Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The promised peacock picture

Here is the long promised picture of our peacock. Every time I went out to take one, either he would disapear or it would start to rain. I think the only times it has not rained in the last 4 days is when I was at work or while I was in the shower. Anyway- he is lovely , isn't he!!
Michael is leaving for Brussels tomorrow and then on to The Congo on Friday morning We went to Munster this morning to have breakfast and do a bit of shopping. We were finished eating and moving on to the shopping bit when my phone rang and it was (surprise) Patrick's school. He had hurt his knee and needed to be picked up. Are cell phones a blessing or a curse?

Know he is laying on the couch with his knee iced and up ,but it doesn't look too bad and I assume that he will be okay buy tomorrow- or this afternoon if anyone calls with a good idea -like going to the swimming pool.
We have another four day weekend coming up and I plan to finish Barbara's RR- knit a sock, stitch and finish a scissor fob for an exchange and work on the newly started gift sampler. let's see what I say to this ambitious list next Wednesday.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Drying floss

I rinsed this blue floss for a sampler I am working on. My poor family is so used to my strange goings on that they did not even think twice about floss drying in the middle of the living room. Now that it is dry , I have it hanging over light fixture- thay haven't let that bother them either.
I had a lovely birthday - thank you Barbara, Annemarie and Dianne for the birthday wishes.
I had a whole houseful of wonderful friends as guests from Saturday to Sunday. I knew that some friends were coming , but Anja and Roman and the kids showed up and surprised me. Which is the kind of surpise I love. We BBQed and drank wine and beer, and the kids ran in and out of the house, even when it was raining and after dark. At midnight everyone seemed to disapear. Then the lights went out and they came back into the dinning room with a cake with 42 candles, sparklers and presents- totaly fun. I received a book , a necklace, a ring, a vase, flowers, nordic walking poles, a poem and a picture from my boys, and lots of lovely bits of colored, cut and pasted paper from the little girls. In the morning we all had breakfast together before everyone left- today is not a holiday here :-) We spent the day lounging around and watching the Formula One race. What I didn't do was stitch or knit as I was tired and afraid of mistakes.
I have to work today , but now that I have given notice, I can count the days- not just until vacation, but also until my last work day!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Birthday traditions in Germany

Tomorrow is my birthday ( 42 if you want to know) . In Germany, a day with rules, like any other here in his country. The first is that it is the birthday persons responsibility to celebrate. Birthday partys are seldom given for someone. As the birthday girl , I must shop and clean and cook and bake in preperation for any amount of people. This I have accomplished with the help of my DH over the last two days.
The other rule is that it is considered unlucky to celebrate or even wish someone "happy birthday" before their actual birthday. This often complcates the situation- you are expected to provide for everyone -sometimes on a Wednesday evening! There is a small saving grace to this rule. It doesn't help you on Wednesday ,but in years where your birthday falls on a Sunday , you may cheat by inviting people on Saturday and then "celebrating" after midnight. This is what we are doing tonight.
A few out of town friends and the neighbors are coming by and Michael will BBQ (never let a little rain stop you) . To go with the BBQ I have baked a couple of loaves of bread and some brownies. I am also planning some American style coleslaw and an insalata Caprise. If I can get ahold of some nice strawberries I might make a shortcake as well.
To sweeten the situation a bit (ha ha) Patrick got sick Thursday evening and we ae still not sure if he has Mono or "just" tonsillitis. Which ever it is he is taking antibiotics and is no longer contagious - he is also feeling much better , if sleepy.
I have already received some lovely birthday presents and cards, My gemini exchange , bracelets, earings, and a darling inlay wooden box from my Mom , a card and money from my Dad and a card, and money from my in-laws. The money from my in-laws was almost exactly the amount that I needed to pay for the stack of books and cd's that have been piling up in my shopping cart at Amazon for the last month or so, and so I hopped over there and hit the
" one click order" and will have something to look forward to in the next week.
Tomorrow on my actual birthday - I am planning on watching the Formula One race in Monaco and relaxing with my stitching and knitting- we'll see!

Our peacock has been released from his cage, as some entity decided that the bird flu danger in our area is more or less over, and he is quite happy to be out and about. Once I am showered and dressed I am going to go out and see if I can get a picture of him with his tail open, to post here as a treat for all who are patient and kind enough to read my blog.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Some finishes

I have had A few finishes lately but as they are all gifts, I can't show them right away. This bear was an exchange in my mailart group. I bought the bear at Ikea and then dressed him as a pirate. Note the hook inplace of his right paw- this was my DH's idea- cute huh!! I packed him in his own little bag to send him to his new owner and he arrived today. The yellow socks are for my Mom. I finished them on Sunday and mailed them to her on Monday. She knows they are on there way so no real surprise there. They are such a pretty soft yellow- I really like them. Alexander picked out the pattern. I started a new pair of socks for my friend Moni. Worked on Barbara's RR last night- it is coming along nicely. I am planning on starting a new project tonight or tomorrow- a sampler for a special occasion for a special person. I received the chart in the mail today and am looking forward to seeing it grow. I also have another pair of socks on the needles- another gift. I seem to be doing a lot of stuff for other people lately- but it feels nice:-)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mothers day

Here is a not very good picture of my beautiful mother's day flowers. The kids did a great job of picking them out and I was thrilled to get them. I also received a cup of tea, breakfast and Alexander Bbqed dinner. Pretty nice! Monday things were back to normal. At 7 am I had gotten up, woken the kids, laid out their clothes, made breakfast, made lunches, cleaned up from the same, started the washer, started the dryer, started the dishwasher, made sure the dog got water and food and let her out the back door, swept the kitchen , yelled at the kids to brush their teeth and was standing at the front door to kiss the kids and wave good bye to them.
As they rounded the corner, I decided to call the dog in. I called and whistled a couple of times and was getting a little pissy and decided to just close the door and wait for her to come home. I closed the door and turned ,to see the dog lying behind me in the hallway . She was looking at me like "yes?" I guess she came in the back door. I went back to bed!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New socks

The pink socks are finished! I love this color- reminds me of cotton candy. This is the first pair that I have made with a cuff to turn down. AThe yarn is a cotton/wool mix from Regia. The next pair I cast on is going to be for my Mom- yellow.
Right now I am working on finishing up a mail art. It needs to go into the mail on Monday, which shouldn't be a problem.
The bee scissor fob and the scissors are part of what I sent to Von for our Gemini birthday exchange. As she has received it and opened it ;-) I thought I could post a pic now. When I picked up the colors, I was afraid I was going to hate it ,but when it was finished I was so pleased with it that I think I might have to make one for myself.
I did manage a walk already this morning so I can spend the rest of the day between stitching and laundry.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gemini Exchange

Well, You guys convinced me:-) I was being strong ,but then at about 11 pm I jumped up , grabbed the package and ripped it open. Was I ever glad!
Absolute tons of wonderful stuff. DMC, charts with beads and charms and even a skein of Waterlillies in a yummy green and white with a touch of pink. The charts are all to my taste and I own none of them. Two of them are "Just Nan's" and include the beads and charms. I love these and they are just not available in Germany. Thank you so much Connie. It was a great package and I will have lots of fun stitching all the charts and useing the DMC over the next year. Okay I am dreaming- I will never get to all of these charts in the next year, but a girl can hope.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A small rant

This is just a small rant. For me anyway as I am known among my friends and family as quite the ranter (is this a word?) .
Why, oh why , would anyone in their right mind publish a "how to " book that is not bound in such a way as to lie flat?
I am a huge book lover and own many of the things (this is an understatement) . My novels tend to be treated as royalty- I usually use a book mark to mark my place. This can be an old receipt or a ticket stub ,whatever. I would never put a stitched book mark in a book. I would be afraid 1) of ruining the stitching and 2) ruining the book. See , this is why my family runs and hides when I start to rant. I have trouble staying on the subject. You guys are lucky , you can just click off my blog if it is too tiresome to read any further. Anyway..... although I have seen many beautiful stitched book marks I would collect them and not actually put them in a book.
Back to the laying flat thing. I just don't get it. Why print a book on knitting, stitching, cooking , home improvement, piano notes, that someone will need at least one hand to hold open ,while they are trying to do something that they don't know how to do (Otherwise they wouldn't need he book . Right?) that probably already requires two hands. ( I had to go look up how to spell "require" don't want to be the subject of someone elses rant about people who rant,but can't spell . Which I can't ,but I like to pretend) . I can't tell you how many times I have tried to hold open a knitting book with my elbow or knee while reading how to slip some stitch that isn't happening for me any way,and the dang book keeps flipping closed, or watched my son try to keep a book of music open on the book holder thingy ,while he tries to learn a song on the piano. I mean they give you notes for both hands, how do they think you can see the notes if thebook keeps flipping closed?

We have a small advantage here ,in that I own a pretty good, copy , printer, scanner. My excuse is that I need it for my english lessons .Which I do . But, the real reason I bought it was to be able to print out free patterns from the internet and to copy pages fom "how to "books so that they can easily be clipped or taped to something at eye level . Some books, though, are bound in a way that prevent things close to the binding from being copied without hurting the book.
You all just got lucky. My next English student just showed up so I am forced to stop this. If anyone has an answer for me I would love to hear it ,but I am afraid there just isn't one.

Gemini Exchange

Ohhhhh- I am quite excited. I received what I think is my Gemini exchange pressie today. Thank you , thank you Connie! Is there a protocol on this? Can I open it now, or do I have to wait for my birthday? I can at least open the card- right?
I tend to be a waiter on stuff like this. I like to be the last to open my christmas presents and I like to be surprised about what I am getting. But, I am not sure I can sit here and wait another 19 days to open this. If I don't do it now I will probably have to get up in the middle of the night ,some time next week, and rip it open. LOL !!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Gemini exchange

I just wanted to mention that I did put my Gemini exchange in to the post last week.

mixed nuts

Here is the picture that I wanted to post a couple of weeks ago on my Dad's birthday. It is from last summer and we are at Marine World. Looking at it I am amazed at how much the kids have changed in the last 10 months. I think that my parents are going to be quite surprised at how grown up they are this year. I will try and remember to take a picture in the same place this year so we have something to compare it to.

it took me so long to post this picture because for some reason ,completely unknown to me, all of my summer vacation 2005 pix ,landed in a different file than all the other pix. I could only ever find them on accedent. I had my husband reunite them the last time I happened upon them and he was home at the same time!


I found a new vegetable, well new to me. I discovered ,while visiting Anja , that I love raw kohlrabi. I had only ever eaten it cooked and found it kind of slimy. I always ate it when it was on my plate ,but certainly never bothered to buy one and cook it myself. We also never ate it at home. This surprises me as I am from Califonina and my Mom is big into vegetables. I would always choose to eat broccoli, for instance, over an apple. Anyway ... While I was visiting Anja ,she cut up a kohlrabi and set it out and I discovered a "new" low fat, healthy snack. Yea!! Does anyone know if it is called kohlrabi in English ?


It is Formula One Sunday which means that in spite of the lovely weather ,we will be spending some time in front of the TV. We did however manage to get in a good...


walk. The dog was quite exited when she saw us putting on our tennies and ball caps. We had quite a nice walk and met a lot of families on bike's. The only problem was that it is quite windy and as we were going over an overpass my hat flew off. It landed on the "schnell strasse" below" . It is one of my favorite ballcaps- I think that is sort of a dumb statement because if I didn't like it I guess I wouldn't wear it -or even have it... Anyway, there are some stairs down to the street and we went down and Michael risked life and limb to rescue my hat. It didn't even get run over.

No peanuts ,because Patrick is allergic, and no hazelnuts because, I think they are yucky :-)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Michael"s socks

Here is the promised picture of Michael's plain black socks. I think the shadows are the most interesting hing in the photo :-) I have number 1 of a cotton candy pink pair on OTN.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"The stitching area "or "It's Rachael's -don't touch it"

I thought I would treat you to a picture of "my chair" today. This is where I always sit to stitch and knit. Other people are allowed to sit here, but only when I am otherwise occupied. You can see two lights here ,but I actually have four! The one attached to the bookcase was the last purchased and is a daylight lamp and my favorite. The chair and footstool are gliders and the knitted wrap on the chair is " Big Blue" .

Big Blue was knitted for me by the lovely Cheryl . It started out as a kind of shawl, but due to a small miscalculation, ended up being so big that when I put it over my shoulders I have a train. I love it though and use it to cover myself when I take a nap on the sofa :-) On one side of my chair is "My table". If people have to sit in chair I can live with it, but my table is pretty much off limits. I try and tidy it up regularly ,but as you can see it is overdue. The glass is a huge canning jar that I stole from my neighbor and I use it to drop my orts in. On the other side of the chair is a basket for sock wool ,a box for whatever stitching projects are in the holding pattern, and a frame/chart holder. Next to that is a bookcase with all my hardback stitching, sewing, and knitting books. I have to admit that while I am flexible about many things , my hadwork is not one of them. Please let me sit in my chair with my light just so and my books within arms reach. I do have more stash areas including a large bookshelf a small rolling cart, a small chest another rolling cart and ...oops I keep thinking of more stash areas. Better not to think to hard on this.

On the chair seat you can see my almost finished project of the moment. Michael's plain ,black socks. Not really interesting and kind of slow going, but I should get them finished tonight or tomorrow. I will post a pic when they are finished-however boring. Happy stitching.