Annie

Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

Plarn

In Actions in Activities, Camp, Short on December 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm

*GASP* CHRISTMAS IS IN 8 DAYS! *runs around screaming*

Uh, Hi. You saw that? He he. 🙂

Today I’ve been working on making Plarn, Plastic Yarn, out of grocery bags.  I’m going to try to make a mat for camp. See, at camp, we have Morning Devotions outside. Since in the beginning of June (When we have camp) it still rains a lot (at least, in west-central Missouri), even if it doesn’t rain at night, there’s dew. So, every morning our pants get wet, because every morning the ground is wet. Some girls take care of this by laying plastic tablecloths out and sitting on those, but I’ve never seen one that wasn’t huge. Sometimes people will share, but it’s hard to spread out that way.  Last year we brought foam bed rolls to use, but they were still really big, and they are hard to put away.  I’m hoping if I can figure this out it will work ok. It’ll at least  be better than last year, sitting on wet, mossy, squishy tree roots is not the funnest way to start your day, plus it’s hard to think.  We shall see. I’ll post pictures of it when I’m done (ha ha).

I think my yarn (spoken of earlier)  has grown. When I looked at the ball last time, it looked about 8 inches wide. Mom said “well, you said it was wool… ;)” lol

 

How you spell happiness

In Actions in Activities on December 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

“Hello, my name is Annie, and I am a yarn junkie.”

Sigh. Yeah. I love it. ^_^ Especially really really soft yarn.  Let me explain.

The other day, my sisters and I went to the thrift store. Claire was looking for books with Meg, while I wandered around with Hannah.  Claire couldn’t find any books worth buying, so we started to leave. I took Hannah to the bathroom to wipe her nose before we left. When I came back I found Meg and Claire looking at the shoes. Right next to the shoes they had a small bin of hats and scarves and other items.

At first I only glanced at them, but then I noticed something. They were all hand crocheted and knitted. Well now, I had to take a look at that. There were a bunch of huge hand crocheted hats, all from the same pattern.  It turned out, it was actually all hats. I mean, there were DOZENS of them! I suppose someone made them just to donate.

Anyway, hanging on a hat rack (that Hannah kept trying to hang her coat on, even though we were trying to leave) was a giant, hand knit, white scarf. I picked it up and looked at it. DIANE was stitched (not very neatly either) in bright red letters.  Other than the red (which had tinsel-like strands in it, making it rather rough) , it was extremely soft.  I decided the knit was big enough I could easily pull it out for the yarn, so I bought  the scarf.  The actual reason we were at the store was because we had gotten to the bus stop before Dad was even on the bus(and it takes about 40 minutes to get from the Downtown to the stop), and we decided to go to the store while we waited.

Anyhoo, we went back to the stop and waited for his bus to get there. While we waited, I worked on pulling out and balling up my new (old) yarn. First I tried to pull out the letters (sort of crocheted on top of, not in, the scarf). I tried for a few minutes with a pen trying to break  the yarn. Yes I know. But I didn’t have any scissors.  I had a pen. So I used it. Needless to say, it didn’t work very well. I figured it would be easier to rip out after pulling and balling the rest of the yarn, and, now that I’m done, let me tell ya. It was not easy. It was not uniformly stitched in. Sometimes it went through the knit without piercing any yarn, others, it was all up in there, almost like it had been spun in with it.

But back to my story. As I pulled and worked with it, I noticed my hands getting waxy, and began wondering if this was actually wool, and the wax was the lanolin.  This was all speculation of course, as I have never worked with wool, and have no clue if the lanolin is even still in it by the time we get to it. I asked on Facebook if any of our friends knew how to tell if a yarn is wool, and everyone suggested the burn test. “The Burn Test” is a trial by fire for your yarn. Literally. You light it on fire. Not all of it of course, then you wouldn’t have any left to use. You cut off a few inches and light it. Very simple. You look at how it burns, how it smells, and what kind of ashes it leaves (if any). Some of the things are pretty easy to tell, like, if it melts, it’s plastic/acrylic. But others are harder. 

A friend gave me a link about How to do the Burn Test,  and on that page (which has a ton of other really cool stuff) I found a link to a Flowchart (I really like flowcharts by the way (-: ) that went more in-depth.  After following the test, noting the smell (by “burning hair” they mean what your hair smells like if you leave it in the curler too long, UGH. It lingers. For a long time.), and the texture of the ash (crunchy, like charcoal).  My piece of yarn was really long, and it was laying in the (dry) sink , so it didn’t die until the flame had eaten it all and then left a little lump of crunchy ash/char.

Following the chart, I have decided it is wool. I’m very excited. 🙂 I got a huge (seriously, it’s about 5 inches across) ball of really nice wool(!) yarn for 99¢. Yeah. That’s how you spell happiness.

In Farm and Family on December 8, 2011 at 11:40 pm

“Do you live on a ranch?” I resently got asked. I could have just answered “No”. But, after all, what would be the fun in that! It would be very unlike me too. Nope, I couldn’t just stick with the simple direct answer.  I had to write. And this is what I wrote.

We have 10 acres.  Not really a ranch lol :). Barely even a farm.

 

We have a small cow who will (Lord willing) be our milk cow (She can’t start giving soon enough! We easily drink a gallon a day). 

 

We started with two cats (a mama and her kitten), the kitten died, but then Whiskers had a litter of 5, 1 for each of us. Then after a few months she had another small litter, only 3. One of them got played with way to much way to early (not by us) and died.  So, the total stands at 8 cats, about 5 too many. BUT, we haven’t had any mice since we got them (like anyone in the country, we did).  The day before Thanksgiving one of the second litter kittens (still only about 3 months old) got the garage door dropped on her.  She lost control of her bowels and couldn’t walk. That night we thought she was dead (not dying, dead).  We all felt awful for the little guys. We prayed for her, and that night, I was working on something on the computer after everyone else had gone to bed, I came upstairs to go to bed myself. On the way up I stopped to check on Chief in the box we had left her in (when we named her, we didn’t know she was  girl), and found that she wasn’t there. I thought Daddy had taken her out to bury her, but I heard some rustling next to the couch, and there she was!  Dead cats don’t jump. I put her back I nthe box and put a laundry hamper over it so she couldn’t get back out (didn’t want her to hurt herself).  We thought this was just a “last rallying”, but if it is, it’s the longest one I’ve ever seen.  The next few days she, although she could walk, she had more of a swagger than most cats. Today she is running around and wrestling her brother like always.  Seriously a miracle kitty. Amazing how God shows his power, even through little kittens :).

 

We did have about 25 hens and 2 roosters, but all but 4 of them have met untimely deaths(raccoons mostly), well, at least, the hens did. The roosters got “voted off the island”. 

 

Meg has a dog.  She didn’t start out as Meg’s though, she was just the only one who could stand her.  Last year (2010) while my sisters and I were at camp,  Mom and Daddy were finishing the process of buying this place.  The week after camp, we moved in. The day after moving in, we got the dog.  She is a German Shepherd, Australian shepherd, Border Collie and black lab mix, we refer to her as a 4-way.  It’s a wonder she made it to almost 2 years old now. She nearly got killed a few times, sometimes by our hands, and others by poisoning herself. Right after we got her, she went outside and dug up some hyacinth bulbs (poisonous to anyone) and ate them. Later she ate coffee grounds (worse than chocolate).  Like I said. She’s lucky to be alive.  Even our local “Dog Whisperer” friend wanted to strangle her at times.  All that to say, she’s a mess, but she is better now, which is good because she’s huge (biggest kennel we could find huge).

So our total animal count stands at:

  4 hens, Pepper, Chicken Jane, Crazy Red;

8 cats, Whiskers (gray tabby), Pigeon (black and white puss-in-boots, both mine), Puppy (black and white puss-in-boots, Claire’s), Tuck (short for tuxedo, he is a black and white puss-in-boots with a white mustache, Adam’s), Attila the Hon(ey) (grey tabby, Meg’s),Sarah (grey tabby, Hannah’s), Chief Skunk-face (black calico), and Wane (grey tabby);

1 heifer calf, Bunny;

And 1 crazy dog, Kitty.

You may have noticed, we have a thing for weird names, mainly other animals names. Maybe that’s why they are so messed up… For example, we call “Here kitty kitty kitty!” and all the animals but Bunny come running (or, Kitty would, but she is confined to quarters).  The cats come because we called them, the dog comes because that’s her name, and the chickens come because that means food (who knew! Chickens can learn!).

‘Tis the Season…

In Farm and Family on December 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm

…to be frozen.

As least, that’s how pretty much all the water on the property is.

It is so cold! Bunny’s water was nearly solid. Anything we had left out that caught water the other day when it rained is frozen.  We had to fill milk jugs with hot water and take them to Bunny’s bucket to melt the ice so she could drink it. It’s 30° but the wind is bitter, it feels like about 19°. Yeah I know. That’s hot to most of my readers (or at least, some of you). But that’s about as cold as it has gotten!

After melting Bunny’s water, we tried to run an extension cord out to her bucket (it has a heater in the bottom), but it wouldn’t reach.

We have a small grove of Christmas Trees that some one planted on the back corner of the property.  Earlier Meg cut some branches off to decorate the dining room. She did a really good job. She took some fabric and put it in the bottom of a small basket and put a candle in it. Then she put some “cloven oranges” (Oranges stuck with cloves), pine cones and twigs in it. Very pretty! She put fabric in little cups and put oranges in them, and hung a little branch on the jam-safe knob. Today, after dealing with Bunny, I went and cut some more branches for wreaths. We had some grapevine wreathes I had made last Thanksgiving hung in there. We didn’t take them down, they made the walls not look blank.  I didn’t really want to make whole wreathes out of the firs, they are really spiky, so I decided to fashion some sort of hybrid wreath. It turned out great, so I worked on the other one. I would post a picture, but I have no camera anymore. Imagine a grapevine wreath, and put the front of a green Christmas type wreath on it.  Ok, that sounds weird, but it looks good. Which is good, because it was a real pain making them.

Dad has been teaching us how to play guitar, so this post is going to be short, as, my fingers hurt. 🙂

Unfinished business

In Actions in Activities, Farm and Family, Food, Musings, Pictures on December 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Hello!

I have returned from my writing hole! Actually, I haven’t, as it  is also known as the basement, and that is where the computer is. Plus, I’m… writing… now… Hmm… Oh well. 🙂

What I mean to say is, I’m done with NANOWRIMO (yay?). 🙂 Actually, that’s not true either. My story is FAR from done, it still has some gaps where I couldn’t think of anything, so I just moved on with another story point. But I did reach my goal! I made it to 15,000 on Tuesday.  I’m still working on it, just not as fervently as before.  I learned many things during the month. I learned some new words, or rather, instead of using, say, enthusiastically, or excitedly, I just used the word fervently (I’m pretty sure I’ve never used that word before). 🙂 I learned just how many 1,000 is (and 10,000 is huge). I learned that, even though it may take an hour to write, it may only take a few minutes to read, and it won’t neccicarally be good. I learned about the adventure of everyday life.  I learned I can write 1,000 words in a day, and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

Not all of this was because of NANO, but maybe became manifest in my story.

Now, I will have you know, I did not spend my whole month writing. On the contrary, I finished (Yes! Me!*gasp*) a lot of crafty project things I started months, maybe even years ago!

I finished my scrapbook! BA BA DA DUM! You may see pictures of it HERE (Maybe, first person to read this has to click the link and tell me if it worked 😉 Thank you Rae)

I made TWO (count ’em!) pairs of fingerless gloves! These are the ones I made for Hannah’s Birthday. I came up with the pattern with this pair.  So, see? Not only did I finish an old project, I started two new ones (Or you could count it as 5, four for the gloves and one for the rope on Hannah’s), and finished them too!

(Annie leaves to get a “Buttersquashy”) Mmh. Warm cookies are THE BEST! OOH! (runs upstairs to get milk) Ok, now it’s the best. Yum. Mmh. See? I finished that cookie too! Sigh, yep those are pretty much the best cookies. What’s that? You want a “best cookie ever” too? Ok then. 🙂

Buttersquashies

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/4 cups AP flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups quick oats

1-3/4 cups (or more) butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375°

Beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine dry ingredents. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in oats and butterscotch, mix well.

Bake on parchment paper for 8-10 minutes.

As I said, pretty much the best cookies ever.

Ok, what was I saying again? Ah yes.

I also memorized my quiz stuff (Still working on it, but it’s a whole lot better than last month, or the month before that). I am much more ready for the quiz Saturday (OMGOODNESS the quiz is Saturday) *faints* *recovers* Ok, maybe I should go study… Nah, I’ll finish this, I have abandoned my friends (I’m sure they have been struggling all month, not knowing what I’VE been doing lol). 

I worked on a few short poems (as part of my story, but I wrote them alone, they just happened to fit.)

The trail rolls ever on and on

Connecting hill and dale

And I too must now march along

On this lonesome trail

The sigh of trees the only sound

As I march to the trails end

The crunch of leaves upon the ground

The call of birds my only friend

I stuffed the turkey! Dad did the dance, Meg and Claire cut the oranges and onions and I stuffed it! 😀 It was gross. I had butter up past my wrists :P. We put a stick of butter under the skin on each side and one on the inside. Gross, but very moist and good after it’s cooked. 🙂

On a different note,

Bunny has started jumping her fence. It is just one wire of electric fence that we move every few days to give her new grass (We don’t have any permanent fence up yet). It’s just about knee high, so she can’t duck under it, but still not just walk out.  I have seen her do this twice. The first time, I was out with Adam and Hannah and she was trying to follow us. The second time, Dad and I were bringing her water in the back of the lawn tractor, and she freaked out and bolted. Now, she doesn’t just walk over the fence like you would think of a cow doing. She high jumps. Like a show horse. At first Mama and Daddy didn’t believe me, thought I was kidding. But then Adam and Hannah said the same thing. Yeah. 😐 We have the weirdest animals…  Must be the names.

I think I’m going to change my template. I want my sidebar back. :\

Wow, that is a long post. I guess I should stop now.

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