My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Zzzzzzz October 30, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Church,Hubby,Knitting,Sewing — blankenmom @ 9:54 pm
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I’d like to thank whomever decided to share their funk with me, by licking them so as to give it back.  Thanks!

Sugar Cane

I spent majority of my day asleep and will be headed back there very soon.  We did manage to make it to the Farmer’s market.  I figured it was outside so it was pretty safe from me passing my cooties along.  We bought our usual, salsa supplies and a watermelon.  The second-born wanted to try an acorn squash, so we’ll be trying that out this week.  We also picked up a stalk of sugar cane to try out, you know, just in time for trick-or-treating?  But we’re excited to try it.

We had a few other errands to run, including a trip to Dunkin Donuts.  The hubby wanted some coffee so I ordered the hubby’s Large Vanilla Latte and my Small Decaf Mocha Latte.  We got a large latte and a small latte, both caffeinated, neither flavored?  Thanks!

In spite of my ensuing caffeine rush, I still tanked for 3 1/2 hours.  It would have been longer, but the boys were playing a wonderful game of slam every door in the house, which would have been fine if the house were big enough for me not to hear or we had fewer doors.  So up I went and pumpkin carving and salsa making was at hand.  I made a double batch this time, so it will last the whole week.  After many gut, brain and slaughter jokes we were done.  I’m not putting the pumpkins out until tomorrow though, to keep “pumpkin smashers” away.  We’ll also be having our seeds tomorrow, I get more that way while the boys are busy with their candy… heeheehee.

As the boys got that all cleaned up I took the first-born out for his drive.  A few times around the neighborhood and then out on to the “big road”.  It only goes up to 35, and it has very little traffic, but it’s a “real road”.  He was so excited and so SLOW.  Haha!  After driving one way, I had him turn around before getting on to a busier street and we came back.  Someone pulled up behind us and the poor son was going 5 miles below the speed limit and I thought the car was going to drive up and over us.  Haha!  He got so nervous.  I AM enjoying this!

After that was another short nap and then my stellar dinner of noodles, however the heck you choose to make them.  They’re done and ready.  Everyone loved it.  Good, ’cause I’m to tired to make something real.  I did however make the colorful kind that they use veggies to color.  That way the fam still get’s their veggies for the evening!  *snicker*

Once the boys’ movie is over, it’s off to bed again.  I think this means church is out for tomorrow, I don’t want my first trip to a new church the one where I hand off my cooties.  I’ll save that for a later trip.

I obviously didn’t get my frogging done, but I DID get the buttonholes done last night.  Now all that is left is the buttons and lining put back.  FEW!  I can’t wait!  So while I finish up their movie, I’ll finish up my frogging and then bed sweat, quiet, bed.  I hope I feel better for tomorrow, this would be a crappy way to hand out candy.


Frogging October 29, 2010

Filed under: Church,Knitting,Military,Sewing — blankenmom @ 11:07 pm
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It’s Friday… doesn’t make much of a difference for me, but it’s Friday.  Woohoo!  Tomorrow is Farmer’s Market day and I think on Sunday we’re going to try the base church.  It’s also grocery shopping day and Trick -or- Treating, also a Woohoo!  

We bought the best candy, gummy worms that look real, ear wax and maggots.  We didn’t get barf and road kill like last year, but I think these are sufficiently gross enough, plus the fun toys we bought to hand out.  This may be my first year handing out candy,  the first-born is taking his brothers around the neighborhood, that is after we hit the officer’s housing for the good candy!

I'd like to point out that the hubby gave him and extra inch and 10 lbs. *giggle*

The first-born got his permit today.  It’s cool and scary all at the same time.  We took two drives around the neighborhood today and he progressed well.  I’m sure the mail boxes and garbage cans that he seems to be attracted to will feel much safer once he get’s it down.  We won’t be leaving our safe, barren roads until he get’s the gist of his side of the road.   We bought him pizza to celebrate.  Ok ok, we would have bought him pizza if he hadn’t of passed to make him feel better, but he doesn’t need to know that! 

I know, your admiring my big blue balls, of yarn - Dirty minded people!

 I spent the day frogging a sweater.  It’s a great shade of green and blue, but it just never got worn and I’m not about to waste good yarn.  I’m just about done though and then I have to relax it.  It should take all weekend before it’s done.  I’ll be working on buttonholes again tonight though since my hands are feeling better.  The temperature has gone down considerably today, it only got up to 75* thank goodness.  It feels so good!  The old lady dog and I aren’t feeling so old today.

I’m sure you saw in the news today that two planes were held up in PA just in case there were bombs on board.  I knew for sure my sewing machine was going to be on there.  So here’s how the scenario played out in my head (this always cracks my hubby up).  – They find two bombs on one of the planes and decide the safest thing they can do is to take the plane out to the middle of their runway and just blow up the whole plane.  A few weeks later I get a letter from said carrier saying that they are sorry but my sewing machine was also on the plane.  But I cannot receive the $500 it was insured for because it was already repaired, using up the money.  Have a nice day! –  Just to ease my mind I checked it’s tracking number and it hasn’t left OR yet, so we’re all good!


Bizarre happenings October 28, 2010

Filed under: Hubby,Knitting,Sewing,WTFr — blankenmom @ 10:53 pm
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It’s still very hot and muggy and if your tired of listening to me complain about it, tough.  I’m tired of waking up to it!  It’s October, I’m supposed to be in sweaters and jeans, warm and fuzzy from the lack of shaving my legs and eating hearty stews and soups, feeling all snuggly and warm with my family near by.  On top of that my hands have finally succumbed to the weather; I can’t knit, can’t hold the needle to sew the buttonholes and can barely even type.  The old lady dog is feeling it too, lumbering around all stiff and painful.  The locals think it’s pretty funny, mmm, not feeling it.

He kind of looks like he has a hang over doesn't he?

We had another visitor in the boys’ Bionicle bucket today.  It’s a pretty one too!  The boys wanted to play with their Bionicles, so they carefully pulled it out and set it on the table where it stayed until this evening, where it promptly returned to the bucket. 

The comedy of life sometimes is just to good.  On the bridge to the vet’s office the traffic was backed up pretty far once I got to the “scene” of the cause I really had to laugh out loud!  I kid-you-not a woman jogging was the cause of a 1/4 mile back up!  Really, are you kidding me!  Fully covered on the major area’s and wasn’t even that well endowed?  It was just one of those bizarre things, but it gave me a good laugh.

I took the cat in for her blood work today.  As I’m sitting there rolling the words “renal failure” around in my head and feeling like I might be on the verge of tears, I see a woman walk in with her spastic wiener dog needing a nail trim (the dog, not the woman).  She sits for a few minutes, talking to this squirmy little boy like it was her first child, making me giggle.  The tech comes to get the dog and has to *drag* it into the back.  Which again, makes me giggle.  (It was on a harness, no one panic, no animals were harmed in the making of this story)  The woman starts pacing around the room, touching everything, finally getting a bag of food and some treats.  She stands at the door, where her furbaby went in and I swear starts kind of whimpering and whining, sort of like her dog.  She turns and asks the receptionist if her dog is ok, if getting the nails clipped hurts?  The receptionist explains that it doesn’t.  She looks at me and I tell her our dogs have the same issue, for different reasons.  She gives out a quiet huff and mumbles “what ever” on the verge of tears.  At this point I wanted to start laughing out loud, and my cats possible renal failure all of a sudden became a smaller issue to me.  I DO NOT want to be one of THOSE people.  You bet I’m going to be sad when the ladies pass, but I would like to also have a few small pieces of reality to hold on to, such as – it is still an animal, not my child!  That being said, we get into the car and the cat looks at me as if to say “I hate you, and I know where you live!” 

The boys are spastic, and driving me up the wall.  Most likely because of the heat and we just haven’t found our groove yet.  We’ll probably find it about June, when we move.  I’m driving the poor hubby insane!  He’s attempting to find me “play dates”.  “But what if I don’t like them?  Can I come home and I can talk about how much I don’t like them?”  His reply “Sure, a change of conversation would be nice!”  Hahaha  A sign of a good hubby.  The greater job at Walmart is looking REAL nice.

It was fend for yourself night tonight, which is good since my hands hurt and that ment I got to finish my mashed potato’s.  The boys always like that too, so they all get what ever they want, as long as it’s a real meal.  Watermelon and cheese counts as a real meal?  Wasn’t that a Seseme Street song? *giggle*

I am also glad I finished my hat-turned-scarf yesterday, since there will be no knitting tonight.  Hopefully I’ll be back to normal tomorrow so I can finish the jacket in time for my sewing machine to arrive.  I’ve also got another order for some necklaces I make for someone.  It’s a hit or miss thing for me since it’s not really what I do, but it makes me money, it’s legal and I can do it from home, I’ll give it a whirl!  It leaves me with supplies for sewing too, so it works out well for me.

Last night I had caffeine and was up until 3:30.  And then today I had half of the first-born’s cinnamon buns that he made and was pinging off the walls at the vets office.  About an hour after I got home all I wanted to do was sleep and now am wide awake and can’t do anything.  *Sheesh*  This might be a long night!  I suppose this would be a good opportunity to get some Christmas presents ordered.  This is when I’d just sit and people watch at the last place… drunks are so entertaining!  I suppose I could go out and look at the stars and watch the owls and bats.  That’s more my style.  Ooh – I need those light up needles so I can knit in the dark!  Of course, that would probably attract the bats and I’d end up being attacked by the wildlife.  Hmmm,  maybe I don’t need them?

I’ll leave you with this – for those of you who sew, or are a sewing enabler, you’ll probably relate to one or more of these:


The hubby really is too good to me October 27, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Hubby,Knitting,Sewing — blankenmom @ 10:18 pm
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It’s been a very hot, sticky day for us.   It’s not so much that it’s hot and sticky, it’s more that it’s hot (90*) and sticky (90% humidity) in OCTOBER!  C’mon people, have southerners not heard of the 4 seasons?  Ok, ok, I’m done… I think?

I worked on the jacket today, I normally only work on it at night so nothing happens to it, but I really just want to get it done.  Speaking of which, my sewing machine repair shop called today and said that my baby should be back by the end of the week.  *EEK*  I’m so excited!!  So, I want this gone so I can get going on my newly tuned up/repaired machine.  I’ll get started on that pant suite.  Hmm, that should be fun to try on in this heat?  Maybe I should work on the baby blankets that are STILL sitting in my closet that I started before packing?  Hmm – all the choices, all the possibilities.  I’m so excited!

Swimming went a lot smoother than Monday.  The first-born resisted the urge to glare at the poor swim teacher with his best evil eye.  The fourth-born did fantastic.  He even put his face in the water; huge deal for that one.  We’ve almost had him drown TWICE, so he’s a little leery of the water now.  The teacher has him swimming (ok, it’s not pretty, but it’s getting closer) and even putting his face in the water.  I’m so happy.  If we can keep this up, we may have found a new sport for him that doesn’t involve him harming his teammates.

I worked on my hat-turned-scarf and I’m almost finished.  I’m sure they think I’m nuts working on a scarf in 90* weather, but I have to start sometime!  It was exceptionally hot in there and as you can see from the picture, was right in the sun and wore a black top.  I looked like I had been swimming too!  Next week it will be white, from head to toe.

I managed to miss our turn both going to and coming from the lessons.  Saying your new can only get you by for so long, I’m teetering on the end of that one.  The town we’re in is just not big enough to tell people that.

On the way out, still at the entrance, an older gentleman walked up and asked us if we were from Washington?  I looked at all the boys to see if one of us were wearing something that said WA and nope,  I was so confused, I could only guess that it was my Birkenstocks?  Hahaha!  He had seen us pull in earlier.  Few, for a minute there I thought we must REALLY looked like tourists.

The boys are always starving after lessons so we had gourmet as usual.  SOS, one of the boys’ favorites, mega cheap and easy to make.  The hubby was feeling spry and told the boys it was movie and a meal night, so they got to eat in front of the t.v.  Talk about excited!  Not only did they get to watch Kung Fu Panda AND eat, but *Dad* was the one who decided it, man that’s just cool.  “Thanks Dad!”

We’ve finally decided on which slow cooker to buy, we read all the reviews on Amazon and then looked at Consumer Reports and finally decided on the Hamilton Beach 33967 Set ‘n Forget 6-quart Programmable Slow Cooker (say that 5 times fast).  We had just the knob version before and it lasted 15 years + (well, it still works, it just doesn’t have any handles), so I’m hoping it behaves and doesn’t disappoint us.  We bought a microwave popcorn popper also, since we can’t make popcorn on the flat top stove.  We hope that works too.


The hubby’s computer has been giving him fits lately so we went out on a mini-date tonight to the geek store to buy him a new graphic card and canned air.  I got to play with the Ipad (they REALLY need to change that name!), I wouldn’t mind one of THOSE showing up under the tree!  And then the hubby took me out to KFC.  OMG’sh – MASHED POTATO’S!!  That man know’s me so well!  So, a two piece chicken meal with two sides of mashed potato’s, a biscuit and a large side of mashed potato’s later…. I am feeling good.  *burp*

Now for a night of …. nope, not buttonholes, it’s knit night after all.  A night txting my knitting ladies and working on my hat-turned-scarf.  Maybe Christmas shopping Webs and my usual Hulu.  I looked at my history the other day and it was at 603 and after a few days of watching it hadn’t changed.  They don’t count when you watch a show again on your history.  So that means I’ve watched probably 1500 videos in about a year…. I’m not sure if that’s sad or cool?


Minions October 26, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Family,Hubby,Knitting,Moving,Pets,Places — blankenmom @ 9:44 pm
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A very slow day, hot and muggy.  You really didn’t want to move, but it wasn’t quite warm enough for most of us to justify the a.c. but enough to just sit.  The sky was empty of clouds and even the planes, that’s kind of unusual, but a nice break from the noise.

Which of course came with frosting.... mmmm...

The first-born finished off the cinnamon rolls he had started last night, making for a very nice lunch.  The second-born, who can’t eat them was less pleased with the amount of dishes that came out of the project.  Having to wash the dishes of something you don’t even get to eat, really is unfair.  However, life is unfair, so he still “got” to do the dishes.  Ok, I’m really not all as mean as that.  He had cookies for his dessert.  Because of the expense of the poor kids cookies, he only get’s 3 little cookies instead of the monstrous rolls his brothers and dad wolfed down. 

About the time the hubby got home I was starting dinner.  We did our usual routine of asking about each others day while the hubby sat down.  That’s when he noticed that not just the boys followed me everywhere, but the girls too.  MINIONS!  At one point we had all four boys and all three girls in our room.  After sending the boys out to play, and getting tired of all three of the girls following me from room to room, I finally locked the them in the room with their dad (the pets, not the boys) and cleaned the kitchen.  All-by-myself!  My kitchen is very clean now I’d like to say.  After about 30 minutes of listening to the Oly Monster whine at the door, the hubby let her out again. Traitor!  As you can see, they were truly offended.

The cat's new resting place, under my feet?

 I can never get the timing right for dinner.  When I want it to take all day, it takes an hour.  When I want it to take an hour, it takes hours….  So tonight we ate at 7:30, when I had planned on 6:00.  Stupid pork roast!  It was a really good dinner for once though.  The first-born made a really good bbq sauce a few days ago that went very nicely with it.  But again, the second born can’t have it, so it was a dish it for yourself sort of thing since we couldn’t put it on the whole roast.  My point to this is that as I pulled the roast out of the crockpot tonight, the handle of the lid busted off.  This poor crockpot – it’s really done.  It no longer has ANY handles, just two screws stuck out of the side.  The ceramic pot itself has a huge chip in it and the outside of the cooking part is all rusted.  But it still worked, so I didn’t want to throw it out.  Hmmm – I’m thinking it might be time?

One of our visitors from last night decided to try their luck at our house again.  The boys all got to touch it, the little guy (or girl?) was nice enough to sit still. 

After looking at all the pretties in the Webs catalog, I’m trying to figure out what to get the hubby’s mother and granny.  As long as it’s hand-made, even if it’s easy, their happy.  As long as it’s inexpensive, my stomach is happy.  I’m sure the two can compromise.  I’ve come to the conclusion, while looking through the catalog, that some of these people assume money grows on sheep.  $45 a skein… down from $57, and it takes “only 6 skeins” to make the sweater they designed to go with it?  Yeah, you better keep dropping that price before I can even look at that page! 

We have someone new coming to look at the house up north tomorrow.  A mother with six boys – Jealous!  We already have someone interested, but we want to see who’s money is greener first.  I’m sort of leaning towards the 6 boys though….

Tomorrow the hubby’s last day of on call duty and our second day of swim lessons.  Wish me luck!


Swim away from lightning October 25, 2010

It’s been a watery sort of day.  Between the humidity of last night and this morning, the swimming lessons this afternoon and the pouring down rain of this evening.  The rain is what I had hoped would break the humidity, but NO, it just makes it worse.

This morning I woke and my sheets, which were newly washed (I love clean sheet day) were sticking to me.  Not the best way to wake up, but the boys were already doing their schoolwork, so I can’t complain.  Until I got the joy of listening to four little and not so little boys complain to me about their impending swim lessons that I’m *making* them take.  Hey, I was nice enough to put them in private lessons until they caught up with their cohorts, what else do they want?  We had to leave by 2:30 and the same boys who didn’t want to go, had their swimshorts on by noon, the only exception being the first-born, who was still growling at me for ruining his life.  Well, at least I’m good for something!

By the time 2:30 rolled around the boys all piled into the van, much to the disappointment to the girls who had to stay home.  *80 is much to hot to leave them in the car for and hour.

Swim lessons went well, the three younger ones had a great time, as I thought they would, but the first-born just gave the very nice swim instructor the evil eye.  NOT COOL!  But seems as how his permit is on the line, I think Wednesday will go differently.  What happened to my little boy who loved to participate, loved people, loved the water, loved everything?  Oh yes, I remember, he turned into a teenager.  yay. 

I however, got much further on my hat-turned-scarf, much to the confusion of passer-by’s.  It was a bit humid in the pool area for me to be working with the yarn, but I managed.  If we keep these lessons up, I should get plenty of projects done.   Ooh – the new Webs catalog came out too, Knitting Porn – WooHoo!  I’ll be drooling over some pretties for the next few weeks, window shopping the catalog.

I called on my poor sewing machine tonight.  They still haven’t shipped it off, they’re waiting to get their money from the shipper for the repairs.  *sniffle*  I just want my baby back!  At this rate, we may move again before they ship it.

We met the most wonderful old woman named Viola (said like Violet).  I mentioned to her that we looked at that name when we were pregnant, if we were to have a girl.  She said “And you didn’t have any girls to name that did you!  Because I am the original.  The one and only!  You’all miss me when I’m gone too!” (said with a very thick southern drawl)  Haha, Cracked me up!  The boys however were more concerned with her mustache that was coming in quite nicely.  Later on, she joined them in the pool with her stylish printed bathing suite and shower cap.

We survived the first day of swimming and got home just before the hubby.  The boys were starving, so dinner was first priority.  Why is it that I’m always making something red when I’m wearing light-colored shorts?  While making our grand dinner of homemade sloppy joe’s on noodles (I am the gourmet, aren’t I) the hubby gave me a great rundown of his day with a new assistant.  And when I say new, I mean, this was her first time working on real people.  Not exactly what you need when you have serious work to be done.  But being the dental stud that he is, he managed. 

That’s about the time that the storm started.  We’ve been hearing about the storm all day, so it was almost to the point of hurry up and get it done with already!  Thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings, flash flood warnings and granted, it was pretty good storm, but really we were just glad for it to be over.  The cat is now livid with me for making her come in, even though she knows she hates the rain and isn’t allowed out at night and the old lady dog spent the whole time under my desk, breathing her even more humid breath on me.  All this then stirs up the Oly Monster who starts running around the house.  Have you ever seen a 140# dog run through a 1000 sqft house?  At that point you just get out-of-the-way and sit down. 

The best part about the rain and subsequent flooding is the local wild life that comes out.  No, no crocodiles and sadly, no lizards this time either.  But lot’s of frogs and toads, and they were all nice enough to sit still for me while I was trying to get a shot of them in the driveway.  Yes, I’m eight…. what do you want, I’m the mother of boys!  At least I didn’t bring any into the house this time. yet  

 So the storm is done and everything is soggy, it’s still hot and humid, in October.  But the first-born has cinnamon buns in the oven, mmmm.  That makes the humidity a little more bearable.


Still churchless October 24, 2010

Filed under: Boys,Church,Knitting,Military,Sewing,WTFr — blankenmom @ 10:26 pm
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It occurred to me this morning that we’re still church less.  Granted, we’ve gone 3 years without a church up north, but that’s for various, pathetic reasons, all of which I’m to ashamed to list.  So, even though we’ll only be here until June, I want us to get to church.  I’m just a little nervous about a southern church, not to mention a southern church in a little town where everyone has known each other since their great-grandpappy’s were born.  Enter new comers… Yeah, we’re in a mil town and they MAY be used to it.  Yeah, it’s a church and their “always” welcoming, but really, it’s like your fresh blood when you walk into a small, new (to you) church.  It’s like a fly to honey; a booger to a finger; stink on….. ok I think you get my point.  So my thought this morning was, why not go to the base church.  They ARE used to the new people, they could really care less.  And they’re people from all over so no one has been here for very long and they are so used to new people coming in, no one will hardly even pay attention.  Awesome!  I think we’re on to something here. 

Darn it!  That means no more sleeping in on Sunday.  Hmm – I wonder if they have a Saturday night service?

Sunday’s are always productive in our house.  It’s chore day, so other than the floors getting vacuumed (I like to do that on Monday for some reason), the house is clean.  The boys have decided that they like the little house more.  Cleaning went from hours to less than an hour.  Mom likes the smaller house too, for that very same reason.  We went from a three-story, 4 bed/1 bath (yes, those still exist) to a one story (which is smaller than one floor at our last house) 3 bed/2 bath.  I’ll trade the size for my own bathroom any day!  We do however get a garage here – NICE!


I worked a little on my knitting.  My hat-turned-scarf is going to be cute, but a little scratchy I think?  I have a few other projects I’m waiting to work on, but I’m not sure I have the time before we move again.  They may just stay in the giant yarn bag for the next move too.  Imagine my movers face when I had to list the bag in the valuables section of the insurance list as over $600 in yarn!  No one panic, it’s several skeins of yarn, but it’s all my really good stuff.  The stuff from Ireland, the fancy lace yarn, various other’s that were just to nice to put in a box.  Of course, this was the same mover who didn’t know what a desk top was.

Tan w/navy blue pinstripes


I mentioned before that I wanted to use some fabric  that I bought before the move for a pant suite.  I haven’t picked out the pattern yet, but this is the fabric.  It’s got the perfect drape to it to feel just wonderful, it’s more for colder weather though.  Unfortunately, as a SAHM, I have absolutely nowhere to wear it too.  So it will look very nice in my closet.  There are only so many stay-at-home clothes you can make.  As soon as I get this *blasted* jacket out of here, I can start on it.  MUST-GET-JACKET-OUT!

The wonderful woman whose jacket I’m working on, pay’s me in her out of season clothes and shoes, some which have never been worn (I think I get the better deal on this one!).  She’s the same size as me and likes very nice clothes.  The point to all this is, one of the shirts she gave me I loved, except the color.  Baby poop yellow is the best I could do to describe it to you.  So, with my infinite creativeness, I decided to remove the color.  I have another shirt that was stained by Papa John’s garlic sauce (I wouldn’t eat that stuff if I were you, it didn’t leave a grease stain, it bleached it?) so I needed to remove the color from that shirt too.  My first thought was to make it a white shirt if possible and just change out the buttons and zipper, but as it started fading I decided I liked the bright pale yellow that was developing.  So I now have a new, bright yellow shirt. 

I spared you the before picture, it wasn’t pretty!  I have another knit top from her that I love, except the vomit green straps.  So I’m going to take the straps off and either redye them a new shade or replace them.  I’ll decide when I get there.

It was an absolute beautiful day out.  Perfect temp, a slight breeze, a few clouds.  The boys went fishing with the boy next door.  They had a great time, as usual.  Didn’t catch much though.  They also found out that the gravestones and markers are from the plantation workers who used to work on the field we now live on top of.  The newest “guest” is one of their relatives.  Still not sure how I feel about that one?

I saw the sunset tonight and had to take a pic, it was so wonderful!  The pic’s don’t do it justice, however.  I took two within seconds of each other and they turned out completely different?






 So strange?








We had our favorite Sunday dinner, breakfast.  I’d show pic’s but I didn’t want to give anyone a heart attack just looking at the meal.  Our usual waffles, and we added banana waffles.  Eggs, bacon and sausage.  To round it out, some people put ketchup on their eggs and jam on their waffles.  You have to have a complete meal after all, HA!

So off I go, to finish button holes, so I can make myself something fancy!