Illinois: A State of Confusion.

It snowed.

image

Uggggggggh!!!!!!!!

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Falling Face First Into Fall

Dear Illinois:

You’re terrible with the weather.

Love, BMary.

I believe it was, oh, two days ago, was 80 degrees and humid. And now, we are in the 50’s, if we’re lucky! Bonus if there is sunshine! Who the heck plans this stuff? I know it’s September, but seriously! Calm down, Illinois, you’re drunk. Go home, take a pill and lay down. Pluto is not a planet. How much did you drink?

Anyway, apparently it is FALL RIGHT THIS MINUTE YOU GUYS CEREALLY, RIGHT THIS MINUTE. So my husband and I hit an apple orchard and got some (duh) apples, cider, doughnuts, fudge and possibly diabetes. I can make that joke, right?

We had a great time, I completely forgot my phone at home so I have literally no pictures of this grand outing. Which, in hindsight, was all right. The place had just opened for the season, so just the store area was open. No corn maze or hay ride or petting zoo yet. Damn. Also, we’d need to borrow a kid if there was a petting zoo, because you bet your back end I’d go in there to pet the baby goats and whatnot. It’s the kind of thing you need a kid to get away with though, it’s weird to see some almost thirty year old squeeing over baby animals. That almost thirty year old being me. Don’t judge me. I like animals and I like to pet them.

I did get something productive done, however, I finished the Road Trip Scarf! I wrote about it’s beginning here and I got stalled by not calculating the right amount of yarn needed. Even after 3 skeins of 145 yard yarn, I still needed to borrow from my stash for the tassels and flowers. I went tassel crazy, not going to lie.

wpid-20140914_145401.jpgI PEED IN THE POOL!

I was sort of inspired by the shirt I procured the other day. Fringe is back, baby! I love fringe! So I went nuts with the tassels. Instead of weaving in any ends, I just added a few more strands of yarn and braided them together. Best idea ever. I got the buttons from my grandmother’s stash that I inherited.

I’ve also already started another version…and ran out of yarn…I am terrible at thingslike countingor making adult decisionsand portion controland rambling

wpid-20140914_191215.jpglove me some UGLY yarn! I was dying to think of a project for this yarn.

wpid-20140914_162833.jpgAngie helped.

Tomorrow is that husband and I’s “dating anniversary” which is silly to celebrate, since we’re married. But only freshly married. Like, we still haven’t managed to squeeze out a honeymoon yet. So we’re going to celebrate that for the last time. Probably dinner and drinks and fart jokes. You can’t go without fart jokes. Ben Franklin rolled with the fart jokes and he’s on the $100 bill.

Keeping it classy over here in Illinois,

xxxbmary

My First Crochet Necklace

This is a long post, with a lot of rambling, but bear with me guys.

Before the wedding (sorry, right now everything is either before wedding or after wedding. should I adopt a BW and AW? Ha!) I went shopping with my maid of honor, just a casual affair in the town I used to live in. If you want a really great place to shop and you are in Illinois, Geneva is great. Many of the stores focus on local artists, incredible finds, and unique items. I don’t care if they are all vanity shops (meaning: operated at a loss by rich housewives, you’d be surprised how often that happens) it’s a lot of fun to shop there. As you may or may not be aware, I am doing by best to put my money where my mouth is. I am trying to avoid big box stores and buy from adults. Ahem. Adults who get paid.

However, spending money is really not my best skill. Arguing myself out of buying something? I’m the best. Unless I really, really want it, I don’t buy it. If I really want it, I’ll drop a pile of money on it. So I kind of forced myself to really look around and at least try to buy something. There was a lot of jewelry that was made locally and it was really beautiful, but either not my style or way out of my budget. So I dug. And then I found these babies:

wpid-20140706_134939.jpgthe ashtray was my grandmother’s

Little tiny sea shells! Hold the presses. I love shells. I would wager that I have, hands down, the most privately owned sea shells in the State of Illinois (we’re landlocked aside from Lake Michigan, for you folks not familiar). How? Well my very very dear Great Grandma Bertha Lance (aka Birdie):

wpid-2014-07-08-07.25.19.jpg.jpegshe was a firecracker

I briefly mentioned her in a previous post. This woman was a major inspiration when I was a little girl. I had never met a woman so carefree and so absolutely amazing. Granted, I was probably 6 or 7 when she passed at 90something, but I have yet to meet anyone even in the running as her equal. She lived in Florida with probably around a thousand cats and obviously that fine fellow there. My memories of her are nothing but laughter and fun. She brought me the cool toys, the boy toys that my other relatives wouldn’t get me. She brought me sea shells from Florida. When we’d go down to visit, we would hunt shells, lizards and in general, start a ruckus. She collected creepy clown dolls and did macrame and other crafts. I never had so much fun then when all of us, great grandma, grandma, grandpa and my uncles would all get together and just tell jokes. So sea shells remind me of her. I have several large conch shells, a million sand dollars, two dried sea horses (which now I regret a bit, but I still have them. I was like 5, ok?) and I can’t even tell you how many jars of small shells. Jars. All from our adventures. In her honor, I wish to tell you, the Great Grandma Birdie Joke. It is NSFW. You might not get the slag.

Ahem. Ready?

“I still have my cherry, but it’s pushed so far back I use it as a tail light.”

90 years old, people. 90 years old. Do not discredit older people. They are hilarious.

Anyway, back to the point, sort of, those earrings had to be mine. They were in my price range and I took them home and wore the immediately. Love them.

Back to the necklace portion of this saga, I wanted to have a go at making my own jewelry. I wasn’t planning on moving mountains, I was originally thinking something with like flat metal pieces, kind of like coins, simply crochet into a necklace. That’s all. Keep it simple, stupid. Well I didn’t find any of the type of beads I had in mind, but…

wpid-20140706_140121.jpgjust what i need, more f’ing sea shells

OF COURSE I BOUGHT THEM. DUUUUUHHHHH. I am such a damn hoarder.

So, the plan was like this, string the shells on the crochet thread (it is lace weight 0) using an embroidery needle. Then I chained 20, looped in a shell, chained another 20, repeat til desired length.

wpid-20140706_135115.jpgall my goodies

wpid-20140706_160459.jpgdistance the shells are apart

wpid-20140706_160520.jpgbig stupid looking knot

wpid-20140706_160427.jpgfinished product!

wpid-20140708_174031.jpgmy stupid face, making a stupid face.

I really love it! It will always remind me of Grandma Birdie and I made it. My very first try! I couldn’t be more pleased. Beats the stupid coin necklace I was going to make. Thanks for sticking around for all that! Have a great day!

Illinois Hates Me, So I’m Off to See The Wiz, The Wonderful Wiz of Wisconsin.

I woke up this morning to a delight:

wpid-20140516_061529.jpgi had to go out and gather the appropriate amount of WTFs

wpid-20140516_061510.jpgit was a lot. like, more than a bushel basket.

It snowed. Are you kidding me? Snowing, in mid-May. Is this a terrible joke? We just planted the herb bed and had a few little seedlings start up and we planted our garden after a terrible time getting the seedlings to grow which was DUE to the extreme wind/cold/snow/clouds that are relentless. We’ve literally had 3 nice days this year. Three. Otherwise, wind/snow/clouds/rain/cold and that’s it. I almost tore my hair out.

It has since stopped snowing, so I hope my baby plants will survive. Pretty much all I can do. I was going to tarp them, but by the time I found the tarp and some sticks the snow had died down a bit and the coffee to bulls**t ratio had to be evened out. And then I discovered my french press was cracked! Today is going great! Unable to cope, I dumped the grounds in the kettle and have been straining them. It worked, a little watery, but any port in a storm at this point.

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for letting me get that out.

I also wanted to let you know that I will be going on vacation next week to the literal middle of nowhere. No cellphone reception. Thank God. I am not sure how many posts I am going to be able to sneak in between then and now because I am literally working til the day we leave. So, we’ll see. I want to make some bread for the trip and get some ideas of what to cook for dinners other than hot dogs and brats. Because, ugh. All with chips, I’m sure. For the record, I don’t like chips. Home made chips, sure, but store bought tastes like chemicals and tears. To me anyway. I leave next Thursday to go fishing in the Wiz (I fondly refer to Wisconsin as the Wiz. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll understand) and we are taking the in-laws RV and they are taking my terrible stinky pets. I’m sure the pets will suffer with treats being thrown at them constantly and a disgusting amount of cuddles. My brother claims that you’re not truly camping if you use a RV and I reply that I am old and fat and do not care. Also, he hasn’t been camping in years, so whateva.

The trip is usually a boys only trip, sponsored in part by that guy who I suppose I’ll be married to next month‘s place of employment but every since I strolled in, I’ve been invited. I make sure to bring my hair dryer, tons of nail polish and makeup and complain constantly about bugs, fishing and how bored I am.*

*all of that was clearly a lie

IT’S A WHOLE LONG WEEKEND OF FISHING, CATCHING A BUZZ, GOING OUT ON BOATS, COOKING OUT, GETTING MUDDY, NOT SHOWERING, SLEEPING IN, NO CELL PHONES AND PEEING IN THE WOODS*!!!!!

*RV

How is that not awesome? I have a great time every year and finally I learned how to fish, which was something I always wanted to do when I was a kid, but nobody bothered to teach me because I was a girl. Or that’s what I am going with. Sure, I would help when the adults fished, bait their hooks, take off the fish. But no one ever taught me how to do it myself, with my own tackle box and pole. I don’t know, maybe they thought I wasn’t serious.  So now I know how! At least enough to get by and I always manage to catch a buzz. We usually catch and release and eat a few of them. Can’t. Freakin. Wait.

Like I said, hopefully I’ll have a few posts between now and Thursday, but if not, I’ll be back at it when I get home Tuesday! I’m sure I’ll have a million pictures for you guys.

That’s all I really have for today, I’ve got to get more of my wedding dress done while the dude is away so I’m off to the sweatshop!