Wednesday, April 29, 2009

You Might Be A Redneck If...

You might be a redneck if your idea of a Neighborhood Watch program is to park your fanny in a recliner on the front lawn and watch the 'goings on' of your neighbors.

This is Mr.Studley, appearing to do just that. In reality, he's checking one last time to make sure he wants to give away this favored chair before loading it onto his nephew's truck. Mr. Studley really liked this leather chair, but we have another one very similar to it, and it seemed a shame to have our living room overcrowded with too much furniture when Nephew has nothing but broken down furniture (a harsh side-effect of a divorce). So Studley, bless his heart, opted to give the chair to his nephew. Granted, we did have to threaten him with the water hose to get him out of it before loading it onto the back of the truck.

This is the now felted Hobo bag I showed you last week in it's unfelted stage. As I said before, I really like this pattern. It was an easy and fun knit. I purchased it from Pipp's Purses etsy shop. It's knit on 10.5 circular needles in a worsted weight yarn. I used my Denise Interchangeables for knitting, and Lion Wool for the yarn.

When I am knitting something to felt, I don't generally worry too much about the softness of the yarn. My experience has been that once something is felted, most felted wools feel pretty much the same; and besides, I'm not going to be wearing it next to my body. I have to tell you, though, I was pleasantly surprised by how soft this bag did feel prior to felting. I would be very comfortable wearing a sweater knit from this yarn.

Speaking of rednecks, this is my sun with his recent haul of bass. The boy does love to fish, which makes his mamma happy, as I does do love to eat fish. He doesn't bring them home all smelly with their dead eyes staring up at me, either. When he presents them to me, they've been cleaned, gutted, and filleted. They're neatly packaged in a freezer Zip-Loc bag, and ready for the freezer until I'm in the mood to fry up a mess of 'em, as we say around here. We eat very few fried foods, but fish and green tomatoes are the two exceptions to that rule.

My mom and her husband are visiting during the week of Mother's Day. We're going to surprise her with a fried fish dinner. Nothing says I love you, Mom, like a plate of fried fish, hushpuppies, and bowl of fresh cole slaw. It's a meal that'll make you want to slap your mamma. I'll refrain, considering it will be Mother's Day and all.

I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.

~Psalm 13:6

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blogger Newbie, or Blogger Wannabe?

Tulips from my daughter's yard this week.
Do you want to start a blog? Or maybe you have one, but you feel it could use improvement. I learned about a great, free resource online for those (like moi) who need a little help with this blogging thing. In the little over a year that I've been blogging, I've learned a lot through trial and error, but I still have so much to learn.
Michelle Mitchell, better known as Scribbit, from the blog Scribbit~Motherhood in Alaska, has written an ebook for new bloggers, or those who want to improve their blogs. Whether your desire is to start a blog, or improve the one you've got, Michelle's book can help. I began reading it yesterday, and have already learned some helpful ideas for my blog, such as the excerpt below, which she did give me permission to quote here:
"When you link to another site, remember that it's a symbiotic relationship-if you do your lnks properly not only will it help the other blogs you link to, but it will help you as well.

The search engines not only count your inbound links, they also notice your outbound links, and rather than say "click here" or using someone's first names as a link, try to get into the habit of using their site name for the actual link. This builds recognition for their blog, encourages people to click on the link, and it gets you points with the search engines-a perfect win/win situation."
Sheer wisdom, I tell you! I'm anxious for some free time to sit down and read the rest of the book. You can download it to your computer (for FREE) from her site, Scribbet~Motherhood in Alaska, or you can download it from Amazon to a digital reader like Kindle, for a mere $.88. She shares that link on her blog. I am so appreciative of Michelle, and others like her who are willing to give of their time and effort to share their knowledge with those in need (like moi!).

The teeny speck in yellow is my daughter, Nikki, enjoying their first truly warm day this spring. This is the backyard of their home in Harrogate. How I wish I could hop a plane tonight and be sitting there with her tomorrow! Oh, well, it will happen next year, likely.

Yup, after being on her feet chasing one year old's all day (which she LOVES), she was enjoying kicking back on their patio the other night.

Some fresh blooms I enjoyed from my own yard last week. I love fresh flowers indoors...and outdoors!
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The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
~Song of Solomon NKJV 2:12

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 19th, A Day of Remembrance

April 19, 1985 Drowning death of my late husband, John, in a scuba diving accident at Possum Kingdom Lake, Palo Pinto County, Texas. Many people's lives were affected by the tragedy of that day. His children, wife, mother, siblings, in-laws, co-workers, neighbors, and good friends were all affected in some way by his sudden eviction from this world. Life did go on, but for those of us suffering the loss of this one person, it was never quite the same.

April 19, 1993 The Waco Siege. The Mount Carmel Center at the Branch Davidian Ranch in Waco, Texas, went up in flames. Seventy-six people, including more than 20 children and two pregnant women, died in that fire. A grave tragedy which affected the lives of so many people. No doubt, survivors of the victims still bear the pain and scars of their loss that day.

April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. A terrorist attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building created an explosion that took the lives of 168 people, including 19 children and three pregnant women, and left over 800 injured. Prior to the terrorist attack of 9/11, this was the deadliest act of terror against the U.S. on American soil. It is hard to imagine the number of people who were, and continue to be, adversely affected by the tragic losses of that day.

April 19, 2009 I pray for peace this day. I pray that those who walk in unforgiveness would realize they must forgive to be forgiven. I pray that the hearts of God's people would turn toward Him, their Creator. I pray we would recognize Him as the Loving Daddy He is, and not as a harsh judge who is often blamed for the tragedies mankind has brought on himself. He longs to pull His children into His arms, just as a good and loving earthly father would with his own children. I wouldn't give for the relationship I have with Him. I don't blame Him for the tragedies that have occurred in my own life, but I do thank Him for helping me through them. He is real. He is alive. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever.
The photos were taken by my son on a visit to the Oklahoma City bombing site memorial.

If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
~II Chronicles 7:14 Amplified Bible

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Contest Link, Exercising, & Missing Candy

As I was reading through some favorite blogs this evening, I stopped in at Randi's, "i have to say...". I found myself gazing at the most darling piece of artwork. I'll admit it, I was on the verge of coveting it. Seriously, I really want it. Fortunately for me, the artist has other copies of it on her etsy store, so it's going on my wishlist.

The artist's blog is Tollipop, and her whimsical style speaks to my heart. Not only is she a very talented artist, but she also writes. I read one of her stories while there, and am now anxiously awaiting what I hope will be another installment.
Tollipop is holding a contest on her blog. Some very blessed person will win some of her artwork. The pictures above, as well as the darling locket at the top, will be among the prizes she's awarding. I would love to win something from her, wouldn't you? If so, go to her blog and leave a comment. If you blog about it or Twitter it, you increase your odds of winning. I did both, 'cause I really want to win. She's also offering bonus entries to anyone who can get Martha Stewart to come sign up for the contest. I'll have to pass on that one. Ever since she learned I set my Thanksgiving table with styrofoam plates, Martha and I haven't exactly been on speaking terms.

That Linda, the sadistic hilarious blogger at 2nd Cup of Coffee, is at it again. Seems she wasn't satisfied that she got our lazy behinds off the couch, or out of the computer chair in my case, and moving for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, two weeks in a row. Neeeeeewwww, now she wants us to do it again for two weeks, only this time we get to cut 100 calories out of our day, too. And we're supposed to be happy about that. Oh, sure, I could just not participate, but then I'd feel left out, and I wouldn't get my name in lights..or at least not in her sidebar as a participant. Having my name in her sidebar makes me feel all important and such. And the truth of the matter is, I tend to be more disciplined in my exercise when I'm accountable to someone.
Giving up that 100 calories, though...that's a tough one. I wonder if all my vitamins and supplements would add up to a hundred calories? Or better yet, I could hurry and gobble up all the leftover Easter candy in one day. After that, I couldn't eat it anymore, and I could count that as my eliminated one hundred calories each day, right?
The flaw in that plan is that Mr. Studley would wonder what happened to all the jelly beans and peach rings. He doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, but he does love peach rings and jelly beans. I guess I'll just bite the bullet and find 100 legitimate calories to eliminate from my daily diet. That would be better than denying Mr. Studley his extra calories. Of course it goes without saying that it would benefit me!

I've already posted this in Ravelry, but realized I've not yet posted about it here. The is a pre-felted picture of my Hobo Handbag I knit from Pipp's Purses. I knit it in Lion Wool, which felted great, though it took awhile.
I've since felted it, but still need to attach a decorative button, and am contemplating lining it. I'm still undecided about the lining. I'll show a picture of post-felting on my next post. I didn't have enough space today. Picasa will only let me send four pictures over to Blogger at one time. Besides, maybe this will pique your curiosity to return again to see the felted picture.
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So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes [again], for He will both bring to light the secret things that are [now hidden] in darkness and disclose and expose the [secret] aims (motives and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will receive his [due] commendation from God.
~1 Corinthians 4:5 Amplified Bible

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Fought the Sloth, and the Sloth Lost

This has been my pace all winter. I can't blame snow or ice for slowing me down, as we had none. AT ALL. I'm still pouting about that. Seriously, though, I have felt like a total slug for months. My energy level was lower than a snake's belly. I felt like my get-up-and-go got-up-and-went. I've wondered if perhaps I've suffered from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

This was pretty much me. Well, actually, this is Putty Tat, but I think she was mocking me when this picture was taken.
Then something wonderful happened. The sun broke out, and Linda, the hilarious blogger at 2nd Cup of Coffee, issued this challenge.

Now, I may be lazy, but I am not one to back away from a challenge. She challenged her readers to do one simple thing, GET MOVING! For five days a week, 30 minutes per day, over the course of two weeks, we would commit to get our bodies moving. It could be exercising, walking the dogs, digging in the garden, or chasing the ice-cream truck around the neighborhood, as long as we got moving. There was no "D" word involved, though it was certainly okay to diet if we pleased. I didn't please.

I regularly walk the dogs, but the length of those walks varies. Sometimes I walk them ten minutes, sometimes 30 minutes, and occasionally not at all. In the colder months, I'd fallen into a habit of making the walks short, 'cause even though I've griped all winter about not getting any snow, the truth is, I don't really like to be cold.

Leyna looked up at me with that sweet little face, and asked, "please, Mommy, walk us 30 minutes each night". Well, what's a girl to do? I can't resist a face like that...unless she's begging for my last bite of popcorn. Oh, who am I kidding. It works on me then, too.

So I picked up Linda's gauntlet, strapped on the leashes, and hit the open road, or at least our neighborhood. Mr.Studley and Pepper came along, too, of course. With the exception of one particularly cold night this week, I managed to keep my commitment to do the 30 minute walk every day for two weeks, even on the weekends. For my gallant efforts, I've received the following award (me, and every other reader of Linda's who completed the course).

A very positive thing has happened to me in the course of these two weeks. I no longer feel like a slug. I'm not moving like a turtle. I no longer get mistaken for our fat cat. I have been energetic. I've accomplished some major spring cleaning, along with mucho decluttering. I'm enthused about keeping house again (did I just say that?).

I don't know if it was the regular exercising (and our dog walks are fast paced!), if I was indeed suffering from SAD which went away when spring arrived, or if it was a combination of the two. I just know, in the words of James Brown, I feel good!

Speaking of James, I only wish I could move like him. Check out his footwork in this video. Oh, and you can thank me later for getting this song stuck in your head.

I LOVE You fervently and devotedly, O Lord, my Strength.
The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower.
~Psalm 18:1-2 Amplified Bible

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chickens & Dog Spaghetti

Er, that would be dogs, and chicken spaghetti. I'm joining up with the dog lovin' people at Dogs on Thursday this week, which basically means I get to go on and on about my dogs and you can't think any less of me. Well, you can, but I hope you won't.

So, what do you think of Pepper's new 'do'? I tried to get him to stand up on the floor so I could show you the weenie dog in him, but he wouldn't get out of this chair. Pepper pretty much does as Pepper pleases. His body is long and skinny looking, just like a weenie dog, but he has a poodle head. He'd gone so long between groomings that I had them cut him as short as possible, otherwise he'd look even more poodle'ish.

We definitely need to buy him a new collar. What's up with a hot pink collar on a boy? No wonder he's always looking sheepish.

He is a handsome boy, is he not?

Okay, enough about dogs, it's time for The Recipe Swap Box. Once a month, on the first Thursday, Randi, at "i have to say... " hosts a recipe swap on her blog. All who wish to participate post a recipe on their blog, and sign the Mr.Linky at Randi's. We can then visit each others blogs gathering new recipes, and maybe even new friends!

This month's Recipe Box Swap theme is Pasta! Since I procrastinated and didn't get around to typing up one of my recipes, it may appear to some that I'm cheating by linking to a recipe at the Pioneer Woman Cooks blog. Is there such a thing as plaguerizing a recipe? If there is, then P-dub did the plaguerizing, 'cause I've been cooking the same Chicken Spaghetti dish she shares on her site since she was in diapers.

The only thing I do differently than PW when making the Chicken Spaghetti is that I omit the chicken washing step. You read that right. I do not wash my chicken prior to cooking. I read a couple of years or so ago that it's not a necessary step, as the cooking process will destroy any surface bacteria; besides, you run more risk of spreading the salmonella around your kitchen by washing it. Anytime I'm cooking chicken, I wash my hands frequently with hot water and soap, and sanitize all areas where I've had the chicken, in case anything dripped or splashed from it on the counter.

And for the record, no one's ever gotten ill from eating my chicken spaghetti. I was kidding with the plaguerizing remark. I wouldn't want to offend PW, considering I hope to some day win one of her awesome contests. ;-)

I said that was enough about dogs, but I couldn't do a dog post without including Leyna, who is once again, dazed and temporarily blinded by mommy's flash. That's my son's hairy arm in the picture, lest you thought I needed to start shaving.

If you'd like to join in on The Recipe Box Swap, go here; or if you'd just like to read all the recipes that have been posted.

If you'd like to join in the fun with Dogs on Thursday, go here. Or just go around seeing everyone else's blogs... dogs...blogs with dogs!


A righteous man regards the life of his animal...
~Proverbs 12:10a NKJV