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  • Evidently I can’t write cohesive posts anymore (as my unfinished drafts seem to indicate) so I’m back to my favored form of blogging
  • In farm news, we have new poultry much to the amusement and disdain of the USPS.
  • They came in waves
  • First the French Guinea keets that were met with coos and smiles
  • Then the Khaki Campbell ducks that convinced the well-meaning postal workers that they needed water so that I ended up wearing water/duck poo soaked shorts home from picking them up at the post office.
  • And then the Novogen chickens which brought the ire of the postal worker/armchair animal husbandry expert that felt the need to lecture me on the cruelties of sending chickens via post.  Whatevs lady… I don’t recall asking for your input.
  • All the new acquisitions are doing very well and are growing by leaps and bounds.
  • It’s been a while since we’ve had ducklings and we all managed to forget how excessively messy they are.
  • They are super cute tho…. so that helps
  • In other news… It’s been too hot to do much with the horses.
  • The heat has been brutal!!!
  • So it was probably a good thing that I decided to go ahead and have the lipomas on my forehead removed.
  • Surgery was a beast.
  • Post op was a solitary nightmare.
  • I don’t even wish to relive it to blog about
  • in a nutshell…
  • facial surgery is painful (all them nerves gotta be feeling things!)
  • I reacted poorly to the anesthesia (hello panic attacks and hot flashes for 2 weeks!)
  • my family and friends UTTERLY ABANDONED ME for the duration (Love you guys soooo much!)
  • but on the plus side… tumors were lipomas (non cancerous) and I’m rocking some pretty bad ass scars… on my face.  GRRR!
  • I’m in the process of opening an Etsy shop… maybe.
  • I’ve been making lots of jewelry and happily people are responding very positively to what I’ve made.
  • I’m thinking of making a whole separate blog for that as I don’t necessarily want that traffic over here.
  • The boys are still avid cyclists.
  • J and B are planning several rides this fall… mini “tours” so to speak
  • Aside… Froome won the Tour de France so there is happiness in my house
  • He is B’s favorite cyclist
  • Along with Peter Sagan who is becoming X’s new favorite as X is becoming interested in cycling as well… particularly sprinting.
  • I think that X has always liked the cycling thing he just didn’t think his build was conducive to it, until I pointed out that Sagan is built like a tank (compared to Froome) and he’s a very accomplished sprinter.
  • I am coming to a place of peace with cycling.
  • We will see how this tentative peace holds once the weather turns and we are all vying for ride time.
  • I am feeling optimistic
  • School is in session for us and has been since the week after the Fourth of July
  • With the exceptionally unrelenting heat we’ve been having I felt that it was in the best interest of all parties to just go ahead and start now so that we could enjoy a few Fall breaks instead.
  • It’s going well.
  • X and I are avidly reading right now.
  • He’s reading Harry Potter (his first time through the series)
  • I’m reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
  • I thought the first two in the series were pretty good, but half way through this one and I’m starting to lose my immersion in the story.  At this point I just want whatever is going to happen to just happen already.
  • I hate when a novel turns that way for me.
  • J bought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which I will be delving into once I’m finished with Tris and Four.
  • I almost forgot about Luna!
  • We have a new dog!
  • She’s a Lab/Staffie/Bully mix (I hate using the word Pit)
  • She’s adorkable (typo intended)
  • She loves me and is a big 40lb teddy bear already and will probably get even bigger!
  • She’s about 4 months old now and is all-elbows and knees and goofy gawkiness.
  • I love her immensely and Joop tolerates his “little sister” better than he would like me to believe.
  • The gardens are doing well
  • We desperately need to put up more pickles as B has eaten all of ours.
  • All of them
  • As in there are no more
  • We are getting really creative with zucchini and squash
  • We have a deer problem this year which is annoying.
  • X and B have been huge helps to M.
  • X has done much of the plowing and B is a pro at picking both vegetables and bugs!
  • I’m certain that I’m leaving something out but for now that’s it… hopefully there will be a new proper update (sans bullet post) soon!

-We officially survived our first week of Pre-K.  Xander, according to all reports, is behaving beautifully and having a grand time.  His only “problem” is that he can’t remember anybody’s name, except Ms.Sherry his teacher. 

-The first 2 days of Pre-K I got in trouble for not following the proper pick-up/drop-off rules.  I was pointedly reminded to not “exit my vehicle” at the loading zone (never mind Xander was unable to get INTO his seat and that there was only 1 car behind me).  I have since reconfigured the car seats so that they load him directly into his seat, alleviating my need to help him.

-Due to Xander’s new daily schedule, I am able to focus on Sophie’s school work without having to leave to break up squabbles between Xander and Beckett.  As such, Sophie’s school day has become much more structured and she has responded very positively to it.

-Sophie and I made an “inaugural-tree” in honor of the impending inauguration.  Yes, I may not be a Democrat, but I still respect the office of president.  It’s been an interesting current-events activity, although I do find it a tad bit un-nerving to have so many Obama pictures in my kitchen.  We attempted to add Cabinet members/nominees but my printer died and we haven’t been able to find any pics that were flattering in our local paper (seriously… have you seen some of the pics of Hill floating around out there??)

-We are finally making something like forward progress with Sophie’s insurance woes.  For those that don’t know, we have been fighting with our insurance to have language/speech therapy for Sophie.  We have been stonewalled, LIED TO, and run around.  Finally, at long last we are making headway and oddly enough it makes me feel a little unsettled. 

-It snowed yesterday morning.  All of maybe a quarter inch.  Just enough to scrape off the cars to make a snowball.  The kids had a blast!  It was all gone by noon.

-We have another snow “storm” forecast for tonight.  Last I heard we were supposed to get less than an inch.  Yes we bought milk (but then we were actually out and had to buy milk… but I hated to disappoint for those expecting the stereotype).  Didn’t buy bread though.

-Beckett pulled the old act like you’re taking a bite of food while actually dropping it down to the dog trick tonight at supper.  While I found it amusing that he thought he could get away with it (and he might have, had he not gotten so tickled with how clever he thought he was being), I did have to impose a punishment… no dessert 😦

-We renamed the new wether that joined us recently via Donald and Donna from Rebel to Warren in honor of a doctor that M used to work with.  They have exactly the same mannerisms and personality (in so much that one of them is a sheep) all our Warren needs is a bow-tie to complete to image! 

-Jim’s back in school, complete with clinicals.  It’s yucky, but at least it gets us one session closer to graduation.

-I have a cold 😦 but luckily the kids are asleep (thanks to Jim) and so I’m off to take meds and crash in the bed!

Aren’t my guys too cute sporting their turkey handprint shirts especially for Thanksgiving?  Sophie’s even matches her skirt… how’s that for planning? 🙂  Seriously though the kid’s loved their shirts and they were super cute!  I opted for glued on googly eyes and waddles which of course were promptly plucked off, but were cute while they lasted!!

Thanksgiving dinner (or more acurately supper by the time we got everything done) was a big hit.  We didn’t make a whole turkey this year, opting for just a half of a turkey breast.  It was delicious and made an excellent pan gravy. 

Sophie especially liked the gravy….

And apparently so did Kyle!

KKEPSM are here for Thanksgiving weekend and since we didn’t do any shopping today we just hung out around the house.  M made gingerbread cookies with the kids and then ended up swindling them into racking leaves (the woman’s tricky I tell you!).  I made MiBo and potstickers for supper which was excellent and very filling and very unTurkey, so much appreciated 🙂 

After supper we were sort of at a loss for what to do so while looking for something else I happened upon my face paints and much hilarity ensued!

Here’s everybody on the couch.

Spencer was so cooperative until right at the end… he made an excellent super hero!  Beckett has a thing for cat-faces so it was no shock that he wanted to be a cheetah/jaguar/leopard!

Peter wanted something simple so a pirate was right up his alley!  Xander wanted to be a knight… and a prince… I think he ended up looking a little more like the man in the iron mask though.

Elizabeth’s Ice Fairy turned out so great and I’m still struggling with Sophie’s butterfly… but it’s still cute.

I even did Kelly, but I don’t have a pic of that on my camera… she’ll have to send me her copy!

We rounded out the fun by having popcorn and hot chocolate.  It was a great evening and we were all a little sad when bath time rolled around and all the face paints went down the drain! 

Currently I’m trying to convince Sophie and Beckett that going to sleep is a good idea… Beckett’s made himself a nice little nest on my couch (complete with ‘Hog, Turtle and Puppy) and Sophie’s winding down with a couple battles on Eternal Sonata (her game Jim, not yours… I checked).  Xander’s sleeping with M and Peter tonight so I imagine he’s already off to dreamland!

So it may come as a small surprise to a few of you out there that I don’t really sew.  I enjoy designing and tweaking images for machine embroidry, but I’ve never really done much in the constructive side of sewing. 

After reading Amy Karol’s blog (and buying her book) and being inspired by Julie’s yearly costume creation for Kaedence, I decided to give it a go.  If it went well then great, if not, I’d only be out a few bucks.

So… when M and I went up to visit KKEPSM on Tuesday, we swung into MaryJo’s in Gastonia.  I picked out 3 prints that SCREAMED Sophie (this, this and this) and even found some of the infamous FOE.

Last night, after drinking way too much coffee way too late at night, I decided to give it all a go.

I think it turned out ok (and pictures will be coming along as soon as I locate the card holder thingy).  The hem is wonky but M’s going to show me how to fix it.  I totally LOVE the FOE for the waistband. 

Most importantly though, Sophie loves it and thinks it’s fabulous.   Of course now Dandy wants a skirt too. 


A couple things:  Yes it’s too long.  Like I said the hem is wonky and one of the reasons I left it so long was so that M could help me with the hem.  M’s a whiz at hemming.  
I know the FOE is totally not visible in this pic but it doesn’t look like much (particularly since it’s just the offwhite FOE as MaryJo’s only had white, black and offwhite). 
The hem is not as crooked as the pic seems to indicate.  Sophie was “modelling” and had one hip cocked sideways or something.
Yes, she’s standing on the table.

For a first “real” project I’m inordinately proud of it 🙂

* I realize that this is most likely my worst ever blog-entry.  When I find the card thing for the photo disk I’ll try to revamp… I’m definitely having an off day blog-wise but wanted to document my first real sewing attempt. 🙂

I’ve been spinning a good bit here lately.  I spun up both the Whorling Tides braids and the PetuniaLu braid as well.  It took me a few minutes to transition from spinning Shetland to spinning Merino but I think the WT braids turned out fabulously!

I tend to double ply everything, just because I like it.

Initially I didn’t think I was going to like the PetuniaLu Madder-dyed BFL as it seemed a little stiff but honestly it spun up like a dream and I love it!  I think I’m going to be ordering some more of her wool!

It looks quite orange in this photo, but it’s not quite so lightbulb orange in person!

I’ve started on the batts that I got from WT, but I haven’t made appreciable progress on those… I’ll have photos eventually.

So being all inspired by woolie endeavors, I thought I’d try my hand a dyeing wool.  So… I dug out a pack of Merino/Silk that I had bought ages ago from Little Barn and divided it in two.  I only have 2 acid dyes:  Christmas Red and Christmas Green that I had bought at SAFF sometime back.  Ages ago we bought a crock pot for the single purpose of dyeing wool (we never use crock pots for actual cooking!) so I dusted it off and you know what?  Dyeing wool is fun!  Stinky… but exciting!  I wasn’t sure the red was going to actually be RED as it looked icky burgundy in the water but then it miraculously turned bright Christmas red and it’s so pretty now!

The red is actually much redder and spins up like a peppermint candy.  The green if very soft and glowy what with all the silk in it.  I ended up making 3 batts of each on the drum carder last night with the help of both Sophie and Dandy.  Beckett only wanted to turn the handle the wrong way so he didn’t get to “help” much.  Sophie was fascinated with taking the batt off the drum carder and actually was very helpful.

We were having so much fun with all the carding that we decided to do a little of our Shetland too.

The Shetland is at the very top.  I’m still working on getting more of the VM out of the black wool… I was distressed by how much was in it when it came back from the mills.

So anyway… I’m resisting the urge to spin the wool I dyed.  M wants to use some of it for a felting project… but that red just spins so nicely and looks so very Christmasy…



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