Saturday, July 29, 2006

Oreo -- being bad.

Oh, it's been a loooooong morning; maybe it was because of the late night! :) Oreo is driving me batty today! She wanted outside at 5:55 a.m. After that little "sniff everything in sight" pee-walk she let me sleep until 7:30 before she decided to play ball in the kitchen. While playing ball by herself...she ran into the wrought iron basket stand and knocked off some candles. After I cleaned up that mess (broken glass), I fed her and turned on the computer. Right now she's sneaking into the living room! She has this great creep-slide thing going and she's under the computer chair before you even know it! And, she seems to think that if she keeps at least one paw (or her tail) in the kitchen then she's officially *in* the kitchen. SSSShhhhh, we're not telling Bill Oreo made it to the living room! :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tummy Rub

Oreo's favoritest thing in the word...a tummy rub!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Finally...Progress on Sis's Sweater

I took a break from this because I was tired of looking at green. I picked it up last week and did the neckline and then promplty got stumped on how to pick up enough stitches around the arm hole for the sleeve. Well, I finally figured it out! :) 26 more days until Sis's birthday...yup, I think I can do two inches of ribbing for the cuff and then do the second sleeve before then!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bill's 1964 Triumph

You suffered through most of my 'restoring Lucy' I'll spare you the step-by-step process of Bill's Triumph! :) Here it is...completely restored.

The paint scheme isn't original (he's redoing that this winter); this was a quickie, get-it-on-the-road paint job with left-over paint from other jobs. The engine/motor (which ever it's called on a motorcycle) has been completely rebuilt. We have a shop a mile from here...the owner and Bill traded work to get it rebuilt; Bill made and milled parts for him for other bikes he's fixing and he rebuilt the engine. Bill also put the bike back to "original" for that model and year. He had to buy the correct back fender, a new seat bracket, the silver thingie on top of the gas tank and the correct Triumph logos.

He thought he was being a keen shopper...buying an older bike that was here in the states, thinking he could still get remanufactured parts. Turns out...after many wrong parts and much research...the bike he actually bought was made in Great Britain. They made two different styles of Triumph for export and one for their own country. We can easily buy the remanufactured parts for the export line...BUT Bill's bike isn't one of them! LOL Sooo, he has a small fortune tied up in shipping! I'd love to know the "how the bike got over here" story, but it's untraceable; too many gaps in the information we have for the bike. Bill is assuming someone in the service bought it and had it shipped home when they were discharged.

Ahhh, it wasn't until I downloaded the picture, that I noticed Oreo in the background...that pup manages to get into EVERYTHING!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A Boring & Rainy Saturday

It's such a gloomy and rainy day...good thing I bought these roses for myself at Walmart last night. That Walmart always has great flowers...and most of the time they have some on clearance, as these were. I paid a whopping $2.47 for these roses!

Goodness, even the cat is bored today! OK, given, that is **only** because Oreo is outside in the garage with "daddy".

I'm headed to knit on my sister's the one sleeve almost finished. I'll post a couple of pictures of that later tonight. I'm also making a Christmas list of knitting projects and will be ordering the yarn later too. My this list is growing...maybe I should have done this back in March! LOL

Friday, July 21, 2006

Oreo's First Bath

Oreo was tied out by the garage tonight while I had tea with my mother-in-law. When I came home she was barking her fool head off. I went out to see her and found her covered in mud. Like any toddler, she apparently thought it was great fun to stomp in the puddles! Hey, she's a water dog and loves puddles. And, she really smelled like "wet dog" and left over pond off to the tub she went. Oh lord...I was planning on taking pictures DURING her bath...but I didn't have a free hand! When she got out, you should have seen the mess in the bathroom...I'll spare you those pictures! :) She tore through the kitchen like a mad-woman, around and around and around. When she finally was still...I took these three pictures... Right now she's sacked out in front of the fan. I'm not sure if she's trying to spread the fresh apple-scented-shampooed-doggie smell through the entire house or if she's just trying to dry herself! LOL

Soap & Flowers

Soap! Yes, I'm still making soap...just not as often as usual. I think that has something to do with the 500+ bars in the basement. Business seems to have come to a drastic halt. I don't know what is causing it; I'm always super slow in the summer...but this is ridiculous! These are the bars I made at the Girl Scout demo. I gave them bars of soap that was already cured. I didn't think it wise to give uncured soap to the younger set of kids (the GS were between Kindergarten and 5th grade). So, I made some of my Christmas soaps for the demonstration. I've gotta admit, I was worried about carting the hot, molten (as in gel-stage) around in the car, but it worked out just fine. And check out these swirls...the best ones I've ever done. Guess I need to slow down and talk out loud while making it! :) The green and white is scented with Brambleberry's Holiday Candy; the brick and white is scented with Brambleberry's Sleigh Ride.

I have no idea what this plant is...but I bought three of them and planted them in a hanging basket. The rains and hail completely flattened the pot, and I gave it up for dead. But look what Mother Nature did...brought it back from the center. NOW, it's even more beautiful than before. This plant has a cute story behind it. My sister and I was shopping for annuals (one of our yearly get-togethers; she comes home and I haul her around to all my favorite greenhouse haunts...then I go down to her house and she hauls my butt to all of her favorites... ANYWAY...I was looking and looking, she had to pee and I kept looking. Finally she gave me *the* look; the I GOTTA PEE NOW we left in a hurry and went to the nearest bathroom...THEN we went back and bought these plants! She's always doing this to me... {{love ya, Sis}}

This is a plant from my Aunt's house. Her whole yard was landscaped with NO grass to mow! You gotta love that thought! I hate mowing grass! Anyway, I can't remember which variety this plant is...but it's a coreopsis. I know she gave me two of them; one was called Moonbeam, but I think that one is white? She use to raise African Violets and was a floral judge for huge shows.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Girl's and their Favorite Plants

As some of you know, I babysit. These two girls, Emma and Eve, have been here for almost 4 years. Ahhh, OK, I'll admit it, they are my favorites! They were out playing in the yard yesterday and wanted to pick we picked daisies, but not before I got my camera! Eve is on the left and her older sister, Emma is on the right. After the daisies and getting the mail out of the mailbox, they were totally facinated with the hens and chicks that are just starting to bloom. So we took a picture of those two. Then, we came inside, got some popcicles and printed the pictures so they could take home a copy. And, as I promised the girls...I'm posting them on my blog!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Billy's Band - Ivyside

Meet Ivyside...

The lead singer...and lead guitar, Andy

Matt, the bassist

...and Billy, of course, on drums

Billy been playing guitar since he was in second grade (he's in 11th now) and slowly branched out to percussion when he joined band in school (4th grade). You may be familiar with what they say about each instrument attracting a specific personality... Well, Billy is a drummer...through and through! He's fidgety, he's intense, he's emotional and sensitive...and at times explosive. Just like all good drummers -- hey, remember Animal on the Muppets??? LOL He's been in a couple bands but this one seems to be the perfect fit. The other guys, Matt and Andy are great kids...a bit older than Billy, but they are always there for him.

Matt and Andy found Billy through a mutual friend and had him haul his drum set up to Andy's house to "audition". Hmmm, I think that was around Thanksgiving or Christmas. They write and play a lot of their own music, and throw in a few Green Day songs and a couple Blink 182 songs. When they are practicing in our basement you can hear them play all kinds of crazy little ditties! I do believe I heard a bit of Ironman the other someone likes *my* kind of music! :) AND, they go through a lot of Mountain Dew and pizza!

Anyway...they played at the Elks Club on Saturday night. This was Billy's first "professional" gig and he had a blast! Their myspace has lots of great comments on I'm going to venture out on a limb and tell you that they DID GREAT! These pics were taken at that performance by Gretchen and Randy; newspaper reporters and a fellow "band parents" (marching band). Gretchen emailed them to I just had to steal them for my blog! THANKS GRETCHEN & RANDY...for the great pics!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Gardens...fowers and veggies

Ahhh, how pretty... I can't believe how quickly these opened up since Saturday morning! Coneflowers are my favorite.

This is a White Swan Coneflower... I wonder what's up with it...notice the purple-pink on the petals. Can they revert back to the purple variety???

Another one of my favorites, Clematis. We planted these the year after we got that makes this plant 20 years old!

Baby Zucchini...couple more days and it'll be frying time!

Baby Crooknecks...actually I think these are going to be supper tonight! That will make them the very first thing we've picked to eat in the garden this year!

Sis's Sweater

Well, the neckline is done and looks good... I spent three hours last night trying to pick up the sleeve stitches...still don't have that done. There are exactly 52 stitches on the edges...but the pattern says to pick up 70. Now were in the hell are those extra 18 stitches suppose to come from? I'm seriously debating on pickin gup 52 and then increasing every 2-3 stitches on the next row to get my 70. Hmmm, wonder if that'll give me a normal looking sleeve or one of those 80's balloon-sleeves? Guess time'll tell...stay tuned! :)

Oh and the climatis is lovely...but I'm *not* waking up a puppy to take pictures of that...I'll do that later too!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

It's Raining (again)...

Will it ever stop raining? We've been getting rain about 4 to 5 days a week. Let me tell you...this is getting OLD fast! Anyway, I got miserable and went outside with the camera anyway! Yes, those bull-head genes run in the family. Sorry, Sis! :)

AC, cautiously emerging from the comfrey plant
AC had a small problem this morning...small, as in a 15 pound puppy named OREO. First of all, let me establish that AC and Oreo do NOT like each other. In fact, that's a huge understatement! Oreo would just *love* to get AC...but AC, well, being a cat, she's a bit unsociable. And, when you factor in the Feline vs Canine thing...well, she's REALLY unsociable!

AC had came inside for her breakfast, and wanted to play the "in and out" game; also know by Bill as the "revolving door". So, I propped the screen door open a bit and came back to the computer. Bill was in the garage with Oreo visiting with his dad. Apparently they got seriously involved in something and Oreo escaped...straight to the house! She found the back door open and came tearing inside... AC went frantic, tore through and around the kitchen, knocked over the garbage can, a chair, and her water and food dishes! She was all puffed up to 3 or 4 times her size and growling like a cornered wolf. Now, Oreo thought this was just great...a real fun chase...until the food dishes got tipped over...then she decided it was snack time! That's when I made it to the kitchen . As soon as AC saw me, she dove to safety, past Oreo through the still-propped-open back door! Now, Oreo was a filthy muddy mess and so is my kitchen! At least AC cleans herself before entering! LOL

I got Oreo out of the cat food, and sent her back to the garage to Bill. I noticed how nice it looked outside with the water beaded on all the I got the camera and went to take these pictures. I found AC hiding under the comfrey bush. She watched very cautiously as Bill Oreo put on a leash and half dragged her back to the garage (she was trying to track AC into the comfrey and Echinacea patch). And, she slowly came up on the bricks and kept watching to make sure Oreo stayed on the leash!

AC, still looking after Oreo

Dahlia pots blooming on the back porch
(notice the wet puppy and cat paw prints on the cement)

Echinecea, getting ready to bloom

More Echinaeca
(I have seven plants in this area with the comfrey; all are the normal old fashioned variety except for, one white and one is a "double decker")

What a morning! Can I go take a nap?!! :) I have dishes to do, a kitchen floor to clean (thanks to AC and Oreo) and lunch to get. Billy's band is coming and I promised them all home-made pizza. Oh, gee...wonder where I put the bread machine?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Nerd Test

I am nerdier than 5% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Puppies & Posies

OK, I guess it's true...puppies will sleep anywhere! This is where Oreo decided to take her afternoon nap. She's still there! Oh, and she snores!

Isn't this pretty...I love lilies and this was just after a thunderstorm. The rain drops are still beading off its petals.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Winning Prizes for the Kid

Billy loves squirrels...and Ice Age has the neatest/weirdest squirrel! HE loves Scrat! And they had this one game that had these four foot long Scrats...he drooled and drooled and spent $6 of his own dollars on it before saying, "too hard, need food money" and quit playing. BUT, he told me about I tried... It was called Pong Pond in swimming pool, not cue stick pool. There were two swimming pools with floating lily pads. On each lily pad was a glass custard dish. The lily pads floated around in the current (around in a circle). The goal was to get a ping pong ball to STAY in one of the custard cups. I spent a buck for 7 balls and tried out my technique...not good, not even close! So, I spent a couple hours walking around the thing watching others. I got a funnel cake and sat down on a bench right in front of the game! I looked all day, and never saw a single person walking around carrying a prize from that booth...hmmm, must be nearly impossible. The only rules posted was that the ball must stay in the cup to count as a win..the same person could only win four times in a day...and each ball had to be thrown individually, you couldn't wing the whole bucket at the pool!

An hour before we had to be back at the bus, I bought a $5 bucket of balls and tried again...55 balls in the bucket (my lord knows how many there actually were). I got quite a few to bounce in...and right back out. I had one bounce in one cup, bounce out and land in another cup and swirl around and around before spinning out over the edge. Throwing them at the cups was useless...but BOUNCING them on the floor in front of the pool...and letting them bounce into the pool from the much closer (that was the one that almost stayed in). I learned these two things by observing! I tried this one on my own, letting them bounce TWICE on the floor before getting to the pool...that worked great! I had three "almost" stay in. another $5 bucket. First ball of that bucket bounced twice, bounced into a cup and didn't move! Needless to say, I'm glad I didn't have an audience of band kids because I was jumping up and down and yelling! I gathered up my HUGE Scrat. Hey, his tail dragged on the ground while I was carrying can tell how big he really is from these pictures...he takes up more than 2/3 of the couch!. I gave the rest of my bucket full of balls to a little girl who was sitting next to me (and told her dad to let the balls bounce a couple of times on the floor and let them bounce their way into the pool)...and then I headed back to the bus.

Let me tell you...walking through the park carrying a 4 foot high stuff toy gets you lots of attention! Even for me that was a bit much! And, you should have seen the band kids when I cleared the gate near the bus. There were lots of "OMG"s, "Wow"s and "Holy Crap"s! Billy looked my direction to see what the commotion was about, his eyes lit up, he screamed, "I love you mommy!" took off his quads, threw his mallets down and came skipping...towards me, grabbed me in a big hug and twirled me AND Scrat around! Let me tell you, THAT was well worth the $11, the time spent spying and the looks and the hoots and hollers I got while dragging Scrat through the park!

Oh, and the best mom funded the game with quarters from her purse and car! She gave me this hideous change purse of patch work leather from the dollar store...filled with quarters for games. Last year I won prizes for everyone from the shooting gallery. This year I played for Scrat...

Sooo...does this qualify for TMI about Kennywood??? :)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Kennywood - Great Landscaping and Fountains

This is the landscaping in front of the big carousal building. I really wish I had my 35 mm zoom camera...but I didn't wanna drag it around all day and let is sit on the bus. And, as it was, I forgot my digital camera, and bought a disposable one at the park. I had these developed and put on a disk at these are some expensive pics! ;) But it was funny because the kids had no clue that you could actually *buy* disposable cameras!

This is a little water fountain tucked away in the back of the only full service restaurant in the park. It is a path that doesn't get much foot traffic. I just loved these flowers and the way they had them arranged. I love the tropical looking multi colored leaves. And the music...see the green thing on the lower left side...speakers hidden through out the park with great music!

Yes, you are seeing this's a real clock, made with flowers and real clock hands. If you click on the picture you can see it in more detail (that zoom lense would have been nice for this pic too). They used bricks to represent the numbers and the little lines between the numbers. And, yes, it really was 12:45 p.m. when I took the picture! ;)

I love water fountains and they had so many nice ones in the I strolled around looking for photo ops! The kids just rolled their eyes at me taking "stupid pictures". This fountain was so's a big ball, and each end of the ball has a round spinner thing on it, spraying water. I was sitting at the table you see in the bottom of this picture and you could literally feel the mist from the fountain. And the noise it made was spectacular!

This is in the Lost Kennywood section of the park, the building behind the fountain is food places and a gift shop, I love the architecture...and that's the Steel Phantom's Revenge (the park's main attraction) steel roller coaster tracks you see off to the left...last year that thing gave me whip lash that lasted two months. This year I stayed "grounded" and didn't ride a single thing!

This fountain lake was just across the bridge walkway from the triple layer fish fountain above. The walk way separated them, the water flowed from the fountain above down under the walkway to this "lake". You could walk the entire way around this fountain lake. There were lots of park benches and cement benches and stones along the sides to sit and enjoy. See that tower in the background...that's the Pitfall ride...a 251 foot tall structure that offers a 229 feet drop, of which 150 feet are total free fall...reaching a maximum speed of 65 mph! NOT for me! This is one of two rides that I will NOT get on, not under any circumstances...or any amount of teasing or dares!

This wading pool and fountain was in the top part of the park, in the wooded section. Very pretty and quaint. I'm sitting on one of the benches that circled this half circle wading pool. You can see the benches on the other side.

This is a picture taken from the back of the park, the train tracks you see in the foreground are those of the park's little steam engine. I am standing behind a chain link fence in the corner of a picnic area...I so wanted to be over on those tracks taking the picture in that little open area. The hill you can see in the background is the little suburb of Pittsburgh that you drive through to get to Kennywood...that murky brown stuff you see between the tracks and the the Monongahela river. It was high and chocolate-milk brown. It is never a pretty river...but this was ickier than usual.

This is from the other side of the picnic area in front of the train's tracks. This is a manufacturing plant that uses the river as it's source of power. Kinda neat, when you take this train ride at the park, you get the history of the river and manufacturing of Pittsburgh...and a little park history.

Kennywood - A day with the Ridgway Marching Band

Billy --- Being Billy! ;)

Billy and his girlfriend, Nicole (she's in color guard), sharing a foot massager seat. Josh sitting on the other foot massager (he plays bass drum). Jimmy is standing on the left side of the picture (he plasy bass drum too). I ran into these guys in the park and they were broke and begging for frozen lemonaids... So gave Billy a $20 and let him keep the change for supper/dinner money. They hate their pics taken, hence the photo above! But...this is the price they pay for being beggars!

This is the drumline practicing before the parade. Everyone is in there *summer* uniforms. Let's see...Billy is the farthest to the right with his quads, Brandi is just sticking out in front of him a bit (she plays snare). The two of them share the section leader title. Mary is the other snare, she's on the left . Josh is in front with the biggest bass drum, Jimmy is right behind him...and I can't remember the other bass drummer's name. I'll ask Billy when he comes home from work!

Here's the band during the parade... I didn't make it to the spot in time to get the color guard or the piclo and flute players. Hey, after 10 hours in the park and a long uphill stretch to this photo vantage point...don't blame feet hurt! LOL

Vinnie and his sax-thingie, don't ask me which kind, I have no idea...I know drums and guitars! :) The drummers are right behind him...Brandi on snare...and Billy is just to her left, with his hair in his face. He seen me and flipped his hair down so I couldn't get a good pic of him. This is seems to be a problem with him!
And the bass drummers...Josh and Jimmy.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Meet Oreo...

The newest member of the Washburn family...

Yup, a new puppy!

We've sorta been looking for a dog for the past year...but wanted the *right* dog. This is Bill's dog and he was the one doing the looking...and that man is a terrible procrastinator and an even worse detective/shopper! A couple months ago he called a number he found on a public bulletin board from an ad for "lab puppies". What he found was registered $350 puppies; what he wanted was a free mutt. OK...we keep looking. Wednesday night a man called asking to talk to Bill. It was the guy with the puppies. He had someone bring back a female because the guy didn't feel he had enough time to train the dog and it wasn't fair to the dog to sit in his kennel all day. The guy told Bill that if he was still interested in having a dog...he would give her to us. He didn't want to try to resell the pup and didn't want to keep her. Sooo...that's how Oreo came to live with us!