Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wellness Wednesday #2

Hello Everyone! Thanks for the great comments and encouragements you all left me on and off the blog! I really appreciate all the input and those joining along who pulled off their masks too! It's not easy, but I think we need to stick together and encourage one another.

I think it was Donna (but can't find the comment to verify) who recommended the Prism Weight Loss Plan. If you are going to go on a diet, I would highly recommend this one. I had to laugh when I googled because it comes up with some really nasty criticism. It is labeled as a fad diet with extreme carb-cutting and a copy of the Atkins diet. I have to think that the people that write these things have 1) never been on this diet or even seen it's material and 2) have an axe to grind, possibly are anti-Christian. This diet is lowered carbs but is NOTHING like Atkins and it is not a fad diet either. It teaches you how to eat better. It does start out eliminating almost every white carb (is this such a bad thing?!), though you are allowed to eat rice and rice cakes. It starts this way because your body gets "addicted" to these and this helps you to cut the ties and also helps the weight come off quicker in the beginning. But after each session of several weeks you begin adding things back in so that you will learn how to eat them in moderation. The best part of this diet is the support group and the scripture/devotions. This is a Christ centered "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" plan. It works. If I were to actually diet again, I would do this program.

I don't diet anymore!

No, I'm not in denial. I still checked in at the same 325# this week...not surprising since I had pms munchies this week and enjoyed a lot of the homemade chocolate chip cookies my hubby made! :o)

I have been on a long journey with my weight and have been on many diets since I was in grade school. I started out with chubby baby fat and have ended up with morbid obesity. As a child I absorbed a lot of negative and cruel commentary on my weight and appearance to the point that I could no longer look at my body in proper perspective. Not only have I dieted and exercised, but I have also vomited and starved. When I weighed 120-150 pounds I was plump and healthy. My mind's eye looked in the mirror and saw someone who weighed 325#! When I go on a diet it begins to be a competition with myself until I get to the point of eating virtually nothing, being miserable, not losing weight and then giving up and bingeing. It's a vicious cycle of self hate and honestly I think it is not better mentally than drugs, alcohol or other destructive behavior.

So, a couple years ago I said no diets. I am going to learn to be healthy. The first step in being healthy is accepting God's view of you and giving Him total control of your life. Some of my obesity I cannot help, most of it though is my response to fear, anxiety, emotional pain and not trusting God. That was really hard to admit when I finally realized it. But over the last few years He has strengthend me, taught me, loved me and opened my eyes. I am in an overall healthier state of mind because He has healed me.

Still, I am left with old habits. Getting rid of the old habits is the hard part. But I have a hubby and three little kids that I wish to spend a long lifetime with. And so, I am working on change. I think it is often overwhelming for many of us to look at the big picture. For instance, I have a whole fat person to take off of me in terms of pounds! WHOA! That's scary. That's why I have to look at small goals and achievements.

My first small goal was to not gain more weight. The next was to take off some weight and keep it off. After that I began to tackle eating like a normal person...learning normal proportions and servings. That isn't easy in a super sized world. Eating when I was actually hungry...not when bored, nervous, scared, depressed etc, was another baby step. Then I began looking into healthier foods. I am now in the second phase of that, which I have shared on here before. (I have not started gluten free yet, still reading, but haven't given up on that plan.)

I think the next step for me will be adding increased exercise. This is a struggle for me since living in California because my asthma has been so bad. I have always been active and enjoyed exercising, but when you can't breathe, it's no longer fun. I hate huffing and puffing to keep up with my kids and I don't want to be on the sidelines forever, I want to be actively involved in my own life. I haven't decided how I will jump in for certain, but it will most likely be walking. Walking is a safe, all around exercise that benefits the body in many ways.

What steps are some of you taking in your journey? Do you get enough exercise? What exercise do you do? More importantly, when you look in the mirror, do you see a child of God or do you deny Him and see something else? What encourages you? How can we encourage each other?

Thanks for reading today if you made it this far. I will be praying for anyone who leaves comments about your journey!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oh Brother!

Last week I had an unexpected email from my "little brother" and his wife, pictured here. B is not my brother biologically, but he is my brother in Christ and he lived with my Mom and step Dad when things weren't so great in his own family. He was in high school and I was just out of college. We were both going through tough times in our lives and really bonded. We shared friends at church, fun times with some of my college friends and mainly just goofed around. He picked on me just the way a "real" brother would. :o) Our family has always stayed in touch and still claim him as "ours". He'll have a hard time getting rid of us! LOL In 1992, he joined the Navy. And later when he told me he met a gal at a party, I thought "Oh great!" But his wife L is really great and we love her too! B was somewhere out on his sub in the ocean the last time I saw his family when my D was 2 months old and we have just never connected since. When I was in WA, he was stationed in CT and HI. But, of all things, a soccer tournament held 5 miles from my house brought us together this weekend. It was so awesome to see them!

This is me and B. Bad picture of me but it's here for my Mom. (I hope you appreciate this Mom!) First thing he said when he saw me was how much I look like my Mom! I had a chance to remind him later (when he removed his hat and revealed his non-Navy induced hair impairment! LOL) that the top of his head reminded me of someone else...hmmm... perhaps his Dad! LOL

We missed L's game. She is on the right along with a teammate. However, we did meet up with them at some picnic tables at the soccer park. L's family lives about 2 hours from me, so they were all there too, which was nice for them all to be able to get together after a really tough year.

Here is L with their oldest daughter C. Fortunately the girls take after their Mom (ha! ha!). C has grown into a really lovely young lady. I feel old...she is now a freshman in high school and will be turning 14 in a couple weeks!

My brother has always been really good with kids. Here he is showing A and D how to bounce a ball on their foot.

I had to post this picture of A in her new jeans and new shirt...just before she slipped and covered herself an inch thick in mud! Good thing I was a Girl Scout, "be prepared" and all! LOL We had extra clothes left in the van from when we had gone to the ocean in September.

Way to go B! Bend it like Beckham! LOL

B showing D how to drop the ball, NOT throw it, onto his foot to bounce.

I was so appreciative of the time he took with each of my children individually to show them how to kick and maneuver the ball. This is J. She was a little bashful with him, she's my quiet one, but she had fun.

You can see the look of joy on her face. She is always pleased when someone takes the time to do something with her. Sister A in the middle. It really makes me happy when people treat my girls as individuals, because that's what they are! But as identical twins often get grouped together. It's understandable, but as a Mommy, I am always thankful when they get treated as two unique people. I forgot to ask B and L if they could tell the girls apart. Probably not, except that they had different clothes on. (I rarely dress them alike)

Here B and A are practicing passing the ball.

A doesn't know yet that you don't use your hands in soccer. "Look what I can do Uncle Bruce!" :o)

She couldn't figure out which side of her foot to kick with. We have been practicing that when we put our shoes on, Hello Kitty goes on the outside. So, I told her to kick with the side that does not have Hello Kitty! So in this picture she is figuring it out. Then she says, "Uncle Bruce, I have Hello Kitty shoes!" News Flash...isn't everyone in the world excited by kitties on the shoes? She certainly thinks so! :o) (Another thing to make me feel old! I remember when Hello Kitty came out when I was in junior high!)

I dont' think A was trying to learn how to head, but that's what happened! It looks like she's posing in some "crane pose" for yoga or martial arts! LOL

Here's A again. She was just a little comic. She can never figure out why she can't see the ball after she throws it! LOL She usually manages to get it behind her!

Hubby caught this shot of me catching the soccer ball after J kicked it and hit me in the head! (This is for you too Mom!)

There was a duck pond and fountain at the park too. All the kids were really interested in it. We watched all the soccer kids leaning into the muddy water looking to see what was there.

And naturally my children are always attracted to the water. Here is J, D and A (front to back) in a neat shot that Hubby caught.

There were a couple of water lillies blooming but they were too far out to get very good shots.

Here's L practicing with her soccer ball. When we left she had another soccer game to play and two more on Sunday. They tied the first game and I don't know how they did on the rest. They were playing some tough teams but L is a go-getter and very skilled.

My brother with his girls. L in the top picture. She's almost 9. And C in the second picture.

Here's the whole family together. It was a short but sweet visit. Hopefully the next visit won't be so long away. He's finally stationed in Washington and I'm down here. About the time I go back up, he'll probably be restationed. :o(

After our visit, my family went to Ikea to get the rest of the flooring we need to do the kids' room and too look at bunk beds. We think we have one picked out for them. Next weekend we are hoping to start on their room transformation. Naturally, pics will follow! :o)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Finished Chevron Bag and a Fiber Gift

While poking around on Ravelry, I found this pattern for a Chevron Bag . I'm a sucker for color striping and it intrigued. I have never knit with Noro Kureyon because it feels like scratchy straw and cheap wool! There are bits of vegetable matter in it...I would not spin something with that much VM in it, so why knit it! Well, this project drew me in. The above picture is the "before". After that it went into the washer for some felting!

This is the "after' picture. Wow, what a transformation! This is so SOFT! It's like a little baby lamb and has a very fuzzy halo to it. The disappointing part is that it is so wide at the top that it could not be used as a purse unless it was lined with a zipper or something to keep things from falling out. It will however, work as a project bag, which is what I had in mind for the person I made this for. The colorway was Kureyon #150, which has greens, lavender, brown and turquoise.

And, last week, a package of "animals" arrived in the mail for me! My stepdad Jack sent me this...the first picture is llama. My Mom described it as "It needs cleaning, but I checked it and approved!" LOL My Mom is pretty picky about cleanliness, so this seal of approval from her assured me that I wasn't getting all the remains of someone's dirty stall! It is kind of "Palomino" colored and then to the right is a nice hunk of white that is creamy and soft. Can anyone tell me how to wash llama and prepare it to spin? I don't have a drum carder, I do have hand cards and a flicker, which should be doable for this small amount. How do I de-hair this?

And this is not a Llasa Apso sleeping on the dining room table, this is Angora rabbit clippings. It is in multiple shades of gray and very lovely. It does also have someblack hairs mixed in this. How do I get the hairs out? How do I wash and prepare this? Since I tend to react to Angora in sweaters I have never spun it. I understand it takes some skill due to the short staple length and it's slick. I am thinking that I may need to find some lovely gray wool and blend this with it. That might be a job for a drum carder?? Any help would be appreciated.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Spindling Splendour!

Mr. Hisey, Grandma Hopkins, Theresa and Cousin Wendy at the trail head to Mt. Pilchuck, ca 1980. Look at my "big hair"! I didn't have to try to have big hair in the 80s, God just gave it to me. I was forever trying to tame it, as in this picture where it is pretty brushed down so that my hair would feather! LOL I see I'm also wearing my snazzy Appaloosa jeans. (When I was this size, my perception of myself was that I weighed 300#! It makes me a little sad to see the difference between my perception of myself and my actual body.) You'll see the connection to the picture in a minute!
Let me introduce you to my new spindle, a Mt. Pilchuck spindle from Cascade Spindle Company in Kent, Washington.
Here is a closeup showing what I have spun and some of the beautiful fiber it came wrapped in courtesy of Kendig Cottage's eBay store. The fiber is very luscious and reminds me a lot of Cary's Comfort Wool. It is very sproingy and is in a color I would not naturally be drawn to, but is so lovely in all it's naturalness. Cary, does Corriedale come in this color?
This is what Cascade has to say about their spindle: This is the spindle you've been awaiting to spin designer yarns and also the ultimate plying spindle. Engineered for an easily-controlled, fast, long and consistent spin. Maple, rim-weighted, long shaft, weight under 1-7/8 oz.

I knew I wanted a Cascade spindle. Not only are they beautiful, but they come from my homestate where I grew up at the base of the Cascade Mountains. I have spent many happy hours there...when I wasn't playing at the ocean! But I couldn't choose which one. I narrowed it down to the Pilchuck and the Mt. St. Helen's. I have a feeling that Mt. St. Helen's and the "wristaff" are going to sneak their way into my collection in the future! :o)

I settled on the Pilchuck because I already have a great Bosworth Purpleheart Maxi spindle and I have been slowly spinning some of Cary's wool from her sheep Valerie to make Evelyn Clark's Sheep Shawl. When I used that spindle to ply, I was very frustrated, though some of that may have been my inexperience! The Pilchuck was advertised as being good for plying. A second factor was that, as you can see in the above picture, I climbed Mt. Pilchuck.

I am the third generation in my family to grow up with Mt. Pilchuck in the panoramic vista of my neighborhood. It is considered the easiest and most accessible peak in the Cascade range, with a six mile trail to the top where there is a fire lookout. On a clear day you can see for miles across the Cascades and over the Sound to the Olympic Mountains. I have photos of my grandparents as teens, at the lookout with their families in the early 1920s. None of them were scanned otherwise I would show you. Unfortunately all the pics I took on this hike were from an old 126 film camera and are not very sharp. Mr. and Mrs. Hisey, lifelong neighbors of my Grandma Hopkins in Lake Stevens, WA, took us there. Grandma must have been 74 years young at the time.

Back to spindling... I love it already! :o) It practically spins itself! I would highly recommend it to anyone. I have to admit that I never understood before why people "collected" spindles, though many are beautiful works of art! My favorite are the wood ones because no artist is greater than the Creator! I am not monogamous in my fibery projects. That actually helps me be more productive because then I don't get too bored on any one project. I do like to keep them under control however. But because of this, I think it is fun to have a few different spindles so that I can work on different projects. I think I am beginning a spindle collection too! LOL I will continue to spin Valerie the Corriedale sheep on my Bosworth and will probably try something colorful and fun on my Pilchuck.

Another note on spindling. I started with an inexpensive spindle, basically a stick with an unfinished wood whorl, a gift from an SP exchange. It was a bottom whorl and having never spindle spun before, I knew no different. Then when I tried the Bosworth, a fine piece of workmanship, a gift from Pamela in England, I realized that a "Cadillac" really does drive better! I am finding that my drafting skills have improved greatly since learning how to use the spindle and that I am more consistent on the spindle than on my spinning wheel. I never could walk and chew gum at the same time! :o)

If any of you are spindlers and have any pointers to add, I'm all ears (or eyes as the case may be!).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wellness Wednesday #1

Hello everyone. First of all, thank you to everyone who has commented, written and called with encouragement regarding my posts on health and "taking off the mask". I feel very loved and thankful to the Lord for my Internet friends and "family"! I'm sorry that I have not been very good at answering comments. That's all because of my overall sensation of being overwhelmed, not because I don't care. I'm trying to get better.

In my efforts to become healthier, I think it will help me if I have some type of accountability factor. So I am going to create Wellness Wednesday on my blog. On that day I am going to check in with my weight (big taking off of the mask! LOL) and maybe talk about or share something I am learning in the process. It's not that I think that I know so much but that I think it helps us all to share. I will appreciate any of your helpful feedback as well.

As far as going wheat/gluten free, I have not started yet, but I am researching and have been on a couple shopping expeditions for supplies. Today, I confess I ate a Bismarck donut...creamy center and maple frosting. I just wanted one last one. Not that I have them often, but you know, that idea that you may not ever have one again... LOL Yeah, silly I know. We are also having lasagna and french bread tonight for dinner! :o)

That being said, I will share my weight. It's scary to do that here but I realize that it would not be that difficult to guess when you look at me. I have actually lost 5# over the last couple weeks and it really doesn't show, but I am beginning to feel it just a smidge in my clothes. Currently I weight 325#. Crawling back under my rock again! :o(

Today I want to share a tutorial for making taco filling without using chemicals. I am not the greatest cook but I am learning how to do things healthier and wanted to show how easy it can be to cook healthy. I summarized the "recipe" at the bottom.

The first step for me is the fresh/frozen ingredients. Standing long periods in the kitchen is a factor for me. I also have a life interrupted with migraines where I cannot spend hours cooking. So, I make hay when the sun shines! I bought this inexpensive Cuisinart brand chopper. When I get groceries, I get a lot of green onions, celery, carrots, peppers and so on at once. I chop them up with the Cuisinart chopper and I put them in ziploc bags, flat and thin in the freezer. The key is to make them flat, about 1/3" thick or less, so that you don't have to thaw to use them. I am looking for an alternative to this because I have been reading a lot of concerning information on plastic and freezing. Anyway, I have a rubbermaid container in the freezer that I put all these bags in and when I'm cooking, I pull out what I need, break it off and it thaws quickly in the pan. It tastes fresh in the food. I may spend an hour or two once every 4-6 weeks, but this saves me time when I am ready to cook. It also keeps me from thinking, "I don't feel like getting all that stuff ready, I'll just do something else."

Sorry that was long. For the taco meat I use peppers (I use only yellow, orange and red...much, much easier to digest than green), green onions, celery and occasionally if I have some pico de gallo left over from a trip to our local favorite authentic taqueria, I will put that in. Other options could be chopped green chillies, jalapenos, olives and mushrooms. It depends on your tastes.
For 1-1 1/2# hamburger meat (I also cook this ahead of time and freeze it in ziplocs), I use 1/2 of a can (abt 14 oz) of petite diced tomatoes (if you can't find petite, I would cut up the tomatoes with kitchen scissors just so you don't get huge chunks), 1 small can (abt 7 oz) tomato sauce and about 1/4 of a can of El Pato Salsa de Chile Fresca. If you cannot find this in the Mexican food section of your grocery store, try Walmart. It has a duck on one side of the can and the above chiles on the other. This can be hot, so use to your taste. An alternative which I may try, is red chile powder and red chili flakes. I think this would also require more sauce/liquid of some type. We LOVE garlic and use a lot (maybe some of you noticed! LOL).
I pour some olive oil in the bottom of my stainless steel pan and you can see the added frozen ingredients. This is a good way to sneak in veggies for your kids...thus the celery and I think I am going to try carrots next time.
I have started using organic spices. They cost a little more butI have noticed a difference in taste and freshness compared to some regular brands. I use Cumin, to taste. We love Cumin so probably use more than average. Start with 1/2 t and work up from there. I don't measure, but probably use 3x that amount. Then I sprinkle in some Oregano. Recently I was able to find some organic Cilantro, also from Simply Organic, and I will try that next.
What it looks like so that you can see how much Oregano got sprinkled in and how it starts out. I start out with a higher temperature and then reduce it so that it simmers, allowing some of the liquid to evaporate.
This is what it looks like when done. It takes about 15 minutes. It tastes better than the packet filled with MSG and other chemicals and it doesn't take any longer the day you make it. Use this in tortillas or corn taco shells or ? We also use this with ground chicken for nachos. It is less heavy that way and the chicken lends itself well to Mexican seasonings.
1-1/2# organic/hormone free hamburger, browned
Chopped Celery
Chopped Green Onions
Chopped Red/Orange/Yellow Pepper
(amount depends on taste)
1/2 of a 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 7oz can tomato sauce
Mexican hot sauce or chili powder to taste
1/2 t (or more to taste) Cumin
1 t Oregano
Garlic Cloves, freshly minced (amount to taste)
Green Chillies
Other peppers
grated carrot
Saute onions, garlic, peppers, celery and any other fresh veggies. Add sauces and browned meat. Then add seasonings and stir all together. When it gets hot, turn it down to a simmer and let it cook without a lid. When the liquid has reduced and the flavors blended together, serve.

If you made it this far, thanks! This is my first time, so if I do it again, I'll try to make it less confusing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Surprises in the Mail

I can't believe it but I won this book! I entered a Bible quiz contest at Tabitha's Heart. It was really fun to do and she is having another contest now. I have just been getting to know Tabitha on the Christian Artisan list (link on the sidebar) at Yahoogroups and on Ravelry. Her website is a great source of encouragement for Christian women. Be sure to look around and check out the links because there is a lot there, including a blog. She's also a knitter, so you knitters can check out her knitting blog and see the great knit skirt she just finished!

The book is going to be great for homeschool and has a lot of information, taught from a Creationist point of view. I have not read it all yet, but flipping through pages, it looks great. D was very excited because his Aunt and Uncle got him a dinosaur, just like the one on the cover that pieces together with magnets, for his birthday.

Aren't these lovely? These came from my friend Sharon who is also on the Christian Artisans list. Go check out her Ewe n Me Etsy Shop which was recently featured as an etsy site of the day on the Lime n Violet blog recently. This stitch markers are for use with Cat Bordhi's sock patterns in her new book New Pathways for Sock Knitters. You really should get it from your lys because it is no cheaper on Amazon. Support your lys so it stays in business! :o) I probably won't be getting into this book until after all my holiday gift knitting is done.

Last but not least, something quite lovely came in the mail today! The new Victoria Magazine, which will be on news stands October 30th! This issue probably wasn't the most exciting one for me since our family does not celebrate Christmas the traditional way. However, it was very well done and has an essence of the former magazine with a little more modern polish. I haven't read the articles, just thumbed through the photos and it is quite beautiful. And the upcoming Jan/Feb issue looks promising! I always loved the old Victoria magazine so I am glad that someone is republishing.

Lord willing, I will see you back tomorrow for what I am going to call "Wellness Wednesday". I'm going to use that day to be vulnerable and check in with my progress with my weight and health and post information that relates to those subjects. Tomorrow I plan on posting, with photos, how I make taco seasoning without a chemical seasoning pack!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Autumn's Glory

Some people view Autumn as a time of decay and death. But Autumn has always been my favorite season. Maybe it's because it carries elements of all four seasons...some plants and flowers actually begin to bloom or go into their second blooming/fruiting, the days are often warm and sun-filled with incredible blue skies like summer and yet winter is nipping at your heels and creeps in through the nooks and crannies of windows and doors. Occasionally there is a dusting of powdered sugar over the trees. And last but not least, who can resist the glorious crown of color that Autumn wears? I cannot.

My cousin has SAD (Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder) where she feels depressed when the sunshine is gone and the days are shorter. I think I have the opposite. When the temps start cooling (no more triple digit! Hurray!), I begin to thrive. I wake up, I enjoy going out doors and I love breathing the crispness of the cooler and clearer air. During CA summers I feel smothered, claustrophobic and isolated.

The past month with illnesses and rain, we have really been feeling like we have had cabin fever. Our weather is much cooler and there has been more rain than usual, so sadly we haven't enjoyed the fall as much as we usually do. Saturday we decided to do something about it and went up to Apple Hill. It was a quick trip, but nice to get our noses out! We didn't go as many places or stay as long as we wanted because there were just way, way, way too many people. There were more people than we have ever seen up there and we could hardly walk two feet without people bumping and pushing and there were lines for everything!
We stopped first at the VFW memorial in Placerville. That's me back in the bushes taking closeup pics, while the kids had fun running. A is in the pink, J in the stripes and of course D is in the green shirt. I didn't get any pics of hubby. :o(
Hubby took this shot of D examining the colorful leaves.
He gets credit for these mushrooms too. We had a lesson on not touching and eating things that you see in the wild because they might be poisonous. This was especially important after A swallowed either two dimes or two nickels (or possibly one of each) the other night. I've been calling her "Piggy Bank" which makes her giggle! LOL So far nothing has come out of the bank...that we know of!
Hubby caught A seriously inspecting some leaves. Yellow is her favorite color, so she had fun looking at all of the leaves, but especially pointed out the ones that were yellow.

While I took pics, the kids had fun running. We don't have any grass at home, no place to really run, so this was a treat for them. When D saw these pics, he said, "There's me beating A in a race!" I asked him why A was in front if he was winning, but he didn't have an answer.
Apparently this last minute agonizing push attained the win for him! But A looks doubtful! LOL I had to put this picture up because it just cracks me up. He looks like he is agonizing in a marathon instead of having run 20 feet!
Here is J next to the monument, sitting down to think awhile and watch everyone else.
A pointing up at the yellow leaves on the Pomegranate trees. Here's another picture hubby took of J. I thought this looked funny like she was sitting against one of those fake photo backgrounds or something.
Hubby snuck this shot too of me taking close ups of these berries.
A pretty leaf I saw. I enjoy the leaves that are not just one solid color. The girls saw me doing this and brought me more things to photograph! :o)
I thought this red looked neat on the lucious green...we don't have much lucious green in CA, you have to shoot it when you can! LOL
A collection of leaves the girls brought me to photograph.
Berries on the Mountain Ash tree. I wondered if people dye wool with these?

An oak leaf, partially eaten, shot a couple inches away with my new closeup lens. I need to do some reading and get to know my camera better before I can really get some nice shots. There is a very shallow depth of field, so while you can get very close to something, it is not always easy to get it in focus!
I don't know if you will be able to see on this tiny photo but the trees are reflected in the rain drops.
And the berries are reflected in this rain drop, but I suspect it won't show in this tiny of a shot. They aren't the sharpest of shots, but it was fun to play anyway!
One last raindrop on these unknown berries.

VFW Memorial, Placerville, California. The red tree is Mountain Ash and the yellow are Pomegranates.
The Three Musketeers! A, D, J
We love our brother. But, we hate looking at the camera!
See, it's a conspiracy so Mom will never get a great christmas card shot! LOL
We saw apples...
and more apples... you can find and buy anything pertaining to apples up there...if you are willing to stand in line!
We waited about 15 minutes just to buy apple donuts...but the short ones were happy! :o) D, A, J
There was a really nice farmer there from Mountain Lavender Farms. This is some of his cut lavender. I purchased a little to put in my wool. I am sensitive to it, but I will be incensed if the moths eat my wool!
Hanging lavender from Mountain Lavender Farms.
And aprons hanging in one of the craft booths. I thought the array of colors and patterns were pretty.
I've always loved Indian corn. I thought a lot of them looked like different sock yarn colorways I have seen. See, there is nothing new under the sun and He is the greatest Creator!
While I was taking pics, D had a meltdown and here the girls are waiting patiently, J on L and A on R.
This is Boeger Vineyards on the road out of Apple Hill.
It's mostly over for the grapes for this year. Since we don't drink, we don't know if there wine is any good or not, but we always stop by and take pics of the vineyards.
Aren't they beautiful? They look so velvety.
The last of the 2007 harvest of grapes.
On the way home we stopped at Big Lots! and Ross. Just the girls and I went in and we found some deals. We are preparing to rejuvenate the kids' room, including purchasing a bunk bed now that D is 6 (CA state law requires that). A found a cute Care Bears bedspread and J found one with Precious Moments on it. The walls are going to be painted "Pooh Yellow" which is neither the color of the old or the new Pooh, just yellow! Yellow goes well with all their favorite colors and since they are in the same room, that works out well. We are going to put in laminate flooring as well. We will probably do that on Veteran's Day weekend. The girls and I had fun picking them out together. It was the first time we did any "girly shopping". Of course they don't have any concept of waiting and planning so they are uncertain of why they don't get to put these on their little toddler beds, but I think they will be pleasantly surprised when they get their twin beds! D and A are going to be in the bunk bed and J will have D's twin bed. We are hoping this will give D a place where he can get up and away from his sisters when he needs to, until we can live somewhere that has 3 bedrooms.
On the knitting front, I have finished and started several small projects and I have also started a shawl I am test knitting for a friend and will be sharing more about later! Hopefully I will have time this week to do that.