Wyoming

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How about a little trip to Wyoming today?  We are visiting our daughter, Bailey, Trevor, and Henry in Wyoming.  We are in a pocket of paradise here.  We’re in a small farming town, the closest metro being 2 1/2 hours away.  We’re enjoying the heck out of Henry.  Len also likes to help Bailey with projects around the house, so were doing some of that too.

I’ve been taking Henry for walks down this little country dirt road behind a corn field.  One side is solid corn and the other is a field full of cows.  I’m sure nobody ever walks down this road!  I’ve seen the cows for 4 walks now.  They lift their heads, stare at us, moo a little bit, and that’s our walk.  Yesterday, I guess the cows got curious enough that they all came running over to see us.

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Imagine a huge herd of cows running over to you.  They have a little hot wire fence so the cows don’t stray.  I was so worried the cows were going to try and get through the hot wire to get to us, and they were all going to get shocked.  I guess they are familiar already with the fence as they stopped right at it.

 

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Look how cute they are!  They were all squeezing in to get a good look at us.

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These momma’s and their kids were checking out this grandma and her grandkid.  It was pretty neat.  I’m a city girl remember.  This is a real treat for me.

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Miss 423 here posing for her picture.

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They have all kinds of water collected from the snow coming from the mountains.  It’s beautiful fertile ground here.

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We stopped at The Big Texan on our way to Wyoming.  It’s in Amarillo, Texas.  Have you seen the movie, “The Guilt Trip” with Seth Rogan and Barbara Streisand?  It’s about a road trip with a son and his mother.  They have a scene where they stop at The Big Texan and Barbara Streisand’s character eats a free 72 oz steak dinner.  This is the place.  The staff wear cowboy hats and there is a singing cowboy that goes around and sings to your table.  I had a wonderful prime rib lunch for $14.00.   This will be our stopping place from now one.

 

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Happy Knitting friends.

I have road trip project I’m working on.  I’ll show you soon.  It’s a shawl.

Tammy

Mrs. Crosby’s Dye Workshop

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Lauren and I attended this dye workshop and had a great time.  Amanda Jarvis is the artist behind Mrs. Crosby’s yarns, based in Chicago.  SWAK (Sealed With A Kiss), in Guthrie, Oklahoma, hosted the class.

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Keely is a fabulous host!  She loves to cook gourmet food.  Her hors d’oeuvre’s are always interesting.  Not to mention, she serves wine and last night, she also served frozen margarita’s, and strawberry margarita’s.  I know after 2 glasses of wine, I was feeling pretty good, and having a fun relaxed time.

The beginning of the class, everyone is quiet, and doesn’t know anybody.  People are being polite and using their best manners.  Start drinking some wine, playing in the colors, and by the time the class is nearly over, everybody has their hands all over each other’s yarn,” ooooohing’ and ‘awwwwing’.  Personalities start to open up, you start chatting and laughing with the classmates next and near to you.  It turns into a fun time.

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Len asked me how my class went.  I told him, “I was with my people – my tribe.”  lol.  It’s true though!

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I’ve been gathering supplies at garage sales to dye yarn; large pots, measuring cups, teaspoons, heat sources.  It’s so messy, I don’t want to do it in the house.  I’ve been waiting for cooler weather, so we can do it in the garage.  We used a microwave as the heat source in this class.

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This is Lauren’s yarn.; teal and grey and some olive.

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My yarn; olive, purple, and pink.

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I was so excited about my yarn, I made some fingerless gloves with it.

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I like them.  If you have an opportunity to attend a yarn dyeing class, I highly recommend it!  We both had a great time.  We both are really happy with our yarn.  We’re also excited to get playing with dying some yarn this fall.

Silk Garden Fingerless Gloves is the pattern I used for these super easy gloves.

 

Happy Knitting Friends!

Tammy

 

Rusty

Good Friday everyone!

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My sister-in-law, Christine, made this adorable giraffe afghan for her newest grand baby. It is so cute! You can find the pattern here: Rusty the Giraffe Blanket.  It is crochet.  She makes the cutest projects.

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Here is a photo of what it looks like before the details.

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Finished.  Thanks Christine for letting me Show and Tell your beautiful blanket!

Lauren and I are going to “Mrs, Cosby’s Dye Workshop” this evening at SWAK, (Sealed With A Kiss) our local yarn store.  We are going to learn how to dye yarn.

Have a great weekend and happy knitting.

 

Tammy

Sunday Gumbo

UHSUIMgfRKCgLnmFwXci9AI thought I would share my Gumbo experience with you.  My mother-in-law, Carol, gave me some of her fresh okra from her garden.  So I thought I would make some Gumbo.  I like to peruse the internet for various recipes, read the reviews, and then take from each recipe and make it my own.  The main recipe I learned from was Paula Deen’s Gumbo Recipe.

I am not a “follow the rules” exactly kind of girl.  I am, but, I’m not.   As far as recipes go, I am not.  I take recipes as suggestions.

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Bacon on the right. Stewing the okra with the tomatoes on the left.

I started with bacon.  I browned the bacon in the cast-iron Dutch oven.  I removed the bacon with a slotted spoon (to leave all the wonderful drippings behind.). Follow that by cooking the sausage.  You can use Andouille sausage, but I’m not crazy about it so I prefer the smoked sausage.  Once the sausage is done, remove it with the slotted spoon.  Gumbo is about using what’s in you pantry/refrigerator.  I found some fajita seasoned chicken strips and that’s what I added for the chicken.  Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken with the slotted spoon.

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I added some more olive oil to the drippings, about 2 TBS, added the butter, then sprinkled in the flour to make the roux.    The many reviews I read, warned repeatedly to not burn the roux!  If you burn the roux, throw it out and start over, or your Gumbo will be ruined!  Below left is how the roux looks like as you begin to stir.  Below right is when the roux is ready.  It takes about 10 minutes of constant stirring.

I’m stirring and stirring the roux so it won’t burn.  My wisk is a little wonkie.  Follow my advise and don’t be a cheapskate and buy a new wisk!  As I was standing there, constantly wisking the roux, it splashed up and hit my soft tender inner forearm skin.  I was able to grab a towel and wipe away the burning fluid.  As I wiped away the roux from my skin, I  notice the top layer of my skin went with it!  Second degree burns!  Mind you, I’m still stirring my roux!  I’m thinking I need to cool off this burn ASAP but my roux will burn!  It hurts REALLY bad!  I holler for Len to come help me.  He gets to the kitchen and I hand over my wisk and ask him to keep stirring the roux while I take care of my burn.  I cool off the burn and put the appropriate ointment on it and get back to my roux.

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It’s burning!  I can smell it!  I knew Len was watching me and not paying attention to my roux.   I quickly stir and stir my roux, hoping to save it.  I even passed a tear or two in grief over my possibly ruined roux.  I worked so hard at getting it just right and there is no way I’m starting over!  I either get nose blind to the burn smell or it recovers and stopped smelling burned.

I get my emotions together, it’s only food.  I was out of bell pepper, so my Gumbo is minus a main ingredient.  I also forgot the garlic.  Once my stew is at the simmer point, I added a few shakes of garlic powder to compensate.  One of the recipes I reviewed pretty much pureed the vegetable mixture – onion/celery/green pepper.  I didn’t want to do that so I finely diced my veggies.

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Diced vegetables added to the roux and cooked for about 10 minutes.

I also changed the tomatoes.  I used one can of diced tomatoes and one can of Rotel diced tomatoes.  My “hot” will come from the Rotel.   I also read to simmer the okra in the diced tomatoes first.  The acid in the tomatoes prevents the okra from getting slimy.

I obtained the flat leaf parsley from the small pot I have on the front porch.  Rinse off the parsley!  I didn’t rinse it well enough and cut up a small caterpillar.  Yes.  I know.  Totally grossed me out.  Even grosser, I found another caterpillar, this one intact.  I do believe I will be getting my herbs from the grocery store from now on.   I sure hope this Gumbo isn’t a disaster.  I’ve tried so hard.

 

I also messed up by putting in the green onions with the onion/celery/green pepper mixture at the beginning.  It cooked for a long time!  It would have been better if I had added it at the end with the shrimp. as instructed, in the original recipe.  Len gave it an 8 out of 10 star rating.  I bet the bell pepper and putting in the green onions at the end would up this rating to a 10 star.1bPI43aSSqeO8193ecoL1Q

My thoughts overall……it will be the once a year Gumbo I make when I get fresh okra from my mother-in-law’s garden.  It was really really good!  The flavor was rich and robust, the roux perfect.  The okra was not slimy at all.  I would definitely not scrimp on the shrimp.  I scrimped.  I thought I had plenty of meat so only one bag of shrimp was necessary.  Get 2 little bags or one big bag!  Add plenty of shrimp.

It was a nice Sunday afternoon, cook for hours, in the kitchen, kind of day.

Designing a Throw

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I did it!  I made something on my own!  I’ve had this little fantasy of designing my own knitting projects for a while, but, I’ve never actually tried.  I wanted a new afghan for my bedroom so I made myself make one of my own design.

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I love it.  It’s made with Plymouth De Aire bulky yarn, but it’s been discontinued.  Any bulky yarn will do.

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I’m working on writing up the pattern if anyone is interested.  Have you ever written a pattern down?  Goodness!  It’s had me off kilter for a week!  I have it written down .

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Now, I have to write it down so other people can read it!  I started to do just that, then I realized, I have to have a little stitch dictionary of my stitches I used, a gauge guide, then what about a chart?  Some people like charts.  Do I have to write down a chart?  Is it required?  I’m sure it would be beneficial to those who like charts.  Crum!  I have to sit down and make up a chart.   So with watching a baby during the day and getting my chores done in-between and redecorating my bedroom, I’ve been stalled to say the least.

I will get the pattern posted asap friends.  I think it’s a really pretty blanket.  I need to get some tassels on the 4 corners.

I had the blanket wrapped around me one day and Lauren noticed how pretty the pattern would be in a cardigan.  I may have to do a pretty cardigan next.

Happy Labor Day!

Tammy

Giggles and Laughs

If you’ve got a little over 1 minute, you should watch this funny video.  It will put a grin on your face!  We took Luke to Barnes and Noble and found this squirrel puppet.  Len doesn’t take very good pictures for some reason.  I occasionally will get a good photo.  Len looks good here.  What woman doesn’t make googlie eyes at a man when they are playing with her children…  I’ve watched this video about 20 times so far.

I’ve actually cleaned up my knit space this morning as my bulky yarn afghan is completed!  I’m off to block it now.

I’ve cleaned up my photos in my last post so you can see my knit space  in the clean organized manner it’s supposed to be.  So, if you’ve read my last post, check out the pics again.  I realized my photos “as-is”  was like going to Wal-mart in your pajamas so I cleaned up a bit and updated the blog post.

Here’s updated photos of my knit space cleaned up.  I told my husband the other day that I think we like the sunroom so much, because it’s like a tree house fort.  It’s rustic and completely surrounded in stained cedar, even the ceiling.  We have 4 huge windows (it’s a sunroom after all) and plants everywhere, outdoors and indoors.   I was looking around and realized it’s our tree house fort for adults, just not in a tree.   Cool.

 

I hope you have a smile on your face from Luke and Len and the squirrel puppet!

Happy Knitting friends!

Tammy

 

 

Summer Knitting

Hello friends.  I’ve been plugging away at my self designed afghan.  I’ve got one more repeat to knit and then the border.  I’ve been working with fingering yarn a lot lately, it’s refreshing to work with bulky yarn.   Everything knits up so much faster!

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I read several knitting blogs and it seems that every knitter has a furry companion.  Max is my lap companion.  (The dogs think they are, but they are not.  They are too big for lap time and knitting time).  Max will come sit right on top of what I’m working on.  He has no manners or boundaries.  He want’s his ears and head scratched and that tops most everything.

I’m a bit of a voyeur with other knitters.  I enjoy seeing their home knit spaces, projects, supplies, anything another knitter does intrigues me.  I just looked up in the dictionary how to spell “voyeur” and according to the dictionary, voyeur has a sexual connotation to it.  Now, I do not get sexual pleasure from knitting or other’s knitting, but I like peeking in on others.  That’s why I like KnitStars so much.  It’s like a friend inviting you into their home, their sacred creativity space, and hanging out.

I thought if I shared my knit space, it would encourage other’s to share their knit space too.

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This is the hallway entrance into our sunroom (aka where we hang out all the time!). It’s the smallest room in our house, kinda unfinished, rustic cedar walls, no carpet, concrete floors and pretty much the heart of our home.  I moved into the sunroom to set up a knitting nook because of the good light the sunroom provides.  Prior to this, we were set up in the huge spacious living room.   Now, no one hangs out in that huge spacious living room, as we are all packed into the tiny sunroom.

If a picture could describe someone, the photo above would describe me.  You’ve got the grandkids play toys on the left, Max’s play tower on the right, my extremely strong hippy DNA from my father, demonstrated by the macrame planter hanging on the left, and my knitting chair.  Throw a dog and some chickens in the photo and there you have me.  I love fresh flowers and lots of plants.  It brings nature into the home.

 

My grandmother passed away recently and one of the things she gave me was this cedar chest.  You guessed it!  It’s full of yarn!  This is my knitting spot.

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I prefer knitting with circular needles.   This is where I keep my circular needles.  I purchased the craft organizer from Hobby Lobby.    The knitting needles are “filed” by size.  It’s my favorite method for storing my circular needles so far.  They are each stored in the little bag they were packaged in.

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I found this little turntable round-a-bout at TJ Maxx and I store some colored pencils and my favorite double tipped knitting needles.  The Knitter’s Pride Royale are my favorites!  I love the wood needles and the sharp metal points.  Not to mention they are super pretty!  One of these days, when I’m super rich, I may spring for some Signature needles. They are just so expensive!  In the meantime, my favorites are the Royale needles.

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I keep my colored pencils nearby for when I get inspiration for a pattern or design.  I also like to color with Jourdyn.   We enjoy coloring together.

These are some quilt pictures that my mother made for me.  I have them hanging up on the walls.  You can see them here.

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That’s my knit space.  I purchased this huge chair so that my grandkids, dogs, and a cat could all pile in together!

It’s funny and I love everything about it.  “Mommy” is really the heart of the home.  It’s not the kitchen.   It’s where “Mommy” is located.  If Mommy is in the kitchen, then everybody is in the kitchen.  If Mommy is in the sunroom, everybody gravitates to the sunroom, the husband, the animals, the grown children, the next generation of children, the grandchildren.  Even when “Mommy” goes to the bathroom, the babies follow, the cat follows, the dogs follows.  Every time I go to the bathroom, my husband comes looking for me.  It’s the “Mommy” that makes every nest a “home”.  I’m really grateful for the title “Mom” “Mommy” and “Gugga” (my grandma name).

Happy Knitting Folkes!

I would love to see your creative spaces.   If you have a blog article about your space, let me know in the comments.  Then we can all go be knitting voyeurs!

Tammy

Mom’s Birthday

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We celebrated my mom’s birthday this weekend.  Many of you know her, but if you don’t, her name is Joy and she has a popular sewing blog: Joyful-Expressions.  She is a talented seamstress.  She makes her own clothes and she loves quilts like I love knitting.

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Lauren made Mom’s favorite cake, Boston Cream Pie.  She brought it to the restaurant and arranged for them to bring it to our table after dinner.  Lauren has never made this before.  It was amazing!  I think that is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen anybody do for a present.  I would never have thought to do that.  Red Rock Canyon is a nice restaurant, kudos to them for letting her do that.

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Len and myself at Lake Hefner.

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John, Lauren, and Luke

John is my oldest son.  He was the first out of three.  Do you ever look at your kids, and be amazed at how beautiful they are?  It never gets old.  From the day they are born, up util the present day, I’m always grateful and amazed at how beautiful they are. (Although, Luke slapping his spoon out of my hand and throwing baby food across the kitchen wasn’t so beautiful.  But that cute little grin and he’s immediately beautiful again).

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Dad, Mom, and Luke

Here’s my dad and mother and Luke.  Luke was super tired.  He had a big day out.

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John and Luke

You can’t see it here, but John has 2 crowns on his head.  That swirly part on the top back of your head.  You can clearly see one of them here in this photo.  His hair is laying over the other crown.   First thing I noticed when Luke was born was his double crown just like his dad.  I have no idea where it comes from.  John’s dad doesn’t have it.  No one in my family has it.

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Both John and Lauren have gone back to work since Luke’s been born.  I’m watching him now during the days.   Hence, a big reduction in my knitting time.  All perfectly fine with me.  It’s so hot here in OK.  August can be brutal for us.  We have to spray the concrete with water so it doesn’t burn our feet.  We were washing the car here and playing.  See, beautiful. 🙂

Happy Summer friends.   It’s been raining for hours and should continue for a while.  What a nice break from all this heat.

Tammy

Chicks that don’t knit.

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Black Cherry with her new hatchlings.

A part of “A Chick that Knits” comes from my love of animals.  Not only am I a chick (woman) that knits, but I love chickens.  We have a chicken coop and chickens.  My husband calls me a “slab baby” because I grew up on concrete (the city).  The first time I’ve ever seen a real chicken was when I was dating Len and he showed me his mother’s chickens.  That was only 14 years ago.  I was 35 years old.  I was so awed and impressed.  Have you ever looked at a chicken close up?  It’s really neat how the feathers grow in from their skin.  I was just amazed.

I had no idea how many variety of chickens existed.   Yes.  I’ve seen the rooster on the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box and I’ve seen white chickens on TV, but, that was it.  That was my experience with chickens.  There are ALL kinds of chickens!  They are so beautiful.

Len built me a chicken coop and we purchased some chickens.  I picked the pot luck fancy chicken collection.  I had such fun watching those chicks grow up.  We even went to farm auctions to add to my chicken collection.  We bought these huge orange fluffy chickens at an auction once and were so excited for them to lay eggs.  After 3 years and no egg laying, we finally figured out they were roosters.  To be fair to ourselves, they didn’t look like roosters.  One of those bad boys was my first attempt to make chicken and dumplings from my own flock.  (The one and only time we ate one of our chickens)

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Our chicken coop in the back yard along with a smaller portable one for the babies.

Now our chicken coop is old and needs some work.  It’s still a great coop.  We made it from fence panels.  We drove by a house that was getting a new fence and they gave us the old fence panels.   We turned them on their side to make walls.  We also bought the door at a garage sale.  Len did buy the materials to make the roof.

We used to come sit outside and put our feet in a bucket of water and watch our chickens grow.  Once you have eaten fresh, organic, home grown eggs you will never want to eat grocery store eggs again!  I’ve gotten so much joy from our chickens.

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Black Cherry just hatched a flock of chicks!  These chicks are one day old.  Black Cherry is a black Cochin and is a great mother hen.  Our rooster is an Americana so our baby chicks are all mixed breeds.  We’re hoping for some interesting egg colors with the Americana and our various hens.

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Bella is mother hen to our last hatch of now “teenagers”.

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Harry Connick Jr is our rooster with his head down and plumes in the air on the right.

 

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I’ve been working on designing a blanket.  This is one of my gauge swatches.  I only have so much of the yarn I’m working with, so my blanket dimensions have to fit in with my yardage on hand.  The yarn I’m using has been discontinued, so I can’t just go out and buy more yarn.  I’ll post my pattern when I’m done.  It’s still in it’s creative process.

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This is the yarn I’m using for the blanket, De Aire by Plymouth Yarn, but in a different color.   This is a practice gauge to see how much an actual skein of yarn knits up.

I bet ya’ll have been missing Max.

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Summer Days

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We are at that point where we are trying to survive the hot days of Summer! 112 degrees the other day and several more 100+ days to follow.

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We are playing “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.”

I’ve put the current scarf I’m working on aside.  I’ve come to a place in the pattern that doesn’t make any sense to me.  We are also expecting a new grand-niece soon, so I’ve got to get a baby blanket done in the next few weeks.

Now that the kids are gone and we are empty nesters, I’ve decided to paint the bedrooms different colors.  My husband is a retired Fire Fighter and he had an “off-duty” job of painting houses.  He used to paint for Oklahoma University before he became a Fireman.  He’s in a contest with himself to get the best paint job done.  He is very good.  There are tricks to the trade as in every profession.  He can lay a super smooth line across the baseboards. (the secret is applying a thin line of caulk on top of the tape. When you remove the tape, it lays a perfectly straight line at the edge.)

So, we’ve been busy with babies and painting.

Len just got home with lunch and Luke is napping.  Keep cool friends.  That heat can be cruel!

 

Tammy