Sunday, December 27, 2009

And another one bit the dust

Holiday meal that is. 

Today we had “Christmas at the Lake”.   We were blessed with a warm day so that we were able to use the summer porch, opening the room up to the house and using an electric heater to take the nip off. 

The house was bulging at the seams with happy family.  Four generations.  It used to be that when someone bragged about four generations I thought someone must be really olde.  Well, now that I am a member of the ‘older generation’ I can tell you that I was misled.  Someone is not ‘really’ olde, just kinda olde.

We had enough food to feed an army and have some leftover for a navy too.  Once, back when I was a bride, I ran out of roast before the platter made it around the table – never again, never again.

As each of the families left we checked to make sure that they had their kidz in the car.  Then somehow our daughter and son-in-law managed to slip out without their two. It’s bedtime now, and I am off to listen to Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the gazillenth time.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Walkin' times four


Way back in the beginning of my blog, I posted a photo of Zach and Lexi walking, holding hands. My aim was to take that photo each year so I could record their growth. Well, I quickly learned in year three that there is no making those two perform on cue. Leslie tells me that she actually had to bribe Zach to get close to Lexi for this photo shoot. At any rate, I like this photo of the four of them; they look carefree don't they?
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Its tough to get older

Its tough to get older
Originally uploaded by smoorect.

But its great to be in Florida visiting with old friends.
I visited with my doctor yesterday and he put me on Heart meds. He may also have to put me on diuretics but says that may cause trouble with mom and the rugs. Mom just wants me to be better.
Mom, Dad, TDC [that damn cat] and I are hanging out in the MH today cause Dad says it is too hot to be out. I'm having trouble breathing so he is probably right.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Traveling Bag

I've been thinking about how inconvenient it is to carry my plastic bed knitting machine around in its box and wondering just what I could do to make a bag using stuff from around the sewing room. I wanted a bag that would protect the machine from bumps and thumps, but would fold for storage when not in use. I wanted a place to put the 'parts'. I didn't want to goto the store down the hill and run another line on my plastic.................

Now we are off in the cold wind to watch our grandson and his team mates play soccer. They are 4 for 4 and this is their first 'night' game. If their bedtime is 7:30 how do they play a soccer game which starts at 6:30?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Did August go? One day it's August 8th and the children are paddling the lake in their kayaks and the next day it's September the 2nd and they have been in school for three days. When did the school systems decide that they could steal the last week of summer?

So, I'm officially no longer the summer [of 09] sitter from Sunday through Tuesday. I didn't get fired, I got eased out by school. I am sure that if we lived closer I would be the after school grammie, no, I know that for a fact! But we chose to live up here in the hills and they chose to live down in the flatland. Most likely a good thing for all of us.................

I would post their first day photos here, but haven't gotten them yet. Mayhaps I should check Facebook and see if they are there to STEAL. Found them! BUT, now have to study how to add them, and they aren't even Leslie's photos. Maybe Leslie will send some to me when she reads this post. Can I make her feel guilty? NOT! She has learned how to fend off my attempts at that. I guess because I'm not really a Jewish mama.

Last night TOS and I went down the hill and met my daughter at the cinema. We saw Julie and Julia, or is it Julia and Julie? At any rate, it was a great movie. Have to say though that Leslie couldn't relate to it the way we did. Leslie does not watch cooking shows on PBS. I was disappointed that Julie never got to meet Julia and resolve the issue of her blog.

If you are into old fashioned fun you might want to wander over to the Craft Sanity etsy shop and look at her wooden looms. Ahem, I've already order a couple and am now waiting patiently for her to post her rug size looms. Jennifer has just quit her day job as a journalist and is staying home with her girls. She has great craft interviews on her Craft Sanity podcast. Pop over and give a listen.

Well, I've managed to waste most of the morning already. I've taken some stew beef out, but won't be making it Julia's way. Now it's off to the showers for me, then the garden where I will clip away all of the flox and trim the shrubs.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

It FINALLY Stopped Raining

Suddenly there is no more rain, or so it would seem anyway. And therefore I’ve been busy celebrating summer – and not knitting anything of consequence, getting sunburned for what seems like the first time in years, beaching with the grandkidz, beaching with the Southwick Knit-in girls, and just generally goofing off.

I wanted to get myself a sit upon kayak but instead found these at LLBean and of course, could absolutely not walk away from the pink one so had to get the orange one too. There is a youtube video is you are interested


I did finally find what I wanted for me. It weights 28# and is 8’ long, just like the kid’z kayaks. It is a dream to get in and out of, real comfy to ride in and great to paddle. It is actually considered an ocean kayak.


All three are made by PelicanSport out of Canada [where else?] The Kidz ones just carry the LLBean logo.

Darling daughter planned a trip to NYC for herself and the children. I gracefully so no. SO, she mentioned it at work and they ended up being almost a bus load. I think she said there were twenty of them all together. Thankfully there was a deal on train tickets for the kidz.

Zach had one thing in mind


Lexi adopted a baby at FAOSchwartz


That was Thursday, Friday was all about grammie’s beach

lake gotfrog

All I can say about that poor frog is that he/she/it had better move to another part of the lake. Every kid who goes to that beach catches him/her/it. I wonder if anyone has tried to kiss it? Maybe I’ll paddle my pea pod kayak over there tonight, take a couple of glasses of wine, a candle and ---------

kiss the frog.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Happy Monday

The sun is shining through the slider on my back.  Dawg is laying by my side in a beamer.

The kidz slept in this morning.  Believe it or not, I was the first one up today, grampy was second and the babes dragged themselves down last.  They got a good twelve hours last nite – so today should be a good day.

These are the faces we like love to see at the breakfast table.


  Ragamuffin Lexi with her pink cast.


Zach contemplating the next spoonfull.


Pooh asleep between bowls.

Guess I need to reset the time stamp on the camera.

We are already looking forward to going to the library at two.  Zach is out the door, going to push the hand mower up and down the hill.  Lexi, our independent one, suddenly needs Grammie to do up her shorts and tie her shoes.  She did brush her hair though.  The cast is getting in the way of life………………….  Our usual days at the beach may be a problem. 

Hopefully I will get in some knitting time today and tomorrow whilst the kidz are here.  Truth be known though, my right hand is killing me from all the knitting, so a break would probably not be a bad idea.

I am on the hunt for a ‘jumbo’ Sequence game – one that himself can see.  And, we need to get Zach a new reel.  He needs one that won’t magically get inself into a tangle at each cast.  Someone mentioned a Zebco. 

Zach’s birthday is the 18th so I’ve got a while.  BUT in the same respect, it would be nice to have one here for the next two Sunday/Monday/Tuesday visits.  Maybe I’ll try to explain early gifts to him today.  Now to find one.  I know they can be had to Cabelas, but don’t relish a trip to East Hartford.  Hoping I can find one at Wally World.  Guess I’ll let my fingers do the walkin.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Just another rainy day in the hills of Western Massachusetts


It doesn’t look like much does it?  I’m hoping that it will look better when it’s not wet for blocking.  It’s Double Seed Stitch Cardigan, designed by Rosemary Drysdale for Tahki Stacy Charles. a/k/a Cotton Classic Cardigan.

It is knit with, not Cotton Classic as the pattern suggests, but Berroco Comfort DK.  It has a much softer drape than the sample that we saw at WEBS. which was knit with the Cotton Classic.  I’m hoping that the switch in yarns, such a drastic one, was not a mistake.  It was an easy knit, and the Berroco Comfort is a joy to work with.  You and I know though that nylon and acrylic really don’t block.

When was the last time, you as a child, or a parent said/heard “mom can I have that'?”  “mom will you buy that for me?”  “mom will you knit that for me?”  It was the last, will you that I heard from our daughter that day at WEBS.  Softy that I am, I said sure, lets pick out some yarn.  I really only took two weeks to knit, and a few hours to put together, with several weeks in between when it languished in my knitting basket waiting for me to be in the mood to get to that putting together.

Today is her Birthday and it will be her present.  She won’t get it until tomorrow though.  She is partying with the work crowd after work and I’m playing cards tonight.  We both have our priorities.  Tomorrow I will bring the sweater and cake.

I’ve got some goodies to share. 

A friend, TOS gave me this tiny Doll House size crocheted afghan and quilt rack.  It was among the collection of her aunt, who probably made it.  That’s a dime for size.

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This is my Saturday pudding.  Served Saturday nite for company.  It’s Rhubarb Pudding Cake, a cinch to make and oh so good.


I love my Polish pottery.  Zanger’s warehouse is just down the road from our daughter’s house.  My car often pulls into their parking lot as I try to drive past.  It’s not far from I-91 in Windsor Locks, worth the stop I think.

I’ve been talking about lace on Twitter.  Today I said that knitting lace is like trying to go uphill on ice with your Sunday school shoes on.  I’m working on the easy section of my first lace weight, lace project and spending lots of time tinking.  I’ve also read ahead in the instructions and am thinking that I am going to need some help.  Problem is, the yarn is Shadow from Knit Picks, so I can’t approach any LYS for help.  I’ve joined a lace group on Ravelry thinking they might be there to back me up.  I’m sure though, that if I just follow the line by line instructions I will be fine – I hope!


Don’t drink and drive, don’t drink and lace. 

Time to think about supper and then out to play cards.

On motherhood, daughterhood, birthdays and anniversaries

Today is our daughter’s birthday.  She would rather that I don’t mention the number.  I won’t.  But next year is her 40th. 

Happy Birthday Leslie

My mother passed away when I was twelve.  I guess that was a traumatic time to lose a parent, especially a mother.  I could not tell you how that loss changed me as a person.  My sister and I have frequent discussions about our memories of home.  Sal is four years older than me, so has a different take on life with mom.  My memories are of gardens, listening to Babar, reading Winnie the Pooh, basically all good stuff.  Sal remembers a mother who killed herself with booze.  I guess I am the lucky one.

But, is it lucky to go through life without a mother?  I think not.  No one to celebrate my accomplishments the way a mother would.  No one to sit with my Dad at our Wedding.  No one to shop with for stuff for our first house. 

No one to hold me when I cried because we could not get pregnant.  No one to talk with as we worked our way through the adoption process.  No grandmother for Leslie.  No unconditional love.

August the 18th is the Anniversary of the day that our lives changed.  August the 18th is the day that our daughter was placed in our arms.  I am eternally grateful to the birthmother who gave her baby away.  Who made a decision that would affect us all.  Her name is Susan too, she has come into our lives and left again.  I wonder what she is thinking about today.  Thank you Susan, from the bottom of my heart. 

Monday, June 29, 2009


Glad to say it didn’t happen on our watch, but is sure is going to mess up our beach time in July.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Look what I found

I knew it was possible, and just in time for a warm sunny day, after a long string of wet, cool, cloudy days, tada.

The ‘business’ end of the summer porch isn’t quite anywhere ready for a public view.  Give me another week of nice porch days willya?

It was a nice afternoon and evening yesterday and my friend TOS and I, tos, sat and knitted well into the night. 

TOS and tos, what is that you wonder?  We are two Sues, we are both Assessors here in Tolland and therefore are often confused at the town hall.  We began referring to ourselves as “the other Sue” to have a bit of fun.  TOS is also the Town Clerk.  My sister and I do something similar – BSS and lss.  She is the elder, and Sally; I am the younger and, well, you know my name.

Have a great rest of the weekend, I’m going to sit and knit.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back to our normal life

Well, it appears that we, the animals and the house have survived the first week of summer babykidsitting.  The babes were safely delivered back to the parents yesterday evening.  We had cake with the birthday girl and then headed back from the flat lands of Windsor Locks to the hills of Tolland.  The house is quiet this morning.  There is cleaning to be done. 

Last Saturday I took a quickie course in Steeking at Webs.  The course was great, the instructor did a wonderful job of demonstrating and encouraging.  I went with a nice tube of knitting, came home with it in pieces.  I now understand the concept of steeking and look forward to a cutting session.

Whilst I was at Webs I wandered around looking for some deals.  I found some wonderful Misty Alpaca in the warehouse and added three skeins of it to my stash.  Details:  Misty Alpaca Worsted weight, color Chartreuse Melange, 100 g 220 yd.  I got three skeins just to put away for some small project.  Probably should have gotten more as 660 yards won’t make much.

There was a collection box in the class room with directions for making a helmet liner and a plea for donations of helmet liners to the Vermont  National Guard.  Of course I grabbed a copy of the instructions and immediately shopped for some appropriate wool.  I got two skeins of Valley Yarns Northampton worsted weight wool in black.  I’ve wanted to knit a helmet liner for a while, but the instructions always seemed daunting.  I followed some advice I was given several years ago, and just followed the directions line by line – piece-o-cake.  I see at least one more in the offing.


When we met for WWKIP I took along some yarn from my stash to knit a Kangaroo sweater.  Here it is, finished and ready to go into my ‘future’ gifts bag.  Still  needs a cute button though.


When I get bored with what I’m knitting, or just want something down-n-dirty to knit, I revert to cotton dish rags.  The latest, which was a pain to knit, is receiving rave reviews from the wash-up crew.  It’s the Morning Glory washcloth from the Lion Brand collection.  It seems to be worth the extra effort.


The day is wasting away.  I’ve got to see if the vacuum cleaner works, then pack my knitting for #Southwick knit-in and head out by noon.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 24, 2003

Happy Birthday Alexis


You help to make our lives complete. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A little of this, a little of that

This post is indicative of how I live my days.  Hoping from pillar to post, a little of this, a little of that.

Let’s start with the weather.  The sun finally decided to grace us with its presence.  It has arrived too late to heat the day however.  We did laundry today, but we skipped the sheets.  Those will wait for a day when the sun gets up with us.  So, here we are, June 16 and look what is keeping us warm.CIMG0475

And, when there is a nice warm fire going there will surely be a dawg resting near.


Pooh is in her thirteenth year and seems to enjoy being olde.  No more responsibilities.  Let that damn cat scare the intruders away.  Pooh is stone deaf, the intruder would have to make the floor vibrate before she would notice.

I thought I would share pictures of the buttercup cousins who live in our garden.



One is a common garden field variety and the other is the city cousin from the plant place.  I like them both equally as well.

We had a fun time at our World Wide Knit in Public event.  We held it at our usual Southwick Knit-in location, The Daily Grind.  There was a Children’s event there at the same time. 

It was such a nice day we settled in under the shade of a lovely white birch, right next to a Llama.  What could have been more fitting? 

As I was rushing around, trying to remember everything, I decided that I didn’t want to spend four or five hours knitting on my current project – a sock.  I took a quick look at some patterns and found Wonderful Wallaby.  We all know that I’ve got lots of yarn to choose from, don’t we?  There, right under my nose were two full skeins of Bernat denimstyle in Weathered Rose.  There were also four small balls which probably equaled a half-skein.

That was Saturday, it’s Tuesday afternoon and I’m at the neck opening on a size 2 wanda.  It’s a fast knit, and the only problem so far is that I forgot to remember that the underarm stitches ‘should’ be taken off on yarn and not stitch holders.  The stitch holders just make the next few rows more difficult to knit and cause the stitches at each end to stretch out.  Make a note on pattern for next time.   TADA


How do your tomatoes grow?


Note:  objects taken close up look a lot larger than they actually are.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Progress report

The week is almost over and I guess I’ve got to report in.

The garden is doing well, but the slugs are trying to beat me to the lettuce.  I have most everything in pots, but the little slimy things have invaded anyway.  I planted some lettuce starts in my one non-pot garden and it's all gone.  I guess that next time himself is seen with a beer in his hand I’ll have to pour some off to feed/drown the slimy buggers.

My flower beds are doing well and the window boxes with impatients are beginning to fill in and look showy.  All in all it has been a good spring for getting stuff going.  Just enough rain, just enough sun, just enough warm [for the plants that is].

Wednesday card nite was a blast.  There were six of us playing spite and malice.  Two of the gals had played before but could not remember for the life of them how.  It’s just a nice nite to have some fun, laugh at ourselves and not strain our brains too much.

The Ladies Aid project last night went well.  We have to wait a week or so before we can ‘unpot’ out pots and see if they actually hold together.  We all agreed though, that it mattered not.  We had a great evening, fun was had by all and when it is all said and done, that is all that really matters.

I’m slowly working my way through the porch mess.  We got the shelving up, and got some additional plastic boxes and I’ve been sorting, sorting, sorting.  I took a bag of orphans to our Southwick knit in on Thursday and the girls claimed it all.  I’ve got some more to take with me tomorrow when we have our WWKIP day event.  I’ve gotten rid of all of the tail ends of sock yarn, and also some sock yarn that I had gotten for knitting for the grandkidz. 

It has finally gotten through to me that I should not [ever] knit anything for my grandchildren but hats, scarves and mittens and I must use Encore WW yarn only.  Any other knitting that I’ve done for them has been a waste of time, effort and money.  A shame, but so it is and I have to accept it.

Tonight I found some lovely Tweedy Angora WW by Tahki Imports in my stash.  This is from a froging project and I’ve listed it on Ravelry to be sold.  It is real pretty yarn, and I have some white that goes with it.  That will get listed next.

My problem with the cleaning project is that I have TUBS and TUBS of yarn, fabric, wool for rug hooking, wool flats, quilting projects etc, etc, etc.  STUFF, just too much stuff. 

What I envision for this room is one sewing machine set up [my high end sewing/embroidery], two knitting machines [4.5mm Studio 940 and 6.5mm  Singer 150 plastic bed], a small work table for cutting and stuff, two rolling chairs and a wall of storage.   I have a wonderful faux antique cabinet that my father-in-law made for me years ago, it holds all of the books, patterns, directions and punch cards and is at the sitting room end of the porch. 

So, what to do with the fifteen tubs, the one milk crate of quilting books, and two crates of machine knitting magazines that are taking up valuable floor space and causing havoc with my plans?  Do you detect a mental health problem here?  Leave us not forget about the ‘collection’ of knitting machines that lives under the grandkidz bunk beds upstairs.  YIKES!  My husband is a saint. 

We, himself and I, occasionally have heated short discussions about his workshop, the many, many pieces of wood he keeps, the many table saws, chop saws, hand saws, screws, nuts and bolts.  It usually ends in a draw……………..

Happy World Wide Knit In Public Day [6/13]

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

That kind of a day

My post this morning on Twitter “cool, rain, dark, glum - coffee, yarn, chair, fire - what more could one ask?”

Apparently my friends in CT got some nasty weather.  We just got the aforementioned.   Although sitting in front of the fire seemed to be a logical thing for a day like today, it was not to be.

Out Tolland Ladies Aid meeting is on Thursday afternoon and evening and we are to make hydrotufa pots.  My brainy idea.  It’s been nothing but Trouble, with a capital T.  I won’t even try to get into the ways and whyfors, but today himself and I had to get our lazy selves down the hill to the lumber yard to pick up a sack of portland cement.  We took three semi-large bins with us and the nice kid in the ‘yard’ split the bag into three manageable parts for me.  Who knew that a sack of portland cement weights in at 96#?

Now, when you live where we do, you don’t go off the mountain without more than one purpose.   Guess where I went?

The one of the last times I was at Webs I bought some yarn to make a bunny egg cozy from Little Cotton Rabbits  Well, I bought the wrong yarn so needed to take care of that problem.  Then when I went for the tent sale some sock yarn jumped into my basket.  The price was mismarked in the computer and I had needed to go up there to get my credit.

While I was there I thought it would be a good idea to make good use of the spent mileage/gas money and get ready for another project.  I’ve been looking at lace.  Yes, lace.  Not for me particularly, but I think I can find someone who will be pleased to have a lace shawl or such knitted for her.  I knew that I could easily get the yarn and project sheet back into the car without being caught as I had the bag I went into the store with.  Sneaky eh? [notice my Canadian accent!]

I bought two patterns, both by Evelyn Clark for Fiber Trends.  One, Field of Flowers, a square shawl or throw.  The other, Estonian Garden, a scarf or wrap.  I also purchased three skeins of Misti Alpaca lace weight in Blue Mist.  This yarn is one of Steve’s warehouse sale items.  It is oh so soft and I am looking forward to getting it on my needles.  I would encourage you to take a long hard look at it and think about adding some to your stash right away.



Fiber Trends S-2004 Field of Flowers


Fiber Trends S-2009 Estonian Garden

On the way back down through Springfield we thought we should stop at the liquor warehouse store and stock up some more, just in case the threatened liquor, wine, and beer tax becomes a reality soon.  Ever had Yukon Jack?  It was billed as the Black Sheep of Canadian Whisky.  In the US it’s 100 proof, a honey laced whisky. 

When we got home I heated up my rice bag, put some Jack over ice and had a bit of a nap.  Fire is still going, supper is now done and I am heading back to the chair by the fire with another cuppa and my knitting.

Friday, June 05, 2009

I won’t let it beat me

Sorry for the double post just now.  I think anyway.  I’ve still got a lot to learn about Blogger and Windows Live Writer and getting photos into my blog. 

Show off my Garden, why not?

It seems that everyone is showing off their gardens these days. I’m real proud of mine, so will jump on that bandwagon.

We live in the rocky Berkshire foothills. Our cash crop is often called Tolland potatoes, a/k/a rocks. I’ve amended my gardens with so much tree chipping mulch that our son in law won’t visit any more if he thinks I’ve gotten my hands on another truck load.

The trick to gardens, or so I was told by a lady whose flowers were spectacular, is Chicken Gicken from the Otis Poultry Farm Store. I’m not really sure how to spell that, but can stand behind the product. It takes a year or two to work, but when it does, watch out.

A photographer I am not – here is what’s blooming today.

I just love Columbine for the way it self-seeds. I’m surprised that some that I would have thought were hybreds have seeded pretty true.

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These wild Geraniums are another prolific seeder. They also spread wonderfully.

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Of course, there is always the weed that wants to add to the color


These yellow Iris are yet another from my mom’s gardens


Our grandchildren just love the song from the Fifties, Rockin Robin. When I found this along the wayside I just had to have one for the garden. They seem to like the barren roadside better then my chicken shit laced rotted tree mulch.


Some more Iris, a Clemetis that I though was a goner, and even a couple of plants that I cannot remember the name of, imagine that.

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If getting our soil up to snuff for flowers is a trick, finding enough sun for vegetables is a real problem. I’ve tried several different ideas over the years and failed each year. I decided that this year I would not fail, and it looks like I’m right [so far anyway]. I have four tomato plants in pots, lettuce plants, musclun lettuce, basil, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, dill and cilantro all growing happily in pots on our front walkway. That seems to be the only place where there is consistent sun. We can thank the winter ice storm for some of that sun………. I’ve also got a few tomato plants planted in the ground not far away where they seem to get enough sun to be happy

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Notice all of the walls built out of Tolland potatoes……

We’ve already had fresh lettuce salad a couple of times and it’s been heavenly.