Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I had decided not to post on my blog this evening.  I thought I had nothing to say that would interest anyone.  I was comfortable with my decision and off I went to play Spider Solitaire. 

BUT, then something happened.  As I was playing with a blank mind, I had a strange feeling.  A feeling of being someplace in the southwest.  A feeling of peace, tranquility, happiness.  What the heck???

I actually felt the way I did last winter as we toured  Amboy Crater, 

Death Valley, Joshua Tree and Anza Borrego.  What can I say, I was "outta here".  
 Joshua Tree
On our way to Death Valley and a Ghost Town....John Manson style. 

Our home on wheels with Oliver in the window, but almost hidden by the reflection of the sun.

Traveling and living in our motor home this winter, for the first time, was such a neat experience.  It was liberating, refreshing, it was a joy!  

The beauty of the southwest is amazing.  It lingers in my mind and surfaces at least once a day.  But tonight, I felt like I was there in the midst of it all.  What joy!  

Tonight, Al of the Bayfield Bunch wrote of being at the half-way point to their winter travels.  This writing must be what clicked my brain into winter drive and revived the good feelings from last winter.  I think I am as eager as he is to be "outta here".  But we must wait a bit longer.  

We will have Thanksgiving with the family here, hopefully celebrate Christmas a bit early with our Indianapolis family, then set out to be in California with our other daughter.  We have not had Christmas with her in at least twelve years.  It's her turn this year, don't you think?  

I digress....what, if not Al, made me have those feelings?  I keep asking myself.  Probably a combination of things.  

I've mentioned that we plan to put our little farm up for sale.  You know that we have installed cherry hardwood floors.  

Now we have started up-grading our kitchen.  We purchased a French door refrigerator with double freezer drawers on the bottom.  Tonight, we found the dishwasher to go with the stainless steel frig.  The only other things we need to take care of are the counter tops and the new stove/oven. 

Couple that with walls painted, then we will be able to list the house for sale!  How exciting.  AND  the housing market here is not in a slump.  Places in our price range seem to be moving quickly.  Hopefully, it will not take long to sell...............But,.............. oh my gosh!  Then the eliminating begins....

OK,  I have totally frightened myself to death!  I am not going to think about it any more!  I will never get to sleep tonight.  It is already one a.m.

Actually, I have been going through the process of getting rid of "stuff".  I have some empty drawers to show for my work.  

BUT, then there is John....I eliminate, and he removes the "stuff" from the trash to a barn for a garage sale!  So the "stuff" is only moved from one place to another!  We still have to get rid of it~!   

Help!  I think I'm loosing my mind!  I have no clue when we will have time for a garage sale.  My art shows and fiber festivals start with a vengeance in about five weeks.  We will be on the road then till mid November. Then comes Thanksgiving and I've already shared our plans for Thanksgiving and after. Then comes December pre-Christmas shows. 

My thought......  use Craig's List to sell of  some of the stuff.  Call antique dealer to appraise and buy said antiques.  Make numerous trips to homeless shelters with donations.  That would be my choice.  

I choose not to use Goodwill very much.  They charge for their goods and the needy people of the inner city, the homeless, etc have a greater need.  I shop at Goodwill!  I buy silk garments to use in my felting pieces.  It is a cycle....a good cycle. 

Goodwill is good.  It serves a purpose in helping physically and mentally challenged people by providing them with a job.  But we also have seen what donations to the small, homeless shelters, food banks, etc can do for people. 

Hum, I thought I didn't have anything to say tonight.  That changed, didn't it!  Now, I'm off to bed so I can dream of Craig's List, homeless shelters, Goodwill, garage sales, painting, oh my...I'd better get some rest so I will be ready to felt tomorrow!  Nite all!

God Bless!  

Sunday, July 24, 2011


What a weekend!  First the hacker, then finding problems with my circular machine.  The circular sock machine is on it's way to Minnesota to have an expert repair it.  Actually, it is not the machine, but the ribber attachment.  When it gets back, it is going to  be better than new. 

Lesson learned:  do not buy a circular sock machine from someone that you do not know and trust.  I did not know the seller, but I trusted him as he was a vendor at shows where I participate.  There are many good vendors of sock machines.  If you are ever wanting to purchase one, contact me or Karen In the Woods for some names. 

As we were leaving Kickapoo State Recreation Area near Danville, Illinois two youngish deer came to the dump station to tell us good by.   This little guy is sprouting fuzzy antlers.  His little girl friend is hiding behind the tree on the right. 

They had been much closer to us, like right next to the motor home, but when I went to snap the photo, I got the "no card" message on the view finder.  I had to come to the computer, remove the card and insert it into the camera.  By that time, they had moseyed on to the back by the trees.  Geesh, when will I learn? 

In this photo, you can see the wee little antlers. 

These guys were so quiet and peaceful.  Quite comfortable being right next to the motor home.  Of course, we sat very quietly while watching them. 

These guys were the best thing about the campground.  It is not on my list of favorites.  Just camping sites market out under trees, nothing special.  Now, If we had been boondocking there with no neighbors, it might have been better.

I have really been a fan of boon docking, as I have said before.  Boondocking or as my daughter from California says, "dry docking:"  I did read someplace that both words have their place.  I read that boondocking is out in the "boonies", in the middle of nowhere.  Dry docking, the article said is like making an overnight stop at Wal Mart where there are no hook ups for water and electricity.  Ahhh, the mystery is solved.

I'd love to be in California next week end.  Jojo, my daughter is going to Gilroy, California for the Garlic Festival  I love food with garlic.  I love roasted garlic on crackers!  I love garlic bread!  I love pasta with garlic and basil!  OK Nan, you can stop now.  

We are about twenty minutes from home, but ten minutes from our favorite Mexican restaurant.  Now can you guess where we are going?  It is after five o'clock and I have not had anything to eat since breakfast.  The wait is worth it. 

All in all, this has been a good weekend.  I trust that you have had a good one too.

God Bless! 

Friday, July 22, 2011


Here we are at the Kickapoo State Park and Recreation Area.  It is time to go to bed and all is quiet.  All we can hear is  the night sounds.  The night creatures communicating with one another creating their own kind of music.  I love it.  So peaceful.  he last time I heard these sounds was over thirty years ago when we would go tent camping with our family. 

This was written last night.  Then I received a telephone call.  Someone hacked into my email and sent a message to everyone in my address book asking for money to be sent to me in Spain.  

I am in Danville, Illinois, not Spain.  I do not need $2500 for an emergency.  And to top it off, they changed my password and my mother's place of birth and I cannot access my email to send an apology to all.  Frustrating.  My hands are tied.  

I am trying to communicate with MSN to get this straightened out.  Not much luck so far.  Frustrating.

I am in Danville, Illinois at the circular sock machine  conference trying to learn new patterns and methods and it is hard to keep my mind on my classes.  

I am going to take a lace knitting class tomorrow and am really looking forward to it.  I am finding that there are so many more things that one can do with their circular sock machines.  

There are attendees here from Maryland to California, from Georgia to Canada.  What a great group with so many ideas and so many tools for the sock (an more) knitter.

I have not been able to enjoy the campgrounds as much as I would like, but John, Oliver and Noah must be having a ball.  They are sleeping as I write this!

Speaking of sleep............ I think I will copy them as classes and meetings start at the late hour of seven thirty!  This turns into twelve to fourteen hours days of learning and cranking!  I guess you might say that I'm cranky?????

Good night to all... God Bless! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


WeatherBug says that it is seventy-nine degrees now (ten past eleven p.m.).  The Bug said our high was ninety-six.  Our thermometer read ninety-eight here.  They said that it felt like a hundred something.  Now, we think that is hot enough to complain, don't we?

I though so when I went to the bank to make a deposit.  The teller greeted me with a smile and asked how I was.  My reply was HOT! 

Then she told me a story and I will share it with you all.  This time last year it was hot like today.  The teller' grown son come to visit her and her husband.  They were talking and she said that they were complaining about the heat - just like I was today. 

Their son said "Mom and Dad, if you think this is hot, you don't really know what hot is."  They gave a quizzical look first at each other and then at their son.  He went on to say "When I was in Iraq, today's temperature was a mild day.  Our hot days were one hundred twenty five degrees and we had to wear full flack gear". 

The teller said they were so ashamed that they had complained about the heat and she vowed that never again would she complain about being hot.  I took that as a challenge, today and in honor of the men and women who are in Iraq, Afghanistan and other miserable climates, I will join my bank teller and not complain about the heat. 

Now, the rest of the story.  As we shopped and as sweat rolled down my back just walking into an air conditioned Menards, Home Depot, Target and our favorite Mexican restaurant, I had to fight with myself not to talk about the heat.  I had to remember that in Iraq and Afghanistan there are patrols in the heat, being shot at, not shopping in air conditioning or eating in air conditioning. 

Wow, what a wake up call it was for me today...  Let's never forget the people that struggle in 125 degree heat in full flack gear, on patrol, putting their lives on the line for us here at home.  Whether or not we agree with the war, they are there for us.  Let's thank God for them and ask HIM to bless them...

And I ask God to Bless you tonight and always....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Do you remember that movie?  I felt like I was in that movie today.

When I am working on a felting project and am unable to finish the lay out in one day, I make sure it is covered.  Our cat, Noah, loves fiber and loves to sleep in it.  He roots around and makes himself a nice comfy bed.  

Today, I went to the studio all set to work on the large rug project and what did I find as I uncovered it?  That darned cat had gone out during the night, slid under the protective cover and made himself a custom bed. 

I was flabbergasted, frustrated, angry (see that word Al?) I could have spit cotton or cried..whichever would come first.   Instead, I yelled at John......"come look at this!  See what YOUR cat has done????"  (it's really our cat, and I knew it.....just wanted John to feel bad).  

That darned cat!

I set out to fix it.  I wanted to shut the door to the studio and never return....I wanted to trash the entire project, but I didn't.  I took a deep breath, pulled off the messed-up parts, sat down and collected my thoughts and tried to start anew.  I had about three attempts before I could find the flow again.  It was so hard to get the "feel" of what I have done and to continue, but I tried.  I was determined that this was not going to defeat me.  

And it was hot.  So Hot!  It was eighty some degrees - even with the air conditioning being blown in from the house by a fan.  Not fun,  not creative...yuck.  

Finally, I fixed one mountain (hill) that Noah wrecked leaving the other to work on tomorrow.  I removed all the tree trunks that he had relocated, collected the stream and collection pool that he had sunk, and picked at the sky that he had scattered.  

The sky is fixed, tree trunks are in the trash, the stream has been semi-repaired  The rest of the "fix" will have to come tomorrow or after we return from C O W S.  I think I'm going to need that break.

Tonight, the door between the studio and the house is closed.  It will be hotter in the studio tomorrow because of the closed door, but the project will be in one piece.  

The heat here, as all over the mid-west is terrible.  Tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter.  This makes me want to get out on the road and into the campgrounds.  It is not going to be cooler there, but it will give the false feeling of coolness being in the woods.  

My prayers are with those that have no air conditioning, the elderly, the infirm, the homeless...what stress this heat places on the body. 

An update on the silkworms.....half of them are free of their cocoons.  They are mating and hopefully we will have silkworm eggs soon.  

For tonight, I just ask that God Blesses each one of you, wherever you are.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Living With Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning disorder.  Plain and simple.  It follows me all my life.  I am a self diagnosed dyslexic (is that a word?).  I was able to put a name on my "problem" when I started teaching first grade and had a student that was making some of the same mistakes I had been making since I was in first grade.    

I described the "problem" that the student was having to another teacher and said that I wanted to have my student tested in order to have a diagnosis and to be able to help her succeed. The results came back .... dyslexia.  I then learned how to help her and in turn, without realizing it, I was helping myself. 

Then I had a family.  I became a stay at home mom.  Then my girls began entering school. L and behold, one of my girls was showing the same symptoms at home.  I asked the teacher to have her tested and she accused me of being a "hovering mother".  She said testing was unnecessary.  

I insisted, I spoke with the principal and finally, the teacher had to give in.   My daughter was tested and diagnosed with dyslexia.  The reason for sharing all this?  It's in the genes!  

Life with dyslexia is different with each individual.  I transpose numbers.  I worked part time in a bank and proofed checks.  My total of the pile of checks HAD to equal the total the teller put with the checks at the end of her day.  Time after time I did not balance.  

How embarrassing!   

My supervisor was so patient.  I tried to slow down entering the amounts, I tried to say the numbers out loud as I was entering them, etc, etc, nothing worked. I felt like a total failure.  

The super kind supervisor asked me if I wanted to transfer to a different department.  I quickly responded Y. E. S.!!!!  And off I went to the bond department.  I did not enjoy it there.

I talked to John and we decided that I needed to return to college to pursue a degree in elementary education.

Guess what class I had the hardest time with..... Of course it was  math....geesh, was this ever going to end???  (not in my lifetime, I have now discovered).

This made me a quiet, insecure person inside who tried to compensate by pushing myself to be outgoing.  I still fight this to this day.  

Dyslexia has a firm grip on me in other ways.  The most annoying is that when I am talking I am thinking about what I am saying and often times the totally opposite word comes out of my mouth.  

John tells me that I will sometimes say a sentence in reverse!  Oh, that leads me to want to talk alot!  NOT!

Of course there is the right, left thing, but it seems a lot of people do that, so no biggie.  But to say things the opposite I really mean to?  How rediculous!  

The dyslexia seems to be getting worse as I age....Hum.  It is the root of some disagreements that John and I have.  Like John: "you said so and so".... Nan: "I did not!",   John:  "oh, yes you did!"  I think you get the picture.  

But I persevere.  I write this blog.  I check it, but when proofing my own (I just typed won for own and caught it) writing, I am sure I have put some doozys out there.  Oh well, I hope you all can figure it out.  

Here is some detailed information.  They speak of children here, but it can be applied to adults, as well.  

"Suspect a language-learning disability if your child has difficulty in several of these areas over time:

  • Learning numbers or the alphabet
  • Rhyming words
  • Remembering colors

  • Sounding out words
  • Persistent reading or spelling errors
  • Reversing numbers or letters
  • Remembering facts (including math facts)
  • Misunderstanding arithmetic signs
Middle School

  • Reading comprehension
  • Written expression or spelling
  • Understanding word problems
  • Organizing, planning or managing time
  • Completing or handing in assignments
  • Concentrating or paying attention
High School

  • Reading fluency and comprehension
  • Organizing and expanding ideas in written expression
  • Remembering and retrieving detailed information
  • Comprehending more complex information


Dyslexia is frequently accompanied by significant strengths in reasoning and problem-solving skills, as well as visual-spatial and motor skills necessary to excel in the fine arts, performing arts and athletics, engineering and science."

Ah, ha!  There are good things about being dyslexic!  I am an artist, an organizer, I have good problem-solving skills.  

My daughter was / is a super athlete, has great problem-solving skills  (she's a shrink with her own practice).  She is a gifted photographer!

So, living with dyslexia can be a pain in the tush, but it has gifted me with my artistic abilities,  it makes me thing of solutions to problems when John believes "all is lost and hopeless".  

Would I trade it to be a "normal person?" Heck no!  I like the way God created me.  He created me for a purpose.  He created me to find a struggling first grader and to help my precious daughter.  

If you don't like something about yourself, my suggestion is look at the bright side!  There is good in all situations.  And with that, I sign off telling you 

God Bless you today!  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Silkworms Are Emerging from the Cocoons

I have no clue what Blogger is doing, or if I have made an error.  Please excuse the hard to read white background.....maybe tomorrow will be a better view....N

First, I want to welcome fellow bloggers The Bayfield Bunch, Al and Kelly
Because of Al's writing and photos, I feel like I know him.  He writes a terrific blog.  Be sure to stop by and read his posts.  It's worth your time.  

Second, I welcome Pam to blog land.  She and her husband Donn are starting a new farm in southern Indiana.  If she doesn't have a blog, she needs to write one about establishing a new farm, building fences, strange neighbors and her animals.  Go for it , Pam.   

Third, I'd like to welcome all readers.  If you would like, click on the follow button and become a regular follower.  I have a way to go to catch up with The Bayfield Bunch!  He has been blogging, I believe, since 2007.  .  

Now, to the Silkworms!   

I have been keeping the cocoons in egg cartons.  One cocoon per egg space.  I have no idea why I went over to look at the cocoons, but voila there was a hole in one cocoon!  Oops!  I was not expecting them to emerge so soon!  Where is the moth?    I found it on the underside of the egg carton and there was another cocoon from which the moth had emerged. Ah ha... a third has joined the other two.   I found it on the lid of the second egg carton.  They are a bit early!  Maybe it is the hot days?  Maybe my mental calendar?  Who knows! (Only the Shadow Knows, hahaha)

The last of the stubborn silkworms spun their cocoon just last week.  I guess we will have guests with us on our trip to Danville, Illinois next week.  Thank goodness these critters do not have the ability to fly. 

While inside the cocoon, the silkworm sheds its skin and becomes a pupa as shown below.  Inside the brown pupa shell, it slowly changes into a moth.  This process takes three weeks.( or a bit less time). Yep a bit less.

pupa2.gif (5458 bytes)
The moths usually emerge at dawn. The adult moth has a special spit which is used to dissolve the silk so it can push its way out of the cocoon. Silkworm farmers kill the moths before they emerge and make holes in the silk thread. When they emerge, the wings are crumpled, but they get pumped full of fluid and harden it about an hour. 

Moths cannot fly, and neither eat nor drink. They mate, lay eggs, and then die within five days. After the moths emerge from the cocoon, they look for an opposite-sex moth to mate with. Females are significantly larger than males. Females periodically extrude a scent gland through the hole in their abdomen. Males have a flap of skin at the end of their abdomen and flutter their wings a lot.  Each moth will "urinate" a reddish-brown fluid shortly after emerging from the cocoon.   It dries to look like blood.
laymate.gif (41060 bytes)

The moths stay mated for about a day. At the top of the picture, notice how much larger the female is. So far, we have two female silkworms and one male, I think. The third moth's wings are not fully extended, but the body looks smaller.  

After separation, the female lays eggs and the male looks for another female. Sometimes another male grabs the female before she can lay eggs. Each female will lay between 200 - 500 golden yellow eggs!  

When first laid, all eggs are lemon-yellow. After three days, they will turn white if they are infertile, or turn black if they are fertile. Fertile eggs might hatch in about two weeks after being laid in the middle of the summer, but they usually won't hatch unless subjected to "winter" in your refrigerator for at least several weeks. Wait until the eggs turn black before putting them in the Zip Lock bag in the refrigerator. Once you take eggs out of the fridge, they will hatch in 7-20 days, or maybe not at all. Direct sunlight in the morning for a few hours hastens hatching.   Eggs will remain viable in the refrigerator for about five years, but I don't think they will be in our refrigerator.  I'm not up to that yet, Zip Lock or not. 

It is interesting to note that 40,000 silkworm eggs (once ounce or 28 grams) will hatch into worms which will eat 6,500 kilograms (3,500 pounds) of mulberry leaves, and will spin cocoons which will produce 8 kilograms (18 pounds) of silk thread. It takes 1700 to 2000 cocoons to make one silk dress!

I plan to use the silk from the cocoons to spin and to use in my wet felting.  It will be harder to spin since I decided to let them complete the full cycle. The moths will create an opening or "doorway" in the cocoon and exit.  Most people that want to spin the silk will boil the cocoons, killing the larva, so there is no opening and the silk threads are in one continuous thread. 

Since this is my first experience, I have chosen to enjoy the full cycle then use the cocoons however it is possible.    

 See you all tomorrow.... God Bless

Saturday, July 16, 2011

CAUTION: Work in Progress

After spending a huge portion of the long night coughing, I haven't been the least bit energetic.  Work on the  rug layout that I will be felting, hopefully Monday has been almost nil.  For me, this is the time in the project that is either a make or break for a project.  I have been out to the studio, added a touch here, taken away something there, blended a color here, added color there.  For me, this is what takes my project from "that's good" to "wow!"  I am not yet to wow. 

I do have to admit that my wow is not always John's wow.  And often John will say "stop, that's perfect" and I an driven to do a tad more.  My artist daughter always says a good artist knows when to stop.  I usually know when it is time. For me, it is like having a meat thermometer in a roast. It's done when it's done.

I have been asked to explain the process of "painting" a picture with fiber.  Here is a bit of explanation of what I do.  

  Here, I am creating a blank canvas of sheep's wool in the form of  batts.  I then add a second layer from the batts in the lower left corner.

That is the easy part. 

Next I begin to lay color to begin the painting.  As I said before, this is going to be a primitive looking piece. 

This is going to take a lot of shading and I believe the water pool needs to be larger.  The "mountains" are not showing up in the colors I have here. All of this is fiber that I have dyed and processed.  When it is completed, I will share the finished product. 

Earlier in the week I worked on some felted clothing.  I wanted to try to make a shrug.  It turned out quite nicely. 

This process is called nuno felting.  Nuno felting is when you lay your fibers on fabric.  I used silk chiffon in this project.  Whenever a piece is being made, shrinkage must be taken in consideration.  Here you will see that I have laid the silk out and am applying a very thin fiber.  This shrug will be very thin and drapey. 

Here you wee the fiber laid out on the silk gauze.  This is a completed project minus the closure.  When I get the closure applied, I will also show you this finished project. 

Having projects to finish is the bane of my artwork!  I have three hats, the shrug and the rug to finish.  Next week will be my UFO week.  (Un Finished Objects week).  I have only Monday through Wednesday to finish everything since we will be leaving for COWS Thursday.

OH, yesterday I said that I could not remember what COWS stood for.  Here it is - I sure hope I remember this correctly......Let's try Creators Of Wonderful Socks. 

Regardless............this time next week we will be motorhoming!  Whoopee!

That's all save everyone and God Bless!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fab Friday!

Now, the day has yet to get into full swing, but I am thinking positive!  Thanks to Big Bad John, I now have a cough to beat all coughs.  At first, I thought it was my allergies as the first symptoms came immediately after mowing, but this has lasted for almost a week.  It is wearing me out, but is much worse for John with his existing breathing issues.  Right now, he's out picking up a prescription, that his lung specialist has ordered, along with cough medicine with codeine.  Needless to say, this is going to put a stall to finishing his installation of our Ultra Allure flooring in the motorhome.  That's the way it goes, sometimes....

I started a H. U. G. E.  felting project.  I am making a rug.  Right now, the lay out is six feet square and the fleece is seven inches high.  When finished, the rug will be much smaller and thinner as the felting process shrinks as it felts.  The fiber scales open up, lock together and the air between the fibers is pushed out.

The scene on the rug will be a primitive view of hills with trees.  Very minimal looking.  This will go the the St James Court Art Show in Louisville, Kentucky the first week end in October. 
The St. James Court Fountain at night

Finding a spot for the motorhome is difficult in Louisville!  We had to pay fifty dollars a night for a hook up at the Kentucky Expo Center for water and electricity!  I hope we can find a less expensive place this year, but I'm not holding my breath. 

I just received a telephone call and  have been admitted to Ribber Rendezvous and Fancy Stitches Too the Danville, Illinois COWS Crank in.  There will be no livestock there though.  For the life of me, I cannot remember what C O W S stands for, but it is a gathering of circular sock machine crankers. 
This does not mean that I will be cranky though, I promise!  This is a photo of the kind of sock machine that I have.

Another reason to be happy about attending COWS is that we will be out in the motorhome at the Kickapoo State Park in Danville.  We have never been there and are looking forward to presenting you with a positive report.

This brings the thoughts of boondocking.  We absolutely love boondocking!  We love the privacy, the quiet, the scenery when boondocking.  There are no neighbors "next door" or next door is a half mile away!  The solitude speaks to our souls and quiets our hearts.  Many people have called it cheap docking.  The fact that we pay nothing when we boondock is only one small factor.  Yes, it's nice to choose to spend our money in other ways, but the reasons I have previously stated are the best.  Boondocking is not for everyone.  Some could not do without their electricity, their television,  people to talk to, etc.  Different strokes.

Well, I must get to the rug.  I hear it calling to me from the studio.  If I am lucky, I will start the felting process today.  With the hot, hot weather returning tomorrow, I prefer to have most of this done as the air conditioning  is not the best in the studio.

Until later............. God Bless

Monday, July 11, 2011

Trying Tuesday

First, I want to welcome new followers, and John and Ellen to our web site.  We are so happy to have you on board.  John and Ellen, I cannot locate your blog.  If you want, would you please send me your blog address?  Thanks...

Geez, If I thought Saturday was hot, I underestimated what the weather was to do.  The ultra sultry Temperatures are here in full blast.  Walking outdoors is like opening an over and stepping inside.  At one time today, the "feels like temperature" was 117 degrees.  I wonder if we could fry an egg on our drive?  Maybe if it were asphalt instead of our concrete.

Today was a day of errands.  We took the Miata and had the top down with the air conditioning blasting away.  You know, we must (hehe) get our daily dose of vitamin D.  The top down with a.c. on scenario worked just fine.

One of our errands was to purchase food for Noah our cat.  I can't believe it, but the price is up to just under fifty dollars for a fourteen pound bag!  Did you see what I wrote????  FIFTY DOLLARS FOR FOURTEEN POUNDS!.............  OF CAT FOOD!  That comes to $3.57 a pound!  We have got to find a better way to purchase the cat food.  Noah need low ash because the poor boy gets kidney stones on regular cat food.  Bummer.  And he is a big eater....this big boy weighs twenty pounds!

We are waiting for the temperatures to come down.  The floor in the motor home is prepped and ready for installation of the New Allure Floor Covering.  I'm so eager to see it down.  I don't want to pressure John to do it since he does have the breathing issues.  I'm just ready for a blast of wind from Canada to push this air from the Gulf of Mexico back south, where it belongs.

We did extend the motor home's awning, allowing it to dry out from the rains we have had.  It was a real chore though.  The strap that we hook into became entangled in the awning.  John had to get on top of the  motor home and manually unroll a little and feel around for the strap.  After about four unsuccessful tries,  he went to the front end of the awning and pushed on the support that rests against the motorhome.  I know, the instructions say that is a no - no, but he was extremely careful and the awning unlatched and gently came away from the motorhome just enough that I could go to the other end and coax it open from there to lessen the bind.  Voila, the awning rolled opened as if we had written a script.

I found that missing strap.  I tend to believe that the last time John raised the awning to storage position, he did not have a firm hand on the strap.  It was wrinkled as if it had retracted in wads.  From now on, we will do the awning together, work slowly and holding on to that strap with all our might.  I might even put an extension on it just for extra insurance.

One of the blogs that I read had something very interesting.  It is a web site that calculated miles per gallon for you.  Now, I know, I could do this myself, but why bother now that I have found this site.  We are going to go back to the beginning of our time with the motorhome and calculate all the mileage.

I did read that fifty-five miles per hour is the best speed for the greatest gas mileage.  Is that what you have found?  Last winter, it was my understanding that the ultimate speed was sixty to sixty five miles per hour.  We will try anything to increase our MPG!  Here is the link for the website

Speaking of gas, what happened to the gas prices.....again.  For about three days, the prices fell rapidly.  I filled the Miata for $3.17 / gal....then ran home and had John go fill the motorhome!  As he was filling it, the gas rose thirty cents a gallon.  Whew, he just made it under the wire!  That is a hefty savings for a seventy five gallon tank.

Wow, it is seven o'clock and the temperature is down to a whoppin ninety three degrees.  I'm off, to do what, not sure right now... till next time ` ~ God Bless!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sizzling Saturday

All I can say is hot, hot, hot.  The high was supposed to reach eighty-eight degrees today and it is now eighty-nine.  It is not the hottest part of the day yet.  We will see. 

Our day started with an eight a.m. drive to our local farmer's market.  Corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, early potatoes and Indiana cantaloupe were all there for the choosing!  And choose we did!  There were also two producers of meat, beef and lamb.  Yum!  It is good that we arrived early.  The corn was reduced by at least fifty percent as we stood in line to pay.  Everyone is really happy to see our Indiana grown produce!
Our next stop was good ole Sam's to pick up a few things.  We were home by ten.  Then into the yard for John and the studio for me.  I am anxiously trying out a new procedure and we will see if it works.

Stay tuned....bye for now and God Bless...


Friday, July 8, 2011

Fabulous Friday!

What a day!  We had one of the best days that I can remember.  We were supposed to continue our work from yesterday.  Me in the studio and John in the flower beds, pulling weeds, etc. 

Sorry, I could not face one more day being at home.  Heat and humidity or not heat an humidity, I / we just had to get out and spread our wings.  I do not handle heat and humidity well since I had heat stroke about seven years ago.  John, with his emphysema does not handle the heat and humidity well either.  But today, we both agreed over morning coffee / tea for me that we needed to get out of here for a while. 

So off we went!  Yeah!!!!!!  Our first stop was Trader Joe's for our favorite supplies.....  Their vanilla bean yogurt, stevia, two buck Chuck, coffee, almond butter, delicious breads etc.....  Oh what fun!

But first, we stopped at a restaurant that  was Thai!  Now, the first time I was there,  a gentleman that was about 65 or 70 helped me select my lunch.  The last three thimes we have been there, I have had to choose my own from the menu.  Ohhhhh what a mistake!  HOT, HOT, HOT.....Now today's was not as hot as the last two times, but still, not as pleasant as I wished. 

Now, I do like spicy, hot foods, but come on! 

From there, we went to Whole foods to get some of the specialties that we like from there.  Why can't they be closer together, or carry the same things so we don't have to make two stops????  Who knows....I don't.

But then, ohhhh, the next stop was the best stop of the day.  We stopped by our youngest daughter's and we were able to see grandchildren, Lucy age 5 going on 15 and Ross 3 going on 4.  Oh, my goodness, the look in Ross' eyes when he saw us.  It could melt your heart.  It sure did mine.  That red hair and those blue eyes....what is a Nana to say?    He melts my heart every time I see him. 

Then there is Lucy.  Lucy has such a tender spirit. Her enthusiasm, her sweet gentle spirit.  She reminds me of the loving spirit of Christ.  Again, my heart melts into a puddle. 

After  leaving the grandkids, we head for home.  It has been a great day.  We are a bit sunburned from riding with the top down, but we are totally refreshed and ready for whatever tomorrow brings.

An end to a perfect day.... God Bless

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday's Thrums

Just a week ago most people were preparing for Canada Day or Independence Day celebrations.  This week we get the left overs and to catch up on what was postponed from last week.

In my stroll about the place yesterday, I found this curious fungus.  It almost looks like a fritter from the bakery!

 Can you tell I'm writing this while being hungry? sigh

As I inched my way back to the house, I stopped at the ponds and found these Lizard's Tails blooming.  They are such a graceful looking flower. They look like they are dancing.... Now so far, I've only seen white, right? 

I continue to meander toward the house.  I'm dreading cleaning the studio, so I'm taking my good ole sweet time.  Can ya tell? The next thing that catches my eye is this...

 I love this color combination.  I'd love to felt a wrap with all these colors.  Hummm, do I hear the dye pot calling?  Yep, I hear it!   Stay tuned for what 's to come.

Then, just around the corner I come to see these.

Such a contrast in daintiness, don't you think?

Now where would I love to be?  Shall we say just out of Santa Barbara? 

But where am I going?   .......... Back to the studio!  I will also enjoy my time there trying out a new felting idea that I have and dyeing. 

You all have a super day!  God Bless! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blasted Befuddling Blog

 A quick note.  I've been working on our blog this morning and am having a befuddling time.  For some reason the header photo is not centering and I'm supposed to have a double column on the right.   NOT  

This blog ranks right up there with learning to knit, to spin yarn and to use the antique circular sock machine.  But, I shall prevail!  If any of you out there have any suggestions, leave a comment, please!   In the meantime, I'm going to my studio to felt and dye.  I will do my real blogging this evening. 

Darndest Dreams, Stubborn Silkworms, Growing Grass and Rude Renters

How many of you have dreams?  Do you dream every night?  Do you remember your dreams?  Can you get the dreams out of your mind? 

Not a night goes by that I do not dream.  Some are silly, but most are with me in some position of danger or overcoming an obstacle.  Some leave me with a feeling that I cannot shake during the day.  All are in color and often I awake in the middle of a sentence...actually talking.  Eeeeeegads....what's up? 

Last night's dream had me in a situation where I was "fixing" things....things as in a situation.  All I remember is that I needed to "fix"  something.  I remember that we were driving on a curvy road and came upon a deer that had been hit.  It was long enough that the deer wad in rigor and lying in the middle of the road with all four feet up in the air.  A motorhome full of travelers had hit it and was pulled to the side of the road.  No one was hurt or terribly upset.  They were just delayed by the incident and were fixing a meal....go figure! 

It's like this every night.  A problem, often coupled with a solution that I must work out..  I think we need to go on a trip, don't you?  If only the new floor was down.  Soon.....maybe soon, if the heat and humidity lets up. 

We are now down to the last silkworm!  One of the holdouts finally began spinning the cocoon today! 

We mowed and trimmed again this evening.  The orchard and the pond areas are now done.  The mosquitoes really tried to eat me alive, but I prevailed! 

The renter of the condo that we own skipped out on us. He left us with bags of  stuff.  I don't even want to touch the bags.  I have no idea what is in them, but we would like a "good fairy" to come take everything out of the condo.

I am sure that the hasty exit is due to my showing up and asking when he was going to pay the rent. He gave me a story about cashing in his 401K and would be sending the money right away.....NOT..... The next thing we know is that there is a message on our answering machine from a "friend" of his saying that he has moved out and has gone to Canada. 

Now we checked this person out.  We had a credit report run etc.  But we got a dud. 

What we would like is to have a good renter that would stay in the condo for years and years.  Any suggestions?  We are open to hear all.....

Despite that...all is good.  God is in control.  Have a great Wednesday....God Bless....

Monday, July 4, 2011

Stubborn Silkworms and Frantic Fireworks

We still have two silkworm holdouts.  The third decided to start his / her cocoon last night, but we have two who totally enjoy munching on the Mulberry leaves.  I have learned to not just bring leaves to them, but I retrieve branches with leaves and remain fresh for a longer time. 

Now that most of the silkworms have made their cocoons, the next event to be on the alert for is the appearance of the silkworm moth.  These moths have lost the ability to fly since they have lived in captivity for hundreds of say the scientists.  I just keep wondering if God created them without the ability of flight and the scientists are just assuming that they flew at one time. 

People take what scientists have to say as the truth.  I believe that in addition to science, there is another way than a "big bang", voila, all the species are here theory.  When I view the photos of fellow RVers and see the diversity and uniqueness of the birds, flowers, terrain etc., I know there is a Great Creator. 

Fireworks have been exploding for the past week.  Tomorrow night is the grand finale, thank goodness.  Oliver was fine when we took him with us to our local fireworks.  But here at home, he is quite apprehensive.  Tonight, as we watched a movie and the neighbors lit huge, bright, loud fireworks, Oliver sat under John's chair seeking security.  He would not even eat popcorn with us during the movie.  Poor thing.  I think that tomorrow night we should put him in the car or truck and just go somewhere so he will not feel threatened here at home. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Day of Challenges

Today's challenges have not been monumental.  They are just challenges.  But for some reason, they bug me today.  The heat, the air quality, the sock machine, the silk worms, the grass to cut, the weeds to pull, the motorhome floor to finish, the kitchen to finish as well as painting the house so we can sell it.  That's all. 

Today, the heat has been oppressive and the resulting air quality has made for a difficult day for John with his emphysema.  Working on the motorhome floor is impossible after about one o'clock in the afternoon.  He is so eager to get the flooring down and it is discouraging for him.  He pushes himself further than he should and this is a concern for me. 

The sock machine and I had a round today.  I am using a new / different yarn and am having a terrible time making all the adjustments.  I've knitted and ripped out more times than I can count!  As I have said before, this is a HUGE learning curve.  On the positive side though, I have found the perfect number of rows to fit my foot.  The first socks were too large for my feet, but the last pair.....just right.   What is so funny is that as I was ripping out a sock for the umteenth time, I was thinking that maybe I should get my spinning wheel and spin.  I had to laugh at myself.  When I was learning to spin, I would think that maybe I should just go felt something.  Nothing like wanting to take an easier road.  

The silkworms.....I have three very stubborn fellas.  They just don't want to stop eating those mulberry leaves and make their cocoons.  I have had cocoons for four days now, but these guys keep hanging on and eating.  I still can hear these three chewing on the mulberry leaves.  At first, as wee babes, they needed the youngest, most tender mulberry leaves.  Now they enjoy the large, mature leaves.  When I go out to cut more branches, I see those young, tender leaves and thing, ooooh they will like these.  I put the leaves in the silkworm container and what do these fellas want?  The old, hairy, tough leaves.  I guess my love of the spring mix for salads does not equate here.  I love the young and tender.

I am tempted to reduce the amount we are cutting.  With the price of gas, I feel it is a waste of money.  It takes a lot of gas to cut 5 acres every 3 or 4 days.  The grass is still growing at a speedy rate and with most of our grass being out of sight, why not? 

And the weeds.  I just wish everything were level and we could just cut it all down....The woes of summer and home / mini farm ownership. 

We did have a cool visitor today.  I really do not know what it is.  It looks a bit like a dragon fly, but I don't think it is.  "He" was resting on the side of our house and I saw him as I was sitting at the circular sock machine.  Maybe you will be able to tell me it's name. 

Dinner is ready, time to go.....God bless all tonight~!