Saturday, August 28, 2010

BBB or my "Busy Bee Baby"

The fires are finally over and the skies are so blue.  There's the constant winds and it's only 70 today.  It's so nice!! What a glorious day.  This is great weather.  I'm glad we live in a place in California where we get the seasons.... but still have nice California weather.  I'm covered in dogs to keep warm and I have my new ILS shawl on.  LOVE IT!!!  I love that it got cool so that I can wear it and have my lap dogs keeping me warm instead of overheating me and having to put the a/c on.
What with all the running around we had to do during the evacuation I'm really sick now.  It takes a few days after over doing it for them to hit and now they are in full effect.  So I will be literally unable to do more then move from the bed to the front for the next week.  Hopefully I will be better by the time my mother comes over for Labor Day weekend.  So I'm focusing on everything but myself today and will continue to do so until I have my body back again.  It's on loan.  :-)
I have the BEST family EVER!!! Right now they are out trying to revive a dying squiggly tree, what's a squiggly tree, well I'll tell ya.  See years back DH brought me home some flowers for Valentines Day I believe it was V-Day.  In the bouquet was this green stuff.  Well by the time I was ready to dump the flowers this twig had roots!!!  I figured that's cool and popped them into a pot.  That summer we planted them in the ground and we now have two large weeping squiggly trees.  We call them that due to the curling of the branches and the leaves.  VERY COOL so we have taken to making more and more of them as they are a fast growing tree which propagates rapidly.  We have given them to friends as well as made a natural screen on one side of the house.  One day they will surround us.  :-)  That will be so nice, I look forward to it.
 My darling daughter has gone nuts over here with here own type of finishitupitis!  She has been so very industrious, you wont believe it so I have photos for PROOF!!
She just redid this stationary type desk, isn't it gorgeous!  It had white out on it and black stamped stuff as it was from a post office originally.  She sanded it and stained and oiled it.  LOVELY now she works at her Spencerian Penmanship with her good ink pens here, the real kind.  She can do her homeschooling when she would like as this is in the front room and she has another desk in her room.  She did these first two projects over this past week or so.
Next up is my desk.  The desk I had been using went to DD and this is the one that had been in the office which is becoming Mom's room.  The children both worked on this one.  I had originally sanded this down back in the ;ate 1980's and the stain on top and edges had worn off completely.  So they sanded it down and stained it back up again.  Looks swell... they just have to find the handle that fell off years back.  Hopefully it's someplace in the depths of the desk and not tossed.  I have been known to do some stupid stuff but that would be the icing on the cake.

This photo is DD's hope chest that we got off of the local Freecycle.  The lady had accumulated many lovely pieces and there were just too many for her to redo.  DD chipped away at it till the lovely wood came through on the top.  She's only been at it for a day now.  Evidently it had been exposed to the weather once upon a time and the result was a bad top.  The lady had started chipping at a small part of it so DD just had to finish the job.  Now she's sanding it down to re-finish it.  I wonder if she will paint it white?  The rest of it is in good condition.  It's a Lane,,, we really scored on this as we'd been wanting one for her for YEARS!!  Now as she learns various types of hand work etc she's putting them into the chest.  Remarkable for a 13 year old.  I just don't understand how teenagers have such a bad name.  Yeah they are moody as the hormones kick in but aren't we all!  

Lastly we let Coco out pony out into the yard yesterday.  He had a field day with the bird seed... totally fell head over heals in love with it.  So saying of course being that big,,, Coco accidentally trashed the bird feeder!  It was second hand and had seen better days.  It was a really cool one but will have to be replaced eventually when we get back on our feet again.  Meanwhile DD popped (or should I say nailed) a pie tin onto the bar and VIOLA, bird feeder.  We are getting FIERCE gusts of wind today and somehow that seed stayed put.  Good on ya girly girl!!  I'm so happy for her learning all this stuff. 
MS19 clue 1 came out today from Goddess Knits.  I'm constantly working on one of her KAL's as I love her patterns.  I can actually knit these!!  Some designers make lace so difficult that it makes you not want to knit lace.  Not so with Renee!  She's wonderfully understandable and I highly recommend her.  I'm soooooo enjoying the new KAL knit.  I'm using a lovely Helens lace from Lorna's Laces it's a 50/50 silk/merino variegated called Black Watch. looks JUST like the woven kilt fabric in the ball, I know cause we are Scottish games fanatics (past tense - for me only) and we were thinking about getting Shane into the Black Watch group.  I believe this is my first stole?? not sure but I'm really enjoying it.  I will have photo's after I get something big enough to get a photo of.
We are going to design a shawl on my Knit the Classics group at Yahoo Groups.  I can't wait it's a  Miss Marple shawl and I have some nummy idears already.  We are just in the brainstorming sessions so that everybody gets their two cents in.  
I posted the pattern for my ILS in the ILS group, that's all done and the border charted.  So now I'm all free to knit on my Bronte shawl and crocheting black hats for the funeral when but not until I'm done with the KAL clue.  LOVE IT!!!
DH shopped last night for food.  GLORY BE!!! We have organic produce again!  That's my primary food intake and when he couldn't shop (due to finances) then I had to eat cooked, dead food.  Nothing wrong with it if it's your bag, just not my thing.  It makes me feel even sicker to eat dead food... and who needs sicker... I have enough of that already.... no need to self inflict more.   ;-)  
 There are some things that we all wanted to try as treats so he got all the fixens for my favorite new chef Aarti Parti.  I think I wrote about her before if not here's a URL for you Aarti Paarti you can find her hand made show on You Tube.  I just can't recommend her enough.  We all love watching the old shows and enjoying their antics.  The children are making her lovely Kulfi pops, here are the pistacho's all shelled and chopped up waiting to decorate the finished product.
Which is in popsicle form and cups as you can see in the freezer waiting for an after dinner treat.  YES I will so eat one of them!  Freshy person or not!  I'm having a pop!!!! NOM NOM NOM as Cafe World says.

Another treat... YUM YUM  Here is the dough from early this morning.  They are out there right now kneading, rolling and twisting and salting.  They had to have their pretzels. ;-)  I believe they wanted cinnamon sugar ones.  Time will out.
For their dinner, they are making soup from a turkey breast bone that DH brought home last night for dinner. This will simmer all day and I will tell them to add stuff to it as the day goes on till they have a lovely "stewp"... my version of stew and soup.  Can't call it either so it's both.  Not a very appetizing photo but hey it will taste great and you gotta give them credit for all of their efforts.
Lastly, probably tomorrow,,, they are making a Lentil baby spinach Indian dish from Aarti... can't recommend her enough.  Go check her out.  
Till next time... go have an adventure for me!!  :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

ILS revisited and sunflowers

Well, things are settling down into a routine again.  In a few days I should know if I'm going to have a flare from this week or if all will be well.
Really been itching to show you all these photo's.  Here's my second Icelandic Lace Shawl... LOVE IT!  Here it is on DD.  Below you can see it on the chair out on the front porch.

It's super humongous and so I needed to give you a bit of the scale of things.  It measures over the straight edge almost 3 yards. From neck straight down the middle to bottom 4’1”. Yup massive,,, snuggly.... wonderful shawl! I’m big and I love my shawls big.  The points curl round themselves and there's a bit of a wave border but not a ruffle as I didn't want quite that much fluff there.  Just a subtle hint of fluff.  :-)

This morning I was working on my Bronte shawl.  This is the center square which I will then pick up and knit on my own design for the leaf border.  I just can't see knitting a border then sewing it on forever... all that back and forth makes me a bit nuts too.  I love knitting in the round.

 This afternoon I worked on this cap.  It's going to be very 60's looking with a flat brim coming straight out of it.  Least that's the plan.  We cover and I'm going to Dad's funeral so I'm making several hats from black cotton hoping one of them will do for the LA heat.

The birds planted some sunflowers for us in the spring.  We countered and planted them in various times and places throughout the summer so we always have a fresh crop.  It's so nice to see some peeping up here and there continuously.

I took this photo to get a better shot of AMS10.  Found out that I missed SMS10!!!  Here I thought Renee had taken a break.  This was at the time my hard drive crashed so I'm not surprised I missed it.

Seems I have been recommending some of my favorite things so here's another one.  B. J. Harrison of Classic Tales Podcast is doing the Scarlett Pimpernel.  He's got this real smooth voice... easy to listen to.  I have been listening to the Pimpernel and knitting on my "YOL08" called Birches it's made out of 100% cashmere.... LOVE IT!!!!

Well, I'm off again.  DH is shopping for food (fruits and veggies!!! YEAH) and DS is cooking brownies.  DD is making the flower arrangement much fuller with more roses and sunflowers.  I love my family!!!  I hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to knitting finally and Finishing!

What fun.  We have a saying around here about four letter words.  Not only are they good but the first is LOVE the second best four letter word is DONE!!

We have been on a finishing streak which I LOVE SOOOOOOOOO much!!

In the order that they came off of the needles.

This is MS18 which is 3/4ths of a square.  It was supposed to have beads but at this point I was beaded out so I skipped them.  Otherwise it's just as Renee intended it to be.

This is the yarn I dyed last year for the WMS09 I loved the colors so I saved one of each for my personal use.  Don't you love this shawl.  As you can see in the photo up above there's plenty to wrap up in on a cold morning.  This is my first red one and it's 100% merino,,, nummy!!!

This one is DD's first ILS shawl, yup she knit the entire thing, she's 13 and I'm real proud of her.  Come join us we are KALing this 10-1-10 on Yahoo Groups in the group IcelandicLaceShawl.  This is my version of the shawl as we used sock yarns size 6 and 8 needles as well as adding tons more pattern repeats to it as well as an entirely different ruffled border.  You can see the ruffle better in my shawl.  We both wanted really large winter shawls so they are great for snuggling times this winter.  They are made from fine Merino, Cashmere and Bamboo.  We weren't even picky about the weights of the yarn so long as it fell into the sock category.  There are some Malabrigo in them which is a fairly light sock yarn. 

This next photo doesn't need explaining but explain I must.  See I'd long been dreaming of having an Iced Carmel Macchiato and well... the dogs ended up with the dregs!  They LOVED it and couldn't get enough of it ... just as we couldn't either.  This was a real treat for us as we rarely indulge in this manner.  Barkie may have "liked" it but Boopie.... he "LOVED IT!"

HAHA isn't this just the living end!!!  I thought this was funny but then this happened when Boopie took over and I didn't know the half of it!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lebec Fire Day 2

We just came back from driving to the back of the canyon.  The air strike started at about 7:30 but didn't get into full swing till about 8:30.  The fire is still smoldering all over and now the winds are back in full effect.  It's very windy here on a daily basis and they normally start up at 10am.  The photos that follow were taken early,,, before the winds kicked up again.

Fire units have been called in from far and near.  The furthest away that I saw was Big Bear Hot Spots.  We have Kern, LA, Cal and a few others that I didn't get close enough to see.  The firemen are all so friendly, stopping to chat and all waved at us.  The neatest thing I have seen so far is the Omnithopter, that's what I like to call it anyway.  :-)  It's a red helicopter with 2 sets of blades.  How futuristic is that for you?  Very Avatar eh?  Hey, did you see it's hitting theaters again?  With more scenes (like there wasn't enough to start with LOL) and it's in IMAX.

This is the fire in front of our home as of yesterday.  You can just see the top of the shed across the street.  Once we saw this we were outta here.  :-)

Another one from yesterday.  The house on the right is our home.  The next door neighbors is front and center... just to the left of their home is where we saw the wall of flames.

Ok, back to this morning... can you see the fireman on the left?  He's shooting foam into an oak that got gutted!  The foam was going into the top and coming out of a hole at the base of the tree.  The firefighters are doing a great job at cleaning up the hot spots.  I hope none get out of their control as there are many homes back in the back of the canyon yet. 

This is the spot where the fire started... possibly from knuckleheads stupidity?  :-(  I thought perhaps someone tossed a lite cigarette from a car?

This is our friend Mikes home.  You can see how close it got there on the left... right up to his tree!  Way too close for comfort.  He was out there on his tractor messing with the dirt yesterday.  A fireman told him that he had done a great job on weed control and his neighbor had not.  That they would do everything necessary  to save Mikes home whereas someone who didn't do weed clearance would be a lower priority.  Not quite in those words, I sweetened it up for you but you get the gist.

This photos just for fun, it's a lovely Hacienda at the back of the canyon which comes complete with FOUR addresses!!!  Takes up a good bit of land and is just as lovely as this gate.  I only wish I'd thought to take more photo's of it for you.  This home sprawls and is just lovely.  Complete with bell tower, exterior fire pots many other architectural detailing and lovely mural tiling.  The guy on the right is made of metal!

This is one of the service garages associated with the hacienda and the only out building which isn't covered with the lovely Spanish tile roof.  From here you can see how close the fire got to them.  When we passed there were people digging to get rid of more weeds around the property.

Tired of all the fire information?  :-)  The good Lord willing and the creek don't rise and I will have more knitting photo's for you next time.  We have two finished that I need to share with ya'll.  Have a blessed day.

Fire in Lebec headed for Fraiser Park

What a night!  Guess I outta start back a ways.  Late yesterday after I posted the winds kicked back up and the fire raged on.  I was trying to keep a cool head... operative word... TRYING. 

By about 2pm the children were agitated out in the front yard, I heard a shriek and went out as they are normally pretty calm too.  There we stood holding onto each other mouths hanging agog staring at a wall of flames.  They were at least 30-40 feet wide and a got 20 feet high!  I shushed the children and we listened.  THE ROAR OF IT I will never forget it.  The colors can't be described, it's not red, not orange, nor yellow... it's ALIVE!!!  wild and dancing.   The hill to the left of our home was ablaze!  The terror and magnanimity almost brought tears to my eyes.  It ignited me into action and we started to pack we were hauling outta here!!  I only regret that I didn't get a photo of it, AMAZING I will not soon forget this close brush!

My neighbors had been calling ever since the blaze had started, they all know I'm immobile and without a car.  The problem is I can't do heat over 80 degrees as I get really sick, stupid and into so much pain.  I'm not an easy evac with my immobility, 2 teenagers, 2 dogs, 2 cats, food for all and my laptop.  :-)  NO way I was leaving Delilah here!  Not to mention my knitting! The neighbors were great though.  So many called and wanted to know if we were ok and if we had transportation.  I got more phone numbers and e-mail addy's yesterday then I have gotten in all the time we have lived here.  I also found out that one of our neighbors has a new born baby!  I tell you what... all the petty differences DISSOLVE in the face of a major calamity.

So we got all packed into cars and headed out.  We waited at the mouth of the canyon with a bunch of other people who had either just come out or just come home and couldn't get in to feed their animals and remove them.  How sad is that!  BUT it was a horrible fire and with winds made it a living thing.  Raging about us... never safe as just when you think it's gone is flares up into and angry menacing raging living thing.   YIKES! I will never forget.  Anyway... My poor Yorkie was at my feet and he can't sweat.  He was in a bag, good thing I pulled him out and watered him down when I did as he was just shaken and it was so very hot.

Kev finally made it up from LA and we transferred over to him.  He's so funny, he was like a host at a party.  A friend called him a social butterfly... I said YUP, flitting from branch to branch!  The one thing that we couldn't get out that I really needed was my scooter.  There was just not room in any of the vehicles.  So we put it into another neighbors truck.  He had stayed in the canyon and so could then bring the scooter out to the road when Kev slipped through the barrier to get into another neighbors truck to fly up to get it.  Once we got the scooter it was smooth sailing.  I was a mess and was ready to pass out from heat, smoke, etc so Kev checked us into the new Holiday Inn that was just built.  Really nice place, can't recommend it highly enough.  We all got showers and were able to breathe clean air again.  What a relief to be on a bed and out of the furnace. HAHA out of the furnace and into the shower with you!  :-) It was swell.  We all just kicked it till about 9pm and then we were given the all clear and came back home. 

It was so strange... when I got back into the house I went into each room... flipped on the light,,, looked around, smiled, turned off the light and went to the next room.  What was I looking for?  Got me!  Somehow I found peace of mind with that small act.

So, while we are home and Kev is here the fire is only 30% contained.  The winds are non-existent right now and this would be the best time to have the air strike but the skies are free from the copters (weird double blades!) and retardant planes.  In about an hour the winds will pick up and it will be totally out of control again raging for Fraizer Park as we have really hard daily winds.  I can only pray that they have cut enough breaks and that no homes are in danger there.

Here... well, there's lots of smoke, the really thick kind that hangs on the ground.  When I woke it was still dark and looking at the hill that went up in a blaze yesterday, there were a number of hot spots that were glowing red.  So time and the Lord will out. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fire in the Canyon

Sing it with me....

We knew the job was dangerous when we took it.
But we decided we would over look it.

Baaakk baakkkk bak bak  Super Chicken

Yup really good (bad) fire going here in our canyon.  The heat keeps climbing at 93 marching upwards.  The winds aren't helping any.  It started at the road probably from carelessness and has swept through the canyon to the south of us and has now hit our canyon.  We are socked in with smoke as the wind just blows it up the canyon.  The fires just 2 houses away up the hill a bit.  Prayerfully it wont hit the multitude of homes in the back of the canyon.
Local News

This is the view from inside our house.

Here's the view from my back porch.

 And finally a close up of the flames.... which you can't see for all the smoke.

I'm actually glad it's burning as we haven't had that side of our home burn in recent years.  Seem's it always the canyon to the North that's burning so that one is somewhat safer now.  

Some of you know we don't have a car,,, just want to tell you that I have neighbors who will help if we need to evacuate.  I sure hope it doesn't come to that as I'm high maintenance with my wheel chair, 2 children, 4 pets and a pony!!!  I think we are safe though.  Funny, a guy from church just came over and was totally down, said that he thinks all the houses will burn! WHAT!  Not with our great fire department all over this thing.  AIN'T NO WAY!!! There are about 2 homes which are close enough that I would think that they are threatened.  I'm sure we will be fine, do pray for the houses in the back of the canyon, on that side,,, close to the fire.

While I have been typing things have changed.

As you can see the winds have dyed down and when they blow they are actually blowing in the OPPOSITE direction!!!  I'm so pleased.  There's nothing left to burn there and the houses should all be fine.

We are fine, drinking tea and watching History as the children are done with their homeschooling which they started on yesterday.  For Bible they are doing the Westminster Catechism, which they LOVE.  Kate just told me that she loves that and her History as they make her THINK!  too CUTE!!!

Will post again soon to tell you of all the finished knitting I have done.  :-)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Finishitupitis and mourning

Life must go on right?  I keep crying randomly... so does Mom.  Fortunately she calls and we can talk about Dad.   All these memories have been flooding me.    Knowing he's probably in heaven does help,,, but still.  It's so painful it's been much more difficult then I thought it might be.

We are cleaning out the office so that Mom can have a room here.  She loves coming up for the weekend and we love having her here.  Kev picks her up on a Friday after work, she's only 20 minutes from him and then can drop her off on Monday in the morning so that it's no bother at all to get her.  I'm so glad as we all want her here.  I'm glad to be able to hold her while she cries and even though my voice doesn't work we can talk on the phone, she does most of the talking thankfully so that's good.  She knows my voice doesn't work too long.  I'm looking forward to Labor Day weekend as we can have her for three full days!  :-)
I just didn't expect it to hurt THIS much. I'm blessed with a great man though... he held me for about an hour last night and let me cry and mutter.
One thing you could pray for it you think about it.  My heart has been having more pain then normal.  Part of me wonders if He's not moving Mom here to have her to be able to be here for the children if He wants to take me Home, I'm all for it.  I would be very happy for it as I'm in so much daily pain that it would be a total blessing.  I can't do much more then sit here and knit... pray... write... everyone has to take care of me.  Sad all the way round.  They are doing well though... children are very resilient and never complain.  I'm very blessed with some GREAT family,  I love them all so much.
DD and I love listening to audio books while we knit... we are all listening to books from a GREAT author who I can't recommend highly enough.  We get our books off of for free. What with finances being behaving badly this is a blessing. The current author for us is Wilkie Collins.  WOW what a writer!  Some of his stuff you may have heard of is "The Woman in White" which was made into a movie... black and white.  Totally crazy cause you never really know how it's going to end and you can't guess the right path until it's upon you and there's always a twist at the end.  The other thing I love about him is how long all of his stuff is,,, major listening time required.  We listened to the "Haunted Hotel" recently and are now listening to "No Name".  DD and I love this author!  I razed her one day and told her that I didn't want to listen to anything else and I was going to listen to him at night when I knit after the family is asleep... if looks could kill!  HAHA she's soooooooo hooked, we both are.

On to the knitting and finishitupitis I have going on...
A long time ago I was part of the Cyber Fyber retreat on my Icelandic Lace Shawl group at Yahoo  I have this yarn I have long been wanting to design a real Icelandic Lace Shawl from.  You know,,, the ones that they used to stretch the shawls on those massive square frames.  That type with all the different colors.  BUT instead of the traditional colors I have this lovely baby alpaca lace that I have bought and dyed in shades of pink from light to hot... then light to dark grey.  The Cyber Fyber gift I won was for some of this yarn.  I LOVE it!!!  The winning yarn was medium/dark gray baby alpaca, so soft and wonderful.  So I have had this yarn bought and dyed for like, what, a year at least and started gathering it like 2 years ago.  I was thinking that Barbara Walker book (4?) has all those lace diamonds, the traditional shawl was for squares in different colors... I'm thinking diamonds instead in a large diamond!  Gee has anyone ever made a diamond shaped shawl?  WHAT FUN!  So I would have all these mini diamonds of different colors and different lace within the larger one.  I think it would be SMASHING! 
I have been doing a ton of knitting and have had FINISHITUPITIS going like MAD!!  I finished AMS10
and MS17 which I changed so much that it really can't be called that any more officially.

 The 5th and last clue for MS18 came out yesterday... I'm half way with it and WOWSERS it's the LAST clue so I should finish by tomorrow.  I will then finish mt second ILS (purple and green posted previously) which is in the last half of the border!!! YIPEEEE SKIPPPPPPPE!  These shawls are all from KAL's that I do from Renee Leverington who can be found here.
Then Evenstar (did you know I have two patterns at Earthfaire?) has beads on the border so I will need a break from it and I will work on the Bronte which is in the UFO bin so this is GREAT.  All of this sets me up to the first clue of MS19!... which comes out on Saturday.  Normally I finish the first clue on the same day so I should be back at the Bronte by night fall.  WHOHOOOOOOOOOO!  After all of that I want to design the diamond shawl from the baby alpaca noted above.  GREAT expectations, what! (said in my best English voice).
Lastly I have one other item that I highly recommendation.  The Shake Weight .  It's a bar bell shaped weight which gives more bang for the buck using inertia.   For people who are chair bound this is a great way to exercise.  It seems to be the only thing I'm capable of so I'm well pleased.  It really works.  I know some have looked and thought... ok another useless item but I keep it right here close at hand and try to do it daily.  I need my arms as my legs are fried so this is a total God send as I can't imagine doing a "real" workout with normal weights.  
ENOUGH from me.  Ya'll have a great day!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dad's Passing

Last night (I started this post on 8-12) at about 11:30pm I was crying for no apparent reason.  I was panicked and stressed fearing that  major depression overcoming me.  YUP without any reason or cause as all was apparently well and I had been relatively happy and content.

....Until I got the phone call early this morning that my Dad had gone home at that exact same time.  Weird eh?  I have had this premonition stuff for a really long time... not sure that I like it but it's just another aspect of me.

I'm not able to cry when I heard that his passing was quiet and they made him as comfortable as possible that helped too.  I have had a collapsed lung in 2000 and ever since I have been super sensitive to his emphysema, drowning in your own lungs just seems like it would be the worse possible death.  So I'm lightened knowing that he went peacefully and not fitful.

Somehow I thought I would cry buckets of tears but so far they are just not coming.  I have (we all have) cried buckets of them for the last few ... make that last long years.   I wish I could have been there to hold his hand but seeing him there in the hospital bed with the dementia was hard on my heart.

I prefer to remember him highlighted by the (ok here come the tears!) windows in the Craig house, back to the windows sitting at the dining room table.  He was always playing Solitaire after school.  Course I changed that and we played hours, days, weeks worth of 500 and Gin Rummy.

... Fast forward to 8-18... I wrote the above on the 12th.  Mom was here over the weekend and I wanted, NEEDED to be strong for her.  She's always been a bulwark for the entire family, always has been as long as I can remember... she has even called herself the strong one.  So this time I put aside my feelings and just wanted to be there for her.  We had a lovely quiet weekend.  Katie had made like 60 taquitos so we had plenty of food.  The children would bring us plates made up nacho style and they waited on Mom hand and foot.  She felt very spoiled.  She broke down once or twice and I just was there for her.  The one time she learned why I use hankies instead of tissue as it broke up and made a mess.  :-)  I love my hankies and my Mommy.

We had a really nice time.  She went to church with the family (I don't get to go) and everyone said OH you must be Wendys Mom.  My how the tables have turned.  Back when I got my first job it was working with Mom in what's now called Macy's.  Back in the day I was "Dotties daughter" so now it's her turn as "Wendys Mom".  LOL they all said how much she looked like me and of course she said,,, no it's her that looks like me.  She's a nut and so are we all so she fit right in. 

 She loved  being here and when DH took her back down to the city she hated it and wanted to turn right back around and come back HOME!  YUP she called it home.  There was a time when she said she could never live here as it's brown all summer (no it never rains in Southern California that's for sure) so I was thinking she'd never want to come up.  We still built our home with her in mind.  We have 4 bedrooms... one has 12' of closet for storage which I thought she might like... or she could have one of the other rooms.  She would only need to stay in the room until our finances loosen up and we can build her a Granny house.  We have 2.5 acres and there's this spot which could have a single house really easily.  There's already a gate to get out over there and a bit of a driveway so when we get the funds it would be a snap to have DH and DS out there building it.  DH was a framer,,, a steel worker (rebar) and a project manager for a construction company so he's got the in's to get it done.  Just a large open single with an enclosed bath is all she wants.  We have been planting all types of trees, flowers and all so that she would see it doesn't have to be all brown all of the time.  Just takes a bit of work to get it all nice and green here.... and a lot of drip hose.  :-)  Not a problem... just work and money is needed which always seems to come when we need it so I'm not to think on those things.

All that to say that's not why I'm here writing.  Nope... I'm here cause I haven't been able to grieve... till tonight.  It's 11pm, 2 hours past my bed time and I can't sleep for crying!  All this time since he died I have been empty, blank... no thoughts... no mourning... just empty.  Well, it hit me hard tonight, see I had a spell with my heart, all that aweful pain made me think of my Dad and his bad heart.  When it lightened up it just bowled me over from out of the blue... I realized that I will never see him again.  I wasn't there to hold his hand for the passing.  He was all alone... how very sad to die all alone!  What with my ailments I wasn't able to go down to see him in the hospital but two times.  The last time we played cards and laughed and had a great time.  I'm so glad I was able to be there that day for him... for me... for all of us to say good by.  As we drove away I knew it was the last time I was going to see him.  Deep down I knew it was the end and it made me very sad.  So I guess I have been grieving for a lot longer then I think I have.  What with his ailments being of such long duration as well.  So many hospitalizations... so many tears and fearful thoughts of "is this the end?  Will he pass this time?"  Now it's finally happened.

Yes, there is comfort in knowing that he's not in any more pain... not drowning in his lungs any more.  There's no more pain from a body that quit years and years ago, that's good.  That helps me... but only just a little.  It helps knowing he's up with Jesus and everyone of his family.   For months now he's been asking after his immediate family who had all passed before him.  So now he's with them all and can tell his Mom why he couldn't phone home to tell her he was going to be delayed.  There was no phone in his room or he might have been calling all over the place.  ;-)

It hurts to know I will never walk into Moms house again and say Hey YOU!  How ya doin and give him a big hug and a kiss.  Nope... he's just not there.  Mom's changed the house around and all remnants are going to disappear fairly rapidly as it sounds like she really wants to be up here so I think it will be a quick exit... stage left.  We'd love to have her here... she's just nuts and really fits in well... but such awful circumstances to have her come live with us under.

That raccoon I told you about in the last post... well... Dad gave him to me all those years ago.  Needless to say he's becoming a fast, constant companion.

I'm very blessed to have a loving husband and some great children.  The Lords' in control of everything including Dad. 
  I love you Dad and I will miss you 
awful bad... for a long time to come.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Glorious Day

What a wonderful day.  Normally I don't get to do too much due to my ailments but today was different as my Mom's coming for a visit this weekend.  I want us to be able to spend as much time together as possible. What with one thing and another I feel like I have been very productive.  Perhaps not as much as my old Type A self was but we accomplished a great deal today. 

The Three Musketeers,,, Me, Katie (13) and Shane (14) make a GREAT team.  I really don't understand all of that talk about teenagers being terrible.  I have an adult child as well and I have always had a great time with my children.  I have always treated them with respect and as adults perhaps that changes it?  Perhaps the fact that I have to rely on them for all my physical needs?  The Lord knew I was going to need a lot of care and I trained them up from babies to be self reliant.  How funny, this isn't what I wanted to write about but I guess it's what I need to say, eh?   Used to be that I hit the floor running after a good nights sleep.  I still dress to the shoes and try to straighten out the bed at least but there the resemblance to my old life ends.  I don't like to dwell on the bad stuff but rather look for things that I'm still able to do and try to maintain a good outlook.  The children are great, without them I'm not sure I'd be able to get out of bed.

This is such a lovely spot.  I'm out in the front yard on the swing.  The sky is impossibly blue and the sun is just heading to set behind the mountains.  There's two different birds chirping.  One has a complete song to sing.  The other sounds like a blackbird churrip churriping.  A dog at my feet and hummers zooming on me.  What a grand place I live in.  It's 80 degrees and there's a gentle breeze, perfect weather.

Shane came out of his room today holding an gigantic dust bunnie... the largest I have ever seen.  About the size of a large honeydew melon!!!  He said, "Do you think this might be the cause of my allergies?"  HAHA I had a good chuckle over that.  I have repeatedly told him to clean his room... now he knows why and might just get it done,,, ya think?  :-)  He tore the place apart... pulled all the furniture away from the walls and even made his sister help him move the legal size bookcase (6 foot) to the opposite corner.  Rearranged the whole room and cleaned from top to bottom.  Dumped some stuff for the recycling and it's so nice now.  I'm so happy for him as I know he will sneeze less and has learned a valuable lesson, with very little trouble to me.

Peaches... what a harvest this year!  It's the second year we have harvested this peach tree.  It's a white peach so they are very sweet.  The children pulled them all off over a 3 day period as there were so very many of them.  They ended up with about the equivalent of 2 large brown grocery bags!  We didn't bother with the thinning out this year as I figure God made the tree to grow this way,,, I wanted to see what it could do.  The peaches were all about the size of a silver dollar, organic and home grown is unbelievable.

Of course with that many peaches,,, all organic there's a problem right?  There's only four of us... you do the math... NO WAY we could consume all those peaches.  So today was Preservation of the Peach Day, of course no one else knew of this National Holiday, so we took advantage of the fact.  :-)The children washed them all and I had a cookie sheet and a paring knife.  I slit them round and then twisted one half off... the pit popped out with a thumb nail at the point and holding the stem area.... POP... out into the trash can.  It was cathartic... good thing too as there were plenty to be had.  About 100 halves fit onto each cookie sheet.  I only had two sheets and they are now safely going into stasis (yup, Trekkies!)  Then the children got to talking about Peach Cobbler.  I got the recipe from the Fanny Farmer cook book and it's cooling on top of the oven.  From years back I have been into canning so you know I had to put up some preserves.  Uncooked and frozen to preserve some of the vitamins, rather then cooked and loosing them all.  We had a good bit left and have been into fruit pops so up they went,,, into the blender and out into ice cube trays with a toothpick.  SOOOOOOOOO refreshing!  AHHHHH the pleasure of seeing so much accomplished.  I don't get to see this often so this is some kind of milestone or other.

I never tasted produce till we switched to organic.  I had NO idea what I was missing.  I will never forget the first time I had organic broccoli it was a taste explosion in my mouth.  Lightly steamed to bright green with a touch of steak type seasoning and it's grand.  We will never go back to poisoned foods if I have any way of preventing it... including growing all our own food.

.......Just heard what sounds like canon shot?!!!  Weird but rural so it's totally possible.......

Then there's Racky Cacky, he's watching me type... WHO?  WHAT?  HUH?  Yeah, all of the above and then some.  When I was 13 my parents gave me Racky Cacky.  He's a stuffed raccoon who has now seen better days.....

.......Gun shot?  closer, ok we are going inside now... better safe then sorry......

Shane found my raccoon in his room someplace.  Covered in dust!  He vaccummed him off for me... Sprayed him with an air freshener I make from essential oils and water and put him outside in the sun to dry and air out.  I haven't seen him in years so this was a pleasant re-acquaintance.  This is the animal that I slept with for five years until I got BearBear... who took over his place.  BearBear WAS a white bear, he's now an off grayish color, just large enough to go into the crook of my arm and stay there all night.  BearBear has been with me these many, many years... almost 30 years and I never put him away once.  It shows... all his fur is rubbed off where he sets snuggled up next to me.  I can't tell you how many times I have sewn up his neck and tail... and other parts which keep trying to migrate heaven only knows where.  He has been camping, to the hospital, on my Wedding and Anniversary... any time you see a photo of my bed, there's BearBear tucked up by the pillows... course the latest photo's I believe he's been in hiding.

The children washed the floors and cleaned the bathrooms.  We are all spic N span and ready for Mom.  I wanted to make soaps for her but I have a feeling I might just be flat out due to how much I did today.  It doesn't seem like much... back in the day I would have made four batches of preserves and would have done the water bath.  Then instead of just the 8 x 8 peach cobbler it woulc have been peach bread, slow and quick... peach juice, peach this that and the other... not to mention all of the cleaning!  LOL I'm a bit slower now and they say I will only get slower yet.

There is one other note of progress today.... my ILS ... I'm now marching up the Glacier wall!  How well I remember not doing this very well the first time.  I didn't know how to read my knitting and I can't tell you how much more secure I am now, three years later.  It's coming out perfect and I LOVE IT!  I'm using a lightly varigated light blue with hints of purple, it's very nice.  Katie is thinking that she needs to make a skirt of the chervon and purl hole part... just those two pattern areas repeated.  Then she can wear her's as a set so church in the winter.  Me... I couldn't wait to cast on the next thing and have FINALLY cast on for my Autumn Rose pullover colorwork sweater by Eunny Jang.   Of course I have changed all the colors but MAN is it gorgeous.  Not to mention that the directions don't come in my size.  I just went with the largest and upped the needle size.  :-)  I need it a good 2 inches larger so this should be just fine.  I need to buy a lovely shirt with ruffles at the chest as that part is open and I don't like that.  I will have to get you photos' when there are photos to be getting.  What with 320 stitches on size 3's it might take a good bit of time before that happens.  :-)

Ya'll have a great night.  I'm going to sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A New blog???

Well I surely didn't think I'd end up using this blog as I have had it forever!  Years I believe and never made a post.... well, here I am.
Yesterday we went outside.  Normally I can't do heat over 80 degrees but it was only 82 and the children turned on the misters.  The sunflowers above were planted by the birds... then we took over and planted a zillion more!
See how blue our sky is?

DD lured the hummingbirds here this year.  I have tried and failed for the last 6 years!   :-(  It's so nice to have them here.  She's got three feeders going and learned early on that you have to separate them.  So now there's one in the back yard and two in the front... one being a window feeder so that I can see them from my chair.  I LOVE the hummers.  She's adores them.  I ended up buying her a few books off of to get her studying them.  Then had her construct a life note book which she carries around and can write down all the important things in life.  :-)  She wants to be an Ornithology Major so I'm helping her out with what she needs... but we will have to see what life hands her and God wants of her.

It's great in my yard, my DH built a small bird bath into the ground right next to the bird feeder, so they are kept happy.  The bees, wasps, hummers and bumblebees LOVE our place.  It's so nice setting on the chair just under the mister with my face turned towards the sun and hearing all the insects and hummers buzzing around me.  There's just nothing like it.

This is where we spend our time outside.  This was my mothers day gift this year.  They did a lot of work on the barren ground to get here.  My family is the best.

I love my little haven of rest.  There's a 2 person covered swing to the left that you can't see.  There are two outdoor wicker rockers on the porch and two benches under the trees to the left.   Many places to sit depending on where the sun is.

If you look closely you can see my little Yorkie Boopie in the shadows there by the flowers.  He's my constant companion and takes good care of his ailing Mum.  :-)

If you look really closedly you can see next years veggie garden.  See that box just by the trees there on the right?  Kevin tore up my old garden as the boxes were very close to the ground and built this one up for me.  Next year he's going to fill it chock full of potting soil (it's 3/4's full now) and I will be able to set out there and garden a bit from my wheelchair.  :-)  Can't wait!!!!

Well here's a bit of what I have on my needles at present.

 From Goddess Knits by Renee Leverington
This is MS 18, through clue 3. I love this red!  I dyed this last year (100% merino 2 ply) when I was still able to walk about a bit.  The camera washed it out it's a much deeper, more lovely red.  I have had no problem keeping up with this KAL getting it done by the night after the clue comes out... even though it's 3/4ths of a square.

This is MS 17 which is a heavily beaded tencel thread in royal blue.  I'm down to the very last few rows.  I try to pick it up and my mind will scramble and I wont be able to knit on it.  (ailments again)  It will get done eventually.  I don't consider this a UFO yet... it's just a WIP as it's not been put away.

We knit this one at:
come join us.
This is the ILShawl redux as this is the second time around for me.  I did my first one from a kit I bought from Sarah's Yarns.  She gives our group a discount which you can get too if you sign up.  This KAL will be officially open on 10-1-10

Bell Pattern Shawl

This is another KAL with my ILS group, we are currently knitting this one.  The pattern is readily available on the net.  I love this shawl as it's a fast one.  ONLY ONE skein of Noro sock  yarn and VIOLA fini!  Can't get any better then that!!!

 Well that's enough for a first post I think.  :-)  Been saving it all up for a long time now.  Have a super dee dooper day!!!