Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

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

So the turkey hadn't even been digested and people were camped outside stores. I did the Black Friday thing twice about ten years ago and I hated it. Well I loved the sale prices but the elbows, shoving and tons of people freaked me out. I hate crowds and noise. I think as I have gotten older I would rather spend the extra money and go when it is quieter. Grabbing and shoving don't bring Christmas to mind. There are times when I am shopping and see behavior like that and I can laugh at them like watching gerbils in a habitrail, but most times I just want to run out of the store.

So today I had planned on taking #2 son to wrestling practice and coming home. However my mother had other plans for me. She figures why should two of us venture out when I will already be out of town and so is sending me shopping. Thankfully it is only to a mom and pop pharmacy and grocery store and not a big retail store.

We had a great Thanksgiving as we have much to be thankful for. Wednesday we had all the pies and casseroles done so yesterday was a breeze. The whole week has been pretty much carefree, so much so that I have been able to finish some fibery things.

On Monday I had picked up a wool sweater at the trift store. I ripped it apart and washed it that night. Tuesday I plied it and knit myself a quick pair of Holiday Mitts . #2 daughter wore them to school on Wednesday as she didn't understand the "made myself part"! Yesterday I made her a pair of Lacy fingerless mitts.
My cousin and his wife went to visit my brother for Thanksgiving and left me with their chores....yeah like aplaca sitting could be a chore! Think she would notice if they were bald when she returned?

Tonight we take the broilers to the butcher. Tomorrow after another wrestling practice we pick the birds up. Sunday we work on the house and Monday the man took off to go to court for the accident. Keep your fingers crossed!
To those braving the crowds today, I hope you arrive home scratch and bruise free.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another No Snow Snow Day

"you've stolen your last snow day from us snow plow man" - Snow Day

It seems we are using our second of six alloted snow days....and we are not even through November! And we don't have to worry about the snowplow man taking that away from the kids.....we have no snow for him to plow! Again the valley area's have received nothing while the higher elevations have several inches. Had this originally been a full day of school, I do believe the kids would have had a delay. Today was to have been Parent Teacher Conferences so they only had to go in for a half a day. You can't have a two hour delay then dismiss them hour bus ride for 41 minutes of school!

Unbeknowst to them, I can think of a ton of things to keep them occupied (insert evil laugh).

ALSO, since we received all rain and no snow you know we finally had a night above freezing! It is a plus plus day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nature Laughing

“Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, "I'm going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that's tough. I am going to snow anyway."" ~ Maya Angelou

I was under the impression that this winter was to be a mild. Maybe we are just experiencing 11 degree night temps with 28 degree highs because we have not hit winter yet!? Work with me here!!! All I know is that it has been uncharactaristically cold. It didn't ease us into it - one day it is in the 30's and 40's then BAM your fingers are so frozen they can't open the clothes pin. It has been so cold that the river started to get ice on it.
Needless to say not much work is getting done outside. I have been putting those inside hours to good use though. I finished two pairs of Peekaboo mittens for the nephews for Christmas. I made an aka Red Baron Flies Again (earflap) hat and pair of legwarmers that a friend asked me to make. And I admit before I stuffed them away until after Christmas I did peruse the first of the seed catalogs.Yesterday I baked both carrot and pistachio muffins and froze them for lunches. I made taco soup, BBQ beef, rice pudding and corn chowder. Stick to your ribs and keep you warm forewarned....also sticks to the thighs, belly, butt etc.

Along with cooking and knitting I have been sitting and watching the birds...Some don't enjoy the scrutiny...Bird with attitude. I should clean those windows when it warms up some!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Those darn annoying proverbs

You need to take the good with the bad ~Proverb

Proverbs tend to be annoying...mostly because they are true and full of common sense and... and and... do they have to be right all the time?
Yesterday I was so happy about the snow ~ a beautiful dusting making everything look so clean and bright. I had to drive to town making sure I paid attention to the road and not the sun glistening on the snow making it look like a world of diamonds. Luckily I was in the shadow of the mountain on this section and was watching when these gals decided to go for a morning stroll. I must say I would rather stop for a turkey crossing then a traffic jam any day. Anyhow, the snow was melted by the sun and was gone before I got back from town with more bird seed. My fingers got cold filling the feeders as I don't think it got above freezing. Reminder to self: Knit more mittens!
This morning came the bad with yesterdays good. Along with snow comes cold weather. Who woulda thunk it? But it is true. So I woke to this...Sorry for the bad picture, I could say I was shivering but I was warm as toast inside! I just took a really bad picture. Anyhow...Yes, you are reading that right 11.7F! These are January temperatures in mid-November. That little bit of snow is hardly worthy of temperatures that low!
Another annoying proverb today is...The old grow old, the young grow up. Today is #2 daughter's birthday. After a ten year hiatus from child birth I had this tiny little baby. What feels just like yesterday is fourteen years. She has grown up and I have grown old. #1 daughter even found some gray hairs on me and has told me she is buying me dye for Christmas! Gray or not, I can't wait to see the rest of the journey #2 and all my children take as I grow old.
Happy Birthday #2
And now I must follow another proverb... Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today....and get about my business.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


“There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance.” ~ William SharpA couple of weeks ago neighboring areas awoke to several inches of snow, while down in the valley we only got some slush. We - or I should say - I would have loved to have had the snow...the power outages no, but yes to the snow!
Well this morning I looked out the window to see snow! Now it is no where near as much as the surrounding communities got weeks ago. It is a nice 1/2 inch of snow to make everything nice and clean and bright. I have to drive to town today so I am happy about this. I love the snow but hate to drive in it. The kids went running to the TV to see if there was a delay! No such luck guys! #2 son is having a personal dilemma...he joined wrestling so doesn't want school but wants practice. Yesterday was his first practice and I don't think he ever fell asleep so fast...or so early...I like it! He has always been the one to try staying up as late as he can.
And along with the snow came the dark eyed Junco's to the feeder reminding me to buy more feed while in town.

Friday, November 14, 2008

14 days of happiness in a lifetime?

I have now reigned about 50 years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot. They amount to fourteen. ~ Abd Er-Rahman III of Spain (960 C.E.)

I find that quote so sad. In 50 years he was only happy 14 days! At first I couldn't grasp how any one could have what they want, be loved and respected, yet could not be happy. Then I thought of my friend - she is of that same ilk. She is a single mother, the childrens father disappeared so he didn't have to pay support. She has two kids who have everything they need and some they don't. They both have two dressers full of clothes and a double tier closet full of clothes some they don't get around to wearing before they out grow them. Their rooms are right out of a magazine-one is done all in tinkerbell and the other in bratz. She has a 20 year job in her kids school so doesn't pay child care. Her kids are covered with insurance. She inherited her house so has no morgage. She gets heating assistance so isn't burdened with the full heating bill. Other than heating she earns too much to be eligible for assistance but not enough to put any away. She got three large trash bags of gifts last year and 2 turkey dinners from various places and is on all the lists for this year. Yet she is so worried about putting more under the tree that she is like Abd Er-Rahman. She is not happy. At school time she was unhappy because of the cost of backpacks. She took 8 of them to the dump because "they don't reuse backpacks"...not the Salvation Army so someone else can benefit. After Christmas it will be something else to not be happy about. It doesn't matter that her kids don't play with 90% of the toys but just sit in front of a tv, it doesn't matter that they don't consider books a gift because they are not going to read them, it doesn't matter that their rooms sit empty because they crawl in her bed, it doesn't matter that others are so much worse than her-she is just not happy.

I am a little anxious about the economy, the fact that Christmas is only 40 days and 16 hours away and I have nada and the progress of the house. Today dawned foggy and wet. Yesterday it rained all day. The pile of laundry is going to fall over and crush us. The leaves are gone and things just look dull except for the pines, birches and sycamores, but I would not say I am not happy. On the contrary my week was a good one.

Saturday the man went to his mandatory sixth day of work. I went in the house and started laying the reclaimed wood floors. Sunday we had finished them and next weekend while the kids are gone we will rent the sander.

Monday, after making everyone lunch and sending them off to school and work, I house sat for my mother as she had to go out and was expecting a repair man. I was so tired from the weekend that I knit all day. I made a pair of slipper socks for my nephew for Christmas but found they were too small so gave them to a friend for her nephew. I then started a pair of peekaboo mittens. I also picked up some pine cones (of which there are an abundance of this year) for #2 daughter and I to make into bird feeds for the winter solstice, something we do every year.
Tuesday was a day of firsts...I saw my first bear this year running across the road on its way to the river. A citidiot (city idiot) who had been tailgating me stopped and got out of the car to get a better view. I had enough sense to appreciate the view I got and keep going. Of course it did get him off my a$$. We were the only two vehicles on the road so why do they feel they need to crawl up there? I am doing 55 in a 35 so I was not going to pull over and let him pass. Nope he needed a lesson in slow down and enjoy...and go get eaten by that bear.

Another first was the flock of sparrows that descended on the feeder. I only have a small suet cake in the feeder now so all I usually see is the woodpecker, titmouse, chickadee and an occasional wren. Since then they are no where to be found. I did have a different bird this morning but the woodpecker scared him away before I could find out what he was.

And last but not least on the way to son's doctor appointment I saw my first eagle of the season sitting in a tree on the rivers edge. We have resident and migratory eagles. Usually with abundant small game in the wood and fields they stay away from the river while the fishermen are there and you only see them in the winter. Now that the hunters are in the woods stirring things up I guess they opted for the quiet of the river!

Wednesday I mixed up a batch of regular hot cocoa and one of double chocolate hot cocoa for the kids. Tis the season you know. Went to town and picked up more paint. I came home a different route and picked up feed from the feed store. I finished the mittens and even worked in the ends right away (something I normally put off until I have to wrap the present!)

Yesterday I spent the day painting. I hate to really...I hate to paint but it makes such a difference! #1 daughter unexpectedly showed up to help….first I had to fortify the starving child by making her a london broil and cheesy orzo. The kids came home with their report cards-#2 daughter is honor roll.....#2 son is not. Being on the cusp of teen-hood has definitely hit him harder than it did his sister.

Today I sit typing this watching a flock of turkeys follow a deer trail from the bottom to upper ridge. After my mother’s doctor’s appointment, #1 and I will go back in and paint some more. She wants to learn how to spackle…another drudgery job but one more room to do and then we are done with that also.

It was a plain and ordinary week-absolutely nothing exciting but I would still rate it a good week - one I am happy with. Sadly I think too many people only stop to count their blessings during this month when they are also worrying about Christmas and they don't really realize in how many ways they are blessed throughout the year.

I hope you can look over your week and say it was a happy week. If not I hope you have a happy weekend.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The C bomb

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there ~by Clement Clarke Moore

Yeah I know it is early to talk about Christmas (only 48 sleeps, 17 hours, 26 minutes & 56 seconds away) What happened to November? I was in Walmart and they were playing Christmas music already. BUT sometimes you have to go where you don't want to go so I am thinking Christmas...and because this was suppose to be a fiber related blog and every once in a while it is nice to go back to it's roots....and because current fiber is Christmas related.

#1 Daughter had called a couple of weeks ago and asked how long it would take to make a stocking. I said about three days depending on the pattern. She asked how long it would take her to make a stocking. I said well first you would have to learn how to knit...damn those technicalities!

So I was sitting here with a cold and really didn’t know what to start working on. It had to be simple as my brain was being pushed aside by vile things so could not store more than a four stitch repeat, so I decided to make some stockings. Even if #1 doesn’t want them they won’t go to waste.

I had pulled a sock pamphlet out to show someone and saw a pattern I liked. I started playing around with adding beads but trying to pull worsted weight thru a bead was too tedious so I ripped it out. I restarted, finished it and decided I still wanted beads on it. I am waiting on what I want till I show it all but I will just give you a peak.
Then I started another one in red and green. I ended up ripping that one out also as another idea hit me. Again you only get a peak until I get a tiny bit of yarn and some beads to finish.
Then yesterday I started a third one. I wanted a candy cane but now I am trying to decide how to do the heel. I really wanted to keep the pattern going but realize that will be impossible unless I do a tube sock so I am thinking of learning how to do a pheasant heel. The cuff, heel and toe will just have to be white
I should finish this one today as I have guilt free knitting time. I have to drive to the “city” to take Mom for a PET scan. After which we are going to lunch at #1 daughter’s and then a stop at Border’s, AC Moore and Michaels. Other than the driving which I hate, it should be a good day. Of course I am not the one getting radioactive juice shot into me.
I don't know if I will make any more stockings as my cold seems to have run it's course. The residual effects I am still feeling are nothing compared to the full blown and I am ready to delve into something that takes a little bit more concentration.

I was also able to wash three fleece. And in none fiber I have cleared the fence of all the hops vines, cleaned the back yard of some leaves and cracked all the butternuts. Now I just need to pick the meat out of them.

And even though I don't usually take on animals in the fall....Farmer Dave called to say he had some broilers and piglets left. I made a quick phone call to see if I could still get the chickens done and found I can bring them in the last day they are open for the year. So I got the last 14 broilers to take in the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They are six weeks old now so they should be fine. I thought about doing two piglets but realized I enjoy just having the sheep and layer hens/ducks in the winter. And speaking of laying, my ducks have stopped for the year....just in time for baking season!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Extra time

"O, call back yesterday, bid time return"~William Shakespeare King Richard II

Well we can't get yesterday back but we will get an extra hour tonight when we turn the clocks back. What will you do with that extra hour we are always hoping for? Sadly I will probably be sleeping as I have been fighting a head cold and it now seems to be moving into my chest. After all that whining about needing extra time I then squander it! Tomorrow I will be wide awake at 4:45 so I guess I will use my extra hour then to get some extra work/knitting done.

Being sick has not kept me all the way down. In between Nyquil induced naps I managed to finish these socks. This is the Jacob roving I bought at Endless Mt and finished spinning/plying back on September 13th. #2 son decided these would fit him better than me. I knew I had another pair to finish which he wouldn't want because of the colors so I let him have this pair. The second pair is from Happy Feet sock yarn also bought at Endless Mt. I finished these last night.
And we will need these with each morning dawning in the 20's...but at least it is not snow again. I love the patterns of the frost and how it just forms right on the edge of the stalk or leaf and the sun glinting off the lawn looks like a field of diamonds. I have been picking up pine cones to make the bird feeders with #2 daughter for the winter solstice. There is such an abundance of them this year.I think I am going to make some firestarters for a friend for Christmas. And I had better stop wasting time and get moving before Christmas is here! I have painting to do today. After that I have to figure out the next project. Kids are on a sugar high so I need to get them working!!!
Don't forget to turn that clock back and get your extra hour of time!