Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Night Beer Review - Porterhouse Red

Porterhouse Red Ale
Porterhouse Brewing Company

This is a true traditional Irish Red brewed at Porterhouse Brewing Company in Dublin, Ireland.  You can't get more Irish than that.  It has a beautiful red color and the taste is true red.   It has a great blend of flavors  and the finish is smooth.  This is a great Irish Red and worth trying.  This is another one we liked from East Wake Wines and Craft Brew.  
Hubby's Irish Red is great too!  I believe he has perfected his recipe, my vote is for Hubby's Irish Red recipe #3.  This will be a great night to sit on the deck and enjoy a couple or three. 

Enjoy your Friday night!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Frost Warning

We've talked before about how crazy NC weather can be.  Well last night I had to prepare the garden for possible frost.  It is a little late in the season for frost in these parts but the temperatures dipped into the low 30's last night.  I debated all afternoon what to do about the garden and decided it would be better to be safe than sorry.  So I spent time covering every plant and seedling in the garden, just in case.

Here are some of the tomatoes covered with newspaper tents.

See the baby tomato underneath it's protective tent.
 Here are some newly sprouted cucumbers protected under bed sheets. 

I was prepared so of course we didn't get frost.  I'm not complaining.  Okay  - I did complain this morning when I had to clean all of this stuff up at 6:00AM and get to work.  Never mind that once I had it all collected and my arms were full of sheets and wet newspaper I FELL.  Yep, I tripped on the way out of the garden (in my work clothes) and did a face plant right into the wet sheets.  I didn't get hurt physically but my pride was bruised a little.  It wasn't funny until later today when I replayed the scene in my head and realized while laying on the ground I looked around to see if any of the neighbors witnessed anything. 

I've always heard it's good to laugh at yourself.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rosario's Bag

I finally found the pictures I took of the bag I made for my friend Rosario for the Dutch Sister's Surprise Spring Swap.  I know this is old news for some, but I never got to post these pictures on my blog.  I am very happy that I found them. 
The bag is crocheted and I lined it with a matching fabric.  I also made a yoyo flower cluster with matching fabric. 
I was very pleased with how it turned out and hope to make myself one someday soon.  I enjoyed the swap and hope to be able to participate in another one soon.  It was a great experience and getting to know Rosario from Dona Maria was the best part.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Laughing Tree

Look.  Do you see it?  Can you hear it? 

Look again... a little closer this time.

Do you see the laughing mouth, the large hangy down nose
 and the teeny little eyes tucked in at the top of each side
of the nose? 

Do you see it now? 

 I do every time I walk past this tree. 
  I can hear it laughing and it makes me smile. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

We're Not in Kansas Anymore!

Crazy! Just around 7:30 this evening a terrible wind blew through. It blew the deck furniture all around . I yelled for Hubby to come help me secure the deck furniture because I thought a bad storm was brewing. By the time we got out and secured a few things the wind was gone. I asked where that came from and Hubby pointed to the sky. We watched the tail end of a funnel cloud pass over the neighbor's house and across the street.  We rushed to get the camera and these are the few shots we got of a new funnel cloud forming. 


There have been several reports of sightings.  So far no reports of anything touching down.  Scary and exciting all at the same time.  Sorry my pictures aren't better.   I hope everyone is safe! 

Update - There was some minor damage a little east of here but no injuries -thank goodness.

Prayer Shawl

This is the beginning stages of a prayer shawl that I started knitting last night.  If you don't know what a prayer shawl is I hope you will visit the Prayer Shawl Ministry site.  There you will find tons of information about prayer shawl ministries, the purpose, patterns and prayers. We started a prayer shawl ministry at our church in 2004.  It came about as the result of lots of prayers and God working in my heart.  

A friend introduce me to prayer shawls and I started reading about different ministries and did some research to figure out what is was all about.  The first prayer shawl I ever made was while my mother was in the hospital after a car accident.  She was in pretty bad shape and we (her children) lived at the hospital waiting for her to recover.  It was a great way to pass time and gave me an opportunity to have some quite prayer time.  I still have this shawl and treasure it.  After that experience I started making shawls for friends and family that I felt were in need.   In need of what you may ask - prayer, love, comfort, God's warmth. I felt this little ministry blessed me more than the recipients at times.  It was amazing.  Then one night I woke up with this church wide ministry thought rushing through my head.  I tried to make it go away but it wouldn't, it weighed on me for weeks.  I thought about it all the time and things I would read would always lead back the the shawl ministry.  After a few weeks of this and several God winks, I decided to talk to my pastor about it.  When I talked to the pastor about everything that had happened he listened patiently and then said, "Woman, connect the dots, this is what God wants!"   So began the Woven Prayers ministry at our church.  We have a small group of dedicated knitters and crocheters who make prayer shawls for those in need.  We also make shawls for baptisms, confirmation, and graduation.  The shawl I am working on now is for a high school graduate.  It is such a blessing to work on something like this.  

If any of this has peaked your interest I would encourage you to check out the shawl ministry site and maybe even read Knitting into the Mystery: A Guide to the Shawl-Knitting Ministry by Susan Izard and Susan Jorgensen.  The shawl ministry is truly is a blessing and well worth the time. 

I know all of this may sound crazy to some, but it is what it is. I truly believe God was at work in all of this and continues to be today.

Have a Super Sunday!

P.S.  I gave you the short version of the story. I didn't want to go into everything that happened because it would take too much of your time.  I know I left out some important details and information so please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday Night Beer Review - Sawtooth Ale

Left Hand Brewing Company
Sawtooth Ale

Every now and then Hubby and I will actually purchase beer.  I know, I know, why would a home brewer with a closet full of brew spend money on beer?  Research, of course.  There are some really good craft beers out there that must be tried.   I ventured to our local East Wake Wines and Craft Brew shop Thursday afternoon and picked up a few things.   The shop owner, Ken, is always helpful and can give you a review on practically everything in the store.  We have seen this store and stock grow and grow over the past few months that is has been opened.  Ken was surprised by the response the locals had to the craft beers in the shop.  He has had to bring in more variety and is even having beer tastings along with his wine tastings.  Ken recently started tastings from tap - very cool.  This is a great wine and beer store.  Stop in and you will be amazed at the variety of wines and beers Ken carries. 

So here is my first attempt at a beer review that includes my limited knowledge of what goes into making beer.  I just know what I like and what taste good to me.  This review doesn't really mean anything other than this is one of the craft beers I recently tried and what I thought of it.

The beer pictured above is an amber ale from Left Hand Brewing Company out of Longmont Colorado. Sawtooth Ale is Left Hand's flagship beer. The balance of the malt and hops is dead on.  It is a little nutty and down to earth.  I am a big fan of amber ales and I truly enjoyed this one.  It was very smooth and clean tasting. This is one I would definitely spend money on again. (That's how you really know that it was good.)

Stay tuned for future beer reviews.  Enjoy your weekend.

I've been thinking alot about my blog lately - wondering what it really is all about.  Knitting with Beer has ventured beyond what I originally intended it to be.  It was to be a blog about knitting, beer, various crafts and stories from life.  It seems that lately the knitting and beer part has been lost and there have been more stories of life in general.  In an attempt to bring this blog back around to it's original intent I am going to make a few changes and bring in some new things.  I can only hope you will like what you see.   I hope you will comment and let me know what you think - hell, I just hope you will comment.  There is very little feed back on my blog so I don't always know how things are being received.  I hope you will let me know what you think.  Be brave post a comment. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Missing Bunkie

This became a common site while we had Bunkie.  I had wondered for weeks why the birds had stopped feeding at this particular feeder, then I figured it out. 

My sweet Bunkie, how I do miss him, he was a beautiful boy.  I got an automated reminder from the veterinarian today for his shots and it made me miss him more.  Just another reason why I don't like technology.

Anyway, it's been a busy week.  Work is busy, home is busy, everything is busy.  I plan to finish planting the garden over the next couple of days.  It should be warm enough by now.  We are supposed to have some rain this weekened too, so the timing may be just right.

What have you been up to over the past few days?  I would really like to know.

Hope things are groovy in your world.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Finally Spring

Battery Park, New York 2004

I now know that spring is finally here.  I officially started the garden yesterday.  I put a few seeds in the ground and bought some plants for planting later this week.  The temperatures are in the 40's at night so I want to wait til it gets a little warmer.  I love gardening.  Not really the work part but the harvesting and enjoying the fruits of my labor part.  I can only hope we will have a good season and the rain will work in our favor.  It gets so hot here that sometimes you just can't water enough to keep things going. 

We are sort of in competition with one of the neighbors (we'll call him Mo).  He started gardening last year and he is hooked.  We worked hard to get the first tomato of the season but he beat us to it. There's just something about being able to claim the first ripe tomato of the season.  This year we are going to harvest the first one, we have to, I can't let Mo claim it 2 years in a row. We checked on each others garden progress yesterday and there was an exchange of tomato threats.  That is how I know the competition is for real. 

Okay, okay - I was the only one making threats to pull up plants if he was ahead of me.  But I was provoked by Mo leading me to believe he had already planted his tomatos.   See how much fun gardening can be.  ;-) 

So what does the picture above have to do with any of this - nothing.  I just love this picture.  I took it when we went to New York several years back with a group from Big Girl's high school.  It was the first thing we saw when we got off the bus.  An artist painted butterflies on all of those umbrellas and placed them in the park.  I thought it was beautiful.  It reminds me of spring.

One other thing - Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary to Big Girl and her sweet hubby.  Time flies when your in love.  We wish you many, many more.  We love you!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Break

Over spring break we took some extra time and stayed at our favorite place for few days.  It was wonderful.  The weather was perfect and the time away from the real world couldn't have been better.  The whole family went, including Grand Baby.  It was a great time.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could stay on vacation all the time and  have no worries.  Some people say we would get bored with it, but I would like to give it a try.  Even though we've been home for over a week now I wanted to share some of what we did on our time off with you.

We colored eggs.

Hid and found eggs.

Found eggs that belonged to others.

Spent a lot of time relaxing by the water.

Got a stupid sunburn.  I'm told this is what happens when you
enjoy too many adult beverages while relaxing by the water.

This sweet boy stayed in trouble a lot over spring break. 
He belongs to some friends across the way. 
I had to take this picture of his guilty, pitiful face.  (It made me smile.)

Regretted the stupid sunburn the next day.  I sat by the water
covered up and wrapped my feet in a towel. 
I didn't care though, it was great to be by the water.

Enjoyed Grand Baby's first Easter and first beach trip.

Oh how I wish I were there.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Swap Surprise Is HERE!

My swap surprise is here - all the way from Portugal.

Can you believe this amazing shawl!  My dear friend and spring swap partner Rosario from the blog Dona Maria sent this to me all the way from Portugal.  I was so overwhelmend when I opened this package that tears came to my eyes.  It is gorgeous! 

The yarn is Noro Silk Graden.   The yarn is exquisite and the workmanship perfect.  Rosario is obviously an amazing knitter.

I love everything Rosario sent. The colors of the fat quarters are bright and cheery greens and blues. They look like fun and I can hardly wait to use them in a project. Look at the beautiful yarn she sent too! It is called Rosarios 4, Merino Land, 100% Merino Wool - the color is so nice. This is a Portugese yarn that Rosario sent for me to make something special for Grand Baby. How thoughtful and sweet.

It was all so much more than I could have ever expected.  It is all beautiful and wonderful.  Rosario, I can't thank you enough.  I truly love everything you sent.  It has been wonderful getting to know you and to meet someone from across the Atlantic Ocean.  I hope we can stay in touch and our friendship grow.  

I loved being a part of the Spring Swap and hope we can be part of another one soon. 
Thanks to the Dutch Sisters for putting it all together. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Easter

Wishing you a joyous, beautiful Easter!

I hope you find joy in the season and can spend time with those you love.
John 14:6