Friday, December 28, 2007

The Coming New Year

And ye, who have met with Adversity's blast,
And been bow'd to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass'd
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury
-Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen.- Thomas Hood

In my heart I know this coming year will bring our family even more adversity. I wish this "New trial of time" would give me "hopes of a kindlier dozen" but we don't think it will be although we will hope for the best.

Oddly in the midst of all of this are some true positives - we have become closer than ever before. We have spent more time together in the past year than in the past five. I know for me because we range so widely in age, the impressions of my siblings from my youth were always there and they have changed as we spend more time together as adults. Another positive is that we are more thankful for smaller things - Christmas was a prime example. It was not extravagant and was probably the cheapest one in years but nobody cared. Also even though we always say "good bye, I love you" when one of us leaves or hangs up, I now tend to send random emails or leave notes just so they know it is not done as a habit but that I truly do love them.

So there will be no resolutions this year. It will be a day to day process with each day offering it's own challenges and idiosyncrasies and it will solely be up to me how to face each and everyone of them not to be forced by promises made when things were different. I don't need the guilt of breaking a resolution.

So I am off to knit out the old (sweater) and knit in the new (koolhaas hat). I will be back in January. And if you are like me and are not into resolutions try this...

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~ Benjamin Franklin What more could you really ask for.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

Last night the man called me outside to see this....The small dot under the moon is Mars. You can read about it here. There is some folklore that says "The nearer the New Moon to Christmas Day, the harder the Winter." I will have to watch and see.
Earlier in the year I had joined a KAL called Holiday Headstart under the delusion that I would not have last minute knitting. Well from previous posts you know how well that went! I was bad and just knit with no idea why or for whom, trying new things. Prior to November I had done two stockings(one for the man and one for #1 son), a keyhole scarf for a friend and one set of crocheted towel tops which will be used for Christmas presents. Somethings were just given away prior to the holidays.
But to get back on course, this left me with alot of work to do and people adding their requests whenever the mood struck them. Enter Ravelry! I am truly in love, so much to inspire-so many people putting their designs out there. It has been my saving grace. So since November I have managed to knit or crochet...
Peekaboo Mitts for #2 son
Afghan for the man's daughter
Afghan for #1 Son's gf
Bread bunting and 2 oak leaf washcloths for sister
Cabled Mitts for #2 daughter
Pocketbook slippers for friends two daughters
Afghan for daughter to give to her friend
Crocheted towel tops for various people
Fidget for friend
Stockings for #2 Son and #2 daughter
Sock Monkey hat for #2 daughter
Ice scraper Mitts for various people
Hat a friend wanted for her son
Stocking for #1 daughters bf
and still on the needles is a hat for #1 daughter's bf. The chart is 1/2 done and it is easy sailing after that. I have knocked somethings off the list, such as cat sweaters for #1 daughter's two cats who never leave the house. I am sure they will thank me for that!
"As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December's bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same. "- Donald E. Westlake
So since the gifts were just about done, yesterday I was stressing over something else. #2 daughter had awoken us with a stomach virus Saturday night and I was worried we would all succumb...so far so good! I stress each year and then last minute it all falls into place. So I am going to follow this advice....
Whatever else be lost among the years,
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing:
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
Let us hold close one day, remembering
Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men.
Let us get back our childlike faith again. - Grace Noll Crowell
I wish you all A Very Merry Christmas with plenty of time with those you love.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Solstice & Concerts

Yule, is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.
- Yule Lore

As we do every year #2 and I are making pinecones for the birds. Elder sister was picked up at the airport yesterday and things are falling into place. Need only to make eggnog, take the ham out of the freezer and finish wrapping. On December 26 I will sigh a huge sigh of relief that we pulled another one off!

It has been a busy week but we got some rest while going to #2 daughters concert. #2 Son has his concert in January.

Here for your viewing pleasure are some clips from the concert. The first is the schools bell choir(truly awesome to watch and listen to) playing We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
video
They are wearing Hershey Kisses hats as they just let everyone know they have been accepted for the third time to play at the PA Music Teachers Conference! The next little clip is #2's band playing Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers.
video
Truly amazing for 7th & 8th graders who only picked up instruments for the first time last year.

Now I am off to find a duck as #1 wants duck for Christmas again along with ham. I can not wait until she is married with kids of her own and is cooking dinner for everyone. I am going to find the most obscure foods and ask for them!

Here is something to toast the Yule. What my sister says they call eggnog where she lives in Puerto Rico. It is called Coquito.

1 can evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
1 can cream of coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can (re-use the evaporated milk can) of rum either dark or white
Mix all the milks together add vanilla, cinnamon and rum. Run a whisk thru to blend well. Place a cinnamon stick in the bottle or container you are storing it in. (You don't have to put in the cinnamon stick, it is more for astetics than flavoring).
It goes down quite well!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Deadline

“A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large.”
Like I need any more drama in my life!!! Oh well I have only myself to blame for this one.
Saturday we went to the man's sister's and BIL's apartment as they are giving us some furniture because they have finished redoing the house he grew up in and the furniture won't fit. The storm was approaching but the sun was trying to fight it's way out. Not to say we don't trust our weatherman but we quickly loaded, got home and unloaded everything. The man left to help get my brother out of a ditch and I got ready for his company Christmas party. We had a good time and left just in the nick of time because as we were driving home it was starting to rain and instantly freeze to the windshield.
Sunday I was busy knitting to reach my deadline. I had finished #1 son's afghan for his gf. I had finished one more stocking and had started this one while it rained, sleeted, snowed and the winds gusted. Today I was able to finish that stocking. This stocking is modeled after a picture on a Christmas card. I wrote about it here I didn't have a pattern so I just fudged it. The limbs on my tree's go down and their's went up but other than that it is as close as I can get.I only have to finish one stocking to be done with what I had planned. However, I might do another hat but I have until the 26 to finish that! Yes a whole extra day! I feel pretty good, I was even able to get the Raspberry Chipotle Sauce done today also! Now I just have to basket and wrap things! It can be done! I have....


Friday, December 14, 2007

Kisses from Heaven

Snowflakes are kisses from heaven. ~Author Unknown

Kisses fell all day yesterday and for the first time in a long time I had to drive in it. Normally there is nothing that can't wait until when the man is home that would force me to drive in snow but yesterday we had mom's chemo appointment.

The schools had cancelled school the night before so #2 daughter decided to ride with us. There was about an inch on the roads when we left....there were 6 inches on them when we left the hospital. The half hour ride turned into an hour and a half ride.

Now picture this...
a fat middle aged woman with a deathgrip on the steering wheel, fingernails piercing the palms of her hands,
her mother -nervous but not saying a word for fear her daughter would tell her to get out and walk, and
driver's daughter sitting in the back, praying we stay on the road as she would be the one to push us out of the ditch or go for help
...inching thru 6 inches of snow on unplowed roads with a river on one side, a canal on the other, ice building up on the wiperblades again...screeeching out Christmas carols to the radio!
It was actually fun!

I had started a scarf using the Woodland Shawl pattern before I left for the hospital, but didn't get much done on it. I got home and ripped it out as I didn't like the yarn. I restarted it using another skein of yarn like the one I used on the Fidget. This one skein of yarn I have is much thicker than what is called for and I am using size 8's so I may not make a full scarf out of it, it might end up as a cowl!

Today I hope to finish Allyssa's afghan and the stocking.

And just in case you missed out on some kisses from heaven, you can go here and make your own.... http://snowflakes.lookandfeel.com/

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

...while cares drop off like autumn leaves.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir
Yesterday was actually a day of peace and I did return home with energy although I did not climb any mountains...I did however drive them, does that count? It was great. It started with a phone call from Cyndy whom I haven't spoken to in far too long. We both have so much going on and it was nice to hear her voice. They say a good friend is cheaper than therapy and it does seem to be. Since I was going out to run errands, I stopped by her house to pick up the buttons for my Fidget.
Then it was off to take Mom to the bank, post office, another bank, McDonalds and home. At the post office I got another gift...It was my winnings from Greenberry House. I have decided to put the yummy yarn away until I feel "springy". I tend to knit with colors of the seasons, stupid I know but I am afraid if I push the rhododendron color into the dark time of year I won't do it justice. But boy is it tempting, merino and angora....poor pic but beautiful yarn.

I am however going to put those needles to use. Grace started a scarf using the Woodland Shawl and it is beautiful. When I was putting an order into KnitPicks, two skeins of Palette Rainforest and Brindle Heather fell off the virtual shelf and into the virtual cart! The Brindle is going to become a scarf using that Woodland Shawl pattern.

But I digress, I came home with a renewed energy. I added the buttons to Fidget. I tied in the ends of the two other ice scraper mitts, added buttons to another towel set that I had done earlier in the year, tied in the ends of a keyhole scarf. Took pics of all that, although not very good pics, but I got them done.

#2 daughter asked to put on Christmas music while she was making dinner (Yeah!!!) and I don't want my duldroms to rub off on her so I said sure. Oddly enough by the time we turned it off I was singing away or at least that is what I called it -the family had some other words for it!

After dinner I started working on the stocking that has been sitting here while I worked on everything else and things just clicked and it sped along and I am at the heel flap now...I should finish it today! Sometimes I guess that is all we need - just one good day to get us through, I am very lucky to have received that.
Looking forward...tomorrow is guilt free knitting day so I need to decide what to bring for that. They are calling for 1-3 inches of snow which I am hoping will hold off until we get home. We were so lucky that the ice storm here was nothing like Missouri got. I do have my ear to the weather channel for this weekend...I have heard if all goes wrong we could get a foot of snow! Maybe I should bring wool for more mittens to guilt free knitting!

Monday, December 10, 2007

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Ice!

Ice on the earth, bitter black frost, and a winding sheet of snow upon her withered breast, and deep within me, dread and ice.- Jessica MacBeth

We had the ice storm last night. The kids knew they had a two hour delay before 7PM last night so they happily slept in this morning. The school ended up cancelling class for today as towns have closed roads because they are so bad. This is the road to my house... I was suppose to go do some banking and pick up a prescription for my mom but the road there is closed so that is not going to happen today. I also had a Dr. appt for #2 to get another check up to make sure the pneumonia had cleared up but they called to cancel that. Boy Scouts is cancelled for tonight.
So what does one do with all this unexpected free time? Well, after skating our way around doing the chores, we take pictures so sis in Puerto Rico knows to bring her woolies when she comes home for Christmas! After posting said pics, we grab a blanket, some Christmas DVD's, and present fiber project and enjoy!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Annual Christmas Tree Hunt

The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!- Charles N. Barnard

Today we went on our annual hunt for two Christmas tree's. We go to the same place every year. The woman who owns it is in her 80's and uses her chain saw and a 60 something Ford to haul them back out to the edge. Every year I walk out of those fields amazed at this woman. They don't make them like her anymore.The view is magnificent. Of course we are on the shady side of the mountain but at 38 degrees it was fairly balmy after this past weeks temperatures. It has been so cold even the waterfall froze already. Area ski lodges are opening for business early....making up for last year so it seems.
So with the big brother trees looking on we traipsed thru acres of trees looking for the perfect ones. According to #2 daughter it had to be "pouffy". I am more worried about height...they all look so much smaller out in the fields but then get them home and reality hits.... the ceiling!
Some tree's came with their own decorations.... and some were overly decorated. Eventually we found ours and had snowball fights while waiting on the owner to come cut/haul it for us. On the way thru town we stopped for some hot cocoa to warm us from the inside out. We dropped the one tree off at my mom's and brought the second one home to be put up at a later date.
After a quick supper we went to our town's first tree lighting ceremony in the park. The local business owner's donated everything from the tree and decorations, food and drinks to the teddy bears Santa handed out. It was nice. We stayed for about an hour and a half but the whole day out was taking it's toll and we were exhausted. I sat here thinking about working on the afghan but for the life of me I can't find the energy to do it so I am going to bed. I still have 17 days!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Do You Believe?

Let Us Keep Christmas

Whatever else be lost among the years,
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing;
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
Let us hold close one day, remembering
It's poignant meaning for the hearts of men.
Let us get back our childlike faith again
~Grace Noll Crowell

#2 daughter and I were curled up on the couch watching Rudolph the night before. #2 daughter is 13 years old and an honor roll student, so no dumby, but she is soooo naive. She still walks outside and just looks at birds flying over, clouds moving across the sky or stands listening to the wind blowing leaves and branches in total amazement...because of this she is not always the most graceful. She, however, has a huge capacity for love of all, forgiveness, understanding and I am in awe of this- she is completely and utterly innocent.

#1 daughter keeps telling me I need to wake her up to the real world because she is only going to get hurt. Maybe it is cowardly of me but I can not be the one to do that. In a time where kids are growing up long before they have too, I want her to enjoy this time as she will never get it back. Lacking naivity never stopped others from getting hurt so why would I want to take it from her.

But moving on...She said "Mom do you still believe in Santa Claus?"I sat there stunned because she asked. OH how to answer THAT question! I don't want to disillusion her but I don't want her getting her butt kicked in school she is after all 13! I don't want to tell her not to believe in anything. I want her to believe that all things are possible eventhough there are days I that want stay curled up in bed.

Like everyone we have our trials right now. Because we want to be mortgage free, the house we are building is draining the lifes blood out of us. Other things keep popping up that need the time and money before the house so I doubt we will be in it before Christmas as planned. My mother's cancer is taking it's toll, the drugs are dilapidating her body and I can't fix it. According to the DoD's report my daughter is going to be deployed again and won't be home for Christmas next year and I haven't even bought one Christmas present yet!

On the flip side...I had a mini stroke in the Spring yet I am doing fine now and I am here with my kids this Christmas. Before the end of the year I am going to marry a guy who would do anything for me or my kids. My mother is here to celebrate another Christmas with us. My daughter is here to celebrate this one. I have a roof over my head even if it is not the one I want. We have 3 freezers full of meat and vegetables, a pantry full of canned goods and a root cellar so we are NOT going to starve and some can be used for presents. And I have the wool and know how to make a lot of Christmas presents so the needles have been flying!

So how did I answer her question? ...I said - Yes, I do believe in Santa Claus. It may not be one person like they show but lot's of people doing little things which add up to big things. It is the believing in the miracle that wasn't suppose to happen. It is believing that there is a reason for everything, even though we may not know it right now. Like they say in Santa Clause 2 "Seeing isn't believing, Believing is seeing" So I told her to see all the miracles that happen at this time of year and continue to believe.

I am so thankful for this child, a rare gift, who with the simpliest question can smack me upside my head and wake me up. I believe in Santa Claus and I hope everyone else does too. Now I am off to knit more presents.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Bad Luck and Good Luck

“All of us have bad luck and good luck.
The man who persists through the bad luck
- who keeps right on going
- is the man who is there when the good luck comes
- and is ready to receive it.”Robert Collier

Yesterday was such a day and boy was I ready to receive it. I awoke with a migraine to find the kids had a two hour delay. I laid down on the couch and promptly fell back to sleep. #2 daughter woke me up yelling at her brother to hurry up he was going to miss the bus. The man had already packed his own lunch and left for work. I sat up started telling #2 son to hurry up. He leaves to walk down to the main road. A half hour later, I tell #2 daughter to go to her grandmother's to fill her bird feeders for her while I go take a shower so we can leave. She comes back telling me #2 son is still standing down by the road. I look at the clock and realize I sent him down an hour early! I send her down to tell him to go into my brother's house which he does.

I go out with the broom and start cleaning my car off. It has an accumulation of Sunday's snow and Sunday nights sleet and freezing rain. In the process I break my windshield wiper blade off. I have to take #2 daughter to her doctor for a re-check as she had pneumonia....a 20 mile ride to town, you know I am going to need those wipers.

We start out...I don't even get three miles up the road and my low gas light goes on and the dinger dings. Yup, the man I am going to marry left me on E again! Well I realize everyone has to have faults and he is near perfect and I can deal with this on a normal day but not on a I have to drive on these bad roads day. So, I have to take a detour up a twisty hill to get to the closest gas station so I can make it into town. We make it up the hill, get to a flat twisty part and the car starts sliding. I know the man's ears were burning because I was cursing him up oneside and down the other. I just knew we were going to end up in the ditch because I had to detour for gas that he should have put in. But we make it to the gas station.

We then made it to the Dr.'s where I threw snow on my windshield to get the mud off. We go in and find out her left lung is not clearing up so she has to go back next Monday as well. We go for groceries and buy/install a new wiper blade and head home.

We stop at the end of the road for #2 daughter to get the mail. She gets in the car and I start up my mom's road and I am told "I didn't get grandma's mail". Now we do this everyday so why she didn't do it, I have no idea. I back down the road, look at her like she has two heads and she gets out to get the mail. We deliver it and start up my road where I proceed to drive over somthing that puts two punctures in my tire.

I get in the house with my groceries and Cyndy calls telling me "Congratulations". As I have no clue what she is talking about she tells me I have an e-mail stating I won a contest. Leslie over at http://greenberry.blogspot.com/ had a "Name the Doll" contest and I won! I picked the name "Woolma" and won two skeins of yarn and Rosewood knitting needles! Needless to say that was the highlight of my day. How cool is that? Thank You!!!!

Eventhough things seem to have righted themselves in my little universe upon my return to home I didn't want to chance it and since I did not trust myself with yarn or pointy dpn's no work got done on the stocking last night.

I did however finish the Fidget this weekend and it only lacks two hand carved buttons from Cyndy to be complete.

This AM I did somthing stupid... I started an afghan for my son's girl friend- as if I didn't have enough on my plate. I wanted to do a spiral as it is Bernat Softee Chunky in various shades of pink and orange (her favorite colors) but son said no round afghan it's too weird.So I am just doing the solid granny square that I used to do daughter's boyfriends afghan. I have used one skein already so it is moves quickly at least!

Today the kids have another two hour delay due to snow squalls. I have to drive mom to a doctor's appointment and visit my aunt in the nursing home....We are taking mom's car which has a full tank of gas! Wish us luck!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Expectations

I have learnt that I am me,
that I can do the things that,
as one might put it, me can do,
but I cannot do the things that me would like to do.
Agatha Christie

As Christmas draws near (25 days 15 hours and 40 minutes) I find myself adding to what I think I can accomplish. I blame this some what on Ravelry! I could sit and ogle people's projects all day, the different yarns they used and how it changed the final product. I love it!

I have added and added to my que. Some I know will not be done until sometime after Christmas but others entice me in by saying "quick knit". How can you pass that up? A handknit gift which was quick yet is beautiful. I seem to have qued several of these said projects.

Today is a guilt free knitting day so I am bringing The Fidget and some towels to do the Towel Toppers. Both of these are quick projects. I don't have plans for the towels but figure they can be used as a quick gift with two cups and some flavored coffee or in a basket full of our homemade goodies, hence good to have around. Another quick knit that sucked me in but may come in handy are the Ice Scraper Mitts. I changed them both a little from the original pattern to make the top a little smaller and to make one longer. This project used up some scrap yarn which is always a good projectAnother project I found on Ravelry and had to do was the Sock Monkey Hat from Knitty. #2 daughter loves monkeys so this was a must do. I didn't have the ears on when this photo was taken but did remember them in time.Several other gifts have been made this month such as two pairs of Pocketbook Slippers for a friends daughters and others which will be discussed at a later time. So if X marks the spot, I seem to be right on target with what I wish to get accomplished. I finally remembered to order the yarn to finish off the Skipping Stone afghan which should only take a couple of hours. I still need to finish three stockings but I feel confident I can get that done in the next few weeks (knocking on wood) now if I can just stay off Ravelry or if pattern designers wouldn't make things I like, I will be okay.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

National Christmas Tree

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!

PA has a lot of history. One of the more prominient people that made their home in PA was Gifford Pinchot, founder and first Chief of the US Forest Service, whose ancestral home is Grey Towers National Historic Site located in Milford, PA. Because of this tie, the National Christmas tree and 80 companion tree escorted by the Forest Service made a stop in that town yesterday on it's way to Washington DC. The tree came from Green Mountain National Forest in Bennington, VT and will get to the National Mall in front of the Capitol on Monday. More info such as the history of bring the tree's to DC, cards, the route, pictures, etc can be found here.... http://www.capitolchristmastree2007.org/
This years tree is a 60 foot Balsam Fir. The convoy also included over 3000 ornaments made by people in VT, and antique vehicles. The route is also stopping at Veterans Hospitals and delivering Christmas cards to our wounded soldiers.
As we didn't shop yesterday we decided this would be something festive to go see. So my sister, #2 daughter and I made the trek while Mom took a much needed rest. It was cold so we went in and had a late lunch in a local diner and exited in time to see the tree arrive. We didn't stay for the lighting of the town tree's as we needed to get home but it was still a fun day
and we did get to see Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on a horse drawn sleigh.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

The Christmas season has come to mean the period when the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants. ~John Andrew Holmes

My daughter called at 5:30 AM while shopping. She left early yesterday to go home and go to bed so she could get up at 3 AM....left family to go home, sleep and shop to buy said family something that says I love you?!?!

Now I did this Black Friday shopping thing twice before I couldn't handle it anymore. The shoving and greed just sent me home mentally and physically exhausted. Already today the police have been called to an area shopping center to control the fights breaking out...somehow that just doesn't get me in the mood for Christmas. I think the best part of the times that I did go shop early was driving there in the pre-dawn with no traffic.

So today post-Thanksgiving I will turn on some Christmas carols, indulge in some warmed over leftovers and finish my Pocket Book Slippers and hopefully the bunting both of which are Christmas presents. Pics to come soon.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving- More Than A Day


More Than A Day

As Thanksgiving Day rolls around,
It brings up some facts, quite profound.
We may think that we're poor,
Feel like bums, insecure,
But in truth, our riches astound.

We have friends and family we love;
We have guidance from heaven above.
We have so much more
Than they sell in a store,
We're wealthy, when push comes to shove.

So add up your blessings, I say;
Make Thanksgiving last more than a day.
Enjoy what you've got;
Realize it's a lot,
And you'll make all your cares go away.
By Karl Fuchs
Wishing everyone enough on this day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The First Snow Day

See the pretty snowfakes
Falling from the sky;
On the wall and housetops
Soft and thick they lie.
On the window ledges,
On the branches bare;
Now how fast they gather,
Filling all the air.
Look into the garden,
Where the grass was green;
Covered by the snowflakes,
Not a blade is seen.
Now the bare black bushes
All look soft and white,
Every twig is laden, --
What a pretty sight!
We awoke to a winter wonderland again today. Come March this will be so tiresome but for now I am still enjoying the novelty of it. I even got to take a walk in it before 7:30 AM. It is so quiet and clean. I should have been inside getting something accomplished but sometimes things just have to wait while you rejuvinate.

The kids have their first snow day today. They only go for 2 1/2 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday because of teacher conferences. Then they have Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday off so they are pumped! #2 Daughters birthday is today but she wasn't going to go to school anyhow as she came home from her dad's with a 102 degree fever. She is ensconced in her bed with the laptop and a cup of hot cocoa made from scratch as that is the only way she will drink it. Yes she is spoiled but she is sick and it is her b-day so spoiling is in order.

I found it hard to believe I hadn't updated in a week. The days are passing so quickly. On Saturday as I was working in the garden doing more cleanup I realized the seed catalogs would be coming in December. While driving to town we saw so many homes with Christmas lights already lit and one with a tree in the window. I am in no need to rush things as I have too much to do as it is.

Sunday we went to visit the man's sister and BIL. They are moving and doing a major downsizing and had some extra furniture they wanted to give us first dibs on. We need to go pick it up before Christmas. She bought a brand new living room set about a year ago and it won't fit in their new digs! It is beautiful, hopefully we will be in the house by then.

In the fiber area, I have been washing fleece and intend to send it out to be carded, I just don't have the time. I also finished the second star afghan and started on some other projects. The kids being home really ruins my concentration so cuts into the knitting time. What I need is a mindless knit.

Tomorrow I have some guilt free knitting time in the morning where I hope to get alot accomplished. My sister is coming home tomorrow so I will also have car knitting time while going to the airport. At this time of year you fit it in where you can!
Now I am off to get a turkey out of the freezer otherwise it will never thaw in time. And it looks like the birds need their feeders filled.


Monday, November 12, 2007

The First Snowfall

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? ~J.B. Priestley I know others could think of a 1000 other things that they would love to wake up to, but I love waking to see the world all white and sparkling. Maybe it's not the best way to wake up but it definitely ranks up there pretty high in my book. There is a silence as everything and everybody is tucked in all nice and warm...and that hush is only heard during a snowstorm, then the plow trucks come and ruin it. We didn't need plow trucks this time as it didn't stick to the roads but it was beautiful. It was gone by noon so didn't hinder any plans which was also good as we had a busy weekend.

We got mom's fences up around the rhododendrums, plugged in her heating tape on the waterline and took the garden hoses off and wound them up for storage. We helped a friend take a truck load to recycling, all the laundry got done, the food shopping got done, had a snowball fight with younger son, brought home a load of hay, the water lines all got crimped. I started dyeing some wool, red for a Christmas stocking and a black walnut dye just because. They are just sitting, I will show pictures when they are done.

I also started a second star afghan. Rotten picture as it is hot pink but with the flash on it brightened it too much.The first one was laying out on a bed after I took a picture of it....a wet muddy black dog that was left alone in the house and should have known better decided that this light pink and white afghan made a perfect place to lay down. I work on the afghan when I don't have the brain capacity to handle the chart for the stocking. So today's agenda includes more work on the above projects and making venison jerky. My brother got an 8 point buck while bow hunting Saturday and told us we could have it. We butchered it yesterday and got about 50 lbs of boneless meat. Today some of it will go into the dehydrator and a stew but I know before too long the man will want venison chili.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Three in One

A three day post all in one....

Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call,
Down they came fluttering, one and all;
Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
Singing the glad little songs they knew.~George Cooper

And such was Wednesday when I started this post. But then the electric blinked and the computer shut down and I didn't go back to it.

Listen ...With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break free from the trees
And fall. ~ Adelaide Crapsey, 1878-1914, November Night

And such was Thursday when we awoke to 19 degrees. The dogs sat and looked up into the woods barking...the sound of the falling leaves was freaking them out. The birds finally found the feeder and made hogs of themselves. They were back at 7 AM today. I love watching them fly to and fro. There is one Tufted Titmouse who is the bully of the birdfeeder which I don't like but what I am suppose to do about that, tell him I am gonna sic my cat on him?!

Anyhow what tidbit of knowlege, quote from history or epitome do I have for today?.....

Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday. ~ Anonymous

Haha! Oh well, I have so much to do and I need to categorize those things I need to do and those that I want to do, both homewise and fiberwise. While tiptoe-ing around Ravelry it is so easy to picture yourself as the Super (Wo)man of the Needles but alas time is my kryptonite. However I did find time to knit up a stocking for #1's boyfriend. Rotten picture, my own "design". I used the cable from the fingerless mitts but used 6 stitches instead of 4, did a k1 sl1 for some heel eye candy, but I don't like the toe and it looks even worse in the picture because of the angle and color. Hence don't "design" unless you know what the hell you are doing! Oh well he won't knowI found another project that is a must do for Christmas.....
http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATTsockmonkey.html #2 daughter is crazy about monkeys. I have everything but the main color...ain't that the way it always is? So now I have to find something else to fill the needles...luckily I have a bunch qued! But first the list.....


Monday, November 05, 2007

Timing

“Life is all about timing... the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable... attainable. Have the patience, wait it out. It's all about timing.”~ Stacey Charter

It is kind of ironic that a weekend centered so much around time for us was a weekend when most of our timing was way off. Friday night the kids father was to pick them up at 3:45 but didn't show up until 6:45. He did call at 4 to tell us he would be 1 1/2 hours late. huh?!

Saturday followed suit. Then came Sunday. We told this man we would help him load some of his animals that he had "rented" out for the summer. We expected to go early in the morning but he called to say it was put off until noon. So the man and I cleaned the sheep barn and chicken coop and spread it out on the garden, cleaned out the vehicles, hung out laundry, had lunch and then left to meet him. After a very quick and surprisingly easy loading of llama, sheep and goats we walked by a pen with two little Holstein steers in it. We asked what they were going to do with them and the owner asked if we were interested and said he would take $50 a piece for them. He closes this petting zoo down and has to get rid of what he has bought and not rented. My man didn't hesitate, just opened the back gate and lead them on to the trailer. These would easily sell for $125-150 each. I had to pick on him as when I get animals they are small...baby chicks or turkeys.

When we got home they unloaded the newly acquired steers and again easily loaded up the pigs to go to the butcher. So as the sun sets on this weekend, the man is very proud of himself. He calls them Bootstrap and Backpack, said his timing was perfect.... As for me?....my timing is still off, my yarn ran out slightly short of it's end. :^( Guess what I will be doing today? Yup trying to dye enough to finish this!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Something waits...

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show. - Andrew WyethLike the sleeping landscape something awaits in a ball of yarn, it's whole story doesn't show either. However, I have been busy recently trying to make a story out of the string. After several unsuccessful attempts at another Hemlock Ring, I switched over to the Skipping Stones Afghan. The Stones is crochet which uses more yarn so it is awaiting a yarn delivery to have its whole story revealed. So I took another skein and knit a pair of the Christmas Eve Cabled Mitts . So quick and easy that I will pry do more of them. But knowing that I can't do the same project right in a row, I started the Peekaboo Mittens. I love these! Again easy but useful. I have one done and the cuff of the second started, hopefully I will finish them today. Same color as the fingerless because I finished them while away from home but still had guilt free knitting time left so I cast on for the peekeboos so as not to waste it!

I have been on Ravelry looking at so many patterns, both the Mitts and the Mittens came from there. I also have some in que that I want to make for Christmas and others that I will save for after Christmas. The bad part is seeing them all there I tend to say "oh so and so would like this or that" and I am starting to overwhelm myself with this impossible to do list!

We had a really hard freeze last night and as I am sitting here looking out the window, there is non stop motion in the woods as the leaves are falling. The sun just made it over the ridge and even though it has been light for hours it will only now start to warm up a little. And when the sun no longer warms it enough I hope to have a stack of yarn stories to warm the people I love.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Autumn To Do List Getting Done

I know the year is dying,
Soon the summer will be dead.
I can trace it in the flying
Of the black crows overhead;
I can hear it in the rustle
Of the dead leaves as I pass,
And the south wind's plaintive sighing
Through the dry and withered grass.
Ah, 'tis then I love to wander,
Wander idly and alone,
Listening to the solemn music
Of sweet nature's undertone;
Wrapt in thoughts I cannot utter,
Dreams my tongue cannot express,
Dreams that match the autumn's sadness
In their longing tenderness.- Mortimer Crane Brown, Autumn Dreams

While taking in the beauty of this Autumn it is hard to think these temperatures will end but even living in my happy world, I realize they will. With each passing day the leaves are thinning and my view into the woods gets larger. I hate the end of the garden but look forward to the break. I like winter because we tend to spend more time together and less running around.

So this weekend we had started whittling away at our very long to do list. On Sunday we almost finished rough wiring of the electric. We only need the smoke detector boxes so they can be hardwired in. We got the hot water line done. We got #1 daughters things moved up to the attic, mom's lights in, her swing stored in the garage for the winter, dug horseradish, made one batch Raspberry Chipotle sauce, got all the laundry done and made apple bread pudding.

Monday while he was working, I had to go to the school and spin for a speech report #2 daughter was giving. I only had to be there for 1/2 an hour and wasn't allowed to talk - just spin. Yeah that was rough!!! I drove home only to drive back to pick up #2 son who was sick. When I got home I made 6- 1/2 pints of horseradish sauce from a new recipe from Audrey (the man loved it), made another batch of Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, got the laundry off the line and put away and started insulating the chicken coop. The man came home and made plans for the pigs to go to the butcher on Nov. 3.

Then yesterday while the winds were blowing to cool me off and before the rain started, I was able to cut down all the corn, cut the flowers down by the mailbox and decorate with some of the corn stalks, dig up some marigolds and transplant them by the mailbox, pulled the beans plants, pulled the cucumber vines (found some cucs which we will eat for dinner) pulled the zucchini vines, harvested the red and green cabbage and pulled 1/2 the broccoli plants. I finished insulating the chicken coop and planted the garlic. I came in a little after noon exhausted. I took a hot shower, made #2 son some lunch and started doing some computer work for the man. Last night I started on a new Hemlock afghan and I am up to row 21.

Today I hope to get some s & s cabbage canned. I would also like to get a basket of home canned goods made up for the couple that let us get the apples from their trees. It is raining so no outside work will get done but I am happy with what has been accomplished. Now if I could only stop adding to the to do list the man and I would both be happy!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Oh Decisions, Decisions

It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. ~Roy Disney

I had planned on being at Rhinebeck by now, however for some reason on Friday I started asking myself why I was going. I have four spinning wheels, hand carders, a drum carder, ball winder, swift and all the other paraphernalia. I didn't need a fleece as I have my own. I didn't need roving as I have already paid to have some of my fleeces made into roving for me. I didn't need yarn as I have a ton of it, I spin my own and I could always order what I don't have or what I want on line. I read a lot of blogs but don't usually leave comments so most bloggers don't even know I exist so I am not going to meet other bloggers. Crowds make me nervous so I never do stay long. So why was I going? I would be going for the ride, the time with the man and in the end I would buy things that I really don't need. At first the man argued that we should go, not that he gets anything out of it, but then we agreed we would skip Rhinebeck and go watch the sheep to shawl at the PA Farm Show.

So we stayed home and plan to spend the time together getting things done that will benefit both of us and the family. The man and I have a whole list of things that need to be done, some of which have already been crossed off this morning! Most of the things on the list could have waited but why should they. I complain about not having enough time so why go and waste it doing things that truely I don't need to do. And this weather can not possibly last much longer.

Not to say that fibery things aren't getting done. I took the Hemlock hat off the needles and onto a lifeline....let's just say alot more needs to be done. I finished the cuff on the bf's stocking and stared the leg and even did one repeat of the tree design I am putting in. And I skirted a fleece.

Now I am off to make raspberry chipotle sauce and horseradish sauce while the man is finishing the electric and running the hot water lines in the house. I will experience the NY S&W vicariously through other bloggers and maybe next year feel like going.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Week of our Lives

"Like sands through the hourglass... so are the Days of Our Lives."

And man are those passing quickly so it is ending up being a week of our lives.

So in family news...

...the man drove to visit his daughter this past weekend. He didn't want to leave her to come home, afraid she may disappear again. Next trip we will all go, but I thought that they needed this time alone to talk and work thru the seven year gap. Right now we are making plans for her to come up for a week in May.

...while he was gone, the kids and I made apple cider. We took it from this to this and then into cider. It is sooo good. Oops looks like someone other than the theif child that took this glass full thinks it is good also. #2 son has a huge fear of stinging insects! Needless to say once they came around he was gone. We try to do this every year and freeze it for use through out the year. I just read that you can let the mashed apples sit for 24 hours to get a better cider. I am going to try that next year as it is exhausting trying to do it all in one day.

...we called to find out what we need to get a marriage certificate. Come to find out we need our divorce papers. His are in the next county so even if I can't find them in storage, they will be easy to get. Mine, however, would have to come from MD. I know I tossed mine because I swore I would never marry again and I didn't need them to get his SS as we werent married long enough for me to have access to that. So my ex is going to get me a copy so the man and I can get married!!! If you would have asked me if we would ever talk about anything other than the kids when we got a divorce I would have said no. Hell I would have said he would be dead by now at the rate he was going but he straightened up and is doing good. I am happy for him and I am glad he is willing to help.

...I will find out for sure today, but they say think they are going to continue my PT. Which is good as it does seem to be helping but I hate the 40 mile round trip drive three times a week.

...The younger two have school dances tonight. #2 son has his right after school and then rides the late bus and will be home by 6PM and #2 daughter will have to be driven to school by 7PM and picked up at 9. Tomorrow they go for their dad weekend and I get to play on Ravelry (!) and then Sunday we are going to Rhinebeck! Oh yeah and Saturday we are going to look at another truck for the man. Little things are starting to go on his and he doesn't want to deal with it plus we don't need the four door anymore so we will downsize there. We will see if they have anything we like that we can afford.

...and my sister is coming home for Thanksgiving. My brother and his family are coming to my mothers also. This will be the first year that we are altogether for Thanksgiving since 1983 when I came home to show off #1 daughter!

...we all went for haircuts last night. #2 daughter cut enough off to give to Locks of Love again. She also had highlights added, she is just growing up too quick. But it is the first girly thing she has ever done also, she is so tomboy.


And in fiber news...

...I got my invite to Ravlery. I haven't had time to add a thing or even investigate but hope to this Saturday.

...when I was working on the Hemlock Ring afghan, everyone thought it was a hat at first so I decided to figure it out. I used the Trekking Pro Natura and hope to finish it today. Hopefully it will look okay as I wasn't sure when to stop lengthwise because it stretches so with the lace. Oh well nothing ventured nothing gained. My list of things to make by Christmas has grown and I should be getting a delivery from KnitPicks today to aid in that. I need to finish started projects first. OTN I have the Hemlock Hat, #1 D's bf's stocking and my sweater. Think of all the knitting time I am missing while driving to and from PT appts!!!

...Rhinebeck is this weekend. I am going on Sunday as it doesn't look like it is going to rain that day. I am not in need of anything so don't feel like being wet and cold. I might get some combs and some sock yarn but that is about it - there for the looking, touching and eating!
And in animal news...
...I think Fingerlickin Chicken has given up on setting as she was out with the others all day yesterday.
...we lost a rooster to a red fox. Two nights later as we were sitting outside he/she tried to get one of the ducks. I don't have a problem with wildlife until they try making my animals their food.
...the added light from the greenhouse and warm temps still have the ducks laying! I love it! I can't wait to see how long they continue.
And that pretty much sums things up. Busy and waiting for the snow so things will slow down but it doesn't look like it is going to show up anytime soon....Watch it wait until we have to go to the airport to pick up my sister!!!!