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Showing posts from 2008

Out With the Old, In With the New

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Check out what's happening at our house this week (photo of breakfast area, taken from in front of the great room's fireplace, right)...all of the old paint, wallpaper/borders, etc., are in the midst of being removed...and this is what chaos really looks like! The furniture that's left in the house for staging purposes (and to make certain that the house is considered neither "vacant" nor "unoccupied") is piled in the middle of the floor...covered with protective plastic sheeting to minimize any damage from the dust and drips. Good thing, too, since they painted the ceiling today. Tomorrow: the walls get a coat of Builder's Beige (much the same color that you see on the walls already...only it will be fresh, as they say).

I hate this much confusion in our lives, but it must be done...or, at least we believe that by doing this, we will be able to sell our house in MO much faster than if we didn't...and get on with our new lives in NC. Still, I …

OK, So I Couldn't Stand It

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I'll admit it. I'm a Christmasaholic. I love everything about Christmas (except, maybe, fruitcake...:). And, so my earlier declaration that "there will be no decorating for Christmas around the MO home this year due to the up-coming move" was barely out of my mouth before I started.

I first put that basket of green boughs, cut from the bottom of Missy M's Christmas tree, on the front porch. They looked so lonely that I went to Lowe's and bought a wreath for the door. Oh, and I decided that the Santa Nutcrackers that usually stand by the front door (and need painting so terribly) could pull Door Duty just this one last time.

Then, because I had so many, I created another basket of boughs for the dining room table. And, while looking for the Christmas DVDs to take to Missy M's, I spotted the child-sized Rudy and Rhonda Reindeer, packed separately from the other stuff...and they just begged to be allowed to sit on the sofa for a while. And, what shoul…

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

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Let's check the ol' calendar on the wall. December First. Right! Let's look at the thermometer on the kitchen window. 28 degrees. Brrrr! Now, let's look outside and check the weather. Snow on the ground and still coming down. Yep. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I'm actually thankful for the wintry weather to remind me of the season, since we won't be decorating for the Holidays around this house this year. No, we'll probably be loading up the moving truck to send our stuff to storage along about December 15th. Makes me a little sad since decorating is such a fun thing for me. You know, getting out the Christmas China and Waterford "Twelve Days of Christmas" wine glasses...unwrapping and placing the 50+ Nutcrackers...picking out just the perfect size tree (and then removing some off the bottom so it'll fit...:)...going through all the many ornaments we've collected over the years and deciding which ones/how many we can use …

FO and UFO Report for Oct-Nov '08

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I thought I'd better get a post together about my current crop of Finished (FO) and Unfinished (UFO) Objects. Probably a good idea since I'll soon be packing up my yarn stash for the upcoming move to NC, right? Missy M reminded me that I would have to CHOOSE which yarn to keep off the moving truck...you know, which yarn/projects I would like to work on in the interval between selling our MO house and moving into our NC house. Decisions, decisions...

As I've reported in an earlier post, I finished these Rippling Dunes Socks for N/M/E (photo to the right). They are made from the Maizy Yarn (85% corn fibre, 15% nylon) in colorway "Miami Nice," and they turned out pretty good...at least she seems to enjoy wearing them.

I also finished felting the purse/bag out of the Andes wool for her, too. I got this wool at the Yarn Garden in Lawrenceville, GA, intending to knit a scarf with it. Well, I knitted about 1/3 of the scarf and realized that I didn't really like the ab…

Third Time's The Charm

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I want you all to be the first to know...we're moving! Again. Goodbye MO...hello North Carolina...which makes the third time to NC for us. The first time was in 1988...from TN to Kernersville. The second time was from OH to High Point in 1994. And, we are looking at HP again in early 2009. Looks like we'll arrive in time to help celebrate 150 years.
Happy, happy, happy!!! Oh yeah...:)
We have so much to do to get ready for a move, and (again) we'll be doing it in stages. N/M/E and the Drool Gang will probably head to Missy M's for a little bit, where they won't be bothered by all the de-cluttering and painting, etc. (Have you ever tried to keep a house you are showing to prospective buyers CLEAN with 3 dogs in residence? Two words: Night. Mare.) Mr. T will probably have to head East for work (where he's taking over a territory for Fuso with SC, NC, VA, MD, DC, and a portion of PA) before we sell the house here, so I may end up being the family member with the lo…

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

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Mr. T. and I had a great time recently in Memphis, where we went to the University of Memphis Homecoming football game. I've loved this school (and football) since I was a little girl and Billy "Spook" Murphy was the coach.

I count myself fortunate that we moved back to Memphis after we were married, and I was able to earn my Master's degree from (as it was known at the time) Memphis State University.


The opponent this year was the University of Southern Mississippi...yup, where I got my Bachelor's degree. I was sure of only one thing as we headed to the Liberty Bowl Stadium, where the Tigers' home games are played: my alma mater was going to win the game! I am happy to report that Memphis pulled it out, 36-30...Go Tigers, Go!! (Truth be told, I don't count Southern as one of my favorite places/things, as I was only there a few months to complete my degree in record time...just a matter of convenience, really. But, I still like their band...:)



Speaking of ba…

Where has the month gone?

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I cannot believe it. The calendar says "October 20" but I'm not sure how it got there so fast. We started the month off with a weekend in Chicago (see photo to right of us in front of the Art Museum), where we met Missy M (who arrived there early for a scheduled training session) to play tourists in the Windy City. Then, I was in ATL for a week for work (and dental work), so I guess that must be why I feel like time went whoosh this month.

In addition to spending more time on business this past month, I've also been spending some more hours in the gym. I noticed in the late summer that I was feeling better...well, stronger, I guess is a better word. My back seems to generate less pain, and I seem to be able to walk longer before my foot and leg start "dragging." (Imagine: Quasimodo). Hmmmmm...something's different, for sure. So, long-story-short...I got myself back to the Y...am up to 3 miles on the treadmill, plus a couple of sets on the circuit...and, …

A Brand New Ride

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Woo hoo! We're on a roll now. Check out the new ride that followed me home from the dealership last Friday (photo, left, with Nana/Momma/Edith). After eleven years, I said "so long, farewell" to my baby Toyota Corolla...and "welcome home" to a Deep Water Blue Pearl PT Cruiser, which (after much thought) I named "Lillie." (Not making the connection? Well, my grandmother's name was Lillie Pearl...)

N/M/E and I had rented a PT Cruiser for our recent trip to Gatlinburg, and we both truly appreciated the ease of entry and exit, as well as the amazing amount of flexible space created by the hatchback and the foldable/removable rear seating configuration(s). If only the driver's seat had been height-adjustable (it wasn't made for someone 5'2"...:) and cruise control had been included (that was on my list of requirements for any replacement for the Toyota...which didn't have cruise...).

Well, we found out that the Touring version o…

It was the best of months, it was the worst of months...

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...with apologies to Mr. Dickens...the title just seems to say it all.


I don't even know where to begin this first post of September. I suppose I should start where the month itself began...with a little vacation for N/M/E and me. We rented a PT Cruiser (see the photo, left/below; more on that in my next post) and headed to Gatlinburg via Missy M's house. We had a CD with Cyndi Lauper's 80's hit "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,"which became our theme song for the week. Had a great time, visiting many of our ol' haunts including the Apple Barn, the Old Mill, Newfound Gap, and The Christmas Placein Pigeon Forge. We also found a couple of new favorites, like Smoky Mountain Spinnery(yarn!) and Alewine Pottery. N/M/E seemed to thoroughly enjoy our trip, which included stopovers (both ways!) in Berea, KY(fabulous food and Arts & Crafts). Our last night out was spent back at Missy M's. Ella Rae wasn't too sure about us on our first visit, but she seemed to…

FO and UFO Report

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Look at that...the calendar is ready to change to a new month, which will bring us another Fall Season. Before I flip the page to September, I thought I would report on the state of Finished and Unfinished Objects in the ol' knitting basket(s):

FO's include:


Nana/Momma/Edith's Cornflower Blue Pullover(photo to the left) - I finished it up this week, and N/M/E is happy as can be (both because she loves the sweater and that it is finished!).

I used the beautiful Queensland Bebe CotSoy yarn in Color #1, a cornflower blue. This yarn is 50% organic cotton, 50% soy...and 100% soft! As I've said before, N/M/E is allergic to wool, so I am always alert to non-sheepie fiber. I have 6 balls in blue left over (better to have too much than not enough, right?), which I plan to use for a baby sweater or two...using a pattern that Missy M shared with me from a book she purchased on her last trip here.

I also used my favorite Oat Couture pattern called "Metro Pullover." Well, as …

Pond Update

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Check it out! We had a bloom on one of the water liliesthis week. The photo (left) shows off the flower in all of its glory.

I've been intrigued by this bloom, to say the least. It was a "pod" for over a week, teasing us with the possibility, but giving no indication of the color (the package had said "white"...:). Then, on the first day of blooming, it began to open about 8:00 a.m. It was at full bloom by about 10:00 a.m. And, it was tightly closed again by no later than 2:00 p.m.! This process repeated for 4 days. I was glad that I got this pic on Day 3! (Online research said that day blooming water lilies would bloom for only 3 days, so we were apparently lucky.) No sign of a bloom on the other lily, but I continue to monitor it closely.

In addition to the blooming lily, we have had an explosion in the fish population! You might remember that I said we had 10 "new" fishies? Um...I mis-counted...not too hard when the objects of your census are swimmi…

The Tomatoes are Finally Here

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I had my doubts, but I am happy to report that my tomatoes have finally begun to produce. As you can tell from the photo, I was able to harvest more tomatoes than cucumbers on this particular day...plus more than enough hot peppers. It has been such a strange weather year, with too much rain in the Spring...followed by too much rain in the early Summer...followed by a mild August...making for worlds of cukes and far too few tomatoes. I did get one puny salad tomato before July 4th, but really. This year has just been sad so far, veggie garden-wise.

Of course, that big ol' red, juicy Big Boy over there on the lower right in the photo (right) didn't last too very long after this shot was taken.








I washed it...and it's smaller friend there...and began the preparations for my favorite sandwich of all time: tomato (fresh off the vine), bacon, mayo (Hellman's, of course), salt (lots of it) and pepper...all piled on two fresh, fresh slices of yummy white bread. Oh yeah. Now, th…

Crossing the Finish Line

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I made it...with a few hours to spare, even! Yes, I finished my Teal Summer Olympics Sweater for the Ravelymics Sweater Sprint challenge. I was sewing on the buttons and weaving in the (insert bad word here) yarn tails during the Gold Medal ceremony for the US Women's Relay around 10:30 p.m. CDST Saturday night...heck, I felt like they were playing the National Anthem for me!! Especially after my "crisis of confidence" on Friday night when I wasn't at all sure I could make it to the finish line before 10:59 a.m. Sunday morning (official time of the Closing Ceremonies in Beijing). But, I kept on knitting...and am happy with the results. (Play theme from Rocky here.)

As I posted the photo (above, left) to the Ravelry site, I saw all the fantastic projects that were completed by many, many talented folks. Amazing! Some of them looked like the knitter must have worked night and day, day and night, for the full 17 days. My sweater is a simple garter stitch pattern (well, …

Weekends are Wonderful!

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What a fun & busy weekend we had! On Saturday, Mr. T and I went to the Missouri Botanical Garden in STL for the GSLIS Iris Sale...with a lovely day in the garden as an added bonus. At the sale, we found several new irises, including "Titan's Glory, ""Bubbles Galore," "Rare Edition," "Yosemite Star," and "Patricia Claire." And, yes, the new babies are already planted (more on that later).
I would LOVE to show pictures of the pictures (!) of the irises we bought as well as of feeding the koi in the lake in the Japanese Garden and all the fantastical art in the park by Niki, but I forgot to take my camera. Needless to say, right after we went to the sale, we headed straight for the (fabulous) gift shop for a one-use camera. And as soon as I get it developed, I'll post some of our photos of the lovely day we enjoyed. Gee...remember what it was like before digital cameras? S-l-o-w. Oh well...I visited the MOBOT site and snatched …

Let the Games Begin!

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08/08/08 was a very special day all over the world. As we do every 4 years, we became closer to understanding and accepting our differences by joining together for the Summer Olympics. What a spectacular Opening Ceremony! And, is there anyone in the USA who isn't cheering for Michael Phelps in his quest for winning 8 gold medals, the most EVER in one Olympics? He's currently got 5...which means he also has 11 career golds, topping the previous mark of 9 golds, held by Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis and two others.


Of course, I also found myself cheering for the Benjamin Boukpetias he won Togo's first-ever Olympic medal...a bronze in the individual slalom. I didn't even know where Togo was! Had to look it up on the Atlas. Now, that's what the Olympics are all about! Go, Togo!!

We were fortunate enough to get tickets to the 1996 Olympics which were held in Atlanta. Fabulous! We got to hear the National Anthem played when the USA won gold in Team Archery. Brings tears to my…

LMNOPQR - Election Bingo!

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Tuesday of this week was a l-o-n-g day for me and the rest of the election judges and other poll workers in Missouri (and any other states holding primaries on that day). I'm still recovering from the deferred sleep-hours (you have to be at the precinct NO LATER than 5:10 AM) and the long hours in an un-air-conditioned space (the heat index for that day was 110), sitting in ancient folding metal chairs. After the initial rush to get the precinct open by 6:00 AM (not a moment later, mind you...it's the law, and we are always nervous about that part), I was the judge at the L-Z table, with the L-R poll book. Do you know how many times I sang the Alphabet Song in my head that day? More than I care to admit to, for sure. If I'd been the Poll Worker in this photo (left) of the 1956 election in Missouri, I'd have been sitting at the same table where President Truman came to get his ballot! (Of course, I would only have been 3 years old, but I digress...:)
This was our Gener…

Become the Butterfly

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Today is a hot, humid Summer's day...96 with a heat index of 99...and what better way to enjoy it than as a butterfly, sipping nectar from a lovely zinnia (left). I wish. BTW, I took this photo standing about 4 feet away from the garden fence, where this beautiful butterfly ignored me and concentrated on the juicy flower.

Looks like we are headed for the high-90's today, with thunderstorms a'brewing for tonight and tomorrow. Same old, same old.

Of course, I have to give credit where it is due. This long, hot, wet Summer we are experiencing has been perfect for sustaining all of our beautiful blossoms. Without a doubt, the flowers of all varieties have been the biggest, prettiest, showiest (add superlative here) we've seen in...well, in forever! Hooray!



Not so for the veggie garden, I'm afraid. The weeds are about the only things that are growing great there. Upon reflection, I acknowledge two major mistakes:


I rushed to plant, especially my tomatoes and my onion sets.…

Pets and Projects

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Oh wow! After much work and more moolah, we finally got the water in the pond all cleared up, and it was truly worth the trouble and expense. I took my camera out tonight at feeding time and got this shot of Tiger (the Calico Ryukin, on the left in the photo to the left)...and one of the TEN newest members of the wet-set (on the right in the photo, with the circle for emphasis). Yep, we are the proud pet parents of 10 fish babies. We also have two other "big fish" in residence: Jaws (a large-and-in-charge red-orange Pond Comet) and Goldy Spawn (a Red Ryukin). Of the babies, it appears that we have 2 red/black mixes and (at least) 8 black ones. So, if I remember my high school biology class correctly, that means Tiger is one of the parents, right?

While I'm doing the Pet Report, I should offer an update on Ella Rae, (left) Missy M's darling dachshund-mix. She's thriving...gaining a whole pound at her Vet visit...livin' large in L'ville.


While I was there las…

Meet Ella Rae!

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A warm welcome indeed to our newest family member...Ella Rae! She's a 9-week old dachshund-mix puppy who adopted Missy M on Friday...and we've had a wonderful weekend introducing her to the Drool Gang here in MO. I guess we'll have to change the name of the 'Gang to the Happy Hounds in order to include this beautiful little lady in the count.

Here's an action shot from one of her frequent romps in our back yard (right).

Believe me when I say there will be more about Ella in the future...but for now I have to run. Just wanted you all to be the first to meet her!

HB to Me!

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Yesterday was a very happy day indeed for me...my 55th birthday! As Mr. T had business in KS, Mom and I made a day out of it, with a visit to the Wine Country Gardens for lunch and to attend the Daylily Festival. We rounded out the day with a Devil's Food Birthday cake (photo, left) from our newest bakery in town, Heaven Scent Bakery, and Rainbow Sherbet from Baskin Robbins. Yummy!

At the Daylily Festival, we were fortunate enough to snag one of the golf carts, so we could zip around the 42 acres of gorgeous blooms, taking pictures and tagging purchases. This was the first year that they have allowed customers to tag the blooming plants in the field for purchase...and they will dig your selected plant and call later for pick up (and yet another chance to visit...:).

Here's a photo of Mom in the cart (right), surrounded by a background of color. In the foreground is the Wayside King Royale, a purple variety that we tagged for Missy M, who had asked us recently if there were suc…

Water's Still High

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I went to Election Judge Training last Thursday (as I'm working at our local precinct for the upcoming August Primary Election). Since the flooding in our area is no longer the leading story on the news (either local or national), thoughts of all that water in the areas around us have receded from my focus. However, it was brought home with a question from a fellow judge at the class, who asked: "What do we do about people who have been flooded out of their homes (AKA their permanent address...the one on the election books) and have temporary addresses (and probably no ID with that particular address)?" Yes, there are plenty of people in this very county who are still dealing daily with the seemingly endless problems of the high water.

But, we are high and dry where we live, thank goodness. We're between the mighty rivers, with the Mississippi to the north (about 12 miles) and the east (about 40 miles), and the Missouri to the south (about 13 miles). And, although I h…