Monday, July 28, 2014

We Mowed

Post-Mowing

Monday, July 21, 2014

Socks #16 (or #14. Whatever): Birthday Socks!

I'm not a big one for celebrating my birthday. When I was little, most of my school friends were gone on vacation so there were no big parties. When I was a teenager, there would be this massive pool party at my parents' house the weekend around my birthday but it wasn't for my birthday, it was an exchange student thing. Which was pretty awesome and we would have a cake during that, but mostly it was the massive number of exchange students that was awesome and my birthday was incidental.

Regardless, I do use my birthday as an excuse to justify buying myself something I want. This year? Socks!

Watermelon Socks

Okay, so I bought the yarn and made the socks, but the socks were my present to me so I had to, you know, knit them. Which I did. Just in the nick of time!

I thought watermelon socks were super appropriate since watermelon, summer and my birthday are all tied up together in my head. I don't know if I've really had lots of watermelons on my birthday or what, but watermelons make me think of summer by the pool. And gven that my birthday is smack in the middle of summer, I ended up associating the three.

But honestly, who wouldn't love watermelon socks, right?

This is the second pair of socks I've done an anatomical toe on. The first ones weren't tailor made for my foot, though, but rather a general anatomical toe. These though, I did math and made a chart made specifically for my toe shape and my knitting gauge. No seriously. I am that much of a sock knitting nerd right now. See?

Anatomical Toes Anatomical Toe Chart

But my nerdiness has paid off! The socks fit perfectly! Honestly, I might end up having to do this toe more often.

So happy (slightly early) birthday to me! Yay socks!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Nature Not in Our Yard

Dan's parents have been visiting this past week and we've tried to keep them from being too bored with the lack of excitement in our life. Entertainment has mostly consisted of pool time, but Saturday we took them to the nearby Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge. Dan & I had never been there before, but we definitely plan on going back in the future. Lots of nature! See?

Buttonbush
Viceroy Butterfly
White-lined Sphinx with Buttonbush
Spotted Beebalm
Squirrel Tree Frog
Ironweed
Praying Mantis
Day Flower

In other nature news (though this yard related) my dear mother-in-law has solved the mystery of what this plant is:

Pincushion Plant

I have been trying to figure out what it is for the past two months. Now I know - it's a Pincushion Plant (Scabiosa columbaria ‘Butterfly Blue’). YAY!

In creepy (nature center) news, check this out:

Daddy Long Legs Cluster

It's not bark or moss or fungus... it's a mass of daddy long legs. No joke. Big ball of spiders. Apparently, this is a thing daddy long legs do. Freaky.

(I took some other pictures at the nature center that aren't posted here. To see them, meander over to my Flickr.)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Somewhat Bloom-y

Things in our yard aren't near as pretty as they were in spring. Most of the flowers have gone or are going to seed and those that aren't tend to be the smaller, shorter ones that aren't as easily visible above the tall grasses that have grown up. But we aren't going to mow yet because there should be a bunch of a pretty summer/fall blooming flower out there and I want them to bloom (and go to seed.)

But, if you look closely, there are still a few new things popping up in the yard.

Wildflowers
Sunflower
Wildflowers
Bug on Palafoxia

Okay, you don't have to look closely for the sunflowers out there, but the others are tiny little things that you do have to look for. I really need to go out there in long pants sometime so I can do some proper tromping.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Emmett Pillow

Apparently Olive thinks Emmett makes a good pillow.

Emmett Pillow

Emmett doesn't seem to mind.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Missing Socks

Observant readers to my blog might have noticed that, in my quest for twelve socks this year, pairs six and nine were strangely missing. I mentioned nine in passing, but posted no pictures. Today I shall remedy that. Without further ado, socks number six and nine:

Dad Socks Mom Socks

Both pairs were birthday socks and they were presented to the intended recipients (my mom and dad) yesterday, so I no longer have to hide the pictures. (Yes, my dad's were given a month early but they've been ready since February so it's really surprising that I lasted as long as I did.)

Yay socks!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Celebrate!

Good news on the celiac front today. I had my follow up with my gastroenterologist. I gave Dr W the results from the blood work that the rheumatologist (Dr B - because "rheumatologist" is really long) had me do last month and he said that the changes were really good. All my numbers are either around normal or working their way there. My ANA marker (which indicates autoimmune disease) is even negative now! (That doesn't, of course, mean I no longer have celiac. It means that it's under control. Which is awesome.)

With the new test results Dr W has changed his mind; he no longer thinks I have a second autoimmune disease! Yay! He now thinks that I had a really bad case of celiac with lots of inflammation that was throwing everything totally out of whack. I still go see Dr B next week but Dr W said he really anticipates that Dr B doctor will say the same thing after seeing my tests. This is exactly what I was hoping he would say! Of course, I suppose I need to wait for Dr B to make it official next week but I'm still pretty darn pleased.

I have a follow up appointment in three months just to check on things and right before that appointment they are going to re-do my blood work again and give me a bone density test. (Dr W says he's interested in redoing my TTG test (the test they use to see if you have celiac) then, too. Anything over four is considered positive. When I was tested I was at >100. He's curious to see how quickly it will drop now that I'm gluten-free.) But until then, my directions are to just stay on my super strict diet and enjoy feeling better. Yay!

And in more happy-fun news on the celiac front, I have finished another pair of socks. I shall call them my wheat feet socks.

Celiac Socks

The yarn color is called golden wheat and the stitch pattern is repeating wheat stalks. Yes, both choices were intentional. They are my farewell to gluten socks. Call it a bit of catharsis.

They are ridiculous and I adore them.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What? Is This Summer?

We've had almost two inches of rain in the past three days. It's raining right now and rain is forecast for the rest of the week. I mean, it's good because everyone needs the rain but we just don't have rainy weeks like this. At least each day it has rained there has been a long break where the sun came out and tanning was possible, but still. This is weird.

ETA: Correction: After today's rain, we have now had over three inches in the last three days. Wild!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

iPhone vs Flagstone

iPhone vs Flagstone

Flagstone wins.

In less than 24 hours, I have broken the juicing attachment to our food processor, damaged our food processor, shattered my phone's screen and flung my rings (wedding, engagement, and anniversary band) into the backyard. I was out by the pool and thought of getting my ereader, but honestly, I was too scared to touch it in case I managed to break it, too.

Thankfully, Dan is on the job finding out how to get replacement parts for the food processor and, in the mean time, I can still chop things in it. My rings were found after a short hunt (and we now have plans to get them resized). And we've already ordered a replacement screen for my phone that should come in around mid-week. (The phone is still useable. You just have to be very, very careful.) And Dan, ever the optimist, said that now for the cost of $45 and some curse words, he'll know how to replace an iPhone screen, because "everyone drops their goddamn iPhone".

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sweater Weather... Or Not

To my great shame, I have had one project languishing for the past six months, waiting for buttons. But today I finally sewed on the rest of the buttons... meaning my sweater is complete! And what timing - it's just before the summer solstice!

Tempest Sweater

Which means with the completion of my last socks, I have no outstanding projects! Woo hoo! Well, no real outstanding projects. Technically, I haven't finished the afghan I started for Dan back when we were dating. But I'm pretty sure if a project is older than a decade, it no longer counts.

The Real #12

It's official! I've knit 12 pairs of socks!

Helical Stripe Socks

And I'm not done yet! Though I'm not sure if I'm going to knit some lace-weight socks or my celiac-inspired socks.

But first, I simply must sew buttons on my Tempest cardigan. It's been sitting there, button-less, for almost six months!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I Almost Forgot

My parents came over Sunday and we all ended up in the pool. While we were hanging out there, we got an unexpected visitor.

Visiting Dragonfly
Visiting Dragonfly

Not the best pictures in the world, but they were taken with my phone. I don't think I'm brave enough to carry my real camera into the pool. (Dan was nervous enough about the phone!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

They Grow Up So Fast!

It was just a week ago that Dan and I had to return a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest. Then, all of the babies were just big eyeballs, gangly limbs and more skin that feather. But today, all four of the babies are flying!

All Grown Up

(Don't they have the most delightfully grumpy little faces? And yes, there are four of them. One is hiding.)

When we went out to get the mail today, all four baby birds zoomed out of the nest. They aren't the best fliers yet - one was having difficultly trying to land on our neighbor's wrought iron fence - but, man, they are fast!

I do hope they aren't gone for good though. I know they have to "leave the nest" sometime, but I enjoy having them around. (Well, I won't miss all the poop that is starting to build up on our front porch. Dan saw it and asked, "What happened to the fecal sacs?" Agreed.)