Thursday, November 7, 2013


About a month ago I got a request from my seester, Emily, to make my niece, Maddie, a knit kitty hat for Halloween.  She sent me a picture from the Etsy shop, pixiebell, of the hat that she was requesting I copy.

Here is pic and link.

pixiebell cat hat

After a few trial and errors I came up with one that was pretty close.  The shop uses a thicker yarn than one I could find at the local craft store, so I had to double mine and go with the flow.  When I finished, Emily received this photo to let her know.

So obviously, when she received the package in the mail, this is the photo I got back of my nephew, Andrew.

Awesomeness.  Clearly it runs in the family.

While Maddie did not wear her hat out for Halloween, I still got a good picture from Emily to showcase.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Finally the Fence

Due to reader demand (Linda, *cough*) I have decided to finally grace you all with fence photos.  Yippee!

It was quite a fun time, let me tell you.  And although Papa John did most of the hard manual labor, even he has to admit that I am a mighty fine post holder person.  Also post capper person.  Yes, I stole the most glorious job of capping all the fence posts as he finished.  Equivalent of stealing a puzzle piece and waiting for me to finish so he can put the last piece in, right pops?  Karma.

So as I think I told you guys, the first summer trip my parents took down here was supposed to be for the fence, but we ended up doing a number of other projects (just remembered I need to show the cat boxes...I am way behind!).  We did manage to get all the fence parts ordered and delivered though, so Chris and I were left with all this awesomeness in our garage for a month.

Xena in the back there had to sit out in the sweltering sun.  Poor little car.

I may or may not have been equally as excited to get my garage back as I was to get the fence up.

So, one unfortunate thing about where we live is that it's in the middle of an old lake bed.  Springville homes tend to not have basements because the dirt is hard packed clay.  SO AWFUL. You have to bring in truckloads of good dirt to get a lawn to stay green and be healthy around here.  We knew that ahead of time and opted to rent an auger to speed things up with the post hold drilling.  That is one power tool I will never use, FYI.  Scary!

Papa John was up at the crack of dawn and probably got about halfway down into ten of the holes before giving up and just returning the thing.  The dirt was seriously so tough that the auger just quit digging.  Which meant that all the rest of the holes got to be dug out with the post hold digger.  Oh what joys.  Chris came out one day and put a little elbow grease into them, but as he was working, it was mainly just Papa John and I.  And lets be honest, I lift ten pound weights when I work out, so yeah, mainly just him.

Chris' day of contribution = more work than my whole week.

Holes galore.

Farmer Joe with his hole digger.

Since we piled up the back berm with extra dirt...this is how deep those babies went.

Don't fall in!

Dwight also was helping...I can't believe I forgot to mention.

His specialty was finding lost birds in open posts.

He sat by that post all day until Chris finally figured out there was a bird trapped in there.  He spent an hour making a contraption to set him free.  Dwight was very disappointed.

Notice the nice post spacing in the previous photo as well, and the exact height of each one.  Anyone who knows my father, or has read my blog, knows that he has a slight perfection tendency.  And by slight, I mean really intense.  So I would say that about three quarters of our time spent building this fence was actually measuring and remeasuring and remeasuring.  If you think I'm complaining, I'm not.  This actually makes me very happy, because if we had not done this, our fence would be looking like the new neighbors who put theirs up in about two days.  It shows.

Notice the awkward one post higher than the others, the different post distances and, my personal favorite, the sloping gate next to the house.  REALLY?  And yes, that is snow on the mountain...I just took that picture two minutes ago.  It's begun.

After all the posts had set for a few days, we Papa John started adding the rails and slats.

And by the end of the day, voila, we had a finished fence!

With purdy gates.

Yes, he even did the neighbors with no extra labor charge.  What a guy!

We also filled in bricks facing the neighbors yard so we could dump our dirt higher without issues. 

Yay for being fenced in!  Sneak peek of another project in the lower left corner.  This backyard is getting so close to done...I keep telling myself anyway.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

So Scary!

This year I opted to actually decorate for Halloween.  I tried to keep a low budget and think I managed pretty well considering I really had nothing already purchased to work with.

First project was to take styrofoam blocks and make some headstones.  I purchased cheap grey spray paint at Walmart and then used up some leftover faux brick spray paint from our wedding bridge.  I threw a little bit of black on there for more texture as well.  After shapes were cut and spray paint dried, I used black acrylic craft paint to write inscriptions.  I searched the web for the most fun names I could find.

When I was at Walmart I picked up some Zombie Crossing tape and figured that would serve as a cute theme.  I grabbed a zombie hand as well to place in front of one of the gravestones.

The other decorations I made were some bats that I cut out from black foam boards.  I used some glow in the dark acrylic paint for eyes.

I strung up black lights on the inside of the porch awning and replaced out porch light with a black light bulb as well.

My pumpkins I spray painted black then covered with glow in the dark glitter on some and painted glow in the dark designs on some others.

Last project was to cover everything in spiderwebs!  So spooky!

I hope you all have your decorations up!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Afghan #2

About four years ago I made my first knitted afghan...this little beauty that you see below.

It took me all of my Nike sabbatical time (ok really I was temping and let go for a three month period before getting rehired again) to make.  I'm pretty sure I spent about $300 on all that yarn...nice yarn.  It will probably go down in history as the most time spent and most money spent on a knitted project ever for me.  Btw I was living a rent free life back at my parents during this time if you are wondering about my sanity.  Not that that makes for a very good excuse...

This time I wanted to make a nice throw for the downstairs family room.  I had purchased a cheap Ikea blanket as a filler when I first moved, but it was quickly getting ratty and needed to be replaced.  Opting to be more economically savvy this time I went to the JoAnns superstore up in Provo as I knew they would have a decent yarn selection.  Yes, there was going to be acrylic in this one, sigh.  Armed with my 50% off coupons I purchased a few different brands of wool blend yarns all of bulky weight.  After knitting up a few swatches of various stitches I decided on Bernat Roving.

While it is 80% acrylic / 20% wool, it was still super soft once knitted up.  A lot of times acrylics feel soft in the skein and get really rough and not pleasant in their knitted state.  Since it does have wool, I'll have to be careful when washing, but it was worth it.  So fluffy.

The stitch I chose is called the Irish Moss stitch and looks like this.

I wanted something that looked modern and that I wouldn't get tired of.

This baby took me 16 skeins...roughly $50 after all my coupons.  It measures 54" x 72" and I worked on it about a month off and on between other projects.

Much cozier than that old Ikea blanket.  Chris and Farrah agree!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pretty Yummy Pie

While this did happen awhile ago, I am still posting it because it was an event for me.

My first pie ever baked!  In my pretty white ruffle dish that Kristen got us for our wedding.

I found a simple recipe on the internet, and it tasted pretty delicious.

It turned out a little too juicy, but still purdy!

I have since made a few more with a different recipe I got from my mother and it is less sweet and in my opinion, more delicious.

Cannot wait for next year's peach season so I can start canning with Lorry and make a billion more of these!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Trip to Moab

So as I hinted in the last post, my friend, Rachel, flew into town on Thursday, two days after Nicole and Mollie left.  We had booked a hotel for two nights in Moab before we knew about the impending park closures.  The last time Rachel visited me here we were total slugs and watched an entire season of Sons of Anarchy together during her visit.  Reliving our glorious college days of Felicity, puzzles, and delicious meals.  This visit I was determined to show her what Utah had to offer.  Wouldn't you know my plans would go and get foiled?  Whomp. Whomp.

Alas, we were determined to still have a good time.  Especially since we couldn't cancel the hotel room without forfeiting all our money.  Luckily, the Moab website was very helpful in finding alternative sites and hikes to go see and do.  There were actually quite a few that could take us around the outskirts of Arches National Park.

We took off on Friday afternoon and decided to tack on an extra hour so we could see the scenic route winding along the Colorado river.  It was definitely spectacular, but maybe not worth the extra gas unless you are actually heading into Moab from the east.  If you happen to go to Moab and do any of the non national park hikes, then you will most likely get a glimpse of what we saw on that scenic drive.

We kept it low key on Friday and found a sports bar when we went into town to check if they would be playing the Duck game or not.  Of course, like Springdale, the entire town had no subscribers to the PAC12 network.  Gah.  Good thing I brought my laptop again.  After the bar we walked a bit around town, but it started drizzling so we opted for an early dinner at The Moab Brewery.

We got an early start the next morning and headed out on our first hike to Negro Bill Canyon.  We picked our trails based on views that would be similar to what we would have seen in Arches.  I had to make sure Rach saw an arch and a natural bridge.  This hike would end at the Morning Glory Natural Bridge.  We wound around alongside a pretty stream for most of the jaunt.  A lot of back and forth across the water kept it exciting.  You could definitely tell this trail hadn't gotten too much love in the past.  I assume it's a whole 'nother ballpark now that it's been a few weeks after the shutdown.  Although, Utah did reopen the parks using state money recently, so who knows.

A shot coming out of the foresty, stream area and into the sunshine.

Finally we see the bridge!

There was a little cave like area underneath where the trail stopped.

As we were leaving we saw someone walking up on top of the bridge.  Crazy kids.

After we made the trek out we went into town to get lunch.  We dined at a mexican restaurant, Cabo Grill that was in an old drive thru of sorts.  It was yummy, but a little pricey for the local in our opinion.

We were hoping to find some sort of saturday market still going on, but were disappointed after checking a few locations in which I had been to them in the past.

We headed out on our second hike to see Corona Arch.  This one had a lot more uphill than the last even had a small ladder to climb at one point!  All in all a fun hike.

And a shot from the other side looking out at our uphill climb.

We stopped to snag a few fun photos on the way back down.

Fingers crossed no train coming!

And because Rachel was demanding some artsy shots...

We called it quits on our hikes for the day and got back to the hotel around 3:30.  Just in time for me to shower and get the game on by 4pm.  Sweet!

We were originally gonna go out and and have a nice dinner again, but who needs a nice dinner when you already have beer in your hotel fridge and a yummy pizza place in town that delivers?  Right?  No, we did not watch another entire season of Sons of Anarchy, but we did get a good number of shows in that night.  Clearly refueling after all those calories lost earlier.

Since the state parks were still open, the next morning we headed to Dead Horse Point.  I had been there previously with Kristen and Eric and knew it was worth the view.  After finding out there were a number of good hikes to do, we opted for one called the Big Horn Overlook that was recommended by a ranger before heading up to the actual viewpoint.  It had a number of great stopping points that overlooked the canyon before getting to the actual trail end view.

I could have sworn this was the spot where Chris and the boys jumped out onto the sketchy rock that Mary got photoshopped on, but I learned when we got back that that had been in Canyonlands.

In case you missed this one a few years ago.  Chris is actually jumping...Steve photoshopped Mary out there to make it look like no big deal.  EEEEEEK!

The terrain was pretty cool along the way as well.

When we finally got to the end of the trail I had to coax Rach out.  I think my time in Zion had made me fearless.  To get out to the far rock you had to walk up and down a small two foot wide spot.  Sketchy!

The view was SO worth it!  You can see the Big Horn there in the left upper corner.

Once we made it back to the car we drove up to the packed Dead Horse Point lookout.

So gorgeous!  Dirty river, but spectacular sight!

Some artists painting out on the ledge.  Yikes!

We got back around dinner time to Springville and got to wake up super early on Monday so Rach could make her flight to L.A. for work.

Such a fun weekend!