small sample of my crazy quilt embroidery

About Me

I am a consumate crafter. I knit, quilt both sane and crazy, scrapbook, bead, mosaics and any other thing I can think of along the way. Someday I also hope to do real glass jewelery and stained glass but those have to wait until I have room and more time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Back To Nature-Again

We are finally at that time of year that I can snap pics of the butterflies. This little tiny guy is one of my all time favs. He is only about 1" long and except for the brilliant orange on his wings he is entirely gray in color. But he is one smart little butterfly. The way he lights to feed makes bigger butterflys think the orange "eyespot" in the front end of him. And when they come in to attack he can fly in the opposite direction than what they think he is going to. Cause his head is really at the other end. In the pic it is obvious what end his head is at but it is not always as easy to see in real life. This is what you get with a decent lens and a close up adaptor!!

And now my dyeing has gone back to nature also. When in North Carolina I scraped a bit of boring dull green and grey lichen off some trees and brought it home. I made sure I identified it first and found that it was a very common lichen and could be harvested without harming the population. That was actually kind of obvious to me as it was everywhere in my daughter's neighborhood, in the Camp LeJeune Marine Corp base-heck probably everywhere in N. Carolina. But I only brought home 2 little baggies. As soon as I got home I stuck most of one baggie into an ammonia/water bath hoping to get the elusive purples that can come from some lichens. Never mind that none of the experts or veteran dyers had said they could get purple from this variety. But I am the crazy soul who thinks that she will be the first on the planet to mysteriously get purple out of common Hypogymnia. But after 2 weeks the liqueur was a rich brown with no tint of red or purple. So I drew some off hoping to make use of the rich brown. I threw in a small amount of yarn but it barely came out beige after 2 days What to do, what to do?? Well there is always the other method-boiling water. But I just figured I was going to get some boring color similar to the lichen itself. But ever curious I gave it a try. I threw the rest of the lichen in a large enamel pot, poured the boiling water over and set it in the garage for overnight. Shortly after DH goes out and knocks the whole thing over, comes in and tells me I have something to clean up and "WHAT THE HECK IS THAT STUFF ANYWAY"?? So I go scoop it all back up and start over-it's the best I can do at that point. The next morning I dish some up into a jar and see it is a pretty cool orange. I stick a yarn sample in and it turns that lovely shade of orange. So now I am jazzed and decant and strain a good sized amount off and run get my last bit of pre-mordanted yarn to throw in. I let it sit for about 2 hrs admiring it much of that time!! When I finally could not wait any longer I rinsed it(a little ran off) washed it and let it dry. And if I have to say so myself it is gorgeous with a capital "G"!! I threw the rest of the dye back into the pot, threw in a very small amount of ammonia as suggested by the experts whose books I now finally own a few of, and it is sitting out in the garage for a few more days of dye extraction. It is looking a little stronger and darker in color now so I should be able to get at least one more real different color out of it and then whatever happens when I dye with any exhaust left. I was so excited I had to post about it on Ravelry and even suggested a lichen swap. But I have to wait til I can get out to the Witchita Mountains and see what I might be able to collect there. Every description given of the Witchita's includes "Lichen covered granite rocks" so that does sound promising. Audry II reached a milestone this last week. She both passed the 600 mark and became a square!! My girl is growing up. She is now 18 sq's wide by 18 sq's long but I have since started in on a new row. I am trying to make her at least 4 more rows at a row a week more or less. I still love her but I sure am tired of the process and want to be done!! I also just finished a new sock for Maddy out of the new Lion Brand Sock Ease. I am finding the yarn to be quite pleasant and at the price it could be my go to yarn for quickie socks. I will post pics once I am done with the second sock in a week or so.

Another project his last week was to make some home made Feta cheese. It was pretty simple and the end results taste great but my cheese has had 2 issues I will correct in the future. First of all it is too soft. I think this is a result of using commercial milk which often does not have quite enough calcium to give a firm curd. One cheesemaker suggested using a gallons worth of reconstituted dry milk with 1 pint of cream. That would also take care of the problem of finding milk that is not ultra=pasteurized which also works against the cheese making process. And a few recipes call for using Lipase powder, an enzyme that helps sharpen up the flavor. I will probably not buy any for the time being but after I move I will get some to have on hand. I am finding cheese making to be a blast and well worth the time. Out of 1 gallon of milk I got about 24oz of cheese which will keep well until I use them as they are stored in a salt/whey brine in a jar. Other cheeses besides Feta might not last long enough to use that much and I would make smaller batches if I made them. Hard cheeses last really well if waxed and stored properly and I will wait to try my hand at that until I have those conditions to work with.

It may actually rain tonight-Yippee!! It has been a really hot miserable week-like the door from Hades had been left open. And it may still be fairly cool on Monday which I plan on taking advantage of by going out to the Witchita's to look for more lichen. God I am obsessed!! Meanwhile everyone go out and make the world more beautiful one stitch at a time...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wrapping it up

Well the trip has ended. I am home, the luggage has been put away, the house is back in order
and it is finally time to wrap up the memories before I forget to many of them.

We chose Friday to head to the beach for our final time. Actually we chose 2 beaches both to the north of Camp Lejeune. We got up with the chickens and set out for the Bogue Banks area. The first beach across the bridge is Emerald Isle. They have a great fishing pier and that sounded like a great place to start out with. And a great place to take pics of the girls with Audry II. We dragged the blankie up on the pier and as soon as we started staging the pics we got alot of attention. Several people stopped to admire the blankie and gave us all some nice compliments. We got the task done nicely and then set out to see what the pier had to offer. The fishermen were thick and seemed to be catching alot of fish. Then we started to notice these things in the water. Floating blobs of jellyfish. Many many of them. The girls thought they were very cool and that they looked like cherry ice cream sundaes!!

Then we went down to the beach itself. In a matter of seconds we realized that the shelling was going to be fantastic. Within minutes I had several shells that were totally new to me. And tons and tons of nice whole shells that I had to leave behind due to luggage space constrainst. But along with the good shelling came lots of beachcombers to snatch things up and the better shells disappeared very fast. The girls got in the water for a bit but the waves were way to tame for them. We found out later that the tide was abnormally low which allowed for the good shells and bad for exciting wave action.

We grabbed some fantastic sandwichs at a local sandwich shop and then left Bogue Banks for Hammock's beach State Park. It is a little further south along the coast, closer to Jacksonville. The park consists of a very nice visitor's center, a ferry to take you to Bear Island, and Bear Island itself. The ferry ride takes about 15 minutes unless the Park ranger decides you have time to stop and watch the native bay dolphins rolicking which we did. What a sight!! 2 of them swam and leaped near the ferry for about 10 minutes. And on one of the very small islands there was a Bald Eagle on her nest that they took us by. Once we got to the island you have to trek across the dunes 1/2 mile to the beach. The beach was nice and the waves were just a bit more active than earlier in the day at Emerald Isle. But mostly we beach combed. We were told that the end of the beach had alot of sand dollars but after trekking all the way down there we found not a one. Katie found this intact spiney oyster shell that was pretty impressive in our eyes. Finally we had to call it quits and head home. Sad to know that it could be a long time before I can get sand between my toes again.

Saturday was miss Maddie's 9th birthday!! We went bowling and even tho we had a great time and Maddy was wearing her new hand knit socks proudly, the camera battery died and I didn't get a single pic. I didn't remember how much fun bowling was til game 2 and the whole swing of it started to come back. I was losing badly until the 9th frame when I finally bowled a strike and spare in a row and came from behind to win!! Then back home for dinner and birthday cake. Maddy really loved her sand dollar charm and chain that I had finally settled on for her present. Grandma rocks!! Later I did get pics of the birthday socks with Maddie's feet in them.

Sunday was all about the trip home. The 2 1/2 hr drive to Raleigh/Durham airport seemed so long knowing I had to say goodbye so soon. The flight home was totally uneventful. I started reading a book waiting for the first flight and finished it up when Ken was driving up to the Lawton airport to pick me up!!

Since I have been home I finished Katie's first sock and started on the 2nd. She only wants ankle socks so that makes for quick work. I also caved in at Hobby Lobby yesterday and bought my first skein of Sock Ease by Lion Brand. It looks like it should be nice and Maddy will appreciate the mostly pink colorway I chose. But now it is all going to have to be about making this house get sold. So knitting will have to take the back seat for awile. And I am sure I will not podcast all that much cause after all who wants to hear much about my household chores!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh to be 8 again!!

Another quiet couple of days have gone by. Tuesday after school the girls and I went to the movies to see "Kung Fu Panda". They liked it fine, actually they liked the "Kung Fu Fighting" song at the end the best. Then out to eat and home. Nothing picture worthy at all. Yesterday was the girls last day of school for the year. Maddy got an Academic award signed by Pres Bush. She was really excited about that. It is good the man still has at least a few fans out here in average Joe land.

Today was slated to go to at least one of the more northern beaches. But when we got home the other night there was a party invitation waiting for the girls. The little girl next door was having an end of school party slated for this afternoon. So the beach got rescheduled, no big deal. The invitation said "Large Water Slide" and Pizza so the girls thought that was just cool with them. This morning they wanted to get back to knitting so I got them both started on a very narrow scarf project. Katie is still knitting a bit better than Maddy. Katie is on about row 8 and still has the same 10 stitches to the row she started with. I had to help when she would wrap the yarn around the needle once to many times but she is good about not dropping stitches. She knits quite loose so her scarf will be light and airy. Maddy knits very tight and in an awkward postition but she does understand what she is supposed to be doing which is great. And her 10 stitches have turned into 12 which grandma will not fix. I kind of expect Katie to keep up her project and Maddy to let hers languish. I think Maddy has just not found her craft quite yet.

The girls managed to stay pretty laid back waiting for the party and were actually watching TV when the truck came to set up the water slide. When it was time to put sunscreen on them they didn't understand why they needed it. I know they thought that all they were going to be doing was a silly little slip and slide that they had been playing with all week. So the first time they peeked out their heads their jaws dropped and their eyes got big as saucers. Katie made me hold her hand to walk over but as soon as she got about 10 feet away she dropped my hand, made a dash and said "Bye Grandma" and I haven't been able to tear her away since. They have been playing now for 5 solid hours. Up and down this slide at least a million times. And they are still just as happy and joyful as any child could be. It makes me want to be a kid again to know that feeling of utter fun and frolic!! But honestly I am ready for the rental guy to come take the slide away cause I know I will not have any luck getting these girls to come in for dinner as long as that slide is still sitting there. So guy come already or my 2 girls will be way to tired to go to the beach with dear old grandma tomorrow..
This slide is 20ft high. The party mom said there was actually another higher one-25ft but it had already been rented for the day. Can you imagine how many steps these girls have climbed today on this thing??

So hopefully tomorrow will be a great beach day with a few more pics. Just in case I didn't get enough the other day. And then Saturday will be bowling for Maddy's birthday. And she will be proudly wearing her first pair of hand knit socks to bowl in. She told me the other day that this will be her best birthday ever cause I am here and I am making her socks. OK so she maybe won't be a knitter-but she might possibly be the best granddaughter ever for saying that!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Topsail and Away

I know I have missed the last few days. But honestly it was just every day life and I can bore you enough with my most exciting days. But today we got the itch to hit the beach so we headed out early with all our gear and headed towards the sunset. Sunset Beach N Carolina that is. But we kind of got sidetracked by some really bad state route signs after we left Wilmington and before we knew it we were back at Topsail Island. Oh well-aren't all beaches alot alike?? We had about had all the time in the car we could stand so we picked the first public access pull off we could find, hauled our chairs, boogie boards, towels and Subway sandwiches up over the dunes. And we were not disappointed. The tide must have just about been at it's highest point when the girls first braved the waves. I can tell you the first time you see your little granddaughters dive into a wave that is way over their heads and come up on the other side it takes your breath away-completely!! They are fearless. The pics I took can not do their deeds justice in any way. They had about an hour of these crashing breakers and then they slowly moderated until even I could keep my feet when they hit us!! We played in the water, dug holes and built sandcastles, looked for shells and did everything but sit down for 4 hrs. When the sunscreen finally started to fail and my legs could no longer keep me up in the most gentle waves it was time to head home. The girls protested of course but were asleep before we left the island. I would love to come spend a few days in one of the amazing beach condo rentals just so I could be able to walk on the beach early in the morning and late at night. Maybe for our anniversary this coming fall. I did manage to finish up the socks I was knitting. The first ones from yarn I dyed myself. So I thought I would whip out a pair for Maddy to wear on her birthday when we go bowling. She is a kid right? And her socks should not have to be that big right? Well wrong. I measured and her feet are barely smaller than mine. She could actually wear the ones I just finished except they are about 1/2" to long. But I am well into the foot of the first sock for her and I probably won't make them all that tall. This yarn is one of the new Opals I bought this week in Wilmington and it is striping out with a very well defined fair isle effect. I have never been lucky enough before to have any yarn really look this fair isle so all I can figure is that with the very slightly fewer stitches I am using it just matches the way the yarn was dyed perfectly. I am going to try a Fleegle heel this time since so many people are talking about how they like the fit and it supposedly has no holes anywhere in the heel like in any wrapped turn method.

The girls just have 3 more days of school and they are so excited about that. Thursday hopefully we will be fully recovered from our sunburns and sore muscles so that we can head back to the beach. I am not sure which one yet but I am sure with the quality of all the beaches here in North Carolina it will be a good one and we will have a great time!! Just don't count on the road signs to get you there!! Awwwww-do we have to come in??

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bribery and other such Grandma stuff

The perfectly behaved granddaughters that I had when I arrived last Saturday have slipped away and have been replaced with 2 very argumentative, grumpy, way too-close-in-age sisters. The walk to school this morning should have been wonderful since the first thing we saw was a cute bunny hopping along next to the path. But quickly Maddie decided she was boss of the conversation and was not going to let Katie have anything to say at all. There was no steering the boat the other way. We were just going to have to weather the storm and be glad that they go to school in separate buildings!!

I got the notion to take a nice long walk after the girls and I parted ways. There is a greenbelt with nature trails close to the school so I chose to make good use of it. The trails were very nice but I sure am glad I doused myself liberally with bug spray before I went out. I saw some great wildlife but never a single other human being. I saw a huge tortoise, big as a dinner plate at least. A really bright little frog, a good sized lizard and the best of all-a Piliated Woodpecker!! These guys are huge!! And the red topknot on their heads looks an awful lot like a punk rocker hairdo. I managed to stay out for 2 hours and came back both exhilarated and exhausted and ready for lunch.

Speaking of lunch. Funny story to tell you. I had some chicken breast cooked that I planned on throwing some taco seasoning mix on and making some kind of mexican chicken wrap. So while the chicken was finishing up I got out some grated cheddar(kind in a bag already grated), some lettuce and sour cream.. I went to get out my tortilla wrap and sit it on the counter to make my concoction. And there was no cheese. Did I forget to get it out-Nope. Did I mislay it somewhere else in the kitchen-Nope. Then I realized Cooper was missing. So I went and found him under his mommies bed where he goes when he is in trouble and there he was with the cheese. I never saw him snatch it but I sure caught him red-handed!! I rescued the bag with only a little damage so I could use the cheese left in the bag. Cooper knew he was in trouble and hid out for about an hour. And I didn't even yell at him-he just knew!!

Katie's group at school put on their musical. Katie spoke her part loud and clear. But even more important was the fact that she wore stuff to school she normally would have hated. She had to wear denim on the bottom and a plain white top. We could find neither in her wardrobe so she had to borrow from Maddie. In fact she tried on several of Maddy's things and almost decided on a skirt but passed it up cause it was a bit too loose in the tummy. Is our little tomboy learning it is not so bad to be just a little bit girly? Well when out shopping tonight she actually had a couple of skirts she said she liked but they were out of her size.

I was really hoping that when I picked the girls up from school that they would be in better spirits. Katie was fine but Maddy was just being a butt-head picking on her sister. I threatened to turn around and take them home with no shopping. They barely improved but at the first store we stopped at they had Webkinz and promised if Grandma bought them each one they would be good for life. They really know how to lay it on don't they!! So I made them a deal. Do the rest of our shopping and stop back in for the Webkinz if they stayed well behaved. And they did. Both girls tried on outfits and both picked their fav for Grandma to buy. Nothing fancy, just t-shirts and pants each. Then dinner at Golden Corral. They ate plenty but I do not think one real veggie made it on their plates or in their tummys!!
Brooke comes home tomorrow for 2 days so I had to get the house picked up a bit so she is not overwhelmed when she walks in. She says she has a lot of studying to do when she is here but hopefully we can find a little bit of time to do something. And then hopefully the girls and I will go really hit a beach this weekend, boogie boards, bathing suits and all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ordinary Day

We all need one of those once in awhile. Just slow, laid back and no demands. Well except to get to Maddy's school by 1 to see her in a little play that her class was putting on.
We started out this morning by chasing one of the dogs pretty much all over the neighborhood. Maddy kind of on purpose let Cooper out the front door about 10 minutes before we should have left to walk to school. And of course he ran off and did not want to come back. It is amazing how fast a grandchild can help you remember how lousy your parenting skills were. I was frustrated with Cooper and ended up frustrated with Maddy too. And she, being the tender hearted kid that she is, cried enough to break my heart. I thought back to the millions of times I would have done the same thing with her mommy and her uncle and just expected them to take it. But when it is your grandchild you feel bad that you hurt their feelings. Kind of makes you want to be able to go back and re-raise your kids. Well maybe not, but an apology might be in order..

Then I opted for a nice walk on some of the paths thru the nearby neighborhoods. The paths are nice, flat and shady and look very innocent. But in actuality they are a hot bed of tick activity and I managed to bring home about 7 or 8. 4 were very attached and the tics had already feasted well in just the few minutes it took me to get home. So anymore walking will involve alot more bug repellent and a shower as soon as I get home.

Maddy's play was short but very cute. It was about the human body, mostly about how the body protects itself from things that can make you sick. Maddy played a virus and did her part very well. She sang out nicely and did all her gestures that went with the part. She is kind of a ham unless I am the one holding the camera.

We went and bought a few groceries and made dinner. They did eat my cheeseburgers, salad and ice cream. Tomorrow they want to go to Golden Corral-yuck..........but we will go if that is what they really want.

Then Katie started drawing dinosaurs on the front driveway. And then dinosaur skeletons!! I am really glad a few of these pics turned out well. Such a memory of 2 of her favorite things at once, dinosaurs and drawing!!

I am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open so I am not going to fight nature and go crawl in bed with the 2 dogs.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Today was slated for yarn shopping. Now Jacksonville has like 3 great quilt stores but no real yarn shop. What's up with that? So I googled and found a yarn shop over in Wilmington which according to DSIL was 45 minutes away thru post. I wrote down all the directions cause I did not have access to a printer and I took my maps and headed out. It took a full hr just to get to Wilmington and an extra 30 minutes to navigate the last 5 miles. According to my on-line directions I had to turn 3 times on 3 different streets to get there. But in acuality all 3 streets were just one that changed names every time it took a little bend. But I did get there so all was good. Now the shop "The Quarter Stitch" was small but pleasant and the owner was very very nice. But the selection was kind of on the slim side for me. But then again I am pretty demanding of my yarn shops!! I did bring home 3 new balls of Opal sock yarn in the self patterning style cause I have not managed to learn to dye like that myself. I will be using them for the afghan and the left overs maybe will go into socks.

I stopped at a great grocery store called "Fresh Market" and bought some lunch stuff to take to the beach. This grocery store is like a gourmet healthy food market and I could have spent a lot more time and money in there if I had not wanted to spend a little time at the beach on the way home. But I grabbed and went on to Top Sail island which was between Wilmington and Camp Lejeune. This area is much more touristy than the beach here on base but that is to be expected. Still the beach was very nice. It is right out on the ocean instead of the bay like Onslow is so the waves were a bit bigger and the shells were different. I picked up a few new treasures, ate my lunch and headed on back to pick up the girls on schedule. I wouldn't mind getting back there again but am not sure if I want to do that this weekend or head to another part of the coast.

The girls did wake up a little grouchy this morning but it passed quite quickly. They actually asked to walk to school and on the way they saw a great turtle. Which got them going on a long winded "what if I had a turtle as a pet" story. They came up with ideas like a house with an inside pool filled with turtles, feeding the turtle bugs they find and bring home, ect. I kept trying to tell them how hard it was to take wild animals and make them pets but you know-sometimes kids just gotta imagine this stuff and grown ups should probably just shut up and enjoy the stories.

I did find out that even the best little girls in the world, ones who do their homework and chores without fussing, do well in school, gentle with animals and kind to people can still have their foibles. With Maddy & Kate it is food. They just are too picky. When I ask them what they want made for dinner all Katie can say is mashed potatos and all Maddy wants is salad!! I asked them what their mommy would make them for dinner and it was chicken nuggets and fries. But of course when I did make that they found reasons to not like them. Chicken was in strips not nuggets and Maddy had a headache. Oh well-I did not let them snack so maybe if they are a bit hungry tonight they will eat better tomorrow. I probably should take them to the commissary and let them pick out their own food and maybe then they will eat!!

Right now I sure wish I had a scanner. Katie the artist drew the best picture of animals in the rainforest this morning before school. She has quite the eye for detail. Her birds really look like the ones she intended them to be. I am going to ask her if this picture can come home with me to be for grandpa.

Maddy feels pretty good about herself right now as she got an invite to a summer program for really academically gifted kids. Now she probably won't get to go since it is clear across the state and quite expensive but she knew it was an honor to get the invitation. Yesterday in the car she kept spouting facts about things at us and I kept thinking she was a little bit too much like Cliff on Cheers!!

Not sure what I am doing tomorrow except for going to Maddy's school to see her play at 1p.m. Maybe go Lichen hunting in the woods tomorrow morning and in town shopping after that. They do have a Target, Barnes & Noble & Dick's sporting goods. All stores we don't have back home so it will be fun for me. And tonight I will hopefully get a good night's sleep without sharing the bed with 2 large furry dogs!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Beach and more Beach..

Day 2 dawned overcast and cool due to a ferocious rain storm that came in last night. Perfect beach day for me!! So I dropped the girls off at school and headed out to see how easy it would be to go to the local military beach. The bridge to the beach is being maintenenced and so you have to park and ride a bus, take a ferry and ride a little tram to get to the beach itself. But in reality, you can just park and walk to the ferry and then walk from the ferry to the middle of the beach in just a ffew minutes. So I planned on spending maybe an hour walking on the beach?? Well 3 hrs later and 2 pockets full of beach treasures I just had to say I was done and head back for lunch. Besides I promised the girls to take them to the same beach after school which was just in 2 short hrs. So I quick like a bunny ate some lunch, packed some dinner, played with the dogs, folded some laundry and headed back to pick up the girls. I did get them to walk to the ferry stop but after riding the ferry they just had to also ride the little tram all the way to the north end of the beach. The tide was a bit high so beachcombing was not as good as in the morning but I did still glean some great orange irredescent shells and a lot of sharks teeth. But no sand dollars darn it!!

So everything so far is going well except Maddy is not going to sleep right now and will probably be hell on wheels in the morning. Even more than me!! I haven't gotten lost even once, the dogs have not pottied in the house, the car is acting fairly nicely and the girls haven't seemed to miss their parents. I just keep wondering when the honeymoon will be over and the fun will begin!! See you all tomorrow...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Day 1 of Bliss!!

Granddaughters in Paradise-Day 1!!

Well I arrived in North Carolina without too much of a hitch. I got in quite late so my little darlings were fast asleep in their beds and I figured I would not get to see them til morning. But while brushing my teeth, DSIL woke the girls up and they hid in my bedroom til I walked in. I was not expecting their sweet giggle but when I heard it my eyes welled up and my heart just about exploded. So we got in a few quick hugs and sent them back off to bed til morning.

I am going to try and post at least a bit every day while I am here. DSIL actually suggested it so here we go with the memories of day 1.

My daughter had to leave today for her clinicals and DSIL leaves tomorrow for his mission. So today was just a good day to stay close to home and get a feel for the lay of the land so to speak. Katie always wakes up early so by 6:30 she came into great me with a big smile. Maddy is more like me and wakes up a little bit slower but I still got a big smile from her too. Almost immediately Katie asked me if I brought her knitting with me. I had remembered to stick her special needles in my bag, but dummy me forgot about any yarn. So I got out my current sock project and my afghan for her to see. Well she decided she could just knit on one of those projects. I am thinking-no way-gauge and needles way to small for tiny hands. But I would be wrong!! After a short refresher lesson Katie was happily knittin on Audry II and doing very very well. And all day long she has asked to keep at it a row at a time. She truely understands the process and rarely makes any mistake. I have had to help her a bit when she splits the yarn with the needle or drops a stitch off but that is about it. These pics of her are so precious and even if she does not become a lifelong knitter I will always have these as a reminder of Grandma teaching Katie to knit. But like the rest of us-resistence is futile and she will be a knitter extraordinaire!!

Now these are some active girls and we had to go take a walk down to the bay. We took the 2 dogs and headed down a path thru the woods and in just a few minutes came to an opening in the trees and there was a very pretty tiny beach that we could scramble down to with just a little effort. These was tons of gorgeous driftwood, all silvery and smooth, perfect for climbing and sitting on. In the water there were lots of bitty fish and some fairly large crabs that Katie was "kind of scared" of. The dogs ran themselves ragged chasing the frisbee out into the water. And despite liberal applications of bug repellent we were constantly finding ticks crawling all over us. Yeachhhhhhh!!! Katie found a large frog with all 4 limbs amputated and was fascinated to find that it still appeared to be alive. I am not sure how true this is but it made her feel better to hear that frogs can keep moving for awhile after they are dead due to their primative nervous system.
This afternoon after a quick tour of the important aspects of Camp Lejuene, DSIL went golfing and left me with the girls and the car. So we jumped in with both feet and ventured out to the commissary. It wasn't too far, I did not get lost or break the car so hopefully tomorrow I can start gettin a little braver and head out to the beach during the school day. But for now Spongebob Square Pants is getting just a little bit too much of the attention that is supposed to be all mine so I will go and hopefully see you all tomorrow...