Sunday, June 26, 2005

365 and counting down

Jessica left for Kuwait last night so today will be her first day there and so we will count down till we see her again.

She called from Bangor Airport and said she was met by the Freeport Flag Ladies. They gave her a star (her favorite symbol) pin with a saying ... May the bright and shining star guide you and your loved ones, and always be a symbol of hope, happiness and peace in the world. In a week they will have pics up that they took last night of Jess and comrades. Ever since 9/11 these ladies go stand on the streets of Freeport, ME on every Tuesday and the on 11th of every month and wave the American flag. Their website is go check them out.
They drive 2 hours to Bangor to meet every troop either leaving or returning from overseas. Amazing women who have my thanks for making my daughter happy during her last hours in the states. I am going to make them "Hugs" and send them to them to help keep them cool while out there waving that flag.

So we made it to Camp Shelby, recruited a couple of people to the Hugs project along the way which was cool! Pun intended! I couldn't find my digital camera during the whole Salute and Sendoff but did get video. However after the ceremony and eating and shopping Jessica gave me...a Canon Powershot S2IS which was just put on the market in May. This camera's bells and whistles have bells and whistles. Here is all it's info.... It is an awesome camera! Thank You Jess!!!! I have learned the basics and was able to take some pics and download them so I know I haven't totally lost all my marbles. The day we were leaving MS I was digging through the bag of yarn I brought with me looking for a knitting needle and found the camera that I couldn't find the rest to the week.
But back to the ceremonies...they had the general inspect the troops and a fly over which gave me chills. Gov. Rendell was there and I wasn't impressed. I just wanted him to shut up so I could get my kid and go spend my last day with her for the next year. Here is a man who wants to take the guns away from the U.S citizens sending our U.S troops over to help people whose goverment took their guns away from them. He obviously doesn't see the irony of that. It was soooo hot everyone was using the programs as fans. Then as the MP directing traffic said..."it was all over but the crying" Butthead. We took Jess and Decker off base and went to eat. They had a pedicure and manicure done! And then they shopped! We dropped them off about 10:30 that night. They could have stayed out till 10 Friday morning but they hadn't done any packing and they were leaving Saturday. Decker was on her cell phone and told someone she met Jess's family and that we were "unique" but from the photo's below she seems to fit right in!!!

We left Friday morning and drove straight home. Cliff took care of the animals and kept the house clean the whole time. But just to show me he missed me he didn't do a single dish, cup, fork or any laundry.....He REALLY missed me!! :^) I spent Saturday cleaning and watering the gardens. The tomatoes have tomatoes on them! The flowers are all blooming and a frog is in the pond.

On the fiber front...I finished the orange stocking and made the red one and started a pair of purple socks for Jess with smocking on the ankle. Too hot to do much as the yarn sticks to your sweaty hands! This blog had the song they played as the soldiers were walking off the field. This guy is in the 2nd Brigade with Jess but with a different battalion but was going thru everything she did. It's a good read - wish he was going to the same place Jess was so I could read about what was going on that she might not tell me but he is going elsewhere.

Well I am off to the river to cool off.

The (purple in real life) sock with smocking Posted by Hello

The stockings Posted by Hello

Yupp!!! Definitely fits in!!! Posted by Hello

Decker fitting right in!!! Posted by Hello

Jess & Decker at the pool Posted by Hello

Foxglove Posted by Hello

The frog Posted by Hello

Clemitis Posted by Hello

Hollyhock Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Jessica leaves for Camp Shelby

Today was the last day of school for the younger two. They both passed and will be in 4th and 5th grade next year. It is also the day Jessica left to go back to Camp Shelby. She won't be back home for a year or more. She said she won't come home on her R&R because she won't want to go back and would end up going AWOL! Guess I can't argue with that although the mother in me is screaming. This past six months is the longest she has been away from home. She said she would like to go to Germany or somewhere - just to see another country while she is on that side of the world. My heart just aches because she won't be the same when she returns. She is going to face things and I won't be able to help her or hold her. Cliff is really shaken up. So sad that they get close when they get further apart, and that this is how I wanted them to treat each other all along. But on to other things before I ruin by keyboard with all the tears.

Fiber: Was too hot to really do anything. On Wednesday I finally got tired of it and when the morning was cool I disregarded the laundry, dust, garden and dishes and spun a full bobbin of slubby, took it off onto a ball winder, plied it and sett the twist. Got about 53 yards. That finished off a jelly belly I bought from Decadent Fibers at NY sheep and wool. Finished knitting guitar strap. Started knitting Christmas stocking for one of the girls in Jessica's company. I cut out 58 "hugs" and ironed them this morning. Tomorrow I sew (if you can call it that)!

Garden: Thursday was a hell of a lot cooler than the last two weeks and we were able to get in the zucchini and corn (I know it's late) and pepper plants. We also mulched around the cucumbers, all the tomatoes, peppers and beans! Back was killing me and I had to work that night but it is done. Hopefully this will cut back on the weeds we will have to face when we return from Mississippi.

Animals: The chickens arrived on Monday. I ordered 31 but ended up with 36...I am not complaining. On Wednesday I gave 6 of the ones we hatched to a neighbor. They (big mama and little mama chicken) are still sitting but haven't hatched any this week. One is sitting on 6 and the other 2 and a duck egg. Houdini getting big :^)! Goats are acting like terrible two's which they dont' out grow! When I go out to sit with them in the field, Storm tries to drink my coffee and Puddles tries to eat my knitting yarn. But they are so darn cute. Turkeys and pigs arrive after the return from MS.

Doubt I will get a post in before we leave but I did get my camera working so I will have pics. The one below is a picture Jessica painted before she left....You know that piece of plywood is going to get framed until she comes home.

Jessica's Plywood Art Work Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

Jessica is Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jessica snuck in on Monday!! She didn't tell anyone she got out two days early except Ali who had to pick her up at the airport!!! It was a fantastic surprise to say the least. Per her request on Wednesday we had corn beef and cabbage with Irish soda bread on Christmas plates. So we covered St. Patricks Day and 1/2 of Christmas. On Thursday we had her Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and ham. So the ham covers the other 1/2 of Christmas. Before she leaves we just have to fit in Easter and we will have covered all the major holidays she will miss with us. Although it is all happy and party mode-ish now it will be horrible when she leaves and the actual holiday arrives without her being here.

But for now her dad showed up, my sister flew in from Puerto Rico, and her friends from Scranton (Jen and George) were a surprise for her. There were 22 who were stilled stuffed when they went to bed. This was a good thing as the fridge would have gone on strike had we tried to stuff any leftovers into it!

Cyndi's sister Nancy and her husband Jeff mailed her a beautiful Battlezone Bible to take with her. It has it's own metal case to keep it from getting trashed and to keep it dry. And Sunday we are going to the firehouse to make the cool ties (Hugs) with the money Cyndi's mom sent up. I am so lucky to have her as a friend. She of course started the fiber addiction and yesterday I was able to pass that along. Jessica's friend Jen heard that I was making shawls on the tri-loom said she wanted to learn. So Curt made her a loom and we gave it to her yesterday. We also gave her a drop spindle and some roving....I bet she gets a wheel for Christmas!!! "Come into my parlor" said the spider to the fly!!!!

I have been working on Jessica's stocking and she told me she doesn't want to see it until I send it to her and that I need to make one for each of her buddies, Williams, Fye, Hoover and Decker. I have decided to use a bulkier yarn when I make theirs so they go a little faster. She says it will take 2 months to get packages so they will have to be done and shipped by Halloween. Oops - we missed that holiday will have to plan something!

We are up to 19 chicks and the ones we bought will be here Tuesday! I keep trying to give a couple to everyone but they won't take them. I am trying to decide if we should get the pigs before or after the trip to Mississippi, after would be better for us but before would give them 2 extra weeks of good food (so they gain more weight before****time in November).

Tomatoes and beans are going crazy with this hot weather. Still haven't done the barn garden...Hopefully it won't be a bust this year and not get done because I have some really good seed to go in there but time is a tickin' and we may not have enough time left before frost for the squash. But Curt has a hernia (operation on 6/27) so he can't do much without it popping out so I may have to wait. Patience is a virtue or so my mother says.

Well need to go find sewing machine and see if it is working for Sunday. These poor women ... they have never seen me sew...there is a reason I spin/knit and don't quilt!!! They are in for big surprise!!!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Garden Finally Getting Planted

Due to the weather the garden was just sitting. We had frost until late May. I have been working on the greenhouse garden-planting a little everyday and we had planted the potatoes but yesteday we put the nose to the grindstone and dug and planted. We put in 54 tomatoes, 12 cabbage (6 red, 6 green),6 peppers and both raised beds were seeded for cucs. Today if the weather holds we will plant the seeds for the melons, zucchini and LI cheese squash.
I am more into the heirloom/open pollinated where as mom is into the newer varieties. She said if they were so good they would have lasted and not been replaced by a better variety. So the greenhouse garden is planted in my heirlooms like Amish Paste and Black Pear tomatoes, Forellenschuss lettuce, Charlevoix Beans and the big garden is planted in Better Boy, Big Boy, Early Girl tomatoes, Fordhook Zucchini, California Wonder Peppers but I managed to squeeze in the LI cheese squash and Amish Melon. Oh and the Beans are Kentucky Wonder - an heirloom but one she heard of so that was okay too! Now I just have to have Curt roto the barn garden and get that planted....maybe this weekend or else I will have to do it because I can't wait much longer.
On the fiber front. I had dyed some roving with easter egg dye in pint jars in all six colors running one into the other and I spun that and knit it in garter stitch. Looks cute but isn't very long as I navajo plied it to keep colors together so next time I will have to use bigger jars or more of them. Figure I will sew the sides together add a handle and then felt it for a small purse for Tori. I also added a couple of rows to Jess's stocking and Tori's guitar strap. I knit when I take the goats out into the field. They won't stay there unless somebody is with them! Cyndi e-mailed me that we need to get motivated on this knitting/weaving for the craft fairs we have planned. Funny thing is I am so procrastinating on that. I can think of things to make the family but have no inclination to make anything else. I need a serious kick in the butt.
We sheared Storm. Of the two goats Puddles is calmer and takes to the shearing easier. Storm is like trying to shear a tornado! Haven't done anything with the fiber yet as I don't know what I want to do with it.
Only four more days and a wake up as Jess puts it until she comes home. This is the longest period of time we have been apart. She is already trying to push people away so she won't hurt when she has to leave for Iraq. In a way I understand but it also hurts when all you want to do is hold her. Joyce is flying up from PR to have "Thanksgiving Dinner" with us while Jess is home. Jess doesn't know yet so that should be a nice surprise. Jess decided she doesn't want us to come down to MS for the Salute and Sendoff. Finally dawned on her how hard that is going to be but the plans have been made and we are going. I will pry be a basket case on the ride home - poor Curt and Mom!
We are up to 15 chicks now. No new ones for the past couple of days but she is still sitting. The ducks were a bust and we need to get them out of there but I am thinking of putting some duck eggs under the chicken.
Well I am off to start the days cleaning so they can come home from school and work and undo it all. I guess they think I need to feel needed and they all do their utmost to make me feel so!!! I feel sooooo loved!!!

Quick sketch of gardens Posted by Hello