's pictures will be of the one's right around my house. Do you want to know one of the first things I would do to my house if I became rich? I would fill my home with fresh cut flowers and flowering plants. (The name of my blog reflects that as well (although it is also a twist on my name). Around here in early June, the wild roses start blooming and I love them a whole big bunch.)

This tulip picture is the one I decided to print off and frame for my neighbor Adeline. She absolutely loved it and gave me a big hug. She then proceeded to show me the pictures of all of her grandkids and the quilt that she is making for her great-granddaughter who will be graduating from high school. --Adeline is one of the people in my life who has inspired me to make useful craft items. She's in her 80's and needs to use a walker to get around, but she can't let her hands be idle. She is always sewing something for someone. When Dan and I got married she gave us a counted cross stitch picture of flowers and a garden gate. I also bought the most beautiful quilted Christmas Tree skirt from her. It is something I will treasure always.

Violets growing next to the foundation of our house. We have violets that cover the area between the house and our windmill every May. They grow wild in the grass and we always put off mowing the lawn as long as possible in order to see them for as long as we can. They are just starting to blossom now.

The Creeping Charlie is blooming. Yes, it's a weed, but it's pretty, too. It isn't doing any damage, so why not let it grow and be happy?

Dandelion by the front porch. I have a fondness for dandelions. (I think my mom does, too) I used to pick them for my mom all the time and then I would put them into a round vase that had all sorts of holes around the top and then we would set them on the table for a nice centerpiece.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It's May Day!

Our farm on May Day 2007!

Did any of you guys ever do anything for May Day? I remember going around to our neighbor's homes when I was younger and bringing them little baskets of flowers with my mom. We don't do it anymore (and haven't for a long time), but I distinctly remember going up to our neighbor Adeline's house as a child.

There aren't usually a ton of flowers growing on the first of May in Minnesota, but we do have dandelions and the tulips are coming up as well. Oh yeah, the blood root (or that's what my mom always called it) is growing in damp, tree-filled areas, too. Anyway, I'm thinking we must have put those kinds of flowers in the little basket I made from paper and brought it up to her. We walked up to her house (about an 1/8 to a 1/4 of a mile away), knocked on the door, she would let us in, and then we would chat and have little treats. I have a lot of fond memories of going up to Adeline's house as a child.

(I just ran out to the farm and took some pictures along the road)
I don't know what the little white flower on the top is, but the bottom one, I believe, is Blood Root. Although I'm confused why it is called blood root being as it is white, but these flowers only last a very short time in the spring. Likely it has more to do with what they do the rest of the year. (A week ago the entire road ditch was covered with these, now I could only find these couple flowers)
(Updated: My mother just happened by and I asked her some questions-turns out the top picture is Blood Root and the bottom one is a May Flower (goodness, a picture of a May Flower on May Day, I'm pretty good!). Also, the reason Blood Root is called Blood Root is because its roots are blood red. Go figure ;o) Ever since I was little my mom has told me these things, but I can be an in one ear out the other kind of person sometimes)

We also went to a few other people homes-a woman named Ruth from my church (I remember bringing her flowers and sitting in her kitchen talking, but I'm not sure if it was May Day) and another woman-hmmm, can't remember her name, but her husband's name was John Carlson-(I know this because their house is at the bottom of a big hill that is called, by the old timers-and me ;o), John Carlson Hill) -Soooo, we went to visit John Carlson's wife on May Day as well, but that memory is really cloudy because I am sure she passed away before I was five.

Butternut Lake-Just down the road from our house.

Well, this May Day I am thinking I will stop by Adeline's house and drop off a little gift on my way home from work for old time's sake. (She's in her 80's now) Maybe I will print off a pretty flower picture for her. (I took more pictures on my little jaunt out in the country this afternoon). Sooooo, on this May Day (or May 2nd, 3rd, or 4th) think of someone that might like a little cheer of some kind, pop over to their house with a flower or kid print, and see their smile grow!