Friday, February 29, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

Ice Ice Baby
Ice Ice Baby ~ Vanilla Ice

Recently there has been a whole lotta ice.

There is this kind

This kindAnd this kind....only 14 more rows to go and that is to make it longer than the original pattern!!!!


I am so happy that it is almost done that I could bust out in song such as ...

Heaven, I'm in heaven
And the cares that hung around me through the week
Seem to vanish like a gamblers lucky streak ~Irving Berlin

OR

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah ~Leonard Cohen

I love the yarn, I love the beads, the pattern is simple enough when you finally understand what your suppose to do. However, it is not my favorite knit and I don't know if that is because I didn't rip back so I know that it is flawed or what. I do know I am going to be happy when it is done so I am off to finish it now.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Aunt R.

Live as though it were your last day on earth. Some day you will be right. ~Robert Anthony

There was a mass for my Aunt on Saturday. She had passed away on 2/7 at 87 years old.

We spent last spring and summer cleaning out her house and garage as we had to sell the property to pay for the nursing home she had to into. She had the receipt and owners manual of every product she had ever bought. She had marbled notebooks, one for each year, which she had written every check and cash payment in from the 1960's. So you would think she was very organized....NOT! While going thru the filing cabinets trying to find documents, we had to be very careful. A folder full of receipts might hold the car insurance. A folder of old pay stubs would yeild a life insurance policy. I would bring up boxes of paperwork which she had piled on every available surface and Mom sat in a chair and shredded for weeks! Who knew she was such a pack rat!

While doing all this we found pattern books, her very fine crochet work and balls of KnitCro-sheen, which I now possess as my mother said she has enough of her own work in drawers. In the garage was closets full of canning supplies from when her and my mother use to can/freeze everything from this huge garden they had...yeah I possess that as well since nobody else in the family is interested in canning.

My greenhouse is stuffed beyond capacity with pots as she was an avid gardener and had worked in a greenhouse. In her garage was a box of mint condition gardening magazines from the 70's which I stuffed in storage to go thru at a later time. My mom thinks I am nuts! What else is new?

While doing all this I found out alot, but at a time when she was unable to clarify things. She was raised in a strict Catholic family. She married and later divorced which back then was a huge no-no. By the time I came along she was with my uncle. I always assumed they were married as she did use his last name. For years she traveled all over the country with him for his job as a tractor trailer driver. One trip in 1975 she stayed home and it was on this trip that my uncle had a heart attack and died.

Being young at that time I didn't know that their home and vehicles were in both their names but everything that was his was now legally his wife's. I always assumed he was divorced from his childrens mother, what did I know? I was raised not to question things. My uncles kids were alot older than I. As it stands, his wife and him had been seperated for years and their children were all grown with children of their own so his wife just signed off letting it go to the one I called my aunt. So at age 54 and "widowed" she went on to work in the greenhouses. She never remarried or even dated anyone else.

Come to find out, some members in her family ostracized her for living with my uncle. Some of them did eventually get over it and visit from time to time so when we were going thru her things, items that her father had made went back to the family as she never had any children.

I don't know when or what made her but she did return to the church and it became a huge part of her life.

Where as I think I was born a century too late, she was a little ahead of her time. Some people can't stand to be alone, she enjoyed it. She would talk your ear off when you came though! And the thing I found the oddest while cleaning out her house was that she was such a gadget person. She had every gadget that came down the pike! It just seems so weird to learn so much about a person you thought you knew. The love she must have had for my uncle to go against her family. The stamina and stubborness. And then to lose him so early.

The last time she was in her home was in October, 2006. I had to go down as she had called the ambulance because she couldn't breath. I had to help her get changed into better clothes and "hurry up, I hear them coming. Comb my hair and make me look presentable"! I got such a kick out of that.

So now that I am down from bulky to working with lace weight yarn, I think I can tackle making something from her KnitCro-sheen and think about what made this woman tick while doing so.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Using An Eclipse to Eclipse My Eclipse

“Truth is often eclipsed but never extinguished”~Titus Livy

Last night we had an eclipse. An eclipse is the partial or complete obscuring, relative to a designated observer, of one celestial body by another. And I did my best to go outside at intervals to take pictures.

And that is as far as I got as I deemed it better for all those that know me that I go to bed as I had a migraine. And I know what caused the migraine.
Let me start at the beginning. I cast on for the IQ several days ago and was telling Cyndy and she asked if I did the provisional cast on. I said "no, you didn't use it either". She said are you doing the picot or beaded. What? I just cast on the long tail! Oops. Wrong, I should have stopped right there. But we discussed the possiblities of crocheting beads on when it was done so I continued.
Then yesterday I emailed Cyndy with a tale of woe. She promised to keep my secret but I feel I should let her off the hook and admit to my own eclipse. See eclipse also means a disgraceful or humiliating end. So here goes...I was knitting away on the IQ. I took it out Tuesday night and things didn't look quite right but I figured I had not marked that I had finished a row so I went a head and did Row 14, 15, and 16. On Wednesday while taking my mother for blood work and to the hairdressers I did rows 17 thru 21. I came home and did 22,23,24, 21, 22, 23, and 24. I went to look at it and saw a section of stockinette. I am doing version B which is garter so I really look at it and when I thought things didn't look right Tuesday night, they weren't. The whole thing must have turned inside out! Oh but wait it gets better. I am not good at charts so I write each row out so while I was sitting in the hairdressers I wrote out row 21. Now the instructions state...Work Rounds 21-24 of Chart B 16 times. This morning when I was showing the man my inside/out error I remembered that row 21 changes. On certain rows you add two beads per repeat and others you add four beads per repeat. When I wrote it out I did four beads per repeat. OK so I have two extra beads on the one row. NOPE It gets even better. When I went looking at the chart it does not show ANY beads on row 25 which would be the second time you knit row 21. Excuse me but WTF? Why say do row 21-24 16 times say do row 21-28 8 times with row 25 not showing beads. I hate charts with stupid symbols but the pattern is so pretty.
So my IQ has four beads every four rows and there is not a snowballs chance in h*ll that I am going to rip back beaded lace to row 14 to change all these errors. I am discouraged though as it is not going to be what I wanted it to be. The yarn and the beads are beautiful and I failed them. So my fearless knitter status just hit rock bottom since I won't correct my mistakes but I did learn a lesson....read the instructions..... CAREFULLLY!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend in the Rearview

Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer. - Soren Aabye Kierkegaard

Friday morning I turned on the computer and had a tiny blinking line in the top left hand corner...and that is all. It just sat and blinked and nothing else happened. So we ended up doing this...In the end the computer started and all was good in my world. I could read my mail and surf the net.

Saturday AM the computer started fine but it said my security which I had just renewed and upgraded had expired. Walk away...fast!

I went to the feed store ran some other errands, stopped to view some of the area beauty. The sound of water always calms me.
Saturday night, back on the computer while trying to get the security back in working order I was able to finish thesewith short row heelsI have tried to do these before and failed so I was extremely happy. This pattern is the one that came with the yarn Mary Maxim's On Your Toes sock yarn. I finally got the security back in working order and went to bed.
Sunday we go back on the computer, it turns on, the security is good. No printer and I need a production key to get into all MS Office documents. Got printer uninstalled, downloaded driver, re-installed and printer works.
Take break with cute animals: You may remember the butt ugly rooster... his woman... The boys, Smuffin and Bozo.... The girls....Sorm kept wanting to eat the camera so I was only able to get a picutre of him trying to get where he shouldn't be....Goldie Boy wants the camera out of his face NOW. He attacked the man Saturday-something he has never done to me and hopefully won't start to do.
Dandy Duckand then Dandy with Sister Mary Margaret, Gray, Ritz and Nutmeg. Goldie's girls, Crackers the duck and the calves were not in the mood to have their pictures taken today. Backpack and Bootstraps (the calves) did add the appropriate amount of slobber to the camera lens to make their point.
Rewarded myself for having enough patience that I didn't pitch the darn thing out the window by working on Ice Queen. I am up to row 18. LOVE the yarn, love the beads, love the pattern.
So did you forget I can't get to my documents? I didn't, so today I am forced to go find the product key in storage! I would rather shear my sheep with my teeth but that won't unlock them so onward I go....the bright spot is I will get to reward myself again later on!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

From Your Valentine

"For this was on St. Valentine's Day, when every fowl cometh their to choose his mate." ~The Parliament of Fowls Geoffrey Chaucer

If you look up the origin of Valentine's Day you will find the mating of birds to be one of them. Which might be what these two red tail hawks were doing.
Then there is the one about the evening of Lupercalia, February 14th, Roman youths would draw names of girls from an urn. The name drawn was to be their partner during the festival to honor Faunus, who was the god of the crops.

Or Roman Emperor Claudius II and St. Valentine theory where Claudius stopped marriages to build his army but Valentine secretly preformed marriages until he was caught. Imprisoned he wrote a love letter and signed it "From your Valentine".

On one hand it is very nice that a day is put aside for love but on another I would not want to only get obligatory flowers and chocolates one day out of the year and be ignored the rest. We don't make a fuss over the day because as corny as it sounds everyday is Valentine's Day. I want him to know how much I love him everyday of the year. Ironically enough when I stopped believing in the fairy tale white knight riding in stuff is when it happened. God does have a plan.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Old Man Winter

“This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubts on their existence. Or lack thereof.”~Neil Gaiman

I seem to have offended Old Man Winter by saying I saw signs of Spring as he has come back with a vengence. This AM is officially the coldest day this season with wind chills of -20 to -30.

Add to this, tomorrow it is going to start snowing between 7-10 AM and not end until Wednesday afternoon. I did say I was not ready to go work in the garden so I am okay with the snow but the temps....I could have done without them and the mass of starlings which have descended upon the feeders this morning

The kids now have a two hour delay. Tomorrow they will either cancel school or release them at 11 and Wednesday they will either have a two hour delay or cancel. This will not be the best time to start the Ice Queen as it will not be a mindless knit for me. So at least for now this is as close as I will be getting to beautiful ice...
I did finish Odessa and I finished another pair of peekaboo mitts. The mitts are for #1 daughter of course. I knit them in white and now they are in a kool aid dye to make them purple. Some work was done on Oliver as well. He is not forgotten.

It was a productive weekend-we went to the pinewood derby and came out to find the roads slicked up from a quick snow squall, we had sleepovers, got the total estimate for work on the car finally, did work on the house and shopping for the house. And while out shopping we drove by this.... the first time it has been below $3 in a long time! Yes I am easily entertained, little things do excite me.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

This weather is for the ducks!

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather just different kinds of good weather. -- John Ruskin
The day before we had snow eating fog. Yesterday's weather was for the ducks as it rained and flooded the yard. We even had thunder and lightning last night. To say things are slightly damp is an understatement! There are puddles everywhere and the rivers have risen.

When I let the ducks out yesterday they were in heaven. A puddle is so much better than taking a bath in the roasting pan which is what they use during the winter. Excuse the wobbling, when you move 1/4 in zoom mode it looks like you are shaking your head!

video

So while the ducks froliced I went to the Post Office and picked up my splurges...The book Selbuvotter http://www.selbuvotter.com/ and a skein of Arequipa in Storm from Ball and Skein-http://ballandskein.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_5_7 400 yards of yummy alpaca and silk lace weight yarn to be used for the Ice Queen when I get the guts. I have to finish on going projects before I start another one but I can read and I did - which is why the on going projects didn't get done! The Odessa is getting there, I only have 9 more rows to go.During a lull in the rain, I went to pick up my uncle to bring him to my mother's house for the day. I pulled right up to her door, got out of the car by her flower bed and saw this... I said I wouldn't go looking for Spring and I didn't, this one just slapped me in the face. Then walking home I saw this in a tree...I can not be sure but it does have the shape of a robin doesn't it?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Nostalgia

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. ~Peter De Vries
I took my daughter to the Dr yesterday and afterwards I dropped her off at her school. After signing her in I walked out to go home and I heard a noise. At first I thought it was sleet hitting the cars and pavement but soon realized it was the rustling of leaves. There were several oak tree's with their leaves still on and a nice long slow wind was making music with them; or at least it was music to my ears. I became nostalgic for leaves! Now I don't suffer from SAD (sesonal affective disorder) and I don't think that we have had much to complain about so far as temps and snowfall and I haven't been home enough to get cabin fever so this really surprised me.

So I started looking for signs of Spring, groundhog be damned, and I found them.

This plant (I have no clue what it is) is usually the first thing I see slowly have it's vines turn green and it has already started!

Then when walking up from my mother's I swore I heard different bird songs. Is my mind playing tricks on me? I did a detour to search for the snowdrops and daffodils but they were still buried under the ice from the last storm. The whole field is clear but the flower beds still have ice...go figure.

In order to get leaves I need Spring...but I don't want Spring yet! I have more knitting I want to get done and I am just not ready to start working in the garden now. I have decided to not look any further for Spring. There are 44 more days until it officially begins. My seed orders should start arriving any day now so when it comes I will be prepared but for now I am going to knit and should this feeling of leaf nostalgia still linger I will find a pattern with leaves in it and knit that.

OTN (Sis, on the needles) or off right now...The pi afghan went into the garbage as #2 son dumped a cup of tea on it. Oliver is still being sewn together. I did get the stuffing and eyes but they didn't have black embroidery for the nose. I will have to use black yarn, drive further abroad or go into storage and find the embroidery thread. The sweater still needs more yarn which I still need to spin. I started the peek-a-boo mittens but got seduced by beads. It started with making stitch markers because mine are disappearing and then it morphed into wanting to learn to knit with beads after seeing Cyndy's Ice Queen and it ended up with me looking for simple pattern with beads. Afraid to start the Ice Queen I started Odessa instead. Odessa is a beaded hat found here...http://www.magknits.com/feb06/patterns/odessa.htm. It is easy, you do 3 plain and then a beaded row...I am on the 5th row of beads now. Cyndy explained an easier way to do beads as needed vs. stringing them all on and having them weigh you down. I will have to try that next time.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Woods in Winter

As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and snow
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop

As you know by now the Groundhog did see his shadow and we are going to have 6 weeks more of winter. I know yesterday was definitely winter-ish. The kids got to stay home from school and we went for a walk in the woods. The woolland inhabitants were scarce...they had brains enough to stay inside. But then again if we would have stayed inside we would have missed all our little discovery's.

So we walk by the car covered in iceand start up the hill and find life of a different variety. Who ever says the woods are dead in winter just has not taken a walk in them. They are brimming with life. But even in death can be interesting and beautiful.
We eventually made our way up to the cave, which trust me it was no small task. Inside the cave we were out of the elements and found one of the more freeform discoveries of the day.We came back in for hot cocoa and some video games. It was a great day.
So did that distract from that fact that the bear was not touched? No? Would you believe I am leaving it to work on during the Super Bowl? No? Damn! OK make it tough on me...Would you believe I am intimidated by the little teddy bear? Yeah. All those pieces which were so quick to knit...well I want this for me, and I said I would be ruthless so if I dont' do it I don't screw up, see the method to my madness? Oh well works for me temporarily.
Oh yeah, one more thing....GO GIANTS!!!