Saturday, October 24, 2009

Yarn, Yarn and More Yarn

I met up with my girlfriend and her sister this morning and off we went to Hartford to the Stitches East convention at the Convention Center. It was the first time I'd been to one and it was all that Diane promised. Aisles and aisles of yarn - all varieties, weights, colors and blends. If we'd seriously looked at all the vendors, it would have taken several days.

I felt like a kid in a candy shop as it was overwhelming.

After quite a few cell phone calls to Tami in Moscow, I bought a beautiful white mohair with a sparkly silver thread, a variegated plum with other Monet water colors and sparkly silver and gold threads and the pattern to knit them up into two pretty shawl/shrugs. I also bought a teal, plum, black mohair and teal wool with a pattern for a felted hat for her and more mohair for a matching scarf. For myself, I bought a bright variegated bright green, purple, blue and hot pink sock yarn to knit myself a very costly pair of socks - my first pair. I bought several other patterns. I did restrain myself from buying more today. Tami will knit the hat, scarf and one shawl/shrug for herself. I'm dying to see the yarn knit up so I'll do the variegated plum one for her this fall.

Tami would have gone wild there with all the beautiful yarns as she loves to knit too.

We ended our day by sitting at little tables knitting squares that will later be sewn together for blankets. It is part of a nationwide organization that donates blankets to those in need. I think it was called Warm America.

Really fun day. Now I am going to relax with the dog on the couch, movies on the Hallmark channel and work on sewing the hand knit bunnies I'm making for Rachael's Etsy Store (Simple Wishes).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Step Closer to Moscow

Tonight I gave a final glance through the Lands End catalogs and made my selections. I've been on a search for winter snow boots as my high ones finally gave out last year. I noticed that the classic Lands End ones for kids went up to size 7 so I asked if that was the same as a ladies 7. The customer service rep told me that a youth 7 is a ladies 5 so I added a pair to my list.

I placed my order and hope everything fits or I'll be going to Sears with returns.

I'd been looking for snow boots all month in the local stores and had not found what I wanted so I was happy to let Lands End end my search.

I have all the stuff out to box to send to my SIL in CO so he can bring it back in their checked luggage/boxes. He and the girls will be visiting his parents over Halloween for their fall week off from school.

I need to book my transportation to JFK to make sure that I have a seat.

Next is filling out my visa application and sending it off to the agency to present to the Russian Embassy for approval to visit Russia.

Can you tell that I'm anxious to board the flight for Moscow?

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Life Must Be Dull

if going to a discount grocery store thrills me!

Tonight I went to a discount grocery store for the first time as my neighbor went yesterday and emailed me that I HAD to go! So off I went to stock up on bargains.

Snagging a pound of brand name bacon for $1.74/lb. was the highlight of my day. Add to that $1 for a pound of Cabot butter and T-bone steak at $3.94/lb. I can't remember when I last bought a T-bone steak as they are big and pricey but tonight I threw caution to the wind and bought the two pack. My cart and the tray underneath were loaded with bargains. I bought just about all of the week's super saving specials and had umpteen million bags for the grand total of $156.56 and saved $57. In that were a family pack of chicken breasts, a family 8 pound pack of hamburg, 16 pork loin chops, 4 pounds of bacon and the steaks. Did I do well or not?

The savings had me hypnotized as I bought 2 gallons of milk which were around $1.75 a gallon. What am I going to do with all that milk as I hate to drink milk? Guess I'll be using lots of the 3 dozen of eggs (also at a ridiculously low price) to make quiches with the fresh asperagus and Cabot Monterey Jack cheese (both also on special savings). I do have a slight problem though - a full freezor. Maybe my neighbor that turned me on to the store will have some room in her freezor in her cellar.

I also have a 10 pound bag of potatoes. Any suggestions?

Later I did get all the meat individually wrapped and in freezor bags safely stored in the freezor. Now it means that I'm going to have to do some serious cooking.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's White in CT...

and Halloween is over two weeks away. This is crazy. The leaves are just falling and most are still on the trees and not all have even turned yet. Mother Nature is messed up.

We were suppose to have rain today but in parts of CT, it turned to the white stuff. On my way home, I drove from rain to wet, sloppy flakes. There is a coating on the trees and roofs but the roads are just wet.

The deck has about a half inch of snow so when Liesel went out on it, there were little footprints everywhere. She was some surprised when she went out in the yard when I put her out after work. Dachshunds love snow (I've found) but hate rain. All of my doxies have loved to jump through the snow - even when it's fairly deep. A few raindrops and they don't want to budge off the front steps. Wimps!

She was very happy to come inside though and curl up on the couch.

It's suppose to be even colder tomorrow and wet. Weird for mid October.

I'll take this over the heat and humidity of summer any day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's CT And Not The Woods of Maine

With all the wildlife around here in the burbs, one would think it was northern New England. It's not unusual to have a bear walking into your back yard, bending down your plant shepherd's hook to empty out the birdseed in the hanging feeder or going through outside trash cans.

I've only seen a bear once in my backyard but my neighbors see them on a fairly regular basis spring through fall. They live on the outside of the circle so back up to miles of woods.

I know that brown bears are suppose to just eat berries, seeds, nuts, etc. but I still don't want to ever put that to a test. There are many times during the nice weather that I've wanted to go for a walk around the circle with the dog in the later evening but I've been afraid of meeting up with a big 4 legged hairy creature.

Last night my neighbor emailed me pictures of a baby possum that was on top of their bushel of apples out on their patio area. There are also coyotes in the area and I saw one cross the road one morning on my way to work last week. This was about 10 minutes from my house.

This is why I never let my 15 pound dachshund out on her line unless I am either out with her or on the front steps watching her.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Getting Ready for Winter - Part I

Part of my fall ritual is to empty the NUMEROUS pots of annuals from my deck, front steps, walk, front and back yards. It is a big job with numerous trips with the wheel barrel to the woods where I dump the dirt and flowers. They are still in bloom so I hated dumping them but I don't want to wait until after the first frost as then it is cold out.

After all the pots have been emptied, the next step is backbreaking and wet. I hose and scrub them so in May they are clean and ready to be filled for the season. I really do clean them well. They are on my deck, front steps and upside down on some small scrubs drying off. Tomorrow after work, I'll collect them, stack them and put them in large garbage bags to go down to the cellar.

If next Sunday is nice, I'll take my screens down, scrub them on a tarp on the front lawn and store them in the cellar for the winter. I kept a large box from one of my new windows and store the clean screens in there. Another very wet and backbreaking job.

Wonder what I'll do when I'm too old to do this each fall?

While I was doing all the work, Liesel was out on the deck supervising.

From one of my earlier posts, you all know how I love to hang out my laundry so today the line was full to take advantage of the sunny day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Pressure Is On

Liesel and I have two more weeks of dog obedience class. Tonight our instructor/trainer told us that for our last class, she wants each of us to teach our dogs a trick and to have the dog perform it during that class. Immediately I went into a panic as Liesel won't even do sit/stay for more than a few seconds.

Since she is a very verbal dog, the instructor/trainer said that I could teach her to speak. Oh my, I have my work cut out for me.

She is very much a German dog as she is smart but VERY strong willed. That seems to be a trait that we all have in my family - humans included.

I need to be better about training so we don't look like fools in two weeks.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Observations at the Laundromat

Since we had a rainy weekend here in CT, I couldn't hang out laundry and there was just too much wash to do today for my slow dryer so off I went to the laundromat in town. As much as I hate going there, it is good to get it all done at once in an hour.

I did wash one load at home so threw that in the dryer as soon as I got there before loading two large washers with laundry.

I brought a soda and my book so the time went by quickly and I enjoyed reading.

There were a couple of people that were there during that time. One woman came in with a blanket and comforter. I cringed when she was dragging it across the grungy carpet. A mom came in with her four kids and a few toys. All four kids were on the floor playing. I cringed again. I don't even put my laundry baskets on the floor.

Loaded up the car with all the folded laundry in a big basket and all the clothes on hangers. Came home and put everything away and made up my bed. I love getting into bed on Sunday nights to clean sheets. Maybe when I am retired, I'll wash my sheets daily so I can have the luxury of clean sheets each night.

Shopping for the Kids

That's one of my favorite things to do.

Yesterday I was in Gymboree as I have missed going in there. I hadn't been in since Tami and girls were here this summer. I saw an adorable "cat" gown on sale in the Halloween area of the store. The gown has a small leopard print top with black fur around the neckline and cuffs and a black netting type fabric puffy skirt. They only had 3 and one was Katya's size. When I spoke with Tami this morning, I started telling her about it and she asked me if it was the cat gown. She tried to buy it online at Gymboree and it was sold out in Katya's size. It is what Katya wanted to go trick or treating at her grandparents' in CO later this month. When Katya got on the phone, she was so excited about having the cat gown. Today I went back and bought the matching headbands (with cat ears) and leopard print tights. Was I every lucky that they had her size. Guess I know what my granddaughter likes. In the checkout line, a lady gave me her 20% total sales coupon. My lucky day.

The girls and my SIL will be flying to CO to visit his parents for the week of school vacation. They'll be there for Halloween so both girls will actually get to go trick or treating in the US. They haven't been able to do that since Katya was 3 and Natalia was 10 months old so this is a big holiday for them. I'm glad that Grandpa and Grandma Bravo will be able to share their fun and excitement.

While out this weekend, I hit sales at a local toy store and Justice so shopped for both girls. More for me to bring over to Moscow in December. I love shopping for the girls but it's not as easy as when they were little as they are very opinionated in what they do and don't like.

The last few weeks I've just lucked out shopping and have gotten quite a few Christmas presents. I am all done for the Muscovites but for some stocking stuffers. I'm done with all my other friends' gifts as I bought a lot last winter and whenever I'd see the perfect gift. I've made a few gifts too. It's a good feeling to be where I am.