Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stash Report Week 5 (one for me)

Stash Report Week 5 (week one for me)

I was just at a brand new to me blog that does a stash busting accounting each week with links to other's progress so i thought I'd give it a try.  Hope you'll join me in this blogger world of accountability for our stash and how to whittle it down.

Fabric in: 0 yards
Fabric out: 0 yards
Total fabric in: 0 yards
Total fabric out: 3840 sq inches
The 3840 sq inches come from the potholders I made kits of earlier this month.  Though I've begun to think that I'd prefer to account it as actually busted after the potholders are sewn.  Will decide next week the final for that choice.

Not really busted, but cut up for block making were a few bits of scraps today.  As a part of the 25 weeks group at yahoo groups I am working at stash busting and being more organized and prepared for Christmas gifts (or whatever holiday you may or may not celebrate) and year round gift giving.  So today i got out this tub of scraps

That is a 66 qt plastic bin with some rulers, the cutting sizes and amounts for the block and my rotary cutter.  breast cancer awareness pink of course!

And for the small bit of time I had in the sewing room today I managed to cut these few scraps up for various sized blocks.  there are cutting sizes for 12", 8" and 4" finished blocks

Guess it doesn't look like much, but with the dry spell i've had (most of the past 4 years) well, I'll take it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fishing Report!

For Christmas my darling husband got me a fish finder for the boat.  A very inexpensive one but a fish finder just the same.  We've had many boats over our 28+ years together but none of them have had a fish finder on them.  Last weekend he mounted it on the boat and today we took it out for a test run.

Yes, we checked the weather ahead of time.  Yes, we went despite the predicted NW 7 mph winds in the morning changing to NNW 20 mph by noon time and 10% chance of rain in the morning and 20% chance come noon.  Oh and I should mention that this Fall the tides are so against us with the low being at 10:45 AM.  We were in the water by 8:10 AM.

With our 5 dozen small live shrimp, some frozen ones left over from a trip before and one ladyfish we kept from the last trip out with our son,We went out to a piling tower thingie and tried to find some bait fish.  Neal could not fish as the wind was rather brisk already and he was worried we take more water over the bow then I could stand.  So we fought the wind, the whitecaps (yes, in Tampa Bay) and headed over to the channel to try some luck there.

Neal would see a fish (yes as in a solitary fish) yell over the wind, "small fish 10 feet" (or some such depth).  I'd yell back "10 feet of what depth".  As I needed to go to the bottom and then reel up the appropriate amount for the depth.  This went on for some time til he finally "got it" and started to call out 12 feet of 24 feet.  Or 29 feet of 30 feet.  unfortunately by the time he'd call it out to me and I dropped my line in the water and it got reeled up the right amount, we'd be long past where he saw that solitary fish or two or three.

We are gluttons for punishment and we kept at it.  Scurrying around and chasing solitary fish.  I bet if the fish finder was a higher priced one I could have seen them chuckling at us on the screen.  Just like I can imagine you chuckling at us as you read this.

We headed once more back to the tower thingie and didn't see a thing and then just headed back in-shore to look for those elusive trout that are so abundant in the Bay right now according to all the sports people in the various media.  Just like last time we did not get a trout.  In fact, by the time I finally got a nibble from a fish smaller than my shrimp, I suspect, it was a good hour or more.  They stole a couple of my shrimp and then we headed up the waterway on the side of EG Simmons park and abuts the Dupont Mansion.  Nothing.  We had a nice time cruising around and trying to find fish.  Then we finally headed back to the entrance to the waterway where we had been before when at least I had a couple of nibbles.

Finally, a fish!  and it was a sheepshead!  I had never caught one of those before.  A bit later I had another one.  They liked to eat the head off of our live shrimp.  Then I would cut the rest of it in half to make it smaller so  I could get the fish to maybe take the hook.  I never got another one but Neal managed to get one stingray.

And now the part we all love.... a picture!  Is that one happy fisherlady or what?  Oh and I knit that green head thing Medieval Knitted Helmet too.  And just so you know I am wearing long johns, fishing pants, sweatpants and a long johns shirt, t-shirt, sweatshirt, fishing shirt and that jacket showing AND the bucs hat and the knitted helmet and believe me, I was still cold at times.  Oh and a pair of gardening gloves most of the time too.

We had hot cocoa too. A very good thing to have taken along this trip!

About 2:20 pm we called it a day and tried to head in to the boat ramp.  THAT my dears is a tale for a different day.  Always an adventure when we go out in the boat.

Oh yea, the picture  teehee

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I have .... FOLLOWERS!

Okay so I noticed that people I did not really "know" occasionally would make a comment, which was nice.  :) Then one day I noticed I had TWO followers!  Still no huge surprise as I commented several times on each of their blogs.

Then one day last week after I'd already posted twice I think, I noticed I had a THIRD follower and this one was Madame Samm.   Well now, not to belittle the other two (trust me gals I'm beyond thrilled that you follow this urban gal) but this was now a horse of a different color.  Now, I had a person in charge of Stash Manicure with over 91,000 visitors this month alone!  And followers numbering over 1600.  I wondered what I had done, posted or even just thought in my lost in my over-50-mind that caused her to follow my blog.  And then I went on with my day.   Suffering from I can't remember dinner from this evening I did not remember that I had .... followers again until today.

and then there were


My corner of the universe is expanding and I'm happy to have someone-s here reading with me so I don't have to admit I'm just talking to myself.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

I know in life, it is bringing an unexpected trip to my in-laws sans husband as my dmil is having computer difficulties and I'm hoping I can go over there and save her from the blue screen of death.  I offered.  I hope I can save her "stuff" what little she might have on the computer and her email pst info if applicable (i think she uses AOL via the web) but I'll check just to make sure.  and then I'll probably just start her off with a fresh windows load.  She gets my dfil's older computers and so I imagine it was never truly started off fresh for her and could use it.

Wish me luck and safe journey and cheap gas? as it is a 3 hours drive and I don't like to drive in the dark but I imagine I will be ... both ways.  Not uphill either direction, unless you count the turnpike exit ramps.  I live in Florida for those of you who are just getting to know me.

and now i have no new pics for you at all, two posts in a row. :(

Let the potholders begin!

One of the items I'd like to make many of this year are the crisscross potholders (warning that is a video link for the same idea but coaster sized go here but still picture intensive ) I fell in love with sometime late last year.  I'd like to use up some of my seasonal fabrics making these.  So today, in order to celebrate the many days I have spent cleaning in the garage and the sewing room along with sorting through my ton of fabric stash to colorize them, I am beginning the process of setting these potholders up for quick grabbing for small amounts of available sewing time.

I began by getting the tub of potholder stuffs gathered as I cleaned the garage and sorted fabrics.  I started to mix and match some of the fabrics and decided i'd rather make more of each season by stretching the cute fabrics some with the use of coordinating fabrics for the opposing  squares.  then i took the first fabric out and went to press it.  ummmm hmmmm even my great euro-pro steam iron can't get these folds out without a lot of steam.  so into the washer went all the seasonal/food fabrics and then a few from the green stash bin to go with.  they are now in the dryer.

As I did not want to go away from the sewing room all depressed that all I did to "celebrate" was to wash and dry the fabrics I got out the large amount of insul-brite I bought in November.  I decided as so many of my fabrics of food and seasonal were actually fat quarters i'd start cutting them at 8 1/2" instead of the 9 1/2" i did back in december.   so i cut enough 8" (yes, a 1/2" smaller so not so much to trim before turning) squares of the insul-brite to make 30 potholders!  Now I need to find what happened to the warm & natural batting I bought in a bag when I got the insul-brite.  I thought it was in the potholders bin, but no?  then looked where the rolled up 5 yards of insul-brite was, no?  Looked up over the shelves in the garage where i keep the batting, no?

So now I need to go find the batting and cut up at least enough for thirty potholders.  by then the fabric should be dry and i can lay it out quickly so no wrinkles, at least none that you can't just hit with a hot iron to get rid of and then I can cut those fabrics.

One small baby step at a time.  That is all I'm going to be able to do.  If I think of it in terms of all the steps at once and how long each step takes, well I may never get them sewn up!

Have a blessed day, filled with joy and laughter, hugs and warmth,

denise/deBRAT in warmer? Tampa Bay Florida

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cheap trees?

My inlaws have a gorgeous Poinciana tree in their courtyard (NOTE: picture is NOT their tree).  This year we noticed huge cigar looking pods hanging from it.  December 26th, 2010 we took home these.
We tried a variety of methods of breaking in to these to get the seeds out of the pods.
Breaking them with our feet - no luck.
Metal hinged nutcracker - no not like in the ballet - no luck.
Neal got out a multi-tool pocket knife and tried with what looked like a very pointy can opener blade.
I got a small hammer and a flathead screwdriver.

Neal got six seeds done and I got 40 done!

and look who decided to give my method a try after I finished with the hammer and screwdriver :)

Neal did the research on how to plant them and so we used sand paper to make sure the water would get at them while they soak overnight.  As we do things so differently, mine are in a ziplock bag with warm water and I only am trying 5 of them.  Neal's are in a plastic coffee can and he is doing them all at one time!

We bought two large bags of potting soil at Sam's today and 250 16 oz plastic drinking cups.  Tomorrow we plant!

It took us a long time to do these and all I could say is I'm glad we don't have to eat these to survive!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fishing Report!

First Fishing report in 2011!  We took the boat out yesterday down at Cockroach Bay and headed out to a "tower"  what they really are I have no clue.  Very large water fowl perches is what they look like to me.  We tried a Sabiki rig with cut up frozen shrimp (leftover from a previous fishing trip), size 1 snelled circular hook with 1 oz leader weight with a 3 oz weight added with live shrimp to no avail.  Nada  Nothing Zilch

we then moved to a channel marker buoy, something with the number 5 on it.  it was a green buoy.  we anchored a couple of times to try and figure out where the anchor needed to go in in order to accomplish my ultimate distance from the buoy.   I managed to get two mystery fish and Neal got one large blowfish, which did not disappoint and blew itself up so we could giggle and laugh at how silly they look as they scoot around upside down floating on top of the water as they deflate for returning to the depths.  speaking of depths it was about 44 feet there but the fish did not seem to know we were there :(  Neal put my first small mystery fish on a size 6 hook and dropped it on down to see what we might see... which was nothing from that.

We then realized we had only another hour left to fish so we headed to an area about 8 foot in depth as there is where the trout were suppose to be.  "If it is in the paper it must be true", a favorite quote of our family's stolen from Rocky and Bullwinkle show.  ;)  nada

Then with only 30 minutes left to go we headed in to the interior areas of Cockroach Bay and finally Caelum got himself a fish!  Not just any fish but the actual sought after fish ... a TROUT!  too small to keep but he was happy and we were envious that he got a real species for eating.  He managed to catch two more of those and one ladyfish.  I got at least 4 ladyfish all from about a foot to maybe 14-15" in length.  They treated us to displays of leaping and twisting and brought smiles to our face.

the weather did not cooperate with our timing. it was to clear by noon with sunshine but the sun did not get the memo until around 3 pm apparently just when we were going in so we could clean up the gear and boat before dark.

As we passed S & S Tacos in Ruskin we decided THAT is what we want for dinner and made a quick stop for three wet burritos.  Yummy!

Unfortunately, there was some sort of accident or train track event preventing our returning home in the most direct manner taking us home even later.  The best laid plans of men, eh?

So I have but the one picture of the mystery fish I caught two of this trip to show you.  Not a bad first fishing trip of 2011 and promises of more trips this year to come!

 And because I'm such a BRAT I'm posting a picture of someone who is brilliant but was not very awake before we left and also not too aware of weather conditions and just how cold it does get out on the boat on a gray, overcast, 20% chance of rain day in January on the open water of Tampa Bay.  Why he managed to grab the long johns I don't know but he did and he quickly put them on over his shorts along with the flannel hoodie on loan from dh over his t-shirt.  Me?  I had on my fishing pants, a spaghetti strap top, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt and my fishing overshirt.  Overkill? NO I had to tuck a clean, yet used fishing towel around my neck and into the collar of the shirt for extra warmth.  I was still rather cold when we were moving on the boat.  I need to invest in about 3 pairs of those cheap gardening gloves with black dots on them for fishing on the boat.  I used them from the pier in Mexico Beach and they help with getting heavy fish up with a hand over hand motion when the reel is just not up to the size fish you caught.  And they are great for keeping your hands warm.  Plus as I never handle the fish or bait with the gloves I just toss them into the wash with my fishing clothes and they are ready for next time. :)

If you have the ability to go fishing... DO!  and don't forget to take a kid fishing and grow up the next generation of fishermen (and women) in a manner that benefits our environment, fisheries and their total enjoyment of the hobby, sport, livelihood.

'Til next time

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I have been so remiss in updating this blog. :(  I have many pictures and adventures to upload as past dates but for now here are a few of the latest MB pictures.

 Tuesday, December 28, 2010 ~FROST greeted me when I went fishing on MB Pier
~ NO bites
 Monday, December 27, 2010 ~SUNSET Neal and myself with MB pier in the background.  It is much easier to achieve "couple" pictures if you bring along your son!
 SAND ART ~someone left this face drawn in the sand and I thought it made a neat picture!
 CAMERA enjoyment ~Neal's favorite easy shooting camera was found recently and he was enjoying taking pictures with it once again.
 If you're name is NEAL and there is a SUNSET in progress you must raise a camera in toast to the spectacular marking of the end of another day.
 COUPLE picture once more courtesy of son.   Thanks for being with us at our dream beach home son!
 Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh need I say more?
 FISHING was so poor on the pier we went to the jetty too.  The Neal's trying to get even a bite.  No bites any of the days I/we fished.  But the fresh air and bits of sunshine were very enjoyable and so relaxing :)
CANDLE-less We celebrated our son's 23rd birthday at Outback Steakhouse with friends.  Our dessert sampler arrived sans candle and song-less.  So being the wonderful parents we are we had to ask again for them to sing so we could appropriately embarrass him.

I know all the pictures look alike but until you've seen it in person ~ each sunset or sunrise is more than special and beautiful!

That's it for now.  We leave in under an hour for the southernmost home and our daily REAL lives.