Saturday, August 29, 2009

Still wandering that desert....

My schedule has been all jumbled, and there was a lot I planned to accomplish on several consecutive days off, but as usual--my list was unrealistic.

I had a single night off in the midst of work nights, so slept all day and stayed up all night rather than mess my body up even more. A couple of hours was spent trying to catch up on some blogger posts--the reader list was at 118! And I updated my blog--took it back down to two columns and played with the colors.

Then I spent a long while researching some Halloween how-tos. Omigosh, am I ever an amateur compared to what's out there! It's a bit comforting that mine is the best in the neighborhood, but when I see what is possible? Holy cow! Then again, it's only me doing my yard. Some of these places take food bank donations and have a half dozen folks helping.

If you're a Halloween nut, here are some great places to visit:

If you're not, don't go there.

I am itching to get started in my own yard, but it's too early to put anything out. Looking forward to some days off to start building some props and aging some of the foam tombstones I ordered. I know some people make their own, but working with styrofoam (for me) is akin to fingernails on a blackboard; sets my teeth on edge. Some of my orders have come in, and I raided the dollar store the other day, but I haven't hit Michael's, Wal-Mart, or Garden Ridge yet (which I've heard of, but never visited.) Nor have I attended many yard sales lately--it's been too hot for most folks, but the weather is cooling off.

Oh, and I uploaded my 3 Midnight Syndicate CDs on the iPod in preparation for the party and the Big Night. I cleaned out a closet and found a clear shower curtain I'd forgotten we had--perfect for making this:
I'm thinking this, with a little fake blood in the tub and handprints on the tile, will be creepy in the bathroom that all will use.

Did I mention the theme for this year is "To Die For--or From"?

From now til New Year's will be crazy-busy.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blogging Sahara

Sheesh! Y'all must have thought I'd fallen off the Blue Ridge Parkway or been attacked by slugs. Actually, except for work (which has been physically and emotionally exhausting this week), there's not much been going on in Scrapsville.

The slugs won the war in the garden. I have 2 tomato plants still standing and beginning to produce, one very small jalapeno pepper plant with a tiny jalapeno, and one bell pepper plant with a small green pepper on it. The squash plants were losing the battle, so I sacrificed them to the slugs to protect the tomato plants.

My daughter turned me on to a podcast "You Bet Your Garden", which has greatly increased my pathetic knowledge base. His recommendations for slugs: Lay a board in the middle of the garden. The slugs will all congregate under it in the heat of the day, and you can just lift the board, gather all those slimy produce thieves and drop them in a jar of soapy water. How simple is that?

The pet fur actually worked for the bigger slugs--they wouldn't cross it--but the tiny ones managed to find the bare spots around the stem and crawl up.

The other thing I learned? Wood mulch is not something you want to use around your plants and in your garden. It encourages slugs and moles and voles. What did I put in my yard this year? At least 30 bags of cedar mulch, both in the garden and around my flowers. And there are mole tunnels leading to the base of one decimated bachelor button plant and one nearly dead sweet william.

I need to have two oak trees taken down, as they are dead or nearly dead, and if there was no disease or infestation in them, I had planned to have them chipped up for mulch. Not sure I'm going to do that now.

The deck garden has done beautifully, though. On the to-do list for today is making pesto, to use up those basil leaves while they're still in good shape. And 2 pepper plants I didn't have room for in the lasagna garden were placed in small pots; lo and behold, there are 2 peppers on them. Other herbs will be cut back a little and hung to dry in the closet: oregano, chives, rosemary.

Then maybe a little hand sewing in the evening. I took the yarn hair off the two Handy Dolls, because it was shedding, and attached the doll hair Jean sent me to one of the dolls and it looks so much better. As soon as I get a few more made up, I'll post a picture.

So that's the scoop in the land of Scraps today.
What's on your to-do list?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lazy Days

Almost another week has gone by since my last post--and it was pretty skimpy. I've had some work issues simmering in the back of my mind while I did some other, more fun stuff. I had 6 nights off and while I didn't accomplish half the things I meant to, some things did make it off my list.

Thurs. morning I actually got up before 8am and made it over to a co-worker's house for appetizers and cocktails. Remember, THEY got off at 7:30am so it was a reasonable cocktail hour for them. I had ice water, just because I planned to stay up all day, and there aren't many things I like to drink, truth be told. Except chocolate martinis. And kahlua. Neither of which needed to start my day. But it was fun, a chance to see a different side of some folks, and some absolutely delicious appetizers--peach salsa (odd taste, but good), artichoke dip, and pesto brie. Omigosh, was that ever good! I was there 4 hours!

Thursday evening a separate group of us went to see "The Ugly Truth."

Definitely a chick flick and only fluff, but fun to see with some of your girlfriends. We followed that with a meal at Fatz, and some browsing at Big Lots next door to the theater. It was nice to indulge in a Girls' Day Out.

Not much of the sewing I planned got done, but I did sew up 10 blocks for the second half of the Four Seasons Quilt Swap--summer edition.

We could make up to 20, but I'm a little rushed, and a little bored with them right now, and if I need more blocks, I can make more from my stash to fill in.

And I made up two little needle books for myself.

The one with the rosebuds was the first one--the blue one was second and a little better. I didn't have any felted wool, but these were just fine and so simple to make--if they wear out, it won't take an hour to replace them.

I also got this in the mail last week:

Jean sent me some doll hair for the little Handy Dolls I'm making for work. The yarn I was using is not holding up and I'll have to bald them in order to put some new on--but now I have a decent substitute. Can you see the little rosebuds she sent for their dresses?

Too cute!

So it's time for another 3 day stretch and the schedule from you-know-where this month. I'll be perusing your blogs as time permits, but may not be able to post for a bit. Besides, it's the lazy hot days of summer. Hope you get a chance to relax, everyone!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Can You Guess What's on My Mind?

You Are a Ghost

Mysterious, independent, and often unseen
- you always do things your own way.

You are introverted, shy, and even a little secretive.

People are dying to know you better, but you're a difficult person to know.

A lot of your contributions to the world are left invisible and unfelt.

Your greatest power: Blending in really well

Your greatest weakness: Being too passive

You play well with: Witches

Halloween Horoscope for Cancer

You're usually the one who gives out the best candy in your neighborhood.

And you really get into the halloween spirit decorating your house.

Costume suggestions: A witch, wizard, or angel

Signature Halloween candy: Mini peanut butter cups

Scary movie you should celebrate Halloween with: Evil Dead 2

You Are Candy Corn

Your Halloween personality is whimsical, colorful, and creative.

You see Halloween as a time to get your creative juices flowing.

Each year, Halloween can't start soon enough for you.

You tend to go all out for Halloween. You decorate like crazy and always dress up.

(Sorry I can't figure out how to get all the words to show up--I don't know enough about html to adjust it--but you aren't missing too many letters there.)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Weekend in NC

I can't believe I've been so negligent with this blog. Somehow the time has just slipped past me. Not that I've been doing that much--just working, and doing my obligatory bulletin board for work for August. Oh, and job hunting. More on that another time.

Since I'm doing the bulletin board on Metabolic Syndrome, I took some photos of fresh veggies, herbs, and beans at the Tailgate Market this weekend, as well as the walking path at the hospital. I need to finish assembling the display before taking it to work tonight, so I'll leave you with a few of the photos.