Thursday, May 31, 2007

100th post

Here is my 100th post. Got it from Gina over at Mosaic.

catie --


A person who falls into an outhouse and dies

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

I thought for sure it would be


A person who is always completely sure of herself, happy with the way she looks and how much she weighs, and is loved by everyone without exception!


Wednesday, May 30, 2007


So, here is the challenge, if you dare!!! Get your digital camera and prepare to shock us all with (drum roll, please)..... THE CONTENTS OF YOUR PURSE! No editing please. Just pure truth. Unvarnished. Post to your blog. Here is my list of people who are TAGGED! Nikki, Tanya, Diana, Sallee, and Robin. I, unfortunately, can't take credit for this idea. Found it on Jody's blog and she got it from Gina.
Please give brief explanations of what your purse contains. Oh, just had a thought...... If you have something personal, use your own discretion. Nothing _______________, please. (you can just imagine)

I am after all, a mother. This is the contents of my purse simply laid out.

My DD#2's ABC flashcards. Homemade.

Cough drops from the flu I had last year. Afrin. Now there is a story. DS had a nose bleed that just wouldn't quit. I quick called my aunt, the wonder MD. She sent me to CVS for Afrin. It constricts blood vessels. Learned something new.

Prescription for tummy pain.

Half of box that is holding some dpt needle stopper uppers.

Gum. Another mommy must have.

Power bars. Lip gloss AND lip liner. Here is a little known fact about me. I love, love, love lip liner. It takes YEARS off you your face. Keeps lip whatever from running and can plump without collagen!

Tonka Truck.

That's all folks. Really looking forward to seeing yours. Remember, honesty is the BEST policy (and makes for good blog humor)!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New roving on the needles

What a day. It is sooooo hot here! My kids are out in the baby pool, even though they are too big for the thing. We really need to join a pool.

Our house isn't A/C either. We are probably the last people in the Shenandoah Valley NOT to have A/C. In June, Andy will put in a window unit, but only for the downstairs. At night, it really puts a crimp in my love life.

Summer isn't the best time for knitting and spinning but I have this habit to maintain. This here is some of my lovely Blue faced Leicester roving from Sakina's Needles. A very, lovely muted Terra cotta, colonial blue, and lime. I tore apart the colors. Divided each color into equal weights, so I had 2 of each color. Then, pulled those colors into quarters to spin up a double ply yarn that is sport weight? I don't have the WPI thinga majig yet.

At least for the 1st 2 skeins, the colors plied as planned. But # 3 had a mind of it's own. I ran out of the terra cotta color and had too much blue and lime. Oh well. So I decided to make a chevron scarf out of the yarn.

The colors are flowing well even with the 'candy striping' that occurs in places. I have to tell you, I am just enchanted with spinning. Enchanted with wool. I couldn't buy yarn like this! One of these days I am gonna do some dyeing. I get tons of encouragement from my spin/knit gal pals who have gone before me.

That is one of the things I love best about the fiber community. It is just that, a community.

Last, but not least, I have a FO!!! These are the 1st in a bunch of Elizabeth Zimmerman's moccasin socks, made from Brother. The Fair Isle vest is stalled for lack of inspiration, but I'll continue when inspiration comes again!

These were supposed to be Andy's, but they fit my feet. OOOPPPSSS. I still have an issue with my arch enemy, gauge. One of these days, I will thoroughly defeat him and be the victor. So, I'm just gonna have to CO another pair and make them longer. No biggie. I can knit a pair in a day, if I have all day to knit.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

An Ode

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

I love thee for letting me cook as much as I want and you never let me down with clean up.

I love thee for having a miniature garbage disposal within you.

I love thee for not minding when I put my boys potty top within you and you clean AND sterilize it!

I love thee because you prove over and over again that you are irreplaceable.

I love thee because even when you are working hard, I can hardly hear you.

I love thee because you have a bottom AND top rack rotating, sprayer.

I love thee that you don't require me to wash before I wash.

I love thee because you save water.

I love thee because without you, I would have dishpan hands.

This is my ode to my Kenmore Energy Saver Ultra Wash dishwasher AFTER I trashed the kitchen, pots and pans, and tons of dishes. I had all the fun, and he did all the clean up!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Hiking with children and other things......

Gratefully, we are having a long weekend. My wonderful husband has the foresight after 15 years at the bank, to take a regular bank holiday and schedule his days off to make a 3 day weekend 4. He really needs it too. The bank politics about does my straightforward husband in. Enough about that.....

We decided to get away from it all yesterday, packed a picnic and headed for the Appalachian Trail. Specifically, the Tinker Cliff trail. I don't know what the correct name is, but that is what I call it. It was kind of ambitious with the kids, aged 7, 5, and 3. We only hiked the flat portion that is pretty long in and of itself.

It was so good to get away from people. We didn't see another soul for 3 hours. And other than the occasional airplane, there was no noise from the 21st century. I was so glad. Andy really needs to get another job. He needs some silence in his life. He would be a great professional painter, but that would mean he would have to purchase our insurance. Being who he is......... He'll hang in at the bank.

So..... We hiked and then came home. I raced to the front porch to see if IT came. And it did!!!!!

My box from Etsy. Specifically, Sakina's Needles. This lovely lady is from Colorado and is a Fiber Artist!!! She does a lovely job. Great service and a friendly demeanor. I hope she really keeps up the good work.

Most of this is Border Leicester. The whitish one is Merino. They still have a faint 'sheepy' smell. If you are a spinner, this delights you!!!!!

I love the names Wiley Sherer uses too. Very creative. Names like: Technicolor Popcorn, Bad Robot, Mathematical Purple, Deciduous, Rhubarb Pie. She even sent me a hand spun skein of her own.

Y'all should check her out. I am having a ball!
I love the way these are braided. I had a great time figuring out the construction of the braid! It is all one long piece of roving! Brilliant!

So, I spent the rest of the afternoon spinning! This one is named SLEEPY HOLLOW!

I didn't get as much done as I would have liked because our day ended up with a 'hot date'. WITHOUT THE KIDS!

We tried out the new Irish pub in Rke. The food of OK, but the beer was fabulous. I tried a 'Half & Half'. It was comprised of Guinness and Harp. I used to see drinks like that in Hong Kong (I lived in China for 6mo a long time ago), but that was pre-alcohol days, so I never tried one.

This has been one of the best days I have had in years. I really enjoyed ALL the gifts God has given me. Let me recap: nature, husband, children, solitude, color, spinning, food, beer, and rest. Jesus said (I am gonna paraphrase here) : Come unto me all who are weary and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Oh, Boy......

I have found a new way to spend money. I am sure you all know about it already. I am usually the last to know. Thought I would just pass it along. Click here. Look up handpainted roving. You'll be stunned.

One of these days I will sell something on-line that I have made. The absolute genius of people stuns me. I am so glad to be a knitter, spinner in this day and age of computers. Just about anything made out there, in my price range of course, is available to me.

My head is spinning.
I am stunned.
The beauty of color.......
Where is my paypal acct?

Monday, May 21, 2007


This about sums up my day and weekend so far. A tea party. Not because everything was so wonderful.... But because of the sweetness of my children. I have 2 girls and the only Christmas present they got from us this year was a real, china tea set. One for each. Maddy got red cherries and Mia got pink roses. They have played and played and played with these sets. Their daddy will play with them too. Quicker than I will, truth to tell.

I love watching my girls become young women. One of the reasons we are homeschooling is to help them (hopefully) have an extended childhood. I missed a lot of their babyhood to depression and I am LOVING their childhood. God is good. He has delivered me into a land/life of goodness, not easiness, but goodness. I have so much to be grateful for.

Speaking of depression: I didn't even knit when I was depressed. What a crime! It took one of my most beloved, personal passions and left me disinterested. Yeesh. What a creep.

Now, when I am faced with clutter, piles of clean or dirty laundry, dishes, standardized testing, or anything that really stresses me out and overwhelms me..... I don't get down. I pray, invite God into my day/work/mind, I get busy and plow thru it one task at a time. And you know what, it all doesn't matter if it gets done or not. It will be there tomorrow and if things are REALLY bad.... Andy will be home soon. He is a WORKING MACHINE and can work circles around me. The bonus is he doesn't mind. If I did it everyday..... that is another story. I didn't want you to think he was perfect or anything, ha ha ha

Ignore the pink you see. The white is the 1st of the fawn Shetland spun up. I am doing a small test skein, will set twist, and knit up to see if I like it or not. I am still disappointed with the way it is coming out. A bit rougher than commercially processed rovings, but it has a unique charm all it's own. I think MOST of this fleece will be dyed. I am gonna bite the bullet and purchase some dyes from somewhere. Suggestions? Please comment and let me know. I am EAGER to here what you experienced fiber artists suggest!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wyle E. Coyote, Creative Genius/ Housework Loser

Brother. Fair Isle. I am impressed with myself! Have I ever told you that I am a CREATIVE GENIUS? I feel like Wyle E. Coyote just saying that. But I kind of feel like that today. It feels good.

So, today I have done tons of stuff, so far. Mostly, not housework, and not family stuff. At least we did tons of school today.

I have spun, I have knit, I have set twist in 11.7oz of cream merino and hung it on boxwood. I have got the girls to at least grab their clean laundry and stuff it in their drawers, unfolded. At least it is up off the floor now!!!

This is, hopefully, going to be sock yarn. We'll see. Last night I helped Diana learn to spin. She did GREAT by the way!!! I got some good tips on how to 'tweak' my wheel (same model). Learned how to adjust tension on a double drive!

I am still not spinning fine enough for a 2ply sock yarn though.

Then, moved on to soap. Made soap on Monday, for Jen, and unmolded it yesterday. Now it just 'hangs out' for a while as it ages. Like wine. Remember the Gallo commercial from the 80's: We will sell no wine before it's time! Soap is the same. It needs to age, but not as long as wine.

Then we come to the bane of my existence. Laundry. I HATE laundry. Do you know how dirty children are? How bout people in general. I was baking a quick bread for a family party tonight and noticed how dirty the drawer under my oven was. How did that happen?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I have only a few minutes before I have to drive the kids across town to MIL's house. But, I wanted to show you what I CO last weekend. (I have been having trouble loading this pix for some unknown reason, I have tried multiple times).

To the left are some odds and ends of my handspun. I don't have enough 'Brother' to make an entire sweater (nor would I want to, he is the heaviest yarn I have EVER made). So, some bright friend of mine, Nikki I think, suggested a vest. So, I got a book from the library and knit a swatch. But something happened after I cast on the Brother Vest.

Brother started to 'speak to me'. Brother was telling me how much he wanted some ZEST to him. He wanted Fair Isle. Now, I had a little argument with Brother. I told him,
"I don't do Fair Isle. I don't know how." Brother the vest didn't listen. Before I knew it, I had another book from the library. This one contains stitch patterns. All of a sudden, I was doing Fair Isle. Simple gingham blocks were appearing in turquoise and royal blue. Large X patterns in orange and brown. I could hardly believe what was happening. It was effortless.

I have so much more knit of the vest now. You'll just have to come back tomorrow to see how I am doing.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Here are my boys. They are making waffles, chocolate to be exact. Aren't they cute?
I have so much to be grateful for. Life is good. Thank You for my children, Jesus. Thank you for letting me be a mom.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Is anyone else out there having difficulty with uploading images to Blogger lately? I have tried to post with pix multiple times and can't get them to upload. Hmmmmmm. Any suggestions? catie

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Life and times of MCGL

Whew! What a day!! I have got my hair on fire I am so busy. I have a love/hate relationship with these days. So, here goes:

* Drive kids to MIL's house. 30 min drive.
* Go to Bible study
* Pray and minister with a hurting woman
* Go to grocery store
* Go to MIL's house to get kids
* Drive 30 min home
It is now 2:30
* Unload groceries
* Duke out numerous fights between kids
* Jostle dd #1 out of a pout
* Spin for 5 min
* Decide I really need to start dinner for company coming tonight
* Sear flank steak and put in oven to braise for Ropa Vieja
* Ice chocolate cake
* Make Neapolitan Tomato salad
* Make sauce for Ropa Vieja
* Re-snack the kids
* Realize that I still have to review AWANA verses with kids for their class tonight
It is now 4:41
* Kick kids out to play
* Listen to dd #2 complain about baby brother beating her with a stick
* Sit down to blog
What is wrong with me? I should be CLEANING MY HOUSE TO GET READY FOR PASTOR AND WIFE TO COME OVER!! I have a headache and I need to drink a bunch of H20 and lie down. oh well.

* Vacuum downstairs
* Shred Ropa Vieja (translates 'old clothes', a shredded, spicy beef dish over rice)
* Clean self up
* Check verses for AWANA
* Change the girls clothes, they got filthy at Grandma's house
* Feed kids
* Clean up food from kids
* Greet husband lovingly with a smile and a kiss despite headache
* Whatever else shows itself as something that needs doing

I either need to go pray or I need a Valium. The Valium is out, so I think I'll go sit on the porch, ignore whatever else I "should do", and spend time with Jesus. Thanx. c

Monday, May 07, 2007

I'm Back!!!

I big "Thank You" to Robin for this wonderful graphic. I am trying to figure out how to turn it into a button.

The story behind it is this: Last Wednesday (post blog that is below), I went to see Robin at the Salem Library to get help with double drive tension for the wheel. She has Scotch tension, but pointed me in the right direction. She and I had a huge guffaw over my son breaking the drive band within 30 minutes of the wheel arriving in my house. Being the extrovert that I am, the story got bigger and funnier as I went along. Basically, UPON PAIN OF RETALIATION....... DON'T TOUCH THE WHEEL. This includes husband and all children. Believe it or not.... it probably includes YOU. I am terrible. This ban will probably pass as soon as I figure it out more comprehensively.

So.... I am back from my conference to Morning Star Ministries. I am refreshed as I haven't been in a long time. I was ministered too physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually. I didn't realize how tired and depleted I was!!! Just to have 3 meals a day placed before me and all I had to do was partake of the food....... Unbelievable!

The office of mother is not for wimps. I have so much to be thankful for but at the same time, I am now recognizing the need for rest and replenishing.

I DID NOT take Minstrel with me, and it was a very good thing. There was just no time to spin. Being the social creature that I am, I talked to everyone who was even remotely available to converse with and I would not have wanted to talk about spinning. Can you believe that? I fell into bed at night exhausted and was able to sleep undisturbed. I awoke only needing to get ready and go eat yet another delicious meal that I had not fixed. Hallelujah!!!!!

So, back to real life today. But I am ready!! Here is my 'to do' list for the day:

*Drill dd#2 in her ABC's and sounds
*Hunt down Get Ready for the Code on the Internet to do with dd#2 this summer
*Read with dd#1
*Clean bathrooms
*Uncover tomatoes from protective covering for the non-existent frost we had last night
*Blog entry
*Grab a trashbag and "fling" clutter from all over the house
*Supervise girls cleaning room
*Unpack self
*Clean own room after being gone 3 days
*Plan and execute dinner
*Turn in overdue library books
*Hunt down and purchase lemon/orange oil for Minstrel

Whew! I am glad that I am refreshed or I would be discouraged already. None of those are big things and I am confident that it will ALL get done. Anyone laughing at me yet?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

She's here!

Wow!! What a day. Yesterday was soooooo eventful. Full of ups and downs. Let me see if I can make this short and sweet.

Minstrel arrived at 9:30 am as me and the kiddoes were awaiting her arrival outside in the driveway. The seller actually delivered her. I had the best experience with this seller, they were wonderful.

Me and the kids unpacked her, while I was on the phone. That was the tenor of my day. I was trying to play with my new toy while the phone RANG OFF THE HOOK! Me and the phone have a love/hate relationship anyway.

The phone rang, and after a stern admonition to my son to "Do not touch the wheel!", I had a long talk with my pastor. Well....... I came back and disaster had struck. Ethan had unstrung my darling, spun the wheel, and the cotton drive band had been completely eaten up. I was so mad, you don't even know.

You would be proud of me though. I didn't lay a finger on him. I told him, calmly, to go to his room, put the gate up, and told him to go to sleep. Of course, this is after lunch so he had eaten and was comfortable. Then, he proceeded to wet the bed.

Me being the resourceful woman that I am, figured cotton of another type would get me thru until I could get a replacement? Noro. I had just finished the "I Do" shrug in Noro cotton/silk (can you see the blue drive band? That is the Noro yarn) blend. Hmmmmmmm. I got some of it on there, but this thing didn't come with a manual. &&*(&*(%^$#$%^^&* Have you ever tried to figure out how a machine works without a manual? It really brought me low. There are only so many places that drive band can go.

Well, all of a sudden, it was working. Winding on and everything, I don't even know what I did. Robin, if you have any words of wisdom, I would be ever so grateful! Specifically on how a **** drive band goes on.

Here is some of the Merino that Nel sent me. I love Merino. I love this wheel. It is a dream to spin on. The difference between riding on an ass and a thoroughbred. I had no idea. I never thought I would 'upgrade' from my Ashford Traditional.

I am about ready to make my 1st skein. This is so exciting.

Now, my dh wants to finish the wheel. This is a great idea, except that I don't want to take another spinning hiatus so he can tip toe thru the posies with stain and polyurethane. Maybe linseed oil? Advice welcomed!!!!!

Well, obviously I got the thing working. Then, I had to change bobbins and the madness began again. But, I got it to work. I still don't know what I did.

True confession time. A lot of you know me as a bright, silly gal. Usually smiling and good natured. This is true, most of the time. I love people and usually, they love me. Well...... my family did not love me yesterday. I was unreasonable. "Don't talk to me.!" "Don't touch that!" "Andy.........." "I must be brilliant if I can figure out how a machine works without a manual!" "Andy......." My family was really good to me yesterday. I made NO dinner. Andy did. I loudly griped and ranted a bit. They stayed away until I apologized. Thanks y'all. I love you and appreciate you for putting up with me. I am not proud of myself.

I find that I am probably not much different than my children. I am territorial. I don't like to share. And, I am downright greedy when I want to PLAY with my stuff. I want to be left alone with my new toy.

Well, today I am off to a conference for 3 days. And yes, I am taking the wheel.