Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fiber-y Goodness

Why is it, that when I don't sleep at night, I get the most off the wall creative ideas? The funny thing is, usually these are the best ideas that pop up.

So there I was, minding my own business, laying in bed, listening to the breathing of my husband. In.......and out.........for 2 1/2 hours. See, nobody ever can accuse me of being an early bird cuz I am definately a night own, but last night, I did make it into bed at a rather reasonable hour for me. I was snuggled down at around This means that by 4am I am still wide awake. Meanwhile EVERYONE in the entire house is snoring. Husband, sons, dogs......all of them. The punks.

But laying there in the dark, like I said, does have an upside. Because while I lay there, unable to sleep, my brain ruminates. The topic of discussion last night was fiber. I was wondering if this gray fiber I have could be dyed. I think perhaps it would look cool dyed a dark blue or a dark green or purple. Then I got to thinking about that Ramb. that I have in the closet that was pissing me off already. If I wrecked it, no big loss right. How bout if I toss it in a dye pot? Sure! Why the heck not?? Besides, I have all those GROOVY colors. I have loads of soap colors! And they are all classified as dyes! D&C or FC&C Dyes!!! No cheap-o kool-aide dye for me, no sireeebob! Plus, if that fails, I also have CAKE DYE!! I can dye a whole bus load of fiber and still have dye left over I bet! This is what my 4am, no sleep brain is telling me anyways......

So, by this time, I have just about had it with the in and outs that my husband is doing. I get up. I get a drink and start to do a bit of dye research. HEH! Not a problem, I'm thinking. 5am, the phone rings......its the RR for hubs telling him he is called for his train......gee. I decide to do the whole good wife thing and make him breakfast, but knowing he gets a 2 hour call, I know I still have some time.

So, once I get him and all the kiddos off to work/school I think maybe I can lay down and have a nap. Nope........not happening. No sleep for you. My eyelids are not cooperating. And I am talking ZERO stimulation radio, no tv....just perfect total silence. ZEN even. I think, what the hell and I get up and dig out the wool and start the crockpot.

Once everything is rolling. I plop the wool in, drizzle in some dye, wait a while, take out the wool, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse and squeeze out the water. This is what I got.......Not bad for a first try.
I'm thinking fall colors next time. Russets, greens and beige-y yellows......ya think??

Tuesday, October 25, 2005



Seven Things I Hate Doing or Scare Me

  1. I am scared of abandonment

  2. High unstable places that I could fall off of terrify me

  3. Driving in traffic and on the freeway scares me

  4. Snakes scare me

  5. I hate arguing with my husband

  6. I hate drunks
7. I hate confrontation

Seven Things I Like

  1. I like the ocean a lot

  2. I like diet coke

  3. I like to bake

  4. I like to keep my hands busy

  5. I like to read

  6. I like antiques and funky kitchy things

  7. I like good food

Seven Random Facts About Me

  1. I have tattoos

  2. I am a nightowl

  3. I was born in California

  4. I am a homebody

  5. I have been married more than once

  6. I only have one working vocal cord

  7. I wear glasses

Seven Things to do Before I Die

  1. Travel to the places in the world I want to see

  2. Remodel my house to my exact perfect vision

  3. Apologize to those I have hurt

  4. Grow old with my husband

  5. Write a book

  6. Build the perfect garden oasis

  7. Become a better Christian

Seven Things I Can Do

  1. Problem Solve

  2. I can make you laugh

  3. I can cook

  4. Remember facts

  5. Make soap

  6. Knit and Crochet

  7. Tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue

Seven Things I Can Not or Will Not Do

  1. I will not be talked down to or disrespected

  2. I will not get a body piercing

  3. I cannot dance

  4. I cannot see those weird pictures that have a hidden picture behind all those funny colors

  5. I will not skydive

  6. I cannot tolerate child abuse

  7. I will not cheat of my husband

Seven Things I Say The Most

  1. Honey

  2. I don’t care/it doesn’t matter

  3. What you doing?

  4. Are you hungry?

  5. LOL

  6. You think?

  7. Where are you?

Seven Celeb Crushes

  1. William Peterson (CSI)

  2. Sean Connery

  3. Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean)

  4. Tommy Lee Jones (Fugitive)

  5. Sam Elliot

  6. Robert Duvall

  7. Tom Hanks

Seven People I Tagged to do This Quiz

  1. Not hom

  2. Not her

  3. Not even YOU!

  4. Should have tagged you……naw

  5. maybe her….nope

  6. nobody

  7. not even them

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Strange day..........

First off, I would like to put up a couple of pictures of two new yarns I have spun. The black and white single ply is Navajo Churro wool and the two ply gray is Lincoln wool. The churro had quite a bit of lanolin in it still when I spun it, it felt weird. A lot more sticky. The difference in the feel of these two wools is light years apart. The churro is very coarse.....not rough, but more dense and firm, almost reminds me of horse tail hair. In comparison to the Lincoln which was a lot softer and smoother. The churro also had a very long staple. 4 maybe 5 inches in length. I had about a good handful of each of the black and the white that someone generously gave to me to sample and I blended them together with a slicker brush before I spun it. I like how it feels. It is very "rope" like almost. I can see where this would be excellent wool for rug making. I have to work on spinning thinner. Although, really, since I don't like knitting with skinny yarn, I don't know why that would be important except when I ply it. As you can see, after I plied the gray Lincoln, it got very FAT.

So today was kind of a sucky day. I broke one of my spindles. I don't know if I killed it, or if it can be repaired. I was minding my own business, spinning a beautiful piece of cream Merino top. I had parked my spindle, and was drafting out some more of the fiber when shot my end hook. Somehow, the end of the post where the hook inserted into the wood sort of splintered off. I don't know if it is a design flaw or user error. My luck it is user error. I'm the kind of person that can tear up an anvil with a toothpick some days. I hope it can be repaired. Of my two spindles, it was my very favorite. What makes it so bad, is that I was outside when this happened and I lost the copper hook in the grass.

Well, baseball is over for the year. We have been playing since April. I think six months of the game is just about enough for one year. April '06 will be here soon enough. Then we get to start it all again. I don't know if there will be any Fall Ball next year as both boys will be moved up to the Pony League bracket. Preston had a super season. Today alone he hit 2 homeruns, with one being a grandslam. I think they better keep an eye on this kid. One day we might be watching him play in some serious ball games somewhere. He pitched well too. The boy has an arm that won't quit. Dad was catching for him, and he was throwing his pitches so hard that Tony's wedding ring got bent.......inside of the mitt. You think that is some heat?? I wouldn't want to have to be facing him on the mound. No way.

Talked with my sister today. I feel so bad for what is going on with her right now. It is as if her kids have absolutely lost their minds. They have been such GOOD parents to their 3 kids, and yet all three of them, in their own ways have seemed to go out of their way to destroy their lives. And it is all stupid things. It all goes back to the same old stuff. Stupid choices. Drinking. Drugs. Irresponsibility. The kids were raised so much better than that, but it just doesn't matter.

A parent can give their children only so much. We try to raise them in a good home. Provide for all their needs. Food, clothing, shelter, love, morals, boundaries, praise, responsibilities, consequences, faith, charity. Everything that one might hope to instill in a person to make them a decent person. A contributing member of society. And then, we set them free when they become adults. When do they lose their minds? At what exact moment does a child decide that despite all that they learned as a young person growing up, that all that is just a bunch of poo? I know I asked my self this very question when Brandon got into his own troubles. It's a slap in the face to a good parent. The ultimate screw you. So my sister has done the only thing she can do in this situation........she is letting them sort out their own messes without a whole lot of help from good old mom and dad. She is saving her own sanity by taking this route and I have to say that I think she is doing the right thing.

On the knitting front.........

I have given up on the baby blanket for Aliesa right now. 5 trips to the frog pond is plenty. I don't even want to think about it right now. I have moved on to my ultimate challenge. SOCKS. I started to try socks a few months ago. At that time, knitting with an octopus was beyond me, so I shelved that notion. Now, I think I may be ready to have another go at them. I know that I'll have to call on a few knitting pals for advice when I get to the heel. I have read the instructions on the pattern several times and I am not making any sense of it just yet. I am hoping by the time I get to the heel I will have had my light bulb moment.

tata for now...............

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Trying to find NORMAL

Ya know, it comes to pass, that all persons must admit that they suck.  Well, ok,  I admit it…I suck at this journal writing thing right now.  Not that it matters.  I write this for myself primarily.  It has almost been a week since my last entry.  What, has life stopped for me since last Thursday?  Has NOTHING interesting entered my brain that I thought might be noteworthy and worth talking about?  Honestly?  Don’t make me answer that question………

Oh sure, I have had a couple thoughts flash through my brain pan.  One thought that I certainly do recall is why are 99.9 percent of the adult humans in my family so screwed up?  And, are there NO normal people in my family?  It is as if I live in the land of textbook psychology.  We could be the thesis study for the next graduating class at Harvard Med I swear to you.  If it isn’t depression, it is PTSD, or alcoholism, or drug addiction, or weight issues, or control issues or hording, or child abuse or sex/love addiction.  It is as if not a single solitary soul was spared.  

And why?  I often wonder how come all this is beget upon one small God fearing family?  We were raised in church.  Whooo boy were we ever!  The sun did not set on the week unless we went to church at least one time.  We were good little Catholics, we went to confession, we paid our offertories, our family took food to the sisters, and we even went to the dreaded Catholic school so we could be further immersed in the whole thing.  But it wasn’t enough.  We were not spared the angst of the human condition.

What happened while we weren’t looking?  Did someone take the dream away in the night?  I mean we were supposed to have the  “average American family” right?  You know, Ozzie, Harriet, Mike and Carol Brady, all that.  No damn wonder all us folks are so pissed off.  Hollywood showed us what we should have had, could have had, what SOME people DID have, all the while we sit in our single parent, alcoholic or drug addictive, homes, eating cheerios for supper on the living room carpet cuz there isn’t a dining room table let alone a 5 course meal set upon it.  

The expectations are just too high I suppose.  Maybe that is it.  Maybe my family ISN’T the strange one.  Maybe I just want too much.  Maybe what I perceive as normal (thank you ABC) just looked a whole lot better to me growing up than what I had.  But still…….I don’t think that explains why all this weird ass shit happens to my family.  

Maybe we are just more open about our stuff.  Maybe we just talk about it more to each other in trying to support one another.  

I don’t know.  For once, I would really REALLY love to know what NORMAL is.  I would love to live just ONE YEAR without any trauma, or drama or crisis or angst of any kind.  You know, have enough money to pay my bills on time, have plenty of groceries, gas and essentials like clothing and lunch money. Normal.  Not struggle.  Normal.  

What a great goal.  What a happy though……………..

Friday, October 14, 2005

They did what??????

Are you kidding me?  16 children?  Ok, someone please tell me, how does this make ANY sense at all?  This is the news of the day.  A woman, in my home state (God help me, it’s true), has just birthed her 16th child.  She is only 39 years old and she has only had 2 sets of twins.  You do the math…..she has been pregnant 14 times since she got married at the age of 17 and started birthing babies at the age of 21.  I cannot in my wildest dreams imagine how tired this woman must be.  Let me tell you, they have quite an interesting philosophy as to why they have so many kids.  Incredible.

They say that they have all these kids because it is the love of God that gives them blessings of children.  UUUHHHMMM……ok……but come on!  Me thinks that there is a bit too much lovin going on in that household.  

All of the children wear the same color clothing on each particular day of the week.  Each older child has a younger sibling “helper” to assist him with his or her “jurisdiction” read: chore duties.  The 13 yr old daughter cooks lunch for the crowd and the 14 yr old daughter cooks supper for the crowd.  All the girls wear white socks and the boys wear black.  To look at the family portrait, it is as if you are looking at little carbon copies of mom and dad just in stair step size.

O……….K……………….  I’ll happily keep the ones I have thankyouverymuch!!  

On a lighter note, some of my weeks TO DO list is getting done.  I have made soap this week.  3 new types have been added to the website.  Yippee.  One is ready for sale and two will be ready in a couple weeks after a good cure.  

I am making progress on the afghan.  I got some of the llama cleaned and carded.  I got the gray Lincoln spun.  

Not too bad considering that Malia has been sick this week and I’ve been busy tending to her.  She caught some nasty virus I suppose.  Had a fever and just felt yucky.  All she wanted to do for two days was sit on my lap and be held, so I wasn’t able to get a lot done.  Oh well, those things will be there tomorrow, but my sick baby girl needed her meemee.  

Good news!!  The nasty neighbors moved away!!  Celebration in the neighborhood!!  Now we pray for decent renters AFTER the poor home owners do tons of work to clean up the nasty mess these people have left for them.  EeeeGADS how do some people live like such pigs is totally beyond me!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sometimes He whispers.....

Sometimes He whispers, sometimes He shouts.  No, I am not referring to my husband.  He doesn’t shout all that often, unless it is at the TV and sports are on.  The “He” that I am talking about is God.  When I began my walk with God, and became born anew in Him, I started to learn how to listen.  Sometimes I didn’t want to….sometimes I still don’t.  The times when I don’t are when I find that he seems to shout the loudest.  

Sometimes, the loudest messages come on a whisper.  After I got hurt, and was floundering so, wondering what in the world I was going to do with the rest of my life, God whispered.  But boy oh boy it was loud and clear.  To this day I am trying to fulfill the instructions from that day.  He said it could be done.  I have put my faith in Him that it will.  That is how Ozark Body & Bath came to be a reality from a 10 year old idea.  He told me now that I was hurt, that it was time to follow that dream.  I am so grateful that He gave me that message that day.  I have loved every minute of my soap making journey and my soap making business.  I have met some fabulous folks along the way.  

Now, I have taken up a few new hobbies.  Ones where I can be restful and meditative while I do it.  Knitting and spinning for me bring me quiet relaxation.  They let me step away from the chronic pain that weaves its way through the fiber of my daily life for a moment and just get into the rhythm of the motion of “doing”.  I enjoy being alone in my thoughts with my knitting.  As my hands carry the yarn from one stitch from the next, I often think about how God has carried me through life from one hardship to the next.  For often times, my life has not been an easy one.  I have many times called upon him to carry me when I was to weary to walk even one step further.  Never was I refused.  I was always placed back on solid ground once again.  I think were it not for Him and His grace that sometimes I wouldn’t be here today.

I think that I am here for a reason.  I know that my journey is not through.  I had thought once, that my purpose in life was gone.  But once I got out of the darkness and depression of the aftermath of my life altering injury, I could see that I was so very wrong.  God gave me two new sons to raise. He knew I wasn’t done at two children, so he needed to give me a couple more.  He gave me special kids.  Kids who perhaps might just have needed the kind of person that I am to make them whole once again.  I think its working.  
I can see great changes in both of them over the years and they have made positive steps towards healing their pasts.  

I am glad that one day, long ago, I made the decision to give my life to God.  If I hadn’t, I don’t know where I would be today.  Or even if I would BE here today.  I didn’t get here by myself, that’s for sure.  I had help from a way higher power!!

Sunday Sunday

Another fine week lays ahead of me.  The possibilities of the week to come are vast.  I have much that I want to get accomplished this week, but I don’t know if I can squeeze it all in.  Here is a basic rundown:
  1. make soap

  2. pick cleaned wool and card into rolags

  3. pick cleaned llama wool and card

  4. wash remaining llama wool

  5. work on knitting baby blanket for Aleisa

  6. organize hall closet of soaping supplies

  7. shampoo carpets.
And those are just the “extra” things I would like to get done.  That doesn’t count all the normal day to day housekeeping chores.  Nor does it include whatever me and Malia might get into each day or what she might do to keep my attention distracted off of my plan of action.  She is becoming so active that these days its hard to keep up with her unless you just shut the door behind you with her in the room with you.  Kinda hard in the kitchen since there isn’t a door!  

Last night, Preston hit a grand slam home run!  Boy was he ever grinning as he rounded to home plate.  That boy is a hitter now when he wants to be.  When he ever gets his concentration on, he is a ball player to contend with.  I would love to see him play just once without the handicap of his adhd and tourette’s.  He would be awesome.  He makes me proud!  He is such a sweet boy.  He has the heart of a competitor and is always rooting his team mates on even when they are losing.  For him it’s all about the love of the game.  

I’m glad the boys are going to CHAOS every Monday night at church now.  Maybe it will help with some of their little attitude issues.  Perhaps the Lord will do his work through the teen ministry.  I think that teens get the message better when they are with peers.  They don’t tend to listen so much during regular service.  It bores them.  They enjoy going, so that’s a good thing.  

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mailman Brings Joy

Well it was a fiber-y sort of day around our house.  The mailman was the bearer of boxes of great joy.  First box contained raw sheep fleece all the way from Idaho (Thanks Ric and Denise!).  They have a small flock of  Rambouillet sheep that they use for grazing.  They don’t do anything with the wool, so he just has it stored in his barn.  He was happy to send me some to try out.  The second box contained my new beautiful spindle.  This is the spindle I have been waiting for.  I’m a beta tester for Simple Market Farms, and they make spindles and sell wool rovings to spinners.  They have a great assortment of wool to choose from.  As a beta, I get to help them assess the spindle and the wools and give my opinions and such and so.  They sent me some gray Lincoln roving and also some cream pencil roving.  I can’t wait to get my hand into the pencil roving.  It feels like buttah.

I also took one of my Goodwill sweaters to the frogpond.  It came apart easily.  The yarn in it seems to be real nice yarn.  It’s a 70/30 blend acrylic and wool.  Now a lot of people are snobs when it comes to yarn and want nothing BUT wool.  I, am not.  I’ll take whatever looks and feels good.  I don’t care if it is the most expensive, finest yarn in the store….if it doesn’t feel good to my skin, I’ll not be buying it.  Besides, the new yarns they are coming out with everyday are so amazing and wonderful it is difficult to tell some of them from wool unless you read the label.  And some wools are so soft and fine that they feel like a soft, fine baby yarn.  Not all wool is itchy scratchy like the wool you think of when you think of that old sweater you used to wear that made you itch like crazy.  Now days some sheep are being bred specifically to give a softer, silkier wool.  

Tomorrow I have to make some soap.  I just haven’t felt up to the task of making soap lately.  Nothing motivates you like donating all of you inventory to hurricane relief.  I have very few bars in stock incase someone wants to order.  

Gosh I’m a busy girl.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Computers drive me crazy!

Yes, it's true. I have a love/hate relationship with a very important unmentioned object in my life.....Namely: the computer. I love it because it has brought into my life so many wonderful things. Without my computer I would literally be a shut in. I would have little contact with the outside world on a daily basis other than via my TV and my hubby.

With my computer, I have learned how to knit. It has become a passion in my life. I have known how to crochet for many many years and always wanted to know how to knit but never had a teacher until I had my computer and the various forums and lessons within. I have also begun to learn how to spin. Just this week, I have spun my very first tiny skein of beautiful yarn. I am so proud of me!! That yarn you see there is what "I" made.

With my computer, I have met some of the most wonderful women on planet earth. They are my friends and I am theirs. We laugh together, cry together, celebrate together, mourn together, rage together, but most of all we are just there for each other. We send each other birthday cards, no reason cards, surprise packages, and all sorts of things. In fact just recently, a group of them got together and traveled across the country and "crashed" the wedding of one of the girls in the group. I wasn't able to make the trip, but I enjoyed it nonetheless through them via their reports back. I love them very much. We have woven each other into the fabrics of our lives.

Why do I hate computers? Well for one, I am having to type this blog on my desktop because on my laptop I can't type in a nice neat little box like this. Why not? Good question. It's not showing up on my laptop. All the stuff above this typing space is there, except there is not place to put a curser.

I also hate computers because when you least expect it and for no good reason whatsoever, they will die. Turn one off one day and go to Texas and see what happens. Ours decided while we were gone that enough was enough.

I hate computers because we HAVE to have one. Really. Hubby's work is all computerized and he has to keep up with when he goes to work and where he is going via computer. It is our time slave.

I suppose the good does out weigh the bad. But man when things go bad with your computer it is as if life as you have come to know it has come to an end. The world tilts on its axis and gravity stops until it is fixed. We NEED our computers now days just like we need our vehicles and that, my friends is rather sad don't you think?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Things we do for love

We people do things for our fur kids, just so we know that they feel “the love”.  Today, I went to PetSmart and got the bulldogs new Kongs.  Oh how they love Kong toys.  Well these are gigundo King-size Kongs.  I also bought them some rawhide chips.  When I brought them home Rudy immediately saw that mommy had new toys and started to do the happy doggy dance all over the kitchen.  I let him have his Kong for a while so he could get it good and slobbery, and know that it WAS HIS!!!!  Then, like a meenie, I took it away… build the anticipation.  See, there is a method to my madness.  I was soaking two of the rawhide chips to be later stuffed inside the Kongs along with some food for hours of chewing (frustration) pleasure.  

Later, after the chips were softened enough to be all squishy, I mixed up some good doggy mush and stuff it down in the Kong and then stuffed in the rawhide, leaving just an teeny bit of the hide hanging out of the Kong.  I then packed as much of the remaining dog kibble into the Kong around the hide so that it was in there nice and snug and it would be real work to get it out.  You see, the object of this game is not only get the food, but time management and energy burning.  It’s not so badly needed with Rudy, the older dog, but with Harley, the pup, it is a definite MUST.  

These dogs are little guys who are souped up with the energy of  eleventy-seven hundrend watts of pure dog power!  Rudy is a 2 ½ yr old Boston Terrier.  He has mellowed a bit in his maturity…….unless or until that is…….you give him a ball.  Then he will run and jump and play until his tongue falls out and he trips over it and dies.  Now, Harley, on the other hand is only 7 months old.  He is Rudy’s son.  When he came into this world, we could see right away that he was going to be a handful.  He was the reason that the mamma dog had to have a c-section delivery.  He is a big goofy, one blue-eye-always on the go-curious puppy.  He jumps, runs, spins, hops, walks on two legs, leaps and loves to rolls the cat.  His favorite pastime is FOOD.  He needed some behavior modification and something to occupy his mind for a few hours a day in a bad way.  All the playing and running and sleeping just wasn’t enough.  He wants to be the alpha male in the house.  NOT.

So we shall see.  This is step one.