Friday, October 30, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin...

Well, we didn't find the Great Pumpkin, but we did go to the pumpkin patch. This was a new one, and there was so much to do!

Ty started with the giant, bumpy slide. It was made of PVC pipe, and he thought it was funny.
Then we did some swinging. Riley liked the "pony" swing...
...while Ty preferred the more traditional variety.
We did the see saw (Riley needed a little help, since he now weighs exactly half of what Ty weighs).
Then we went over to sit under the pavilion.
To eat Kettle Corn and this:
That there is a deep fried Oreo, and it was heavenly.

We listened to some great music while having our snack.
See that skilled musician sitting in the front there? That's my Grandpa.
He plays the steel guitar, and I'm pretty sure that every last drop of my musical talent came from him.

When we had eaten, sang ("... Rocky Top, you'll always be...!") and danced a waltz or two, we watched the chickens & turkeys.
Then we went over to the pumpkin patch.
Riley was impressed with the very big pumpkins that people were carrying around. He tried & tried to pick this up. He even made some interesting grunting sounds (imagine the Incredible Hulk)...
... but ultimately decided on a more manageable pumpkin.
Ty picked out our family pumpkin, in addition to his own personal pumpkin.
When we were paying for the pumpkins (which were quite reasonable) I noticed a wall that had rows & rows of preserves. We also got some wonderful apple butter, which tastes just like fall, in convenient, spreadable form!

We painted the pumpkins the next day. Check back tomorrow, when I will post those photos. It was a blast!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spring Cleaning. No. Wait...

It's not spring, but I'm definitely in spring cleaning mode. Maybe it's because I'm feeling the need to "feather my nest" before winter. Probably it's because I couldn't possibly spend an entire winter cooped up in this house with it being such a mess.

Either way, I've been busy. My plan is to spend one day each weekend & really deep clean a room. I'll just work & work at it on that day until that room is cleaned to my satisfaction, or until the day comes to an end.

Last weekend, the boys played quite nicely for a long time while I cleaned the kitchen.

I decluttered the counters, threw "stuff" out, and wiped everything down. Everything is sparkling. Well, almost everything. I cannot get those drip pan thingies that go under the burners on my electric stove to come clean:
This is the nicest looking of them. Stuff boils over. I can't clean it up right away because it's too hot. By the time it's cooled, it has hardened into an ugly mass of charcoal (it's like the stuff God uses to make meteors!). I soaked them in hot, soapy water for about 30 minutes, then scraped them with a table knife. That was followed by some serious scrubbing with vinegar & a Scotchbright pad. When that didn't work, I resorted to Soft Soap and steel wool. Nothing worked (except for me... I worked up a sweat.) I guess they're stuck this way forever.

The thing I found that worked best on getting the grease & grime wiped off the back of the stove (& the microwave) was the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Holy grime buildup, Batman! This thing is amazing! Now, anyone who knows me very well at all knows that I prefer to not use chemicals to clean my house. I *heart* vinegar and lemon juice. I do have a few leftover cleaning agents (a half empty bottle of 409, a half jug of bleach, a now almost empty bottle of Soft Scrub...) but my "old fashioned" cleaners were just not cutting it. But the Magic Eraser? It worked like, well... magic!

I highly recommend this product, even if you just keep this thing for cleaning up the serious crud... I used it to clean the fronts of my cabinets, the backs of the counters, the stove, even scuff marks on my floor. It really was like magic!

Of course, when I had finished the entire kitchen, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser was ready for retirement. But, it was a pretty big job.

And now I have a lovely, sparkly, organized kitchen. Here's a picture of "the bridge." (Just like the Starship Enterprise, my house must have an area from which I can run things.)
And here's my very shiny sink area.
This weekend I will be tackling the upstairs bathroom, which I'm sure you can imagine can get quite icky (given that I am the only woman in this house). In addition to general cleaning, I will be changing the shower curtain liner, disinfecting the tub toys, washing the rugs and hopefully decluttering the counter.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm still here...

and I've been knitting!

Okay, I haven't been knitting as much as I would like.

I'm a little dissatisfied with whole "having a career" thing. It's seriously cutting into my knitting & blogging time. And that is simply not acceptable.

But there has been progress.

Here's a photo of the nearly completed back of the baby dress:
It's the one in Debbie Bliss' "Baby Knits for Beginners." The dress is adorable. The pattern is atrocious. I actually finished the back of the dress today, and I had to make some modifications. I'm not sure where I (or the pattern) went wrong, but if I had continued with her directions, the neck hole of the dress would have comfortably fit a navel orange-sized head. Of course, anyone who has ever given birth or attempted to dress a baby in a turtle neck will know that babies' heads are not that small. So we shall see if my modifications work out.
And in other knits, I got one row of the hexagons stitched together...
...and about 12 more of them blocked. Again, these pictures are a week old, and I've since stitched together the second row, and that one is almost completely sewed to the first row. I'm happy with the way it's coming together so far.
And in other news, I had a garage sale 2 weeks ago. It rained Saturday so we opened up again on Sunday, when the sky was a gorgeous blue.
We had a LOT of stuff. I got together with my aunt and cousin & together we filled their 2-car garage and almost their entire driveway as well.
I sold some baby stuff, and also finally got my Total Trainer out of my basement. I hadn't used it since I joined the gym, so I had to find it a new home.
That's about it for now. Other than that, life has been super busy/hectic/stressful/butalsoblessed.
Happy knitting!