Friday, April 10, 2009


After a lot of careful thought I decided to move my blog to my own domain.

You will be able to find posts from here over at and I would love to see your visits there. I know that this site is being read, just not commented on that often.

Please, book mark my site and visit often - and Thank you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Back to spinning, back to dying

Well this last month has been interrupted by first a trip to Las Vegas to visit my brother and mother, and then coming home to my family getting some sort of gastro-intestinal flu. I've become way too familiar with my washing machine, but in that time that my Whirlpool front loader and I have had together, I've made a discovery you would think that I would have already known.

My washer has a spin only cycle.

Yep. I will now be able to process more wool at home (oh I can hear my husband groaning over that now...) and I can spin out the fiber that I've dyed.

The drying time has been an issue here as we just don't have space, but it now appears that we will be able to get more dying done, and I won't have to worry about my nosy neighbor calling the city to say my house is covered in an odd stringy substance.

It is April, and there are Daffodils showing signs of being ready to bloom all over the place and the weather is just getting so beautiful out... I am fielding more interview calls for QA Manager positions, and I've taken on some new clients for web-design. At the end of the month is the CT Sheep and Wool Festival that I will be going to with Sunny. In between all this I'm working on getting my Etsy shop re-stocked, and consider getting a production wheel.

That would make 4 wheels for those who are counting...

I'm actually considering selling my Colonial Wheel. I don't have space to set it up and it really deserves the room to be on display. I guess I'll have to give that some thought. I know that I really want the jumbo flyer for my HitchHiker Roadbug from the Merlin Tree and hope to pick one up at the CT Sheep and Wool fest.

In the mean time, since I've discovered this new setting on my machine, I will be stocking the Etsy shop with hand dyed, locally processed sliver! I'll announce when I've done my latest updates there.

It's really nice, with my daughter getting ready to start homeschooling in earnest, it's been a relief that we have the Etsy shop to supplement income. Homeschooling can be done very inexpensively, but we're making sure we can provide our kids with the tools they need to succeed in the world - as it takes money to make money, I am hoping we can cover some of her foundations costs this year with the profits from TGTreasures.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New England Spring - Festivals begin!

So - we're home, it was a heck of an adventure and my kids are happy to be home, and I even got back to my Thursday evening spinning - something that just hasn't happened in a while due to my spinning partner in crime being in her first trimester of pregnancy (she's out now and finds out tomorrow if she has a baby boy or girl in there *grins*.)

If you are around Bristol CT on Thursday night and want to come spin with us - please do! We meet up at about 6:30 PM and are there until they close up. This week is iffy as to if we'll be there or not, but other weeks you can definitely find us there.

So that silk and merino/tencil I promised pics of?
My hands area bit rough but somewhere I read a trick about salt and olive oil exfoliation... it's also supposed to smooth hands for working with silk. The silk will be fun to work with though - I have several silk hankies that I've spun up and just loved working with.

I had hoped to post more when I was in Las Vegas, but my little Diva didn't get as much done on her homeschooling programs during the days like we'd have liked, so before bed at night this became a frequent visage in the window...

She's a bright little cookie and has figured out how to use my cell phone as well. She has started texting folks, not content to work on her homeschool website, - no she also wants to Text Daddy, Auntie Reesa, Grandma, and a few others. It makes things a little challenging as she's got my phone figured out better than I have.

So it's spring, shearing season is upon us, and more than likely I will be going back to the same farm in June to pick up more fleeces. Sunny and I are going to wash them out in her backyard this time though, so when we send them off for processing we're not paying an arm and a leg for processing gunk out that we could do ourselves. We also hope to do a bit more dying together than we did last summer. We'll be doing as much as we can outside in the shade as she'll be getting rather large by then...

I am really excited for both she and her husband - this is their first baby, and my Husband was best man at their wedding. As her husband's a police officer in the next town over, there are very few odds that we'll ever have pictures of him posted here, but for future reference, I'll just call him Kel here. Kel's a pretty good guy and I've known him for ages... I don't think he really grasps what we're doing yet with the spinning though. *grins* When his house is overtaken with yarn, as well as all the baby paraphernalia I'm sure I'll get partial blame.

I am looking forward to the CT Sheep and Wool festival as well. It is the 100'th anniversary of it, but I can't find a functioning website for it anymore. Which completely stinks. I know it is happening though - and on April 26, Sunny and I will be there. I'm hoping that Claire can make it too - it's a small enough venue that we may bring my little Diva and if Claire brings her daughter, I expect they will play well together, leaving the adults to be able to oggle spinning wheels and fiber as well as let Sunny get a chance to try out several types of spinning wheels to see if she likes one over another... until then she's using mine and really enjoying it - when she's not having tension problems. ;-)

And speaking of Tension - I'll have a whopper of a tension problem tomorrow if I don't get to sleep now. I'll be bringing a wheel with me to my daughter's dance class, so I should get some sleep now.

Until later!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fiber Shop

Really Sick of his car seat

Enjoying the cactus garden together

Springs Preserve

Terraforming at Lake Las Vegas

More Photos later... kids awake now.

Vegas, day 4 complete

Ok - today was just busy.

  • Breakfast at mom's
  • Finish laundry/fold and bag to go back to hotel
  • Springs Preserve with all 3 little ones.... wow can I have some of their energy?
  • Back to Mom's to check on step dad and grab anything we left earlier.
  • Off to Coldstone creamery - 3 quarts custom blended for us, Tessa had to have strawberry gummybear as one of them.
  • Lake Mead for a Sunset Dinner cooked by my uncle Paul who really is a bit of a gourmet. He makes Spaghetti and Meatballs something amazing... and OMG home made cinnamon buns, from a yeast dough. All this in a 5th wheel camper - wow.
  • Post dinner Kids went for walk with Uncle WegasWingnut and Grandma Oulin fretted when it was post dark and they weren't back yet.
  • Kids and Uncle return - Garret has soggy shoes - someone danced in Lake Mead while wearing Sneakers, and Tessa was hungry.
  • Tess and Liam fed again, and then we headed out...
  • 10 minutes on the road Garret starts crying that he's broken his mouth. Interpreted as teething, those nasty 2 year molars, we stop at the first CVS we see and pick up some children's advil. Once dosed he's a happy camper within 20 minutes and is singing his favorite song - the Boobie Song. His own composition.
  • Mom dropped off at her house, we come back to hotel. I panic - can not find hotel key, do not want to treck across casino with bag of folded laundry, tired preschooler and shoeless toddler just to get to front desk. Hotel laid out inconveniently unless you are a gambler.
  • Key found in crack of passenger seat - mom drove to Lake Mead, so I must have lost it out of my pocket. All is well again.
  • Upstairs again, kids skip bath tonight in favor of feet in sink while teeth get brushed, while I scrub assorted body parts of kids with washcloth while they sit on edge of sink and giggle.
  • Kids dressed in night clothes, put in bed and within 10 minutes of heads to pillows they are OUT.
  • Mommy (me) now laughing to self as it's before 11 on a Sat night in Las Vegas, and I'm looking forward to going to sleep more than anything else.
  • Unemployment filed for electronically and now I'm going to finish uploading pictures and then go to bed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Vegas, Day 3 complete

I actually took pictures for day 3 day. I can't upload them right now for fear of waking the kids with the noise of trying to find the memory card adapter for my new cell phone camera's memory card, but they really do exist.

It's 6am local time in Las Vegas while I write this on day 4, but I fell asleep last night so I didn't get to write it.

Friday was a busy busy day for us. I started out the day with a shower while the kids were still asleep and while trying to blow dry my hair the blow dryer popped and caught on fire in my hand. Unplugging it and holding carefully, the flames went out quick, but that was an experience. After the kids were up and dressed I contacted the front desk to request more towels and a replacement for the blow-dryer... one that wouldn't catch on fire please...

Post Breakfast (and Tessa discovering why we we are careful when walking past cactus and not INTO Cactus - or else you end up with spikes poking holes in you) we checked out a local fiber shop where I was able to pick up silk caps for spinning, for a song... as well as Tessa picked out some Merino/Tencil blend. I didn't even spend 10.00 there and feel like I've really gotten a good deal. The Store owner was a lovely woman and has invited me in for her saturday spin/knit day today, but I think I'm going to have to skip it. We have a full day ahead of us. But that is skipping ahead my self here... I have to say that I've never felt that comfortable in a yarn/spinning/weaving shop and if I lived out here, I'd have to be pried out of there with a crowbar frequently.

Following the trip to Wolly Wonders, we went to the Ethel M chocolate factory. Tessa thought it was pretty cool to watch them make little candy bars, and loved the chocolate sample we got at the end of the tour. We picked up something for Daddy, who the kids miss terribly, and then went on to walk their Cactus Gardens. Tessa loved it, and Garret loved the ability to practically run about - it's been a long winter back home with very few days that were really good for playing at the park in comparison to the weather they are experiencing here.

At this time everyone was ready for a late lunch. We piled back into the SUV and headed north towards the region where our hotel was - Gas, Grub, and then Naps were in store for us. Tessa worked on a homeschooling reading site on my laptop, and Garret and I slept with the door bolted and unable to be opened from the outside, nor by little girl if the Starfall games got too boring for her and she decided that in the hour I was going to lay down with Garret that she wanted to do something else. She didn't and when Gaelon called us to make sure I got up on time to get to Mom's for dinner, she answered the phone like a big girl and brought it to me.

Dinner at Mom's with my brother and his family, and my Aunt and Uncle was wonderful. The kids had a blast together, and all three are close enough in age to really enjoy playing together. Liam was more verbally expressive when playing with my kids, so I think his quietness is just because his big sisters do so much for him. Seems to be a family trait - as my brother and my cousin Nick both were the same way as small kids.

Following dinner (and my brother's bunch leaving a little early due to an allergic reaction by his middle girl to construction dust and pollen - and we're talking severe reaction, the poor girl) I loaded the kids up into the SUV while my mom got ready to take her sweetie out to Lake Mead for the night in the rig.

Tessa had requested that we drive the strip at night time as she wanted to see all the lights. As it was a friday night - well I was a little concerned about traffic on Las Vegas Blvd, but it was early enough that we could start out on Fremont, and make our way south. I had expected Garret to sleep through this, but he was awake, and giddy over all the lights as well.

The Spinning Shoe, and Martini Glass made of lights up at Freemont Street really blew her mind, and made Garret babble in the back seat. They were chanting "Glitter Gulch" and having a blast over what they were watching go by. Tessa kept seeing all the chapels and gal's in Wedding Dresses and she wanted to know if the white dresses got dirty from all the pollen and dust... I told her that I bet they did. All the lights, and the fountains impressed them, but the big point that caught their attention was the fountains at the Bellagio - all in patterns with music in an amazing light/sound/water show that both wanted to come back for. I told them when it wasn't Mama alone and they were bigger that we'd discuss it and likely walk around on the strip instead of driving on it.

They were highly amused by the Luxor yet again, and Excalibur blew Tessa's mind as there was a big story book castle in the middle of this sea of lights... driving on the highway back to the hotel, we got to see the other side of the hotels and Tessa told me she was greatly impressed with all the flash and color. She thinks it's very pretty and is very much a grown up playground. I told her she was very smart and that's exactly what it is.

She still isn't really understanding what a casino is - other than that they don't let little kids in there, and people come in to lose their money so they go home with an empty wallet... I have told her I didn't get the allure either so we are sharing a case of "I don't get it's" and she is happy with that.

Completely exhausted she was in bed and asleep before Garret, and he and I followed shortly afterwards. I'm going to grab a bit more sleep my self for now before we go back to my mom's and finish laundry and begin our Day 4 adventure.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Vegas, Day 2 complete

We were supposed to get together with my Sister in Law today, but she didn't realize the plans were firm and when her sister came into town from Ohio unexpectedly, she spent the day with her. No harm, no foul. We had a nice restful morning and mid afternoon we went out to Walmart for more pull ups for Garret, and Ensure for my Stepdad and then over to my mom's favorite shop, where my beautiful diva had a nightmarish moment that made me take her outside and threaten her with us coming home to Connecticut on the first airplane that would take us home. She didn't like that threat at all and after we discussed it further she was apologetic for her behavior, and she actually contritely gave her "I'm sorry's" to my mom, and not because of what I had threatened her with, but because she was in the wrong. It made me very proud of my little girl, although I was mad at her for her poor behavior for a little while.

We went back up to my Brother's house for dinner, the kids all had fun with each other and I got time to talk with my brother and his wife. She's really a lovely woman, and I have to say a spectacular mama. Liam was a little cutie-pie, and the three littles were all over the place... at one point Garret snuggled up on the couch with Nicole - the middle girl, and was watching TV with her, and happily chirruping to her. They've stolen their cousin's hearts, and the admiration is mutual.

It's tough seeing how hard things are for my mom with my step dad. You take the normal Mother/Daughter dynamic and then factor in a man that you've never liked being an emotional and physical drain on your mother. Next add in the fact that once upon a time he used to make her so very happy, and now he's an invalid and mentally/emotionally not the man he used to be and see the toll on her health and center and it's heart breaking. I want to scream at his children "Where the *F* are you, as he's *YOUR* Dad."

Mine is gone, both my brother and I greatly grieve that he doesn't get to his lovely three little grandchildren playing together and getting along as wonderfully as they are. I'd give anything to have him in our lives, and they are squandering what life their own father has left.

It's not even that they are off-put by his physical state - they would have to see him to actually know what he looks like. No - they just aren't there. This means his grandchildren aren't either. So - Tessa, Liam and Garret are the surrogates for his affection as the Step Grand kids, and Tess is still in that really shy zone with him as he's just not able to be an interactive grand dad. I may not like the man, but I will not refuse him the joy of wee ones to call grandchildren, and Garret has laid claim to him in a way that is very sweet and special.

I am feeling better today compared to yesterday, and tomorrow will be a big walking day for me with the kids. We're going to the candy factory, and maybe over to the strip to see the water show, there's a family dinner with my Aunt and Uncle who will be driving in from parts south, as well as my brother's family and then I have promised Tessa that if she is still wide awake after dark we will drive down the strip so she can see it lighted up like she sees when we watch CSI. As it was her request, I will do my very best to honor it.

Garret is just as sweet as can be, and pure boy. It didn't take him long to get dirty in his cute little clothes today, and he even managed to get some soil (Literal dirt/earth from the flower garden) on my mom as well. The doting on eachother - Mom/My kids/Liam is just wonderful and I hope Tessa retains the memories of this trip.

Well - I'm tired, I should get a drink of water and go to bed. I'm not drinking enough and need to make sure I stay hydrated as the desert just pulls the moisture out of me like a sponge, my lips are feeling chapped and that happens when I get sick or dehydrated, and I'm certainly not sick.

May all who read this have a good night. Rest well, as I know outside of missing my Husband (who is back in CT,) I will be sleeping pretty hard my self tonight.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vegas, Day 1 complete

What can I say - I'm whipped. Traveling about 10 hours with two small children (Including my layovers) has me ready to collapse, but at least I can do that in a sunbeam.

My kids are having a blast with Grandma Laney, and my son has of course stolen my mom's heart - like that was any question that it was likely to happen. "Grandma, Grandma, Grandma" has been Garret's mantra. Tess has asked my mom to be her schoolteacher for the week and both children are madly in love with her. (Oh it's quite mutual as well...) Even my step-dad has gotten some Garret Lovin's - he thinks that Grandpa is just the bee's knees, and my step dad who is bed bound seems to be amused to no end by a small child toodling in to see him in his bedroom and chirruping at him.

This trip has been awesome on the heart and hard on electronics.

My cell phone and our video camera both have given up the ghost. I have an extended warranty on the camera and the phone had insurance for repairs, but I'd be without it for the time I was out here, and that would certainly be a hardship as I'm still looking for work out here and am taking calls from recruiters.

I ended up at the Sprint store tonight, and renewed my contract ( it was up for renewal anyhow, so I ended up with a pretty sweet deal on a new phone as well as with a new plan that is less per month than the old one.) I ended up with a Samsung Rant, to replace my MotoQ. I think I like this one more already, but there's a lot of bells and whistles to learn on it. I can pull up YouTube on it, but that sucks down batteries like you wouldn't believe. I'm going to let it charge tonight and we'll see where it is in the morning.

Our hotel - aside from my kids finding drugs on the floor when we came in, is actually a rather nice one, and I have a view of the strip from here - all the hi-rises in a single row, coloring the sky in multi hued brilliance, complete with the Luxor calling the Mothership home...

We had breakfast with my mom, and then went grocery shopping. My kids were awesome in that they asked for fresh fruit and veggies, and not candy nor junk, although for the fun of it Tessa did the "Can I have colored cereal" thing - which if you know my mom you know it will elicit a "I don't think so." I had major issues with the artificially colored and preserved cereals when I was a child and it's left an indelible stamp on my family due to it.

I'm blessed - the kids have healthy appetites for healthy food. They could prefer junk, so I'm very content to know they don't want garbage.

After lunch we headed up to North Las Vegas to see my brother and his family.

Spending time with my brother today was just a wonderful thing. I can't say enough about how that household feels, there is warmth, and love there, and while my nephew seems to be behind the 8 ball linguistically, it seems to be only in verbalization, not comprehension. I think he's going to be one of those big guys that doesn't say much but when they do it's profound some day. And good grief - for a 3 year old, he's almost as big as my 4 year old daughter. Tess is fairly tall for her age, and is often mistaken for a 5 -6 year old physically.

The kids all had so much fun playing together today, and they truly enjoyed each other's company. That to me is priceless. My daughter and son are madly in love with Cloudy - for those who remember, Cloudy was my dad's puppy, and my Brother currently has her, although there may be a war over her as she's just the sweetest thing in the world and a great example of what Daisy was supposed to grow up to be like. :-) (I think I forgot to blog this, but Daisy passed away in January due to a heart defect.)

My brother's step daughters were darlings - well the two who interacted with us. The eldest got time with my kids as my daughter demanded to go see her, but as she was doing homework, she opted to stay upstairs the entire time we were there this afternoon. She's in honors classes and doing well, so I'm not going to fuss. I know it's not personal, it's being a Teenager, and it's homework.

Liam gave me hugs before we left, and was fairly talkative to me - something I'm told he just isn't... but then again my kids are chatterboxes and my daughter was certainly engaging him in conversation while they played. He so looks like my brother when he was that age, and has the jawline from our paternal family line. He and Garret have similar structure in the eyes and noses though - and you can see the resemblance clearly enough to know they are family. Garret however got the peanut genes, where Liam will be a tall drink of water.

We're back at the hotel, where I can write this, recharge my laptop and self, and the kids are asleep. There is a 3 hour time difference between here and home, and I'm still on Eastern time, so it's fricking late for me. I just am enjoying the quiet time and am contemplating taking a bath my self before crawling into bed - the OTHER one in the room that doesn't have small children sprawled out in it. I wonder if they'd notice in the middle of the night that I wasn't there in the bed they were in...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Back to spinning!

Well I seriously doubt I'm going to fill that custom order by Monday but I'm spinning away... it's a self imposed deadline, not one put on me by the buyer, but still... I had wanted to get it done.

This afternoon I was back at my Mother in Law's, spinning while getting a little adult female social interaction. She and I had a very hard time initially connecting leading to a stressful first few years that my husband and I were together, and somehow after all this time we've come together as kindred spirits - women who left their immediate family miles and miles away and started a family here in New England. She really has become a close friend, and I love her dearly.

The me of a decade ago would have wondered what sort of happy pills I was on for saying that by the way... just to give you an idea of how it was.

But today we sat, drinking our coffee, I spun, she relaxed as much as a Grandma with two very young grand children can (my kids adore her but they are really tiring as they somehow appear to be fueled by Jet Fuel LOL!) I managed to get maybe 15o yards spun, but it wasn't my goal, so tomorrow I'm going to be spinning again here at home, and really hoping that I can make a sizable dent in that order.

After I spin it, I'll be doing the dying. It's a bit in reverse for how I work, but I want to make sure that I can do it uniformly and want to get the whole thing done in one day. I upped my difficulty level in meeting that self imposed deadline when I brought my flyer but not the attached whorl for my Kiwi and had to return home for it.

I've decided I'll be bringing a couple of drop spindles with me on my trip. I'll take some silk and a very lightweight drop spindle and then I'll take probably 4 ounces of Tunis and use my Golding for that. I have no idea as to if I'll get enough time to spin when in Las Vegas, but I hope to try, and there is always naptime for the kids.

My daughter has been asking "Is it time to go to Grandma Lanies yet?" It's been her mantra after getting up in the morning, after dance class, after sleeping over at her Paternal Grandma's and has beat out her request for a baby sister. This one I can honestly say "very soon" and not worry about getting harangued too much. The whole baby sister thing? Thats another can of worms entirely.

The Diva has learned to knit on a Knifty Knitter loom this week. She has me wrap her loops for her, which I don't mind doing, and has had great fun knitting while mommy knits. It's funny how daughters want to be their mothers, I remember wanting to be mine when I was a child, and now I see my daughter wanting to be me - down to insisting we wear the same shoes, and trying to wear my clothing already.

She'll be using my drop spindle before I know it, and will be spinning on a wheel without any assistance soon too.

I'm not ready for her to be so grown up but she is, so I get to roll with it and just enjoy the ride.

Well it's 1am and I am likely going to be woken up by fierce little people in the morning so I should get some sleep. I'll have a post with pics tomorrow and a request for spinner's with scotch tensioning experience.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ok - not so scary after all...

A couple of months ago my P, L and backspace keys on my Toshiba laptop just stopped working. No clue why at the time. On Sunday night after another key popped off the keyboard and I looked at my husband and said - it can't be as hard as they say to replace the keyboard. (They being the last set of techs I talked to over at Staples which now has a computer repair department.)

I didn't want to send it out for repair in part due to the delays and idiocy I dealt with last time I took my laptop in for repair over at BestBuy (it was still under warranty at the time,) partially due to what we just went through in December getting my Husband's computer back (after nearly 3 months when it was to take 2 weeks - thanks Acer) and in part due to the fact that I just can't be without it right now.

So - I looked up instructions on how to do it online, realizing I COULD do this my self and then ordered the part on Ebay.

Seriously - I can't say enough how easy it was. Replacing the keyboard is almost as easy as removing the battery on it.

In the past few days I've reinstalled the software for the operating system, cleaned out the muck that I don't need installed on my system (superfluous crap that they stuff in the hard drive that is supposed to entice you to spend more money on software or entertainment sites that you really don't want, ) and have repaired my system physically. It's kinda impressive to me actually. I wasn't worried about voiding the warranty, as it's just not got one on it, and the worst thing I could do was render it completely inoperable, which any tech would have that as a worst case scenario.

Why yes, I am very pleased with my self right now. That was a huge hunk of cash I just saved, and per the diagnostics program, the internal workings of the computer are just fine.

YAY me! Best part? I spent 17.00 with shipping and handling on this repair. That's it.

Bad news here is with all my computer woes, I've not gotten as much spinning as I'd like to do completed, so tomorrow Beakey comes with me when I take the kids to their paternal grandma's for the day and I will listen to their glee while they play.

I might even get some other things for the Etsy shop done, but that's a post that will have to wait...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cheeky Monkey

So my little monkey girl is starting with the "mom said ____" to her daddy so she can get her way.

Needless to say the fact that we have computers on each floor is not something she finds helpful at all as it means we can IM with each other and we tend to catch those tricks pretty quick..

Last night she asked for another sibling again, and wanted to know how long until we had a new baby in the house. I told her that we probably weren't going to (although both Gaelon and I are receptive to the idea in the future, we're not actively planning on one right now) and that if we did she wouldn't be any younger than 6 - if not older, which was NOT met with much happiness.

Upon telling her she'd need to share her things more she started listing the toys she had that she couldn't wait to share. Hrm. That wasn't what I was looking for LOL.

Monday, March 9, 2009

An unfriendly city to small children, and I'm bringing two of them.

Do you remember the kingdom where no children are welcome in the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? I will have 6 full days (the 7th is lost in transit) that I will have in Las Vegas with a 4 year old and a 2 year old. Based on my prior visit there, I have concluded that Las Vegas was indeed the inspiration for that City/State and unless you are 21 or older that city is not anywhere near a playground.

I've been doing research on things I can do with the kids that are free, or as inexpensive as I can find (if they get bored I don't want to have to worry about having laid out a mint on entertainment - or my mom being the generous grandma who's already paid enough to get us out there and doing the same...) and I have come up with some ideas.

I would love to have input from others on this subject however...

Ethel M Chocolates tour and the Botanical Gardens
(seriously - a candy factory - Tess loved it at 13 months, at 4 years she's going to be over the moon.)

Fall of Atlantis and Festival Fountain Show at Caesar's Palace

Sunday - Thursday, every hour from 10 a.m. - 11 p.m - no charge and whoo hoo a mythology lesson included.

"You might wonder or not notice at all the statues at the middle of the fountain, but every hour from 10 am to 11 pm, the statues move amidst the stunning special effects of fire and water. It recounts how King Atlas children's greed made the gods destroy Atlantis. A winged beast appears behind the throne as fire and water consume the entire kingdom. A mesmerizing view and a learning experience for the kids." - From the Las Vegas with kids website.

The Aquarium at the Silverton Hotel

Springs Preserve (not free... yipes.)
Las Vegas natural history museum (not free but not that expensive)

Mandalay Bay Aquarium - Shark Reef

Bonnie Springs, Old Nevada (Last time we were there Tessa took a major header and ended up with a major bruise on her head for the rest of the trip.)

Red Rock Canyon - thank god my children love going for scenic drives.... and it's on the way to Bonnie Springs ;-)

We're staying in a relatively nice hotel, but I can't find info on it on the web, as face it - they want people in the casino's not the hotel rooms. On the "Cheapo Las Vegas" website I found the following review for their in house child care. "Dump your kids in this supervised play area. You can drop them off while you do sinnerly adult things, but you have to pick them up in less than four hours, not when they are eighteen. For permanent dropoffs, you need an orphanage."

It made me laugh. I don't plan on using their services, especially after reading another Mom's review on Casino Childcare a few months ago. My son is still in diapers, and I'd like them checked every now and again, and both kids fed, not plopped down in front of a TV...

I expect that I'll have a lot of time spent with family and I'm really looking forward to that. My brother's family will be wonderful to get to know and I plan on taking tons of pictures of my nephew Liam... and of course his sisters, my sister in law, my mother and my baby brother. Tessa thinks it's funny that the big guy she saw on Skype the other night via video conference is my BABY brother. She says he can't be my little brother, as a little brother can be picked up and played with, as well as picked on. I told her that the picking up part ends when they grow bigger than you, but that sibling rivalry never goes away.

She asked me at bed time tonight if when we have _(insert prospective name of considered third child not on its way currently, and not sure if it will ever be)__ would she still be my love, and would love her and Garret as much. I told her that I will always love both my Diva and my Peter Pan, as they are what makes my heart go thump thump in happiness, and if we ever had another baby it would add to the happiness and increase our families love. She liked that description and she snuggled in and told me "I will always be here for you Mommy," with the most serious of tones.

She can drive me up a wall and down the other side, and she just makes my heart melt and forget all about when she's driven me nuts when she does that. She really is my little Princess. She has asked to learn to knit, so tomorrow I will see how she fares with a knitting loom in her hands.

Peter Pan has continued on his path of "I Flying!" and tried to go down the stairs again today - without assistance nor using his legs. I was half way down when he leapt on to me. Oye. My hands are full with these two.

I am going to close up now but again, any suggestions of places to check out with two small kids while in Vegas is appreciated.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Frenzied Friday

Mood: Amused
Music: Labrynth

Ok - what is it with me and Ashford Bobbins?  I have had three FOUR bobbins fall apart on me today and they are all being glued back together with Gorilla glue (by my wonderful hubby.) Completely aggrivating and thanks to the first break of the day I had to start over on an entire spool as with the bobbin falling apart the whole spool's worth fell apart.  I'll save that for re-carding into an art yarn or something.

Not counting what I had to put aside for re-carding, I'm 300 yards into the custom order, on a single ply - with this afternoons spinning.  I didn't get uninterrupted spinning time, but that's ok.  I've not had the chance for this much uninterrupted spinning time in a while and since the kids are both asleep I'm seriously tempted (it's 10:25pm right now as I edit this) to go continue spinning.  The problem with that is my Jumbo bobbins are down for repair right now.  Tomorrow I'll be able to spin again, and it's actually a good thing that I can't continue tonight.  I need to unload the dishwasher and get things together for the ham, cheese and potato soup I'll be making tomorrow.  It's one pot crazy easy dish to make, but I want to have every thing ready to go for tomorrow so prep time is as short as I can make it be.

The kids both really wanted to help, and it drove me a bit batty - but all in all it's because they wanted to play close to Mummah and I took it for the compliment that it is.  My son is still telling me he's Peter Pan, and that he can fly, and this afternoon as I was walking down the stairs from our second floor he decided to fly from the top step halfway down in a single leap to me... while proclaiming "I Flyin!"

Oh they are going to put more grey hairs on my head than I would normally have had by  40 in no time at all.  That's the job of a pre-schooler and a toddler though isn't it?

I filed our taxes tonight, and wish I'd gotten it done earlier but hey- it's done now.  Our refund isn't that great but it will help out.  Job possibilities are finally coming in, and I hope that no one is going to want to do an interview the week I'm in Nevada.  It's hard to believe that the trip will be so soon.  I'm excited and at the same time nervous, but not as nervous as I previously was due to getting that strap for Garret's car seat.  Impromptu stroller here we come... and if he's sitting on it, I don't think they will consider it a carry on, but even so I need to check out the carry on policies for both United and US Airways.

I'm going to get that kitchen work done now and then I think I'm going to listen to my creative visualization CD (for weight loss) and go to sleep.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust

Tonight was a rough one for leaving Tessa at my mother in law's house... after spending a typical Wednesday there and getting some spinning done, some site promotion for the Etsy shop and an update to the site, as well as teaching my MIL how to actually post in her blogspot account again, I bid goodnight to my beloved 4 year old daughter, and took my two year old son home.

A typical sleep over night for her, and time for him to get some one on one time with Mommy and Daddy - something every child should have, and something we believe in fully.

He let out the most pitiful of cries as we left - wailing his sister's name in grief, as if we were separating them forever, and she in turn started crying too. After reassuring her that we were only a phone call away, Garret and I came home, had dinner with Gaelon and the little guy got some one on one time with both parents. I called and checked on her, and while she was subdued, she was pretty much over it. The little man had a blast, as previously expected and forgot that his sister wasn't home..

He's been more verbal lately, and his imagination has been on overdrive - this morning he covered himself up with a blue blanket and roared at me, causing me to shriek out "oh no! it's the blue blanket monster" to which he roared more and giggled profusely.

He's growing up. It doesn't mean we always understand him though.

So after dinner and while we were watching TV, he stands on a Rubbermaid bin I had situated at the end of the couch with hand spun/dyed yarn in it. He leans on the arm of the couch, standing on one leg and puts the other leg in the air, and lets out with gusto the following


I look at him and wonder if he's trying to tell me he peed his pants.

So I ask him this and he says vehemently "NO"

Mumma, Dadah, I'm PEAPAH!

Ok - I was completely not sure what he was saying but I said back to him "Oh you are, are you" in that humoring voice a mother can get...

He smiled and said "Yes!"

and then said again

"I'm Pea Paaaaaaaaaaaaahhn"

I repeated it over and over and over in my head - trying to figure out what my little boy was saying when it struck me.

"You're Peter Pan?"

This was met with an ecstatic and joyous shout of "YES!" and again he repeated "I'm Pea Paaaaaaaaaaaaahhn"

"I'm Pea Paaaaaaaaaaaaahhn"

"I'm Pea Paaaaaaaaaaaaahhn"

"I'm Pea Paaaaaaaaaaaaahhn"

"I'm Pea Paaaaaaaaaaaaahhn"

With such glee and delight while pretending to fly, that all I could do is giggle and be proud of him.

Tessa didn't start pretending she was Lara Croft until she was nearly 4. Garret's only 2 and the creativity and imagination he has just astounds me.

I guess it is true - all you need is faith, trust and pixie dust and you can do/be anything/anyone.

Oh the joy of a child. It truly is bliss.

Work Day Wednesday

So it looks like we're settling into a schedule of Wednesday's are my work days and shipping days and Mondays are my stocking days - which works as it keeps people coming into the shop on a weekly basis to see what's there. When we're not being helped by our little helpers that is... Garret wanted to have a hand in uploading photos today, but we decided it was better to let him just be in the photos. ;-)

Today I'm working on a custom order for a Mama in Canada who wants to have a heirloom created for her little girl. I've had the order forever, but haven't started on it, and now that I know I'm going away for a week the end of the month, I need to get started on it before that precious little girl goes to kindergarten.

Speaking of that - the kids and I'll be in Las Vegas the 17-23rd, but my Mother in law will be handling all shipping for orders during that time, so don't worry about things not getting out - we'll just be missing a work day, vs work and shipping, and I'll be bringing a drop spindle on the airplane. Two small kids on an airplane for an over 9 hour trip with a change over. I'm a little nervous there... Any advice on carting the car seats while traveling without another adult would be appreciated.

I got a big surprise this morning when I came back from taking the Diva to dance class... a foreclosure notice stuck in my front door.

Thank goodness it wasn't for us - which is good as we're not behind in the mortgage, but for an individual who lived there years ago - for a property the next town over. Needless to say however it was good for pumping the adrenaline. I called the attorney on the paperwork who was glad to know that the document had been served, but unhappy to find out it was to the wrong individual/address.

Also happening today is teaching my mother in law how to blog, and insert photos etc. She's capable of learning, but often knocks her level of intelligence and really shouldn't. Any woman who produced as smart as a man as I married, can't be what she tries to claim, and in no time she'll be posting with comfort and ease.

She's been increasingly partnering with me over at and is an incredibly creative woman. I came in today to find she'd made fully articulated bunny rabbits, in both country and Americana prints. They are absolutely adorable and will be stocked in the online store on Monday.

So while going out to the post office to drop off yarn orders from the past couple of days I learned something new.

Did ya'll know that it's illegal to take photo's inside the post office? Well I was told this when I was there today - not that I took photos of anyone's address or faces without permission, but was told I just can't take pics inside, so you dear reader will have to be content with an exterior shot. Although I did manage to snap a couple inside anyway.

It's been very cold here and my inlaw's christmas decor is embedded within a foot or more of snow/ice so they've not been able to get the decor out of the front yard yet.

The neighbors have had some melt today - but they got creative with their decor. Have I mentioned how much I love New England? We just didn't see stuff like this when I was growing up in the Desert of West Texas and Arizona.

Monday, March 2, 2009

TGTreasures Updated

In between helpful children and a helpful cat I managed to get my etsy store updated, and this isn't even with the hand dyed rovings I'm considering listing.

There are still about 4-5 more items that aren't listed in this Etsy Mini...

I'm enjoying a day at home with my hubby and beautiful children - even if they are driving me a little batty today.

No Shipping today...

Unless I can get the mail man to take the package I have ready to go out, there will be no shipping for TG Treasures today.


It might have a little to do with this:


Kiddos and an Etsy update!

Well it was a quiet weekend. Saturday was a hang about the house day and Sunday was Garret's second birthday party. Pics to come soon I promise.

In the mean time we had a lovely time, and got some cute videos, and are now getting socked with a winter storm. Blech. Even worse - I left my spinning wheel in my trunk of my car and I think that with weather like we're going to see tomorrow, I will be spending a lot of time inside over the next couple of days. New England in our region is supposed to get over a foot of snow. YUCK!

This is a video of our first snow in Dec, this winter - Complete with escaping polarbear club wanna be. My Toddler will be safely baby-gated inside however when I get the next video of snow. We're supposed to get something like that again tonight. BLECH!

I'm working hard at making Mondays my Etsy shop stocking day - so tomorrow I will go outside on the porch in natural light and the cold, and get some updated pictures of yarn and roving that I'm listing. Then I'll get some new items up in the Etsy shop. I took several pics tonight for listing, but my camera just doesn't do well with this florescent light and it's not got a balance feature. So - I'll just wait until the morning, and when the kids are still asleep I'll get some morning light provided it's not too grey out.

In the mean time - as it's been asked for - there is some Tunis Roving in my Etsy shop - this is undyed/unspun, and is for a particular Tunis fan I have, and I plan on dying a bunch more roving tomorrow - as well as seeing how the drain/spin function works on my washer with some roving that I won't be heart broken over if it felts up. On top of that, I seem to need to make more dryer balls as they've been a big hit of late. One never knows what's going to sell, but hey I'm all for it. The Etsy shop is making a difference for us financially right now and I'm not going t complain.

and on that note - take a look at what I'll be getting a better picture of tomorrow - and posting

Delilah does not come with the Finn Handspun ;-) She's Hobbs to my son's Calvin.

Ohhh Yummy - and only a small amount of the hand dyed/spun that I have to re-shoot and post.

And finally - My little helper... My Diva.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feeling Creative, such a busy day

One advantage of being unemployed right now is that I can work on building up my Etsy shop's stock, and deal with the huge amount of roving I have on hand.

Just two bags of the roving I have from my recent pick up at the mill...

Today I dyed some of that roving, with the assistance of my kiddos. Tessa and Garret picked out the colors and I'm now trying to come up with names of colorways. They are hanging out overnight in the basement at my MIL's and will go out on the line tomorrow.

Rambouillet - it's a fine smooth fiber

Tunis - still in the pot, it's likely going to be a woolen yarn vs a worsted like the Rambouillet.

While I made a mess,

My mother in law sewed and filled Lavender Sachets....

and my sweet little almost 2 year old (On Friday) runs about and plays.

It was a very good day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

11 Bags of Roving in my spare room...

I've not started dyeing the wool yet, but today I took 255 yards of Merino roving to my mother in laws house and we broke out my dye tray to do some wet set felting in.

OMG, seriously silly fun was had and we've had a bunch of CPSIA compliant childrens product ideas... and evaluating what we have to photograph, gettingsome non kids stuff up and listed and keeping my almost 2 year old out of my mother in law's purse.

More to post later, including some hand painted roving that I'll post for sale as well.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Raving about Roving

Today was a busy day for my fibershop online, I had run out of supplies for Drop spindles, and had a couple of orders to fill, and had to re-bag some of the fiber I usually enclose with my starter kits. This led to running about from location to location to get a few of the supplies I usually keep on hand, as well as new pads for my hubby's dremel and then getting the kits assembled and shipped out.

Which I'm pleased to say they are out and in the hands of the USPS now... and the customers have new DC's for them as Paypal hasn't increased their postage amounts for orders... boo hiss. I had to buy new postage at the post office substation, as the printed postage from paypal was short. Oops!

Before dinner I managed to unearth the Minivan from the snowbank that our tin roof had caused - completely entombing the front end of the vehicle in the last few storms, and I loaded the kids up to make that post office run, and then after returning to pick up my GPS from my normal car I drive, I picked up my husband too - who's presence delighted the kids to no end. We took the trip out to Twist of Fate in Portland, and I picked up the wool I'd dropped off in August for processing. It is now in my craft room in 9 bags waiting to be spun, or dyed, or broken into little bags to go out with the aforementioned drop spindle kits.

The Merino I had such a hard time getting a hold of from a seller on Etsy last year came back a bit neppy, and the guys had said that the fleece looked like the sheep was stressed. I can believe it, and the seller has dropped off radar and not made any further sales on Etsy since. A big box of Rambouillet which was a Hogget Fleece and increadibly greasy has come back the whitest white and so soft and beautiuful that I can't wait to work with it.

I have some Romney Cross - around 500 yards of it in a nice natural gray that I'm ooohing and ahhing over, it was beautiful to behold, and an amazing light grey that will make warm, yet pretty socks I am sure.

There is also some Tunis to die for - oh goodness, this batch is a much cleaner fleece, with far less VM in it to begin with so the fleece itself is just going to be a joy to work with.

I have a little over a pound of Jacob that I am disappointed in - it was a gamble. The cuts were too short and the fleece was vegetable matter filled even with me re-skirting the fleece after I brought it home. Win some loose some I guess. The Jacob did come back a lovely chocolate brown though, and maybe spinning will help more of the VM work its way out.

My mini van was packed, nearly to the ceiling, and my children were delighted to find that they could squish the bags like pillows. I foresee much acid dying in the near future. (I might even have some roving up on the Etsy shop for sale in the near future as I have so much that it might be worth it to start selling my colorways...)

The farm I get my Tunis and Romney fleeces from is a mile away from the spinnery, and we're going to be waiting for a call as it's lambing season, and while they haven't had any born yet, we've been told we're welcome to come back to see the Lambs once they are born. This has been met with great excitement by my 4 year old daughter who has been asking me every day "are the baby lambs born yet Mommy?"

It's sweet as all get out and amusing as heck.

And wonderful that I get to share this love with my little girl.

and Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee between my pick up in November and what I picked up tonight - I have 11 big bags of roving to play with. Oh I can't wait, and creativity is starting to bubble it's way back forth.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lessons shared are wonderful

Where'd I go to again? I went back to work from medical leave on the 15th to get cut from work on the 23'rd, and then broke my ankle in 3 places (avulsion fractures) on the 29th. I've been online but kinda meh about posting. I have pretty much been laid up since December 29 and my left ankle and hip are healing from the fall I took but it's a slow process.

I have become completely batty with cabin fever - so as I can balance a bit of weight on my ankle, Thursday is the usual spinning night, and there's a new fiber shop close by hosting their own spinning night. I had to go. Really. You know - the right leg needed the excercise and isn't broken anywhere - can't let the muscle's atrophy...

Their hours for the spin in? 6-7:30PM.

Yeah - that's much earlier than Tara, Wendy (sometimes) and I meet - and as Tara works out until 6:30 with a trainer, well she's not likely to meet there. I don't mind starting there and moving down the road to Starbucks afterward - which is what I did on Thursday this week.

So I have to say this group of women are just a pleasure to spend time with, and I had no idea that there were that many spinners locally...

Initially the plan was that they were meeting only once a month there - but when I mentioned that next week I'd be at Starbucks and anyone who wished was welcome to join me.

They then decided they want to meet weekly too, and will be doing it at the yarn shop. I will probably start there and at closing move down to Starbucks to get my Cappucino fix.

I hobbled in there late with my crutches and my HitchHiker spnning wheel, and introduced my self. These women a pleasure to spend time with. I recieved the highest praise that I have were gotten in a long time when I was spinning some Targhee Top from a woman in her seventies who was hand carding each lock of wool before spinning it.

She told me she was excited to meet me as she felt she had so much to learn from me. I of course was gobsmacked as she's got a beautiful wheel and hand cards/prepares the wool she uses one lock at a time and she spins beautifully - and I had thought she had years of experience on me as she'd been talking about doing demos... when I started mentioning that I'd potentially navajo ply it, she actually said I was so far advanced in skills from her. I was a lot surprised by that, and I told her I was just going on two years of spinning... and I didn't consider my self an expert at all - I was just fortunate to have a large stash of different fibers and a couple of wheels to play with it on. Her comment was "it isn't about age, or time spent - it's what you've done with that time." Hee hee - yep and this woman thinks she has nothing to teach me? Just think about the words she said. That's a life lesson shared right there.

Anyhow - the yarn above was from the fiber swap I was in this summer. It's the aforementioned Targhee and I hadn't realized how well I'd gotten along with my HitchHiker wheel until I saw just how consistent and not overspun those singles are. I'm very pleased with the quality of my work with it of late.

I will be skeining the Targhee in singles, washing it, thwacking the hell out of it and then I'll see if I need to put it through more by plying it. If I can I want to leave it as a single, as the colorway is just beautiful and the spin is consistent. Targhee is an amazing fiber, like Tunis it can be worn against the skin by any age and it's really a lovely springy fiber with a lot of memory and it's not a big one for pilling.

I have a lot of roving coming from the mill at the end of the month and I may leave it undyed when I spin it if the CPSIA doesn't make some major changes... or I can market as "While soft enough to be used for a Baby or child under 12, the CPSIA of 2008 does not allow me to sell this in any modified/processed form (as in acid dying) for child use."

Can I just say I hate that law? Can you just see the WAHM's that are going to have to start marketing their products in this way "It's a size 0 diaper for those adults who have incontinence problems with a 10 inch waist and a 14 inch rise (The measure between your bellybutton and spin around your crotch.)" Either way - by the end of this month I will have about 26 prewashed pounds of fiber I dropped off at the mill in August to pick up and go to work on. I'd say about a good third of that is Tunis.

I got out a little more today (thank god for large doses of Advil) when I picked up my four year old from Mamaws (she overnights on Thursday nights) and we did a little shopping. I leaned on to the cart for dear life, and she was my little helper where she could be. As we went through pretty much the last of the ice melt salt for our walk way with this last storm and we're supposed to get another six inches of snow tomorrow, we needed to get more ice melt and I didn't want to get a little bag. I found 50# of it at Ocean State Job Lot, and had help getting it in the cart, out the door, into the car, and of course out of the car by my wonderful husband.

Before I take my daughter to dance tomorrow morning I think I'll sprinkle some of the ice melt (calcium chloride) on the drive way. Based on a website I found tonight I think that 50# bag will last a long time for us. "For Calcium chloride, it usually takes only two to four ounces per square yard to effective undercut bonded ice and snow"

We picked up some snacks and juice while we were out as well. I still have a fairly well stocked pantry and I had just had enough being on my feet, so I called it a night and we grabbed fast food on the way home. Our driveway sucks and after offloading everything from the car I moved the car to park it where it won't be snow plowed in. I slid our hill into a tree. I don't think there is damage to the bumper, and my aforementioned wonderful husband helped me get it straightened out so I could eventually get the car up the hill the right way and into my parking spot. You can bet that the driveway gets the ice melter tomorrow. With another six inches of snow on the way? Yeah I think so....

I will be spinning more on the HitchHiker for a while I think - due to my left ankle being in the state it's in. I was told it will take about 6 weeks to heal as long as I take good care of it and for the most part I really have. I am looking forward to working with my Kiwi again one of these days though. The poor thing has been awfully abandoned of late.

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