May 31, 2012

Finished Knit: Zombies!

There were actually 6 of these little dudes all together in this last batch, but one was rushed, and another went off as a birthday present.

Pattern: Bill the Zombie

Yarn: Drops Alpaca in "Dark Lime" & Red -39 grams/153 yards & 35 grams/137 yards
Knit Picks Stroll in "Ash" - 21 grams/97 yards

Needles: US 1/2.25 mm Harmony wood DPNs

Knitline: May 3rd - May 21st

YTD Mileage: 1.59 miles! I'm totally not going to make 10 miles this year. 

Happy Knitting,

May 30, 2012

The Dishwasher

Bye Bye
Ugh. What a pain in the arse that dishwasher was.

We got the dishwasher and Ben installed in on Mother's Day Sunday.

On Tuesday I noticed it was flashing "PF" (for power failure) and was making a weird noise. So I pushed the start button, which is supposed to reset it. I thought it was a bit weird, but our kitchen lights were a bit flickery a few weeks before that, so I figured maybe it was a power hiccup.

The Wednesday night, after we're in bed and the cycle from dinner dishes is long done, I was laying there and I hear this weird thumping sound.

Creeped. Me. Out. But then it didn't go away and I realized it was not a man made noise, so I went to investigate.

It was the dishwasher. The noise it was making was a gurgly thumping noise. It's hard to explain, but it was annoying. I open the door and it stops. Ok, cool. I close the door, and it starts up again.

Great. A few minutes of Ben and I opening and closing the door and trying to figure out what the heck is going on leave me completely enraged. We go to bed. By morning it's not doing it anymore. All is well?

Thursday, the latch breaks.

Friday I call the company and they give me numbers of repair people.

Saturday someone comes to fix the latch under warranty. FOR SOME STUPID REASON I don't mention the noise, because it hadn't done it anymore so I figured it was fine and please just fix the latch so I can wash my dishes.

Saturday night, after we get back from our anniversary dinner, it is doing the noise again. At this point I call it the "zombie noise" because it sounds like they are trying to get out of our dishwasher.

A few days later, I think Tuesday, I notice that there is water in the bottom of the stupid thing and my dishes are still wet.

For the love of sheep! This is getting ridiculous.

Come Thursday, I am so annoyed, but still so in love with the fact that I can get a machine to wash my dishes rather than by hand, that I keep using it. Well that afternoon I was making that jam, so I had put my jars into the washer on the sani-cycle to get them ready.

I waited an hour and a half, and when I came back into the kitchen the display was black, but it was still running. Having never used the sani-cycle until this point, I thought perhaps that was normal. So I waited another half hour. Still running. Waited awhile after that. Still running. I open the door a bit and it is just spraying water around, and around, and around.

I finally had to unplug the stupid thing to turn it off and leave it unplugged for an hour to reset it.

This is apparently what we get for using a brand we've never had before. And if they ever tell you, when you go to buy a dishwasher, that the model on the floor isn't in stock anymore, but they have the "new and updated" version in the back... RUN AWAY. DO NOT GET THE NEW VERSION. 

I told Ben about all this and he says we are taking it back! So on Friday we took it back to the store, got a refund, and went to a different store that sells the brand to match our other appliances (GE. I've been very happy with our stove and microwave, so hopefully the dishwasher will be wonderful as well).

Unfortunately, they don't carry anything but "the basic white appliances" in stock and it had to be ordered. Fine. So it is supposed to be here Saturday.

I've been washing dishes by hand again.

I am very much looking forward to Saturday, and I desperately hope this new washer works.

May 29, 2012

The Long Weekend

Johnsondale is beautiful

Oh man, what a weekend! What a wonderful, wonderful weekend!

Ben took Friday off, so we had a very long weekend and it was just excellent.

This is Ben's new toy. He got it Thursday night. It's a lathe (for turning metal and wood). The funny thing is, it kind of fell into his lap.

Tuesday afternoon one of his coworkers called him over as he was on the phone and told him that one of his friends was selling a lathe and does he want it.

Oh yeah. HALF the price of a new one. Ben has been wanting a lathe for a LONG time, and with the amazing opportunity staring us in the face, we snatched it up. And he is a very happy man. He got it all cleaned up and settled on Friday and has been tinkering with it all weekend. It's so fun to watch him too, because now I can see and understand better all the stuff he tries to explain to me about his work (he's a machinist by trade).

The berries are never ending! I am up to 11.5 pounds picked so far. (That's 30 of those little 6 oz packages from the store!) And who knows how many the kids have eaten. I made this batch of jam Thursday, a cobbler last night, and the rest are in the freezer. And there is STILL MORE on the plants. Next year, I'm instating a "come pick your own day" and anyone who wants to can come get as much as they want.

On Sunday we made a day trip up to some camping grounds that Ben has been wanting to show me. We found one that we could do now, with water and hookups and stuff, and then some other sites that we can do when the baby is older that are dry camping. It's is absolutely GORGEOUS up there. We had a nice little picnic lunch and then came the long way home. Aside from being absolutely terrified that we were going to go careening over the side of the road and into the river*, it's a really pretty ride.

I didn't cook a single meal all weekend. Ben made breakfasts and BBQ dinners, and all I did was slap together a few sandwiches for lunch. It was wonderful! Especially since we had to take back the dishwasher.... which is a story for another day.

Wonderfully relaxed,

*Ben is a really good driver, it's just that the side of the cliff is right up against the road and from the passenger side, it looks like we're all gonna die.

May 24, 2012

Just Some Stuff

I meant to post this on Monday, but just haven't had a chance at the computer long enough.

Ben made these basket hangers last weekend. Hand forged and bent. I know how creative he is and his work still amazes me. I think they are just beautiful. He made them especially for the baskets I got. I wanted some color on the back porch. I have two for flowers, and one filled with herbs and they just look so nice.

Last weekend was our 6 year wedding anniversary! We had a nice little dinner out (with the baby) while my sister baby sat our big boys. It was so nice to get out of the house and have a grown up meal with my husband. I can't believe it's already been 6 years. It's feels like it hasn't been that long, but has been even longer (in a good way) both at the same time. I can say I love him even more now than I did then.

It was really hard to get this picture.

Last weekend was also a solar eclipse! Ben pulled out his welding hoods and we all took turns watching it. I also poked a hole in a manila folder and projected it onto various things (a binder, my hand, the fence). The kids had a fun time "holding the moon in their hands". It was such an eerie feeling, seeing the change in lighting. It wasn't a total eclipse, but we were supposed to get a "ring of fire". We never did see it, since we would stop watching to tend to the BBQ (or "barcabue" as Duder calls it). It was pretty awesome!

The zombies are done and with their new owner. I'll have a finished post soon. I think now that they're done I might try some sewing.

Do you remember these?

I have picked over SIX POUNDS so far. And there are still a bunch on the plants. I'm kind of scared of what we'll get next year with all the new growth we've had. I told Ben we'll probably have to open a fruit stand. I have put most of them in the freezer to deal with in the next few weeks. I have plans for jam, maybe fruit leather, and cobblers. It's kind of funny picking them, because the boys come out with me and eat them as I put them into the basket. They really like them.

We've gotten a few handfuls of blueberries too. I am looking forward to next year, when hopefully I will have enough to put away.

My fatty is 12 pounds now! ;) At the risk of jinxing my good fortune, he has been up only twice the last two nights - at 1 and 5. Maybe I will be lucky and this pattern will continue!

That's all for now. Today is our Friday! We have so many plans for this weekend.

Happy long weekend!

May 16, 2012

Nothing Better

There is not a whole lot better than walking into one's backyard and picking food for the family.

May 14, 2012


Mother's Day flowers from my Father-in-love! They're called "Orange Star"
Holy smokes what a weekend!

Between a Mother's Day lunch (on Friday), grocery shopping, other shopping, dinner with my sister and her husband, a morning birthday party, a delicious brisket and a wee babe who thinks the middle of the night is the Best Time To Be Awake.... I am absolutely wiped. I slept (interruptedly) til 9:30 this morning. 

But it was a lovely weekend.

Saturday shopping landed me this bad boy:

My Mother's Day present from Ben. Huzzah!


Now, before y'all are like "Ok, woo. New dishwasher, that's cool but not that exciting." Let me explain.

I have been hand washing our dishes for the last 6 years. First place: No dishwasher. Second place: Dishwasher that didn't wash. This place: No dishwasher.

But now... Now I have a dishwasher! YAY!! SUPER YAY!

I have NO idea what to do with myself now. I'm so used to spending at least 30 minutes after dinner washing dishes and cleaning up. Last night I just kind of wandered around in a daze feeling like I was supposed to be doing something. Ben even thought I had decided not to do the dishes when I came out in the backyard so soon, but then he remembered. It's kind of weird.

I love that now I don't have to be afraid of making a big giant mess.

We have started eating delicious things from our garden. In addition to the artichokes, we've had radishes, a handful of blueberries and I'm trying not to eat all the boysenberries as they ripen so I can get a decent sized picking for jam. The cherries should be ready in a month or so, the tomato plants are growing nicely and everything else is coming. I'm so excited! Ben had a friend over to pick up some compost last night and he said "This is awesome, you just walk around the yard eating stuff!"

No new knitting as of yet. All zombies, all the time. ;) But, there is a finished Babylove Blanket in the shop for anyone looking for baby things!

Happy Monday y'all!

May 7, 2012

Weekend & Stuffs

Y'all remember me talking about our barely-hanging-on fence over the last few years. After every good storm we would have to go out and prop it up with various bits of steal and scrap wood just to keep it up because we didn't have time to fix it.

Well, thankfully, Ben has been on 8s and (almost) free Saturday's for about a month now so it's time to fix the fence!

After a ridiculous ordeal with our insurance in which they gave us terribly slow service and then told us they could write us a check for $80 after our deductible, I told them to cancel the claim and we'll just pay for it ourselves. Which I wanted to do in the first place, but our neighbor suggested using our home insurance. I'm glad it wasn't anything major, and we'll be changing our insurance.

But I digress. Anyhoo! Ben did have to work this Saturday, but after he got off he went to get the lumber and then ripped down half the fence and started digging post holes.

Up at 5:30 on Sunday, he ripped down the rest of it - the part that leaves our yard open to the street - and dug the rest of the post holes with the help of our neighbor.

Then we started putting up the framing and pickets and got the front section closed off to the street. The rest of the pickets will be going up over the week after work. I am so thankful the baby slept most of the day yesterday so I could help get this project done.

I did get one garden bed almost completely weeded while Ben did stuff that only took one person. Stuff is growing nicely, although it's slowed down a bit since it's been cooler. The hot weather that's coming will have everything shooting up.

We had our first boysenberry Saturday afternoon, but it wasn't quite ripe yet. I was desperate to try one. It was good, but still tart. They are starting to turn red though so we will be overrun pretty soon.

We have had 4 artichokes in the past few weeks. They are SO GOOD. We are thinking about getting a few more plants just because we love them so much. It's awesome to be eating them from our own backyard.

Remember these guys? I got an order for 5 of them last week and got one finished and sent off for a rush delivery this weekend. Now I'm working on the other 4 and they STILL make me giggle every time I make one. They're just hilarious.

The black shawl with beads is almost done. I was working on the edging before the Zombie Order came in, so hopefully it will be done soon. Anyone interested in test knitting? Or tech editing?

And now, I really need to start my Monday. It's been a craptastic morning so far. I really hope it gets better. The kids are bouncing off the walls and I have absolutely no motivation to do anything today except knit, but Mondays are for cleaning and laundry. At least I have got two loads washed so far. Would anyone like to come be my maid?

Happy Monday,

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