Monday, April 27, 2009

Hello Oak Grove!

Hi Y'all!

This week I would like to welcome some very special visitors to the blog! Hi Oak Grove Elementary! Oak Grove is a school located in Lexington, SC. I taught at Oak Grove for about two years as a Spanish teacher and then a year as a Technology Integration Specialist! Mrs. Lewis, the computer lab teacher, is a very good friend of mine! She is teaching her students all about blogging and Twitter this week, so they are using the blog as a start! I hope y'all enjoy your stay and keep checking back. You never know when Zoe and Zorro just may take over the blog and make a post of their own!
:) JKP

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Julia, Julia, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Hey Y'all,

Well, things are returning to slightly normal status around here in Myrtle Beach. Luckily, my school was out of the "hot zone" so we didn't miss any days of school. Mom spent two nights here at my house because the roads to her house we all closed. When she arrived home yesterday, she had ash everywhere, but her house was safe. They have the fire about 85% contained now. They say it still may smolder for a while due to the weather. It was so surreal today. I ran to Lowes to pick up some soil for my garden. As I drove into the parking lot, the helicopters were crossing over to get to the Intercoastal Waterway with their "Bambi" buckets to get water and head to the fire. Really weird.

Anywhoo, last weekend I was very busy with the whole Grandaddy thing, but last Sunday I did find the time to finally get my "Garden 2009" planted. I am doing a combination garden this year. My veggies and fruits that grow on the vine are in the ground. Everything else is in a container. I really wanted a "full" ground garden this year, but with Grandaddy being sick and things being so crazy, I decided that this was better. If I could, I would tear up my whole front and back yard to make a garden. Yes, I am crazy that way. I can't grow flowers, but I love my veggie garden! This year I planted green and red peppers, banana peppers, strawberries, snap peas, green beans, okra, squash, cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe and of course, tomatoes. Check out how well everything is doing! Things are wet in these pics because I had just finished "miracle growing" them. I do that once a month. I just fill the container and use my hose and spray away.

Tonight while I was outside doing some garden "maintenance" I looked up and was eye to eye with a snake. He hissed at me, I screamed and then he slithered away. Good times!

Tomorrow, I get to go to the cutest baby in the world's christening. For Frankums christening gift, I wanted to knit him a little something, since I haven't so far. Yes, I am a bad friend. I found this cute pattern on Lion Brand that is called Bunny Blanket Buddy. Well, here's the finished one. Excuse the face, my embroidery skills are somewhat lacking these days! But, it is cute and I think Frankums can at least use the ears to cut his teeth on!

Oh well, I am off to bed. I am so tired! Between Grandaddy being sick and the threat of fire, I am exhausted.


:) JKP

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Hey Y 'all,

Well, if you have been watching the national or local news, you know that Myrtle Beach is on fire. When I was driving home from school yesterday, I saw a wall of smoke that made my heart stop. Here's some pics from yesterday and today.

Several schools in my school district do not have school tomorrow. The school that I teach at is 1 mile from the ocean, so we are safe. My mom is bunking at my house because all of the roads that go to her house are closed. Her house isn't in danger, but two of the teachers that I teach with live in "the hot zone." They say that the fires could last for weeks because of the dense vegetation that we have here in Horry County. We need a good soaking rain and aren't scheduled for one anytime soon.

My house is OK. The closest fire is about 15 miles from me, so I think my neighborhood will be fine.

I'll post more later... I've got to get on the phone for a conference call in California for this conference I am going to in July. SEND RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:) JKP

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Hey Y'all,

Well, I have finally succumbed. I am now Twittering. I made my first "tweet" yesterday. It actually became a necessity and now I think I have a new techie addiction! :)
I have arranged it that my Twitter feed posts here on the blog and on my Facebook status. Yippee for technology that co-ordinates itself! I just send one little text message from my phone and the little technology monkeys do their thing. Follow me @justjuliaknits or click the "follow me" link underneath my Twitter status on the side bar.
Anywhoo, with Grandaddy being in the hospital and so many folks that need to be in the know, I thought that Twitter would be excellent. I thought I was going to be in Sumter all weekend, but it turned out I only went for the day today. I didn't want to stress out Zorro with staying at Granny's and he was fine hanging out here by himself. Grandaddy had a really rough day today and was struggling to breathe. He is still in a large amount of pain. Hopefully, surgery will be Monday. He has to have it. But, even as sick as he was, he still told me how pretty I looked in my pink today. So, he's fighting hard!
I also got to have lunch with my Granny today. We took a break from the hospital and went and had some lunch at Baker's Sweets in Sumter. Y'all. Oh. My. Yummy. In. My. Tummy! My tummy has been giving me a fit lately, and this was very good for calming it down! I had the Tuscan Chicken Wrap with Pasta Salad. Then, I had a Milky Way coffee on the way out. Talk about harmony in the tummy. I so have a new place to eat at when I am in Sumter!
Well let me run, I have to have a Come to Jesus Meeting with my washer. More about that in another post!
:) JKP

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gettin' Springy With It....

Hey Y'all,

Well, I survived my first week back at school since spring break! School was fine, but this week has been very stressful. My grandaddy fell and broke his hip and has been in the hospital. While performing a procedure on him, he caught an infection and has had a really high fever and has been very sick since. He has not been able to have surgery to repair his hip yet, due to the infection. Today he still has a fever and is receiving a blood transfusion. We think that he may be able to have surgery on Monday, but we still don't know. Zoe has been visiting with us this week while my Mom has been in Sumter. Zorro chose this week of all weeks to start throwing up again, so I have been worried about my little guy and my grandaddy too! As of today, Zorro is doing better, but it is a day by day thing.

It is looking like it finally may warm up around here in the next few days! I am looking forward to flip flop weather again! Bring it on!
:) JKP

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Just a Shrug....

Hey Y'all,

Well, over spring break I decided that I wanted to knit something for me! I have been knitting so many baby items, that last night I actually dreamed I HAD A BABY. Yeah, so it is time for me to slow down on the baby items! I have had some Berroco Pure Merino languishing in my knitting bag for some time, so I decided to make it into a shrug....

I casted on Tuesday and finshed sewing it up yesterday. We went out to dinner with Uncle Richard and the fam last night, so I wore it out to the resturant. Very cozy and warm since the resturant got just a little chilly! The pattern I used for this is basically some garter stitch rows around the sleeves and then a drop stitch pattern for the body. I knit this sucker on size 17 needles. That was insane after I have been knitting with size 2's for socks lately! Here's some more pics... of course the Z man had to get in on the action!

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter! I have one more day of spring break and then only 38 more days to go!!!
:) JKP

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's Almost Easter, and That Can Mean Only One Thing... EASTER BUNNY CAKE!

Hey Y'all and Happy Almost Easter!

I have many traditions that I have had for many years, but one of my favorites, is of course the Easter Bunny Cake. My Mom started making this for me when I was about 5 or so. To me, the Easter Bunny Cake means spring is here! Over the years, Mr. Easter Bunny Cake was not always present, depending on my tummy issues. Last year at this time since I was not really eating "solid" food, Mr. Easter Bunny Cake did not make an appearance. However, this year he is back!
To make your own Easter Bunny Cake you will need the following:

Basically any packaged cake mix will do (I use white because it is more "bunny" like), you will need some white icing, some jelly beans, other assorted candy, coconut for the "fur" and of course food coloring to add special "colorful" touches.

Bake the cake according to the directions on the package. I like to use the "white" cake because you only use egg whites, not whole eggs. Since cake is sometimes hard for my tummy to handle, the lighter the better.

When the cake is done, let it cool for at least an hour. You have some cutting and arranging to do. The cooler the cake, the better it holds up. One of the cakes is just for the face. The other one you will score with two half moon shapes. This makes up the bunny's bow tie and ears. While the cakes are cooling, take a large cookie sheet and cover it in tin foil. Then place one whole cake on the cookie sheet.

Then score the second cake like I have below. It's okay if it is not perfect, you are going to cover it in icing and coconut anyway!

Assemble the pieces together on the cookie sheet. Then begin to ice the cake in icing. This is fun!

The next part is where you really get to be creative! I use food coloring and some more frosting and tint it pink. I use this for the inside of the ears. Every year I change the candy that I use. Some years I use licorice for the whiskers, this year I used Good n' Plenty for a change. I use jelly beans for the eyes. This year I free handed the nose and mouth. All you have to do is put some icing in a Ziploc bag and snip a little bit off a corner. It works well in a pinch if you don't have a pastry bag to pipe icing.

For the last part, I sprinkle coconut all over the little guy. I don't add alot, I am not a big coconut fan. I also put a little bit of coconut in a Ziploc with some green food coloring. This makes the "grass" that surrounds the bunny. I add a little yellow to it as well. I like for my "grass" to be neon!

That's all there is to it! Don't worry if it's not perfect, the coconut and icing will hide any flaws!

I am off to finish some knitting and to watch Slumdog Millionaire....


:) JKP

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

On the Second, Third and Fourth Days of Spring Break My True Love Gave to Me...a Worksite, Knitting and a Robbery!

Hey Y'all,

Well, here at Chez Barks a lot... we have been quite busy enjoying our spring break! Daily naps are a must and of course, Zorro and Zoe have what I like to call "on demand" services right now. We have on demand walking, snacking and playing. Just the way they like it!

However, strange occurrences have been happening. Check out what we woke up to on Tuesday after our daily nap.

Orange cones at the end of one's driveway never signal something good. Also, when someone is walking around your yard with a metal detector, that's never a good sign either. Unless he is Captain Jack Sparrow... but even then, I don't think that would be good either!

Then, as I looked over, I saw the HTC guys digging up our road. With a bulldozer. Apparently they were trying to fix some lines or SOMETHING. Wow. The things you miss while you are at work. I would have just assumed we had another pothole in the road and never suspected a bulldozer had visited the 'hood! Luckily, they fixed what they needed too, and it didn't involve digging up MY yard, just my neighbors.

And of course, with this time off, there has been some stuff growing off my of needles. I am not going to tell you what seems to be growing at an alarming rate, you will just have to wait and see!However, this will be a great piece for me to take with me for those chilly Lake Tahoe evenings!

Yesterday, the doggies and I spent the day spring cleaning. And do I mean cleaning. My floors now shine, and everything is put in its place. I don't know how long this will last, but I can say that my house is officially ready for spring!

To reward myself for all of the hard work yesterday, I decided to take a little road trip to Florence today. Florence is about an hour from Myrtle Beach and they have some craft and fabric stores that we don't have here. I didn't stay long and only visited a few stores. I had to get home in time for said daily afternoon spring break nap or risk the wrath of the fur. Anyhoo.... I decided to swing by Hobby Lobby to see what they had on clearance yarn wise. I have a ton of baby gifts to make and I always like to see different options. Well. As I arrived at the Hobby Lobby there was all kind of commotion. Lots of Po Po and Crime Investigation Units. At the Hobby Lobby! So me being me... I asked an officer what was going on and if it was safe to go in. Apparently some crazy person robbed the Hobby Lobby. I don't mean pointed a gun at a cashier, I mean tied up the manager in the back and robbed the safe. Good gracious! Not that I condone robbery or stealing in ANY WAY, but come on. If you are going to commit ARMED ROBBERY and you are going to have to do the time anyway... why in the HELL would you pick a HOBBY LOBBY?????? I mean your pay load is not going to be great... What where they thinking... besides the whole stealing thing and committing armed robbery thing.... HOBBY LOBBY? Anyway, the store was open and I felt a little weird, but since the Po Po was everywhere, I decided that I would be safe for a few minutes. According to one of the employees (of course, me being me, I asked!) the store was robbed and NO BODY knew it was being robbed. One of the girls just happened to walk back to the manager's office and found him tied up. Bless his heart! I am sure that this is the most exciting thing the Po Po in Florence County have seen in a while. I plan on checking out News 13 at 5 to see if they have caught this kook.

So, that has been spring break thus far. I am loving my time off and I am so happy that I have Monday off too. I just keep telling myself.... 6 more weeks and then I will really have some time off! Zorro really likes having me home, he has been doing OK over the past few days. Let me run... I am getting asked for an on demand service as I type....

"Give me a bone now or I break the pointy knitty sticks......."

:) JKP

Monday, April 6, 2009

On the First Day of Spring Break My True Love Gave to Me.... an Oil Change and a Mop

Hey Y'all,

Well, I never thought it would get here, but I am officially on Spring Break!! Whoo, hoo! Holla!
Friday, I kicked off the break by getting my hair cut and running some errands. Saturday was more errands, and yesterday I went to the Coastal vs. Gardner Webb baseball game to see my friends Johnny and Marie. Johnny and Marie's son pitches for Gardner Webb. It was great to see them and catch up on all of the Lexington news!

Today I took Mr. Caesar the CRV in for an oil change and a tire rotation. Turns out, Caesar needed front brakes too! Luckily, we received bonus checks last week for our school doing so well in testing last year, so my bonus check went to Mr. Caesar. I glady spent the money! I only have 1 more car payment and Caesar the CRV is paid for. He has 87,000 miles on him and as far as a Honda is concerned, he is just cutting his teeth. He will need some new tires by June, so my first non car payment is going to go for new tires. I gotta keep my baby running!

My other baby had a rough day yesterday. When I left Zorro around 1, he was fine. But, when I returned home after the baseball game about 5, he was having one of his spells where he couldn't see. This lasted most of the night and his sight finally came back about 9 or so. He has also been breathing very heavily. I turned the air on today and that has seemed to help him. He is still eating and drinking, and using his doggie door. Zoe is here with us today to hang out. He seems to do a little better when he has Zoe to pick on and torture.

I also went out and bought some spring cleaning supplies today. I have been looking for my mop, which I just assumed was somewhere in my garage. But, lo and behold, my mop is amiss. So I had to run out and buy a new one today! I am going to take a lazy afternoon nap with the furballs and then do some spring cleaning. Sometime this week, I need to switch out my closet. But seeing as tomorrows high here is 57 degrees, I am in no hurry!

:) JKP

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Think That My Dog is Way Smarter Than I am....

Hey Y'all,

Well, I have gotten to that point in my life, where my dog is now smarter than me. I think this has been coming on for a while, but over the past few days it has really become apparent that my dog is WAY smarter than me!

Zorro has always been able to tell time. For instance, I can tell him that I need to get up early for school and to wake me up at 5:30. Lo and behold, he does! Zorro also knows that most days I come home from school about 4 or 4:30. He waits for me at the door. Zorro takes his medicine every night at 8:00. Promptly at 8:00 EVERY night he begins to paw me.

Zorro knows that when I take an egg out of the refrigerator, that I am about to make his food and he does the happy dance. When I put on a certain pair of flip flops, he KNOWS that it is walk time.

Zorro can also change the channel on the TV remote. Most days I leave the TV on the Weather Channel or CBS. When I come home, it is usually on QVC. Zorro also knows how to use his paw to turn on the electric lap blanket I keep on my sofa. Most days I come home and it is on low or medium. He turns it on high for Zoe.

Zorro can also dial the phone. He has called my mom several times. Sometimes he just sits on the phone so no one can call us!

Zorro can remember every house that has ever, and I mean ever given him a dog treat. When we walk, he stops at each one to see if they are home!

Anyway, I am scared to turn my back on him at this point... there's no telling when he is planning a coup!!!!
:) JKP