Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yarn Along

Even with my finger out of commission I was able to do a little knitting. It wasn't even that hard to get acclimated to using nine fingers to knit with, although you don't really use them all at once. I was able to finish an owl while we were in NY. It is a tossing toy and Stomper enjoys making him "fly".

Rav notes HERE

Seems like if I'm not wasting time on the computer than I'm reading these days. I am working my way through a series by Anne McCaffrey that I read once before about psychic abilities and space. The second series I am reading is the Unwound series. The Unwound series is really fascinating, almost hard to read. It's built on the premise of retroactive abortion, what if you could "unwind" a person if they weren't "useful"? And, since my library doesn't have the series by Anne McCaffrey that I'm reading I've also started I Am Number Four I saw the movie, but I kept having this feeling that something was missing, so I will read the book to find out what they left out. I may also read the Hunger Games since the second movie is coming out and I want to reread the second book before I see the movie.

Linking up with Ginny today and you should too!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Mousers

This spring we said "Good-bye" to one of our mousers and indoor/outdoor kitty who we loved dearly. With grain, hay, trash, and other edible detritus around the barns and coops we find it necessary to have a few mousers around. 

We picked these two adorable specimens of viciousness at the local shelter. 

We have been smitten by kittens.

They are Rhea the White and Hinata the Hirsute

Saturday, July 27, 2013

NY Vacation




Our trip to NY was fantastic. We left Maine bright and early in the morning and by the time we hit Ben and Jerry's Factory in Vermont we were ready for a break. We had a nice stroll around their grounds and spent a little time on the playground, but of course the highlight was sharing Papa's favorite ice cream: Cherry Garcia.

We arrived in NY in time to steal a snack from the garden and set up the tent before a summer storm blew through. It was a good test of Jason's tarp job over the tent. The tent and tarp did great in the storm and so that night we slept in it.

The next day was a seventh birthday party for one of the cousin's that came up from Arizona and his Mom rented a giant slip n slide. Since my finger was still wrapped up in gauze (you can see it wrapped in the first photo of Stomper and I) I didn't get a chance to play on it, but Jason did. I think we may need to rent one for a party some day.

Friday we went to Lake Ontario. The wind was so persistent that most of the beach was closed and the waves were about as strong as they are in Maine. The Arizona cousins weren't too sure about the waves, but they warmed up to them. Stomper thought the waves were awesome. He has really surprised me this summer with his comfort level with water, he may be ready for swimming lessons this winter.

Friday afternoon while Stomper was napping at my aunts house (we were camping at the NY cousins) Jason went over to help out with a project. While he was there he noticed that the wind had shredded the tarp against the poles of the tent. A nasty thunderstorm was brewing and I asked that he drop the tent down to protect it from the wind and rain. We slept in the house and all night long I worried that the tent wouldn't survive the storm. Thankfully nothing awful happened to the tent other than getting soaked. 

Saturday we went to the Can-Am festival in Sacketts Harbor. Stomper enjoyed the parade right up to the person dressed in a costume. Jason got to have a good snuggle with the little guy while the rest of us enjoyed marching bands. One of the Arizona cousins (he's Stompers age) loves drumming. He is a really talented drummer (especially for being only 2!). He just stared and gawked at the musicians. 

I tried to make a conscious effort of taking pictures of the cousins, but I didn't do as well as I wanted. Out of the five cousins; Stomper interacted the most with the younger two and I forgot to take photos of the other kids. Next time I will do better. It is so much fun to get together with the cousins. In a perfect world we would live closer together and spend more time in each others company. Unfortunately that is not how the world works. In August the remaining NY cousins (my aunt and uncle will still be living in NY) will be moving to Atlanta, Georgia. Stomper will now have cousins in every part of the US (between Jason and my family) guess that means there will be more road trips in our future!

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Road Trip Review & Tips

Do you remember back in May how I was stressing about an upcoming road trip out to visit the NY cousins? Do you remember the list? I am happy to report that it didn't take us 12 hours! Stomper behaved admirable. I am so pleased with how he did.

I did make him a wipes toy with milk bottle caps and he greatly enjoyed flinging them around the car. He did not play with toys, cars, or books. He did like using the cookie sheet with stickers though and as a table to color on. I would do that again. I purchased a bunch of small planes and he had no interest in playing with them. My MIL purchased him a small strainer and some pipe cleaners and he played with it for about five minutes.

I also put a bunch of snacks in small snack bags in another wipes container and he really liked picking his own snack. He would take the container from me and say: "Hmm." while he pawed through the contents. Small boxes of raisins was his favorite and fruit chewy snacks.

The life saver was the DVD player. If we were going to make long trips a habit I would whole hardheartedly purchase one for ourselves. Many of the movies he only watched the first hour, but who cares? He didn't scream and that was the ultimate goal. I think that if I had been able to sit in the back (I get carsick) and play with him or read to him that he would have spent less time watching movies.

We wound up only stopping once there and back. Amazing! On the way there we stopped at the Ben and Jerry's Factory. It was well worth the stop. They have lots of space to stretch cramped legs and a small playground to frolic on. They also had a bunch of picnic tables under a tent so there was plenty of shade. On the way back we found a small playground in a small town to run around.

Here are my tips from our first trip.

1. Plan stops
2. Fill a wipes container with snacks (one per kid) some healthy, some not, and let them choose.
3. Borrow or buy a portable DVD player and rent or borrow all their favorite movies. (One trip a friend does is she puts her kids on a TV diet the week before a trip so they are starved for TV -- they travel from Maine to Florida every year by car)
4. Cookie Sheet with stickers. (The stickers rip off easily and can be rearranged)
5. Music. (We listened to the same 8 VBS songs over and over and over again, but it kept him happy!)
6. Electronic toys. (All those busy box games that sing and make foolish noises and annoy you aren't so bad when the they're in the back seat and you have the windows down and your own music going.)

There are tons of other things you can try, but that is what worked best for us.

Come back tomorrow to see all the fun we had in NY!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Maiden Camping Voyage

We had a fantastic time camping at the State Park. We left on Thursday and didn’t return until late morning on Monday. We were blessed to have friends stop by for supper and campfire delights like; S’mores, hotdogs, and Roasted Fluff Covered Strawberries. We fished, swam (even the dog), went out in a paddle boat, played on the playground, and took Stomper on his first “hike”. Our campsite had neither power nor water, but both were not that far away. The park had recently put in a very lovely shower house so we did get to take “real” showers. On Saturday we were able to attend a bird demonstration and saw: kestrels, a raven, an owl, and a golden eagle. All the birds had sustained injuries that made it impossible for them to survive in the wild.

However, our first camping trip was not without excitement.

On Friday Jason went to work and left Stomper and I at camp alone. In the morning we walked down to the playground to stretch our muscles and get some exercise. Then, in the afternoon after naptime, Stomper requested a fire. All the fire started things: accelerant and fire starter logs were in the truck with Jason. I was raised on a mountain with a wood fire and am no stranger to starting a fire without any “crutches”. We balled up paper and scouted for some kindling, but the recent rainy week left us with slim pickings. No problem, I thought, I’ll just use the axe and cut some kindling out of the pine boards Jason had left behind.

I had a few pieces cut when the thought ran through my head, I should put on sneakers this is not a good flip-flop activity, when CHOP! The axe landed wrong and my finger was bleeding. Immediately I knew that this was not a simple cut. Quickly, but calmly, I grabbed up a package of napkins and wrapped my finger in several layers. To Stomper I said: “Mommy has a big boo-boo we need to go get some help.” I held his hand and we walked to the next campsite where people were enjoying their campfire.

“Hello.” I called as I approached. “I need first-aid. I need to go to the Rangers. Will you help me?”

“You need a ride?”

Graciously they took us down to the Ranger station where one of my friends happened to be working. I approached the desk with my hand held high and announced: “I need some first-aid.”

I caused quite a stir. I was ushered in to a back room where one of the Rangers unwrapped my napkins. Bravely I took a look and breathed a sigh of relief, all my finger was there, minus the small bit of flesh I removed. The Ranger wrapped it up to stop the blood and Stomper stayed with my friend. My friend and I discussed our options and decided that she would take Stomper and I back to her house while we tried to contact Jason. In the meantime Stomper and I would need to wait ten minutes for her shift to end.

Stomper was playing with the buttons in my friends van when he shouts: “Papa!” I look out the window and Jason is driving into the park.

I stepped out of the van and waved my bandaged hand at him. He had this exasperated look of: “What did you do?” on his face.

“I cut off part of my finger with an axe,” I told him, “I want you to look at it at the house and tell me what you think.”

At my friend’s house we unwrapped the finger and ran it under water to clean it. I nearly passed out the pain was so intense. “I can’t do it, I can’t clean it. I need help.”

“When was your last tetanus?” he asks me, “That axe is the same one I used to butcher the chickens and part out the moose. It’s none too clean.”

“Let’s go to the hospital.”

Three hours after the incident I am properly inoculated, bandaged, and in front of the campfire. The doctor upon seeing the wound had commented: “Oh, a meat slicer injury.” When I corrected him he said: “That is a very clean cut for an axe.”

I am told that all will grow back in due time.

I am happy to report that I can knit with only nine fingers.

We are looking forward to a less exciting camping trip next time.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Doll Blanket

Three years ago my aunt handed me two giant bags of acrylic yarn that was my Grammie Winnies. I called it her secret stash and over the years I have used the yarn here and there. The yarn is old, probably from the 1980's and in some really odd colors. I have whittled down the stash over the years and even tossed out some partial balls that I will never use. I have plans for the yarn. When I participated in Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week I decided that I would learn to crochet in order to make a blanket out of her yarn. 

In the bag of yarn were also a few crocheted "squares". A few I used already to make purses for some little cousins, but I still have a couple of left. I haven't even considered tossing them out. How could I? It was something that she made!

Elle recently had a birthday and I was scrambling the night before to think of something more to give her. Something hand made with love. I immediately considered knitting, and even cast on, a baby blanket for the My Little Pony we were giving her, but time was an issue. There just wasn't enough of it! That night as I drifted off to sleep I remembered the small stash of squares. Could I make them into a blanket?

The next morning I dug them out and discovered a few test swatches I had made when I was practicing making cables. Eureka! I spent all morning stitching the six squares together and crocheting around them. It is probably not my most beautiful piece of work, but it is functional, and she loves it. It warms my heart to see her carrying around her pony wrapped in a little bit of history.

I also gave her a doll chair on the bottom it reads: To Delia, From Dad 1989; To "Elle" from Delia 2013.  My Dad's comment when he saw what I had given her: "Cool. That's awesome." My Dad made it for me for a bunny my mother sewed at Christmas time one year when he was laid off. I loved using that little chair and I know that she will love using it too.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Highlights

I realized on Friday as I was cleaning the house preparing for my soon to be SIL’s Bridal Shower that her party marked the third party in four days. On Wednesday we celebrated Elle’s (My newest and final nickname for my niece) birthday farm style. Which included: dinner and dessert of her choice, and our now famous off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday”. She had no idea what we were doing as this was the first chance she ever had to attend any sort of Birthday party at the farm. She looks very confused in the video. I’m sure she was wondering what was wrong with us.

Thursday was the 4th  of July and we celebrated with a Carnivore Feed (Lobster, Turkey cooked over coals and under a metal garbage can, Smoked Pork, Burgers, and Hot Dogs) and Baby Shower for a little cousin who lives in Ohio. Stomper slept through most of the party since it was right at nap time, but he did manage to see everyone.

Saturday was the Bridal Shower, which went great. We had tons of food, family, and fun. We played the now famous “Can Game”. The game is played by first asking the Groom a bunch of questions about the Bride and himself. Then at the party the Bride answers the questions. If she gets the question wrong the label gets ripped off and if she answers it wrong, the label stays on. I’m sure that playing this game will be a tradition passed down to my sister and my niece!

Jason and I had been talking lately about camping at the state park and Saturday after the party was cleaned up we went to the storage unit to pull out the tent my grandparents gave me. I was certain that the tent was no good. I couldn't remember the condition I had put it away last. To my delight the tent is wonderfully intact. We slept in it that night!

Interspersed with all the busyness we went to the lake. Stomper has been doing great with floating in my arms. I think before long he will turn into a fish!

How was your week-end?

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