Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

The time change has my inner clock all messed up as usual. I'm up at the wrong time, and tired at the wrong time. Sigh. Hopefully in a few days, I will be switched over so I'm not wanting to go to bed at 9 p.m. and waking up at 4 a.m. But now that I'm up, I can get a bit of knitting done, I suppose. So the time change isn't all bad. :)

It's officially Halloween. I've been telling our Black Cat, Grover, jokingly that today is his day. I gave him extra scritches behind his ears this morning and told him he was supposed to be scary. But all he wanted was to curl up on my lap. :)

Grover found a new friend last night.......

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...but none of us have the heart to tell him that his friend is a kitty cat slipper. He loves to sleep next to one of my slippers. I guess maybe he's using it as a mama cat replacement, or it's just something fuzzy to curl up next to. Silly kitty! As you can see......he's not exactly Halloween cat material. He's a lover, not a fighter. Whuss cat. :) With a name like Grover you can't exactly be creepy or frightening.

On the craft side of things, I'd like to send a big thank you to my Knitting Pal!! Detra sent me a wonderful package!

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She sent me a beautiful autumn kitchen set, a pair of Halloween socks (which I'm wearing today of course), some reduced fat microwave popcorn, and some wonderful Egg Nog Creme coffee!!!! How did you know I had just run out of flavored coffee???? And you're right Detra --- the egg nog flavor is great!!! You will have to let me know where you ordered it from. MMMMMMM! Wonderful!

I also got a reveal package from my C'ville Secret Pal!! She sent me a wonderful box of goodies, including a small felted purse that is just adorable!!! Thank you!!! Here's a picture of all my goodies from my SP! Thank you for all the packages and ecards over the last 3 months -- it's been fun!!

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Well, since I'm up early and the house is quiet, I will post this and work on a sweater I'm knitting. :) Nothing like knitting at 4 a.m. lol.


Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Frightful Feast

Saturday night we had our annual Halloween party. Every year we get together with friends to watch movies and play boardgames. This year, we added something new. The Frightful Feast. Everyone had to bring a dish with them that looked disgusting, awful or otherwise frightful. And being the creative people that they are, our friends were up to the challenge. lol. It was great!!

I made a big batch of CSI Chicken (my mexicali chicken recipe with a bit of foodcoloring added).
It truely looked like something nasty....but tasted great.

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Here's the receipe for CSI Chicken (for anyone who wants to totally gross out their friends)....or leave out the foodcoloring for the spicy, non-gross version. Hee hee. It really does taste great...but oh my...did it come out looking nasty.


Boneless chicken breasts cut into 4-6 pieces each (1 breast per person)
Food coloring (I used purple, blue and green)
1 can Lime and Cilantro Rotel Chopped tomatoes
1 can Black Beans
1 cup Instant Rice (or 2 cups if dividing into 2 baking dishes)
1 can (or 2 if making more than 4 breasts) of DelMonte Green Pepper spaghetti sauce

Take two bowls and add water and several drops of food coloring in each. Add in chicken and stir a bit, poking chicken down into the liquid. Let soak for 20 minutes. If sufficiently colored, remove from food coloring. Using a baking pan (Pyrex or other glass pans work best), lay chicken in bottom of pan and sprinkle a couple small drops of blue food coloring here and there. Let sit for a couple minutes. If you're making more than 4 breasts, divide the chicken into 2 baking dishes. Pour in rice, spaghetti sauce, rotel and beans, stirring just enough to wet the rice and chicken.

Heat oven to 350. Cook for 45 minutes, or until chicken and rice are thoroughly cooked.

And enjoy! :)

And our friend Billy made Poo-ding (chocolate pudding with big chunks of snickers bars and candy corn in it.....garnished with a toilet plunger .... which, hopefully, was

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Butch brought huge burritoes that he called intestines. And Angela and Lamar brought a big crockpot of dip, which looked very much like barf. Butch was the lucky one to discover the rubber cockroach hiding in the bottom of the pot. Ewwwww! :)

The kids also had a good time. :)

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Here's our good friend Elise the scary Surgeon, with Sheila (Snow White)
and Lailani as Dopey the Dwarf. Aren't they cute!

The Tick also attended our little party.

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He looks a lot like our friend Joseph! :)

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Charity was Cinderella, and Isaac came as Batman. And there's Sheila as Snow White again. :)

My husband Mike was Drew Carey.

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My husband bought this pumpkin decoration at Walmart. We all thought it looked really cool.

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Kinda like something out of Nightmare Before Christmas. :)

We also bought a sign for our door. And I think maybe I need to call Ghost

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It's a photo of.....the Phantom Camera Strap!!!! Anyone who has ever watched those ghost hunting shows knows what I mean. Photos showing dust in the air, camera straps, people's fingers in front of the lense, or anything strange are seen as proof of'd better beware!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Lil' Stinker and the Hippie

We helped with "Trunk or Treat'' tonight, along with quite a few members of our church. We really had a great time. My husband walked around with Baby Joshua, while I helped with the Spider Ring Toss game. :)

Here's a picture of Josh and his Daddy dressed up for Halloween:

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Josh was really cute in his Skunk costume. :) He didn't want to hold still for photos though. Saturday we're having a costume party with all our friends, so I'll try to get a better picture of Josh during the party.

All in all, it was a fun evening, despite being a little bit chilly once it got dark.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Making Progress

Finally, I found a bit of time to get in some knitting. I'm still working on the left front of the cabled vest I'm making for my MIL. So far, so good. Here's how it looks so far:

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Now that I have the hang of cables, it's not as intimidating as it was when I first started. But, I haven't gotten to the shaping and decreasing yet. lol. That might give me a few grey hairs. :)

So far, I'm on gauge and no big boo-boos. *Crossing fingers*

On the home front, got started painting the patio furniture and Joshua's swingset yesterday. One coat of hunter green Rustoleum on two patio tables and one pole of the swingset. I figure if I paint a bit each day while Joshua is taking his nap, that I can have it all done in a few days. The green dries a lot prettier than I thought it would.

After I get all the patio furniture done, I'm going to get concrete paint and repaint our front and back porch. The folks we bought the house from used some sort of gloss finish paint on the porches. Not only is it peeling off, but when it gets wet, it's very slick. I've almost taken a header off the front porch steps several times. So, I'm going to re-do the porches with concrete paint, with just a touch of sand added between coats. I'm leaning towards painting both porch floors a dark blue. Then coordinate the furniture cushions with hunter green/dark blue accents. It's a good creative outlet for me. :) I'm going to make the cushions and pillows myself. Might take me awhile to get it all done, but I do have all winter. hurry. :)

TTFN!!!! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I haven't gotten any knitting or crochet done this weekend at all. We had major work to do around the house. Now that the weather has cooled off and it's not like a sauna outside every day, we've been catching up on yardwork. Gotten lots done .... but lots more to go.

Here's proof of our work:

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That pile is 10 assorted big trashbags filled with leaves, and a huge pile of sticks and lawn clippings. All that raking and bagging was a bit futile though. Our shade trees still have quite a few leaves on them. I won't complain too much. I love the big shade trees. Although the largest tree in our yard died this summer. It's going to cost us about $450 to have it removed. I took a picture of the poor dead tree just for the heck of it. I want to plant a maple tree in its place once we have it removed.

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Our cat Fooful sat out on the driveway watching me take pictures of the dead tree. He was looking at me like I'd finally lost what little mind I had. Cats have such attitudes.

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Is that a snotty look or what?? lol. He should be nicer to me. I'm the one who fills his food dish and cleans his sand box.

We got a swingset for Joshua through Freecycle. It's still all in pieces in our backyard, but it will be SO nice once we have it put together. :) Freecycle is such a great thing! It's a recycling program where you post things you don't need anymore and give it away to other people in your area. There are Freecycle groups all over the nation. Check it out at There is probably a Freecycle group in your neck of the woods too! I've gotten a weight bench for myself, clothes and toys for Joshua, and now the swingset. It's all given away free. In return for receiving things from the list, you also have to post things to give away. I've given away baby clothes, baby blankets, clothes, books, etc. It was all stuff that was in the way, and that someone else could put to good use! Check it out -- it's great!!!!!! :)

Here's the swingset in it's current state of disarray in our backyard:

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It has 3 swings, a slide, a teeter totter, a glider and a merry-go-round sorta thing (great technical term there, eh?). Bought hunter green rustoleum to repaint the metal and my husband is going to replace the bolts, and then it'll be good to go! :) I'm painting our porch furniture the same hunter green color. Our back yard will be color coordinated......take that, Martha Stewart! lol. Our usual great timing, too ---- got a swingset....just in time for it to get too cold for the kids to spend much time outdoors. lol.

Saw an 8-legged resident of our yard while we were raking leaves today. Since I haven't posted a spider picture in a few days, I thought I'd post this:

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He was hangin' out in my flowers. Well....sort of flowers. Pretty green foliage and big orange berries....

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Anybody know what sort of plant this is??? It's in my front flower bed, and very pretty. I'd love to plant some more.....but I'm not sure what it is.

Still got some more weeding and mulching to do....but the yard is looking much better finally. Now I'm going to sign off, and get out my needles and knit something!!!! I was going through withdrawal today!!!


Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Beginning

I have started knitting a cabled button up vest from an old Bernat sweater book that I have from 1978. My mother in law saw the pattern and just loved it, so of course I said I would make it for her. It's my first real advanced knitting adventure, and what an adventure it will be. lol. Cables, cables and more cables. :)

I've never made a sweater before....and this one has very interesting shaping and decreasing instructions. But I can do it! And I have several very experienced knitters who are just an email away if I get stuck. This is the first time I have done cables, I'm learning as I go. So far, so good. I'm using a dpn to hold the stitches instead of the cable needle I bought. For me the bamboo dpn works a lot better than the slick aluminum for holding the stitches. I remember seeing on a website somewhere that you can also do cables without a needle at all, but I'll save that for when I have more experience with them. I don't want to have to go chasing dropped stitches. :)

I have really just begun. I'm working on the left front piece, and I have the pattern repeat done twice. Whew. I love a challenge, and I'm learning a lot as I go.

Here's what I have done so far:

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I wish it was easier to see the detail....the front and back twist pattern is so neat looking!! And the stitches aren't difficult.

The hardest part so far is really just reading the pattern. It's complicated, and was a bit intimidating at first.

When I finish this project, I think I will try an Aran afghan. The patterning just comes out so beautiful, and it's almost like it just pops out of nowhere! Very cool!

And so far, I'm right on gauge. I'm being very careful to check, because I don't want to make this really gorgeous cabled vest, and have it be too big or too small for my MIL.

It's a great incentive to lose weight (I told myself I will NOT make myself any sweaters until I've lost a significant amount of weight and can fit into a Large), because I'd love to have one of these sweaters in a pretty teal blue. Yep....I'd break the off white tradition. :) I'm a rebel.

Well, I'm off to get a few more rows done before the baby wakes up.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I got some goodies in today's mail!! :) Here's a picture of everything!

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First off I got my Tea and Coffee Swap package (Crochetville) from AndiM. She sent a box of Apple Cinnamon tea, a cute notepad set with a coffee cup on the front, and 4 baggies of flavored coffee (mmmmmmm!). She also sent a bag of sugar free chocolate chip cookies!!!!! The baby and I both tried them -- totally yummie!! I'm diabetic, so I don't get chocolate very often. But I can have 4 of the cookies for a snack with no worries -- THANK YOU Andi!!!

And...I also got my C'Ville Stitch Marker swap puffy from Kimberly! She sent me four very pretty stitch markers. They were cleverly hooked to a crocheted coaster...which I can use with all the wonderful tea she sent me!! :) She sent some Earl Grey ( it! My favorite tea!), and two different flavors of Twinings Tea. :) She also included a postcard from Rome and the cutest litte Irish Sheep magnet. He is happily grazing on front of our fridge already. :) THANK YOU Kimberly!! :)

Also thank you to Jessi R. and AndiM for sending me gift certificates to Adagio Teas. :) I ordered their holiday sampler -- the candy cane tea is great! And plan to place another order this week. It's even more fun to shop their website when you've got a $5 gift certificate! :)


Thursday, October 13, 2005

UFO's are flying!

I think I must have KADD -- knitting attention deficit disorder. I always have to have several knit or crochet projects going at once. Then if I get bored with one pattern, I can switch to one of the other projects I'm working on.

Right now, I'm working on a poncho and scarf for a friend's little girl. I'm also making several dishcloths for exchanges. And, I'm making a sweater vest for my MIL. Plus two pairs of socks for myself. I want to start on a mohair shawl for myself, but haven't gotten that started yet.

I had an angel to make for an exchange, so I pulled out my thread hooks and had fun making a Halloween theme clothespin angel yesterday.

Here's how she came out:

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And if you look from the back, you can see her wings are actually a bat.

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If I had more time, I would paint the stand to look like shoes and put her on a base with some leaves and pumpkins. But it's for an exchange, and I need to get it in the mail. I think I'll make a more detailed Christmas angel, or maybe a Thanksgiving one and spend more time on it. I love to paint! And usually I only work on miniatures....but I think I could expand to painting other things.

Here's one of my miniatures that won a miniatures painting contest:

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Pretty gruesome, eh? lol. The giant is a pewter model and stands about 4 inches tall. I enlarged the photo so you could see the details of his face, etc. The giant is a large model. Most of the models I paint are between 1 and 3 inches tall and are used in games like Warmachine (by Privateer Press), BloodBowl (football played with miniatures) and WarHammer. My husband and teenage son like to play, and I like to paint their minis for them. :) Although I do love football, so I enjoy BloodBowl. I have a team made up of Nun models (I went to Catholic We usually play BloodBowl on Superbowl Sunday while the game is on. :)

On the knitting/crochet front, the Halloween angel is the extent of my FO's this week. I'll take a picture of Charity's crocheted poncho when I finally have it all done. The pattern I'm using is on BellaOnline here. Very simple, fast and very cute!! It works up like a granny square with a hole in the middle. :) Great mindless crochet while watching television. :) I should be done with it in the next couple days and I'll post a photograph of Charity modeling her poncho. :)

Here's a quiz I thought was cute:

You Are A: Pony!

ponyWho doesn't love a pony? You are one of these miniature horses, renown for your beauty and desired by many. Full of grace, you are a beautiful and very special animal, full of strength and majesty.

You were almost a: Puppy or a Bear Cub
You are least like a: Chipmunk or a FrogThe Cute Animals Quiz

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Enjoying great Fall weather!!

The weather has been great the last two days here in western NC. We had a BBQ with some friends today, and just enjoyed ourselves. :)

On the knitting side of things, I'm working on a pair of socks using a pattern from the Spectacular Socks book out of autumn variegated Trekking XXL. I only have about an inch done so far, so it will be awhile before the pair is finished. :)

Apart from knitting, we're making sure to enjoy the Fall weather while it's here. It rained for two days straight. Finally cleared up yesterday. So we were able to cook out this afternoon.

Here's hubby cooking (or, uh, burning) the burgers:

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Then I took a picture of his behind, and told him I was going to put it on my blog. I don't think he believed me......

So, here is a picture of my husband's caboose:

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Anybody know what kind of flowers these are???

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And these....

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Both just started blooming recently, and I've never seen them before. I'm not originally from the South, so there are lots of flowers and plants here that didn't grow where I grew up.

And of course, I do have my traditional creepy crawlie photos to share. lol

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This guy is living on our carport. He has a huge must be 3 feet across. Talk about a lot of work!!!

And here is a definite story of overcoming adversity, spidie style.

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This garden spider is living in my flowerbed off the carport. She was rebuilding her web, and moving around quite nimbly. But, she only has 4 legs left -- all on one side. If you look closely at the photo, you can tell. She's movin' pretty good for missing half her legs!!!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Awesome mail day!

What an awesome mail day!!! :)

I got a great puffie from Doreen!! Look at what she sent me:

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She sent me 4 skeins of VERY pretty blue/green variegated Paton's Allure. I just love the colors! I also got two colors of ribbon, some magnets, a Halloween kitchen towel, a cute little pink notebook, some buttons, beads, floating autumn leaf candles, stickers, a burgundy little box, some foam autumn leaf stickers, DMC floss, 2 craft magazines and a homemade card. I hope I didn't forget anything. It was just an awesome package. Thank you so much Doreen!!! It has been great being your partner for the last 3 months!!! :)

I also got my enrollment package from Crafter's Choice bookclub today. Lookie what I got for $1 apiece:

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My favorite is Sensational Knitted Socks. It has so many great sock ideas in it. And all the information needed to adjust sizes on any sock pattern, and for any weight of yarn. It's just what I was looking for!! Scarf Style has so many wonderful scarf and stole patterns -- everything from elegant to funky and fun. Knitting Over the Edge is filled with all sorts of borders -- very cool book!! I have heard that there is a prior book called Knitting On the Edge -- I'm going to try to get that one too. Knitting School and The Knitter's Bible are 2 books I've been wanting to have since I started to learn to knit. I can branch out now and try all sorts of new things!! WahHoo!!

Ahhhhhhhh.......knitting nirvana. It's almost better than sex. Don't tell my husband I said that, or he'll start hiding my knitting needles. Hee hee :)

And, not only am I happy because I hit the crafting jackpot today (see prior post), but I also found all sorts of clothes for baby Josh. I was having problems finding nice clothes in size 18 -24 months. A lady let me know she was going to have a garage sale soon, and told me I could look through what she had first. So I met her across town this afternoon and picked out a box full of clothes from what she had. Josh now has jeans, overalls, and pajamas for cooler weather that aren't looking like high water pants. lol. Seems like just a week ago his 12 month size pants still they still fit in the body, but they're about 2 inches too short.

He's growin' like a weed! Now I just need to find him some feetie pajamas (they do still make those don't they??? I can't find them anywhere in sizes above 12 months) and a winter coat, and I've got it made. :)

I bought him the Cinderella DVD at walmart tonight. We'll watch it before bedtime. :) Good memories!! :)


Gotta Love the Thriftshop!!

Boy did I ever have a great trip to the Thriftshop this morning!

I have been looking for clothes for Baby Josh since he's grown out of all his "baby'' clothes. Hard to find 18-24 month size clothes for little boys!!

But this morning I hit the mother lode at the Thriftshop! Not only for Josh, but for my crafting too!!

I got Josh a pair of New Balance shoes, a book, a pair of jeans, a fall weight coat and a hooded sweatshirt.

And then I saw the craft area.....oh my! Lookie at what I got!!

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I got a whole bunch of assorted buttons and beads, a pretty doll's head with hands (I have been wanting to make a thread angel for so long but didn't have the doll parts!), several bags of standie clothespins for making angels, and a bunch of vintage knitting and macrame pattern books/magazines!! :) I about fell over.

And....not only was HALF PRICE DAY. Ya think I'm livin' right??? WahHoo! I must have done something right! I'm in knitting/crocheting nirvana!!

Total price of everything including Josh's stuff: $10.97

Happy dance, Happy dance, Happy dance!! :) Anyone who has seen my RAOK list at C'ville knows how much I love buttons.....I used to play with my grandma's button box when I was a little girl. And now I love making crafts using old buttons. I bought a little tin of buttons off ebay for an exorbitant price. Now I won't have to do that again! I got 10 baggies full of buttons, buttons and more buttons!! :) The little girl in me is skipping!

Gee, funny how such a small thing can really brighten up a rainy day! :)


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Playin' with Sticks

Great Fall weather here in NC this week! We've been doing yard work and playing outside a lot. Baby Josh has been "helping'' me. I rake up the leaves, and he plays in them and tries to eat them. He really is a good helper.

He does believe that everything needs to be put in his mouth though. I need to make a tape recording of me saying "WHAT is in your mouth, Josh?? Spit that out -- yuck!'' because I spend all day saying that over and over and over again. lol.

Here is Josh eating a leaf:

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Here is Josh eating a stick:

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Here is Josh eating dirt:

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Needless to say he needed a bath by the time we went inside yesterday. :)

Our kitten Grover also had a great time outside. The wind was blowing leaves across the yard, and he felt he had to stalk and kill each one that he saw move. He played so hard, he tuckered himself out and had to nap all afternoon on our livingroom coffeetable.

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In the afternoon Josh played on the screened in porch and I worked on my newest knit sock project. Josh was playing with sticks, so I figured I should, too. :) I'm making a pair of socks using lime and turquoise microspun. These are going together much faster than my first pair. The only thing I could complain about is that microspun splits easily -- it's made from lots of small strands twisted into a larger strand, and it can be a bit of a pain. But it's pretty! :) As soon as I have this pair done, I'm going to make a pair with Trekking XXL in a pretty autumn varigated.

Here's my microspun sock so far:

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I'm picking the stitches up around the heel flap to start the instep. Then I'll change back to the green for the toe. Definitely bright colored socks! :) Why didn't someone warn me before I knitted socks that I'd be addicted??? I will have to go to SA meetings soon. "Hi. My name's Juli and I'm....a knit sock addict.'' :) But then again, warm and cute tootsies never killed anyone. :)

There are some pretty flowers blooming in our yard. Does anyone know what kind of flower these are???

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I grew up in morthern Kansas, so there are some flowers that grow here in NC that didn't grow in the midwest. I'd never seen a Camilia bush before I came up here. I'd never seen a magnolia tree, or a crepe myrtle either. And, I'd never seen kudzu either -- but most people in NC wish they'd never seen kudzu. lol. I don't recognize these little purple flowers -- but they sure are pretty!! And they attract butterflies like crazy! :)

And since it seems to have become a tradition is the latest creepy crawlie we saw outside.

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I can tell it's getting cooler outdoors. The spiders are moving slower and sloooowerrrrr. I kinda feel sorry for them, but I do tell them that they are NOT invited indoors. :) They will meet up with Mr. Rolledup Newspaper if they venture indoors.