Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Teeming with life!

Our house is teeming with life lately. Our female Endler's livebearer had a host of tiny babies. We are so excited. I tried to capture them in photos but they are so small, it is quite difficult. Basically they are just eyes and a tail at this point. I managed to get one in this photo. See that tiny circle? I circled him to show him off.

Cute huh?

Our seedlings have also started to sprout. Right now just peas and broccoli but I'm sure the others will come up this week.

Soon the plan for world domination shall be complete! bwahaha!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm rooting for early spring

This weekend was super busy at our house. We've had a rash of warm weather the last few days and all the ice and snow that covered the land has receded. It's probably not permanent but we've taken the opportunity to get out and get some things done around the yard. We discovered a pile of bricks next to our shed. Who knows what the previous owner had planned for them, but there are nearly 200 over there. I thank Planck for climbing the mountain and showing me they were there. We were planning to buy bricks to build our compost bins from-no need now!

We also planted the first of our seeds. We found some great Burpee kits that are all biodegradable and compostable as well as being darn cute.

See! They come with little discs of coconut planting fiber that expand when water is added. They reminded me of those firecrackers they used to sell (probably still do) that would expand little snakes of ash only it was little snakes of dirt. When the seedlings are ready to go in the ground, we simply rip the cells apart and plant them pot and all. The tray is compostable bamboo that will break down in six months. Josh worked quite diligently to get the dirt into each little compartment once we expanded it.

Here are some tiny garlic chives resting on the dirt.

Ever wonder how small an oregano seed is? Wonder no more!

We took a well deserved break to admire our handiwork. Now the little guys are resting downstairs until they start to sprout. We'll bring them up into the sun after that. I just hope we can get the roofer out here to give us some estimates while it is still so nice out.

In knitting news, I finished another pair of socks this evening. They are for the January Sock Knitters Anonymous challenge. Our challenge was to knit a pattern from an online magazine, beaded socks, or the mystery sock. I've been trying really hard to knit from stash so we have money to do all the lovely things with the house. Since I don't have any beads in there, I opted to knit a pattern from Knitty.com.

Pattern: Blackrose from Knitty.com
Yarn: Handmaiden Casbah
Needles: Knitpicks circulars in size 2
Notes: This is the first time I have used this yarn and I LOVE it. It is so soft and warm. The colors are very vibrant but unfortunately I can't capture them in the pictures. This is the first time I have mirrored the pattern on each side of the leg. It caused me some issues because I wanted to knit the second sock like the first. Some frogging ensued but they turned out well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Finished legwarmers

Eep! I forgot to post that I finished my beautiful legwarmers and test drove them with a skirt on Monday. They are great and I love them. We went upstairs for this photoshoot where there aren't boxes all over the place. Einstein was quite quizzical about them. He ended up in pretty much every photo. The other dogs were smart enough to stay downstairs where there is heat.

Pattern: Traveling Stitch Legwarmers featured in Knit So Fine or Interweave Knits Spring 2008

Yarn: Knitpicks Risata in Sable (the color is being discontinued)

Needles: Addi Turbos size 2 (3.0 mm for the metric inclined)

Each legwarmer took about a skein. Since I am short I had to omit all the lines above the medallion motif. I put in only 10 rows of ribbing at the top to match the rib at the bottom and I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off. I learned how to cable without a cable needle too and plan to make my next pair of socks with cables this way.

It's still cold here. Tonight's low will be 7 degrees. The plus side is that the ice is beautiful.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jobs, scrapbooking, and insulation

What do all these things have in common? They all have happened in the last week and a half! While the recession was only officially declared as of December 2007, it has been a recession in our house for well over a year. But now, our prospects are on the mend and my hubby has a job in his chosen field. Mind you, it is a lab tech job and we hope for him to move up but it is awesome for him to be working in chemistry again with all the chemicals and things. You know...

Last weekend I went to a "Stamp Camp" with my mom and one of my co-workers. I didn't really want to get into another hobby, but it sounded like fun. It only cost $20, all the materials for 10 cards were provided, and it would be good bonding time. I mean really, where can you get a nice card for $2 anymore? I had a really great time! I'm not going to rush out to buy stuff because I can't think of more uses for a heart shaped hole punch but I ended up with some really fabulous cards that I will enjoy giving to family and friends. Mom kept mentioning how glad she was I brought her so I think we will definitely go to the one in March. Here's a snapshot of just a few of my favorites that I created:

Also today while I was at work, Josh ventured into the realm of insulation. We got some of the polyester insulation from Lowe's. Same R-19 value as fiberglass, none of the nasty getting in eyes and on skin. I think he did a pretty fine job of it and the crawlspace under our bathroom already feels noticeably warmer. Before if we took the board away, the cold air would pour into the basement. Now it feels about the same. I'm hoping it makes the bathroom warm because getting up at night to pee when the toilet seat is freezing is no pleasant experience let me tell you. The black foam on the pipes was another home improvement project of ours.

I think that what the Middle East peace talks are missing are the following: frigid temperatures, blankies, and cuddles. If you know our dogs, you will know that the following graphic image is nothing short of a miracle.