Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wonderful Sunday...

Kerry and I woke up early on Sunday morning and took the dogs to the bike trail for an early morning snuffle before the dew was even off the ground.

We came across another old gent out for his morning stroll...

we got his attention rather quickly and although we introduced ourselves,

he was rather "snappish" and preferred to continue on his way without our company!

I also met this little lady sunning herself. She was camoflaged obviously well as both dogs and Kerry walked right past without ever seeing her!

After our stroll we returned home to have tea and toast on the front porch.

Where we were treated to a special song by this catbird who is nesting in a nearby forcythia bush.

I have been spotting a pair of Bluebirds in our yard for the last few weeks, but could not tell where they were nesting. I saw them again, and determined right after breakfast I would see if I could find their nesting location and get a couple of pictures of them. As I was bracing my camera against an old tree (that had been left in the side yard to nail bird houses to no less) to steady the zoom to photograph the male blue bird in a nearby oak tree, imagine my great suprise when the female flew out of one of the holes next to my ear!

So I did find the nesting site by accident! In the below picture you can see the female grooming herself in the Oak tree as the male lifted off just as I clicked the picture. He looks like a blurry blue batman but the color of his feathers sure come through!

Here the female is coming back to the nest while I am trying to stay perfectly still behind our garage.

I don't think I have hidden very well as she is keeping her eye on me!

I decided to leave her in peace and go do some knitting on the front porch. and I figured that was enough bird watching for the day anyway. Time to get my tea cozy finished like the one that I had made for my mother.

Who knew that dogs would be so interested in knitting? Do you know what it is like to knit with multiple sets of eyes watching you all the while? In fact, I kind of have the feeling that there are more then just the two sets of eyes that I can see on the porch!

HoneyDew must feel it to, because she looks away from me to see who else is here...

There it is! A Robin in the lilac beside the porch!

What? Don't see her?

I told her I was sure I could learn a thing or two about knitting from her since she could knit her whole summer home, that is Extreme Knitting at it's best!

Here is my finished knitted product. I adapted the neck on this one after seeing it fit on my mom's Brown Betty, that the pattern was a little too high about the neck.

I love relaxing Sundays! Tea anyone?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Poof ...what happened to them???

Yep, it's finally shedding season in PA. But don't worry the pups are still around! Just making their annual contribution to their neighborhood "FFNIA" or for those of you who are not familiar with the organization the "Feathered Friends Nesting Improvment Association"! HoneyDew and Sampson heard that twigs and mud was making the nest a little bit hard on some of their friends naked offspring, so they thought they would do their part to make the nests a little softer! Afterwards they thought they would take a little siesta on the front porch and enjoy the sunshine...

Happy DOT's,
HoneyDew, Sampson and Tina too.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Good Times!

I really have to share some of the good times that I have had lately. Last Friday, Elise (my future DIL) and I had a girls day out together and decided to go to the Erie Peninsula for the day and then grab a bite to eat. Dogs and camera's came along also (more about the dogs will be posted on Thursday). It was absolutely gorgeous that day with temps around 83* it almost felt like summer!

We got some fantastic shots, some of which was posted in my previous post. But here are a few more...

Beautiful wild swans swimming the inlet.

A wonderful view of Lake Erie.

Elise modeling in front of the Erie Lighthouse.

Lovely view of the Erie Lighthouse.

As Elise and I were taking the above pictures, we noticed a couple taking turns taking pictures of each other at various points. They had left where we were a short while before us. As we started to make our way back to the car, we rounded a bend and came upon the couple in a secluded spot. The young man was down on one knee and had evidently just proposed, because in the next instance, he stood, and the young lady threw herself into his arms. Elise and I looked at each other and at the same time said, "aaaAAAWWwwwwww!"
**sigh** It was just so romantic! We tried to stay as invisible as possible so as not to interupt "their" moment but I really wanted to go over and offer our congratulations!

We topped it off our outing with a wonderful late and lengthy lunch at the Olive Garden where we were truly entertained by our waiter who was from Peru. What a terrific waiter he was, but he was an even better story teller who between hand gestures and heavily accented and at times broken English he regailed us with stories of his homeland. Even pulled up a chair and sat down beside us for a spell! Elise and I really enjoyed his company. He even provide me with this link to view a pictoral slide show that showed the diversness of this country. He missed seeing the views there and the food but likes being here too. Please take a moment to check it out. He was so courteous and hospitable even offering a bottle of water for the dogs (who were resting in the car, parked under a shade tree, with the windows open and a strong lake breeze blowing plus a water dish!)

A day like that is tough to top right?

Well Saturday night, Sunday and Monday may not have topped Friday, but it sure has ranked right up there with it! Saturday night I got a call from my mom at 10 PM, who asked what my plans were for the next few days. This wasn't our usual mode of conversation so I knew something was up as Mom lives in the south so I only get to see her once a year if that. She asked if I would like some company for a two to three weeks. Boy would I!

It just so happened that one of Mom's cousins stopped by Mom's house on Saturday (cousin K lives in Colorado) , on her way to PA to visit her husbands mother. After a 15 min discussion, it was arranged that mom would hitch a ride along with them to come and visit us! Mom said she never packed so fast! We arranged a rendezvous point on Sunday evening and brought mom home!

Today, we went to my sisters Gwen's place of work to suprise her. I called ahead and told her that I was in the area and would it be possbile for me to drop in for a visit. She said of course stop on over! Gwen came out when we pulled up, saw that someone was in the car with me, but couldn't see who it was. Now Gwen has not been able to travel down south to visit Mom , and Mom of course having a large farm, was not able to come up here either. So Gwen had not seen her in four years although they talk on the phone regularly.

I really wished I had had my camera out and ready to capture the look on my sis's face when she realized it was Mom! The suprise and disbelief combined with pure joy was a beauty to behold. Then of course she burst into tears and just sobbed holding onto Mom for dear life.

I have to admit, I had tears running down my cheek too, cause I know how pleased and how much having Mom in her arms meant to her.

Of course later she said she would have to kill me if I ever pulled a stunt like that on her again...awwww sisterly love!

Later in the day, my Aunt Rose came over to visit (she is Mom's sister) so I made a special dish for the occasion, Chicken Marsala, and oh boy did it turn out well!

Mom and I have all sorts of plans for the time that she is here! I just hope we have enough energy to fit them all in! One of the most important things on the list is that we, meaning Mom, my sis Gwen, her husband Rick and I are going to visit my sis Rachel, her husband and their children, on Wednesday in another part of the state.

I am loving this time off being able to spend time with family and friends!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Finished Knitting Projects

I haven't posted in a while about some of my knitting projects so thought maybe some of you would like to see what I have been keeping myself busy with.

First up was the tea cozy I knitted for my mom that fits a 4 cup tea pot or a brown betty tea pot. I knitted it with Hemp for Knitting, made in Italy, 65% wool and 35% hemp blend and the pattern was a freebie online at Ravelry by Elizabeth Kleven. I will be making another for myself soon and here you see it modeled on my tea pot at home. My mom posted it on her blog, on her brown betty tea pot here.

Next up is the Steelers cap that I made for my eldest with Cascade 220 Black and Gold 100% Peruvian Highland Wool. Cascade Yarns also included the pattern designed by Lorna Miser with the yarn as a give away when I attended the 6th Annual Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. He was pleased!

Now this was a fun one and my first attempt at cables, I think they turned out wonderful if I do say so myself! The pattern is Milky Mitts and fingerless gloves designed by Renae Jones and knitted up with yarn from Kollage Yarns that was made with 50% MILK (yes you read that correctly, it is not a typo) and 50% wool. I made this pair up for my youngest son's fiance who was also kind enough to model them for me!

Next is a Monmouth Cap with a pattern that was adapted from the original by Jane Bigelow for a more feminine as well as slighter smaller version . You can read more about this historical cap here (scroll clear down) as well as download the original pattern. Long story short, this type of cap has been knitted since the 17th century and originated in the Welsh town of Monmouth. The yarn was Lamb's Pride of Brown Sheep Company, made up of 85% wool and 15% Mohair, and was really a quick knit. It's going to be very cozy this winter! You can wear it with the brim up or down.

Currently on the needles are a pair of socks for a dear sis~n~law, a cap for a boy who saw me knitting the one above and asked if I could knit a hat for him as his birthday was the following day!, a lace scarf of kids silk haze that I can only work on during the daylight hours as the yarn is so fine, and a couple of baby blankets that are now on the top of the Get it finished quick! list.