Friday, May 30, 2008

New pictures of the grandboy :)

Aidan just keeps on growing and looking cuter every minute! Thanks to Jenn for posting these for us to enjoy. Just look at those superhumongous bright blue eyes!
Jenn learned to walk without holding on while chasing the dog. She was just cruising along the sofa and he got out of her reach and she took her first steps just continuing to go after him. Looks like Aidan is going to go get a closer look at Nutmeg here. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he is able to motor across the floor and pet the dogs.
And this one is just so cute of both of them! He's a really happy guy, isn't he?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm a sucker for babies

We had the windows open all morning and Mark kept hearing a "mewing" noise from outside. Eventually we figured out that there was a kitten under my van out on the street, and she apparently had been there for awhile so her mom probably wasn't coming back for her. It took a while to lure her out as she was very frightened and not very able to walk straight. The neighbors tell us there were some horrible animal screams during the night (we slept with the windows closed and didn't hear a thing) and our next door neighbor saw a red fox running away when he turned on the light.
Now remember that neither of us are cat people, not in the least little bit. Both of us are allergic to cats and we generally just don't like them because they kill the squirrels and chipmunks and birds that we so enjoy being in our yard. But this little one is a cute one. She's managed to make her home on the sofa and has eaten a little bit of tuna and kitten food we went out and got, we think she's nearly weaned or has been weaned, maybe she's 4-6 weeks old. She likes to play, and sleeps a lot, but we're already having some allergic symptoms.
We called the animal rescue people that we know and have pretty much figured out that perhaps she is lost or something happened to her mom. We haven't moved the car all day so she might have been underneath all night after the noises last night. The one rescue person that might be able to take her is probably away for the long weekend and I have to fly the next 4 days so we're cat sitting at least for the time being. Rat sitting we've sitting, well then, that's another story.
So we've pretty much settled in with a kitten in the house...we're calling her Cat for now since we really don't know absolutely that it's a girl...our next door neighbors are thinking about her as they want another kitten but they need to think on it and have this little one checked out by the vet.
She's asleep right here next to me as I type...although I've got a definitely scratchy throat and my eyes itch like crazy, I really am getting attached to her. I do hope the neighbors take her...but if not...well, then lets see how we all do together. She fell asleep ont he back of the sofa with her butt off the back of it...we were afraid she was going to slide right off!

Saturday's Excellent Adventure

We started our Saturday adventure a little bit later in the day than usual this week, but it was a sunny and bright day that was supposed to be warm so we didn't want to waste it! Our first stop was York for breakfast, then on to Lancaster to do a little shoe shopping for me. We hit the outlets and I came out of there with "more than one" pairs of flats, a couple heels and a great sandal for walking, all at an incredible deal with an extra 15% off coupon and a $5 gift card. You don't want me to tell you how much I got for how little...but I'm smiling! Then the plan was to go to Harrisburg and took the road that went right by Hershey. Mark had never been there, and I had only been to the theme park up there (so long ago that Jonathan wasn't tall enough to go on most of the rides!!) so off we went. This is the entry to Chocolate World which has activities for kids such as the factory tour and a super gigantic chocolate store, 3-d adventure, yadda yadda.
This Chocolate Fountain was in the bakery part of the food court. Of course, Mark thought it looked like a Chocolate Stanley Cup (you know where his mind is!) They had really decadent deserts, and a place where you could make your own kisses, we walked on and looked at all the products that made the chocoholic in me go wild. I am really partial to dark chocolate and there was no disappointment here, I didn't get any baked goods, but ice cream tempted me.
This is me eating some Hershey's Chocolate and Strawberry ice cream. Even though I had help, I couldn't finish it all. The plants are actually inside of the building and right in the middle of the food court and retail floor. I'd made some purchases (like Chocolate Twizzlers that are so fresh and soft they're unbelievable and some dark chocolate Reeses cups...I could go on... )
Needless to say this is going to be a difficult time for me to lose weight! This is just one of the many displays of different kinds of Hershey's Kisses. Hershey's also makes York peppermint patties, Cadbury products for the us, and some of the Mars candy company items like Zagnut... The displays were numerous, and they had a wardrobe of teeshirts and things like that with chocolate logos for the fans. None for me though.

In the middle of town in Hershey, the streetlamps are shaped like kisses. I'd not seen them before so I thought it was really neat! My mom's friend used to come up here when I was a kid and told me about the lamps...they're really wonderful, even more so in person. And the main street in town is Chocolate Avenue...I want a house on that road so I could have that as my mailing address!! Some of the other street names are cocoa and such.
As you can see, every other one is wrapped, and the alternating one is unwrapped. :) And yes, you can smell cocoa and chocolate all over town by the factory. I wonder if the residents even still smell it anymore or if they are so used to it that it's no big deal.
This is a beautiful scenic road that lead from the historic Derry Church yard to the Factory. All over town, the Hershey company has offices and factories and buildings. And not to mention that a lady we met in the Chocolate world told me about an outlet center right next to the stadium in town...and it had a Chicos, my favorite clothes store! Let me tell you about the $3.96 jackets I found. lol Then it was off to Harrisburg for a meal at the Appalacian Brewing Company main branch. It was really nice, we belong to the beer club with them in their Gettysburg location but hadn't been to this one. We did end up in Gettysburg and ran into our favorite singer, Bill Vitelli who told us he was singing that night at the Farnsworth house. We were able to catch him singing with his fantastic Acapella tenor voice, doing Irish and Civil War era songs, it was great!
We got home at a fairly respectable hour, and were up this morning just in time to enjoy the beautiful newly opened buds on these friends in the garden. Too bad I have to work tomorrow, it's been such a wonderful weekend so far, I'd love to continue it for the holiday tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

36 things to know about my friends.

This was posted on Brenda's page, I answered these things so you'll know them about me, and I'd love it if you'd do the same for me as a comment on this post, then copy and paste and post your answers on your own page so that your friends can learn about you. Doesn't matter if you're a frequent poster, a lurker, an occasional visitor, or a friend I haven't met yet...

1) Are you currently in a serious relationship? Yes with my dear husband of 8 years. I also consider the relationships with my kids, my step kids, and my friends to be serious too.
2) What was your dream growing up? Always wanted to be a "stewardess". lol. I got sidetracked along the way for awhile but I have now been flying for nearly 23 years.
3) What talent do you wish you had? Organizational and time management skills
4) If I bought you a drink what would it be? We could share coffee in the morning, iced tea in the afternoon, and a full bodied Red Wine in the evening.
5) Favorite vegetable? I love any except okra.
6) What was the last book you read? Heroes in Time: Robert E. Lee, a novel, by John J. Dwyer
7) What zodiac sign are you? Leo
8) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? No tattoos, but pierced ears (3 sets) and navel pierced
9) Worst Habit? Wasting time putting things away and cleaning up because I didn't put those things away in their proper places the first time I touched them.
10) If you saw me walking down the street, would you offer me a ride? Of course I would! Then we could chat along the way.
11) What is your favorite sport? To watch: don't watch much sports, probably Ice Hockey when the Flames are playing; to play: Strolling in the country...walking, hiking.
12) Do you have a Negative or Optimistic attitude? Rarely negative, usually more optimistic than reality calls for. Just call me Pollyanna.
13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me? I think we'd talk, and get to know each other better while we made the best of the situation. Elevators don't bother me, and we'll probably be laughing and having a good time by the time we're rescued.
14) Worst thing to ever happen to you? Losing my Mom
15) Tell me one weird fact about you. I am a consumate packrat.
16) Do you have any pets? No, not since my beloved Dog had to be put to sleep at his age 14.
17) What if i showed up at your house unexpectedly? I’d welcome you in and put on some tea.
18) What was your first impression of me? (this would be Brenda) Nice, charming, eloquent, well read and expresses yourself well in writing.
19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary? Somewhere between
20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? I'd love to be 20 pounds or so thinner, but not to have to struggle to maintain that.
21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience? Conscience. I have a deep need to do the right thing regardless of how difficult it might be.
22) What color eyes do you have? Light Brown
23) Ever been arrested? No. I'm so boring I've never even gotten a traffic ticket.
24) Bottle or can soda? Can, but I don't drink a lot.
25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it? Probably pay bills.
27) What's your favorite place to hang at? Any place with friends or at home, listening to local music at a comfortable place to eat and maybe have a glass of wine.
28) Do you believe in ghosts? Yes
29) Favorite thing to do in your spare time? Sew, spin, knit, read, watch a little TV, explore the outdoors, travel for pleasure rather than work.
30) Do you swear a lot? Occasionally for emphasis...but I try to be careful not to do so in front of people...I'm a southern isn't ladylike, and it's insulting to people that weren't intending to hear the conversation.
31) Biggest pet peeve? Dishonest people, people that litter, people that take advantage of situations and other people, people that repeatedly use foul language in public, people that have foul language called music blaring on their car stereos in public and thus around children.
32) In one word, how would you describe yourself? Many people tell me I'm sweet but I have an ex husband that would no doubt disagree.
33) Do you believe/appreciate romance? Absolutely!
35) Do you believe in God? Yes
36) Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you? Yes

A trip to my "Girl Cave"

I had heard the term "Man Cave" for finished basement spaces with bars inside or big screen tv's or the like...well here is my "Girl Cave" which is my sewing room. I just spent some time cleaning and organizing so that I could find my cutting table again. When I'm flying a lot, I'm not usually able to allocate any time to organizing and cleaning, but I've had some days off and I wanted to sew. Part of the issue for me was that my quilting fabrics (in the mail bins here) were all over the table in piles by colour so that I could see what I wanted to match when I was designing blocks. I got them all off the table and on the shelving unit that I bought this week, and the two piles of cottons I had on the floor are now safely on the shelves as well.
Here's my next project, to organize and clean through this shelving unit which sits behind me when I'm sewing. I'm working through the fabric slowly but surely...but the boxes of supplies need a little bit of looking through again. I did manage to get some projects done this week, the black skirt, a black capelet as well as a brown one that I don't have a picture of, and these two Hawaiian tablecloths that I'm going to make Black placemats to go with. This fabric came from the Fabric Mart in Aeia which is my favorite Hawaiian fabric source.
I finished this skirt last night which I'm planning to wear with a red top and a Black Jacket. I have more fabric and I am thinking about making a top from it to wear with Black pants. It's a peachskin kind of slinky fabric.

It's the little things that count

This is the end of the garden outside after the new Iris plants went in. It truly is the little things in life that count so much. When I drive up in front of the house and park my car, I'm greeted by the beautiful gardens and the flowers, and it really makes me smile.
Here's my "Kitchen" garden...though I do have a number of succulent plants on the windowsill shelf...but these are my herbs. I absolutely love growing herbs, and I have a huge planter of chives that is outside too. It's flowering and beautiful so it's sitting on the front step. I made pasta sauce last night and I was able to go take some basil, sage, and oregano from my plants to use in the sauce, and it turned out fabulously yummy!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Half-Birthday, Aidan! :)

Ok, so his Half Birthday was yesterday...but I wasn't home to blog then. In our family the kids have Birthdays near to Christmas/Hannukkah, so we've always gotten them something little for their Half-Birthday, just kind of a fun thing to do as we are probably the worst for keeping secrets anyhow. These pictures out on a hike are from the end of April when Jenn and Michael took Aidan over the KoliKoli pass which is actually right near where they live. Aidan loves being in his front pack where he can see everything.
He also loves playing in his swimming pool in the back porch and just generally loves splashing in the water, no matter where the water might be. I can see he's going to be a puddle splasher when he gets to walking...just like most boys!
Jenn called me yesterday to let me know what she'd gotten Aidan for his Half Birthday from her and Michael and also from me as I'd sent him some money for toys. It was great to hear how mobile he's getting and it's always nice to have a new toy when you're a whole entire 6 months old!
This is another one of Michael with Aidan while they were hiking.

Morning Drive to Stoney Creek, PA

Saturday morning we got up and got going, we were planning to make our way to Stoney Creek, PA which is just west of Harrisburg. We were going to Stoney Creek Iris Farm to get a few more plants to fill in our front garden. This new iris is Southwest Sandy Pink, one of the 6 that I adopted this day. It has been raining for days so it was nice to get out of the house under overcast skies but dry ones, at least for the time being.
This iris is called "Stepping Out" and it's a historic one dating from 1964. We had breakfast in York and then since it was on the way up to Stoney Creek, we stopped at the PA Fabric Warehouse in Lemoyne as I wanted to get some patterns for blouses and see what else was available in the closeout pile of patterns. I got a couple of more yards of my linen embroidered skirt fabric to make a jacket to wear with solid black pants or skirts, I know it's going to make me nuts to match the pattern but I think it will make a striking jacket.
This iris is called Tennessee Woman. When we arrived, we pulled into the Iris farm and were escorted by the owner (Katie) and her husband all around to all the beds of beautiful flowers. Katie kindly gave me some tips about growing them, and answered some questions I had, and we had a fantastic time talking and getting to know each other. We also met their turkeys, both the babies and teenagers, and Mark went into the greenhouse and found some heirloom tomato plants to bring home. Katie also gave me a Stevia plant which I can't wait to find out more about and see if I can get it growing. It's used as a natural sweetner.
This Iris is called Innocent Star. Bright and early Sunday morning I pulled up the blind in the bedroom to see if it was raining and beheld a squirrel digging up the Lupines in my garden! If he'd been messing with my Iris plants I probably would have been even madder at him! I yelled at him and he ran away, but I moved the Lupines to a more protected spot nonetheless. I decided to get the planting from Saturday purchases done while the rain held up, and did so while Mark mowed the lawn. We'd actually stopped at a garden center on the way to supper so I had lots of little plants to plant between the Iris and also some new Columbines and Crested Iris for the other side of the garden too.
This one is called Lunar Frost and it was blooming in the pot when we got there. I especially love Iris with Colors inside the flower that reveals itself when the flower opens. Since Mark and Jon cut down some tree branches, I have more room to plant, hopefully these all will get enough sun to bloom for me next spring. If it ever is sunny long enough I'll check to see if more branches need to be trimmed back.
This one is called Silhouette. While we were in Pennsylvania, we explored Harrisburg which is really improving and changing, it had been awhile since I'd been downtown and it's really getting nice, with all kinds of eating places, boutiques, and pubs...quite a far cry from when I used to get downtown layovers there when it was pretty depressed and there were a lot of empty storefronts. It is quite nice now.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A few projects finished

I've been off work dealing with my GI issues...not a super horrible thing but it keeps reminding me that it's here and I need to take care of it and stick close to home until the attack is over...but the flip side is that I've gotten to do some cleaning up, some catch up on the business, and actually to sew as well.
I've been thinking about buying this skirt at my very favorite clothing came out at $108.00 which is certainly more than I'm going to pay for a skirt, regardless of how cute it might be...I sew, and I know how much fabric goes into something like that...trousers and knits I might pay a bit for but not a skirt. I had decided to go up to Lemoyne to use a 50% coupon at my favorite Fabric Outet on some wool fabric, I can always use wools for Civil War and 50% off their prices is a great thing. So I stopped off in York at Chicos to see how much the skirt was, maybe it was marked down??
There indeed was one skirt on the mark down rack in my size, but they wanted $82. for it. Hmmmmm. Still not low enough, I made a mental note to check the sale section of the website when I got home. So I got back on the road and when I got to the outlet, here was some 100% linen fabric with white embrodery on it that was enough like the skirt I was watching to be just fine with me. I made most of the skirt that night (with a 98 cent pattern from the outlet) and the next day got a zipper and some hem tape and finished it yesterday. I think it'll be just fine, I like it a lot, and the pattern fits me better than their version as mine doesn't ride up.
For $78.00 with my 50% coupon, I got enough fabric for the skirt, another 1.5 yards for something else of the skirt fabric, enough wool and lining for 2 capelets (this black one is made to Civil War standards of materials, trim and construction, but I actually made it to go with some summer dresses when my shoulders get chilly) one is black that you see, the other will be heathered brown, and I also got some cotton velveteen fabric and lining to make an indoor paletot for my Civil War dresses, and black fabric to make placemats and a table runner to go with the 2 Hawaiian print tablecloths that I got done last week. That also includes 4 patterns. I'm very happy I didn't spend the money on the skirt...I got so much more for less money and I'll hopefully get the other 2 projects done this weekend or so. I don't have room in the stash to store any more fabric so I have to go ahead and use it! lol

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Busy Weekend

Jon is home between school and going back to NC to find a job. He was out camping overnight and called with an invite to go with him and Mr. Charlie to Aaron's Eagle Ceremony. That's Jon helping escort Aaron to the podium to receive his Eagle Rank and Award, good thing he'd brought his scout shirt...of course I was sewing on his adult ranks and taking off his kid ones less than an hour before the ceremony. Some things never change. We've been involved with Scouting in our family since Jon was in 1st grade. Aaron is a couple of years younger, he joined the Cub Scout Pack that I was a Den Leader for and then the Cub Master for when he was just in First grade himself. All the kids that were there, I've known since they were tiny kids, and now like Jon, they're pretty much all grown up. It was great to see everyone from the troop, the leaders and adults and kids alike. We're kind of out of the loop now that Jon is older and has moved to NC.
After the Ceremony we went to dinner and then out to listen to a band we hadn't heard before. They're called the Allen Parson's band and they do a mix of folk, country, and classics. They were playing at O'Rorke's in Gettysburg and they were very good. We had some good food and beer and such...not good for me since I've been battling an IBS attack since we went for BBQ Thursday night. I know that Famous Dave's usually brings on an attack so I normally don't eat there or eat that kind of food. But, Jon really loves it so we took him and Michelle there to celebrate their visit.
We'd been to the Landis Valley Plant Faire on Friday (in the rain and mud) and since it rained most of the morning Saturday, we hadn't done any planting yet. We went to the Baltimore City Farmer's Market this morning and got a few more plants and herbs for the gardens and the kitchen herb pots, then off we went to Home Depot for soil and mulch. We planted everything and now we can enjoy watching it grow! Then to have dinner with all the fresh veggies we picked up at the market. Yummm!

Landis Valley Museum Garden Faire

I've been looking forward since last year for the Landis Valley Museum Garden market as we'd put in our gardens after this event last spring. I'd made some fantastic contacts including the one person that perhaps loves Iris even more than I do, the owner of Stoney Creek Iris farm. This one is Firebug.

The top four pictures here are the Iris plants I purchased this year to supplement what I'd gotten from her last year. These pictures are off her website as my plants have not as of yet bloomed. Of the iris plants I bought last year, some from Stoney Creek and some elsewhere, only the stoney creek plants came back and some are even blooming. This one is called Kinkajou Shrew, and is striped.
This Iris is called Tiger Shark. I'm trying to get a good assortment of colors in my garden. I've long been fascinated by Iris, the flowers are my absolute favorites, I love the German Beardeds (the ones you see here) as well as the Siberian ones, which I do have in my garden as well. I used to have quite a collection of them when I lived at my house in Colorado, but they didn't survive the winter move and being transplanted to a too wet area in the garden at my old home in Maryland.
This one is called Waltzing Princess. I'm glad that there are pictures on the website of all these Iris flowers so I can try to keep track of what I have. I'm planning a trip to PA to her farm soon as we just extended the size of the garden today to allow for a few more plants. I did get some more hostas and a few flowering plants for other bare areas of the garden, as well as a lot of herbs for the kitchen.
All of these smaller pictures are of the 8 varieties I purchased from this farm last year. All of them came back this spring, and 2 of them are blooming right now, another 3 or 4 have buds and the others are just hanging out waiting to grow larger so that they can bloom too.