I DIDN’T KNOW I….

HAD CUCUMBERS!?!?!

Seriously. I feel like I’m on the garden version of “I didn’t know I was Pregnant.” For weeks, I have been lamenting that I can’t grow cukes. I’d get a little tiny cuke, the flower would die and then the little cuke would shrivel up. Well, imagine my surprise when I peek further down the planter and found these beauties!!

Unlike a TLC special where the baby lives happier ever after, these babies were immediately sliced for PICKLES!!!

Garlic Dill fridge pickles to be exact.

I will report my finding after they chill out for a week!

 

 

 

Stay tuned….

 

App Testing with Woman’s Weekly

Exciting news! For the last several weeks, I’ve been working with the UK’s Women’s Weekly on their new I-pad app. I found out of WW through one of my followers on Twitter, @FreddieBJ.

On the whole, I liked this app but it was fiddly for me. But I realize Rome wasn’t built in a day! Not only have I been communicating with Freddie, but I’ve also been back and forth with the mag’s IT department. Anyway, here’s my review. (Disclaimer, I have not being compensated for this review but I was given access to the app at no charge.)

The first thing, one must have the newest version of iOS for this to work. I have the first gen I-pad and it didn’t work at all at first. I had to use the husbeast’s I-pad. The app pops up in your newsstand¬† but after a week of testing, it also showed up as an icon on my home screen.

The app is very fresh and clean. It’s appealing to the eye and the issues laid out very nicely. I think anyone young, old or new to the app could navigate it very easily… but first you have to sign in. That’s where I hit a snag.

Registering was a bit wonky. It took about a week to get up and going because I had to contact IT because it just wouldn’t let me sign up or sign in. Thankfully, that got resolved and I was able to sign in.

…once.

After playing around the app once, I was never able to log in again. I could log into the website, but not the app. At first I thought it was me.

I figured I must have forgotten my password. I changed my password through the website and rebooted the i-pad.

Fiddlesticks. I contacted IT again and refilled my drink. I figured, it’s a new app. There are always bugs and who knows, maybe I was signing in when all the other testers were online. Sure enough, eventually I had success!

Yes, I will update! I can’t wait to play around! Do take note of the nice layout. I like that they highlight special issues.¬† I clicked on the issue that said “awaiting update.” The rest still had the prices on it. I was under the assumption from Freddie that I had access to all the issues. It didn’t appear that I do, but I clicked on what needed to be updated.:

Bob. Saget. *sigh* This my friends, is what app testing is for. I emailed IT again, they are nice folks…or whatever the British equivalent of folks is. After a few tries, I couldn’t get the regular issues to open, so I moved on to the sample issue:

I won’t include screenshot of in-app stuff. That’s for you to explore after you read my review!

This will be an awesome app. There’s a nifty ruler tool and I do think it is laid out better than other knitting mag apps. I can tell you, it does NOT look like they just scanned the pages in unlike a certain American knitting mag..*cough*cough*

I actually wish this magazine was sold in the states. I feel like some American knitting mags “dumb” down for the novelty factor. This app was fun, informative and fresh. Because I’m nosy, I also scoped out their craft and other lifestyle brands.¬† I’m impressed.

I wished my review was fully glowing but all apps have IT snafus. The IT department was prompt and very nice. Those Brits are so effing polite.

Major shout out and thanks to Freddie for this opportunity, I would help her test another app in a heart beat. I have total wonderlust for her career. She works at a magazine…about knitting/crochet…and gets to knit/crochet or research/talk/daydream about it during the work day. Totes Jealous.

 

 

Backyard re-do!!

Just in case anyone forgot, I still live in a money pit house. Mind you, I don’t have to put up with Shelly Long, but it’s still frustrating at times. Our latest project took place in the back yard where we have this odd retaining wall with a 4-foot drop. Thanks to the terrible winter, it was coming down! This post has a lot of photos, enjoy!

First, Here are some before photos:

I stopped pulling weeds once we got the estimate and a plan. Here’s the view from the gate:

Here’s from the yard (take note of the almost 45 degree angle of the wall):

And from the deck:

The plan was to remove the wall, grade the yard back into a yard and then have a smaller retaining wall to support the grade. The crew brought in a bobcat and some trucks, thinking it would take some effort to remove the wall…

Nope. The wall literally popped right off. The only thing holding the wall was the stairs, which I thought were a death trap waiting to happen. Oh and see that t-shaped thing…

Yeah. That’s the deadmen. Code says they need to be 4 to 6 feet long. Our were less than 18 inches. No wonder the wall was leaning! This is another reason the former owner of our house should not even be allowed to have crayons let alone tools.

Anyway, the wall came down with little to no trouble:

And they would fill in as they went:

Bye bye wall!

The hard part was grading it back and making the yard useable again. The guy who worked the bobcat was a machine. He could have thread a needle with that thing:

Truck loads of fill and dirt. The hill is gentle but has a nice slope. It will be nice for the dogs and Spawnbeast will have a place to sled in the winter and water slide in the summer.

More grading and then building the mini wall:

Finally it’s time for grass!

We had them scratch up most of the yard so we could just start over. Lots of hay and lots of seed:

Finished! Now we just wait for the grass to come in!

Needless to say, the dogs are pissed that they can’t use the backyard for a while. They do love the smell of hay, though.

 

Knock on wood that this is the last big project for a while. I’ve been pushing back my hardwood floors!

 

 

Stay tuned…

 

 

Vacation FO!

I’m back! My week off the grid is over! While I’m a little sad to return to reality, I am happy to get back into my routine! I have a lot of fun stuff to share this week but first: I finished my shawl!!

It was a nail biter at the end because I literally had not an inch of yarn to spare! Imagine me, in this relaxing place and I’m sweating bullets because I’m afraid I’ll run out of yarn!!!!

Thankfully, everything worked out!

I love how it turned out EXCEPT I wish there was more orange!! My crappy pictures don’t do it justice and it’s not blocked yet.

Now that this shawl is finished, I will pull another shawl out of knitting time out to finish.

For mah knittas who want to know: The pattern is Between Pavement and Stars and the yarn is Wolle’s Yarn Creations Color Changing Cotton.

 

That’s all for today! Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting stuff this week!

 

 

Stay tuned…

Garden Update #3!

Here are pictures from the garden! Nothing is ripe enough to harvest but it is coming along nicely!

Grape Tomatoes:

Celebrity Tomatoes:

Gypsy Peppers:

Cubanelle peppers:

Mini Eggplant:

There’s more, but this is just what has fruit. I’m still waiting on another pepper plant, two eggplant plants, cukes and zuch. My herbs are going gangbusters.

 

 

 

Stay tuned…

 

Tour De Fleece 2014!!!

It’s here!!! TdF 2014 started with a bang today as a few of the girls and I met at a local park to spin! It was AMAZING weather, we couldn’t have asked for a better day!

I, of course, dressed for the occasion:

We had a gazebo all to ourselves and we all brought snacks!

As you can see, I made sure I sat close to the snack bar:

I brought Citrus water, dehydrated veggie chips, sesame sticks and trail mix. Melissa brought Iced tea and cuke sammies. Dev brought cookies. I had some technical difficulties with my wheel, so I ate my face off. The aquarium tubing that holds my treadle on kept coming undone. I think after two years, it finally needs replacement. Otherwise, Julie the wonder wheel did wonderful. I finished the brown part and got to the green part of my fiber. In a day or so, I should be at the icy blue section!

You can kind see how the brown is peeking out from under the dark teal-y green. Anyway, this tour is different from last year. I didn’t join an official team and I won’t be spinning everyday. In fact, there’s one week I won’t really be spinning because I’ll be on vaycay. I’m kinda bummed, but I set myself some easy goals that fit my lifestyle…and I had a blast today so I can’t be too bummed.

Happy TdF to all my spinning followers. Chime in on your goals for this year so I can live vicariously!

 

 

Stay tuned…

Happy 4th of July!

First of all, happy fourth of July to all my American followers and a belated Canada Day to my followers to the north.

Today is the one day of the year where my outfit is totally acceptable:

Enjoy the long weekend!

 

 

 

Stay tuned…