Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Holidays

As we pack up the motor home for our Christmas trip, I wanted to wish you all the joys of the season.
Norman Rockwell

Happy Holidays from our home to yours.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One year ago today...

...the driveway broke my ankle*.

Today, we break the driveway looking for a water pipe leak.

Some kind of crazy justice? Fate's expensive joke? sigh...

(*Actually it broke when I stumbled but I was walking on the driveway!)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

3 weeks later

My intentions are good with regard to blogging...really. But for the past 3 weeks, I haven't been near the computer except to respond to email if needed.

My Mother was here for the first two weeks. We had so much to say to each other. She hasn't been able to stay at my house in many years as a trip to California was difficult for her (she is 86). Oklahoma is a much easier trip from Texas where she lives.

It was a wonderful visit. She had Thanksgiving meal with us. Helped us decorate for Christmas.

She even considered bowling with us on league night but decided to watch instead as the logistics of walking cane and sending the ball down the lane was daunting. :)

She and my mother-in-law met for the first time. Gary and I have been married for 27 years but never managed to get the two together before. Very special. (And did I remember to get pictures? Of course not! geesh)

We also managed to get together with her younger brother and his wife (my uncle and aunt) whom she hasn't seen in probably 10 years. We had to meet at the hospital as their younger son (my cousin) had a heart attack and was admitted for observation and testing. (He's out and doing well now)

I drove her home last weekend. But no need to feel sad! We will be visiting her for Christmas. There is something to love about the move to!

While she was here, I found a little time to knit in the evenings. And it's for me! The Shipwreck Shawl on Knitty. ummm...yeah....I'm thinking about the last season of Lost. Is it February 2nd yet??

For the past few days, I have had last minute knitting to do for my to-be-released Leisure Arts publication. A couple of additional projects to round out the booklet. Yarn and looms have taken over my dining room table...

...but should be cleaned up (finished!) by the weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing the end results!

So...did you even miss me? ;)

Monday, November 23, 2009

I wondered what that sound was

Earthquake Rattles Choctaw Homes

Having been through a few quakes in So. California, this one was more like like a sonic boom. It wasn't recognizable as an earthquake to me.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thinking About Thanksgiving

As I mentioned in my last post, I need to think about Thanksgiving. It will be a busy time for me as my Mother will be here for 2 weeks. That's in addition to having my Mother-in-law, and of course, my daughter. So I think this will be the last post until December.

A friend did a meme about Thanksgiving and it seems appropriate for here since I have nothing to mention regarding knitting.

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving is as special as our's will be.

1. Which do you like better: Cooking at your house, or going elsewhere?
While I prefer cooking at my house, visiting family/friends is good also.

2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen bird?
Typically frozen turkey breast. Any other part is wasted in our house.

3. What kind of stuffing?
I'm from the south. Cornbread dressing with loads of sage. ;)

4. Sweet potato or pumpkin pie?
Normally neither. We always do a sweet potato dish that doesn't include crust. However, my daughter has discovered a love of pumpkin pies so I am making one. My Mother, however, wants sweet potato pie and she can taste the difference in the two. I'll probably buy one since I have never made one before - or Mom has to coach me. :)

5. Do you believe that turkey leftovers are a curse, or the point of the whole thing?
That's the point!! After all that work, there should be something left to show for it. haha

6. Which side dish would provoke a riot if you left it off the menu?
Green beans. I have no idea why that is a tradition for my husband's family but he makes a point of mentioning it if I forget to do them. And deviled eggs. That's a must have for him too.

7. Do you save the carcass to make soup or stock?
I don't buy the whole turkey so no carcass.

8. What do you wish you had that would make preparing Thanksgiving dinner easier?
Talent for cooking! That would make it much easier. I mean, I'm a fine cook but I have no "sixth sense" for it. Luckily I have a husband who does and can "fix" anything I mess up. :)

9. Do you get up at the crack of dawn to have dinner ready in the early afternoon, or do you eat at your normal dinner hour?
I do not like "crack of dawn" for anything! But I do if I have to. Normally I try to get some of the work started the night before. But I do like having dinner ready early afternoon that way there's plenty of time for a 2nd helping before bed.

10. If you go to somebody else's house, what's your favorite dish to bring?
In the past, I have made cheese cakes to take to friend's house in California. I know, not traditional. But we're the folks who have been known to BBQ ribs for Thanksgiving so our tradition changes year-to-year. haha

11. What do you wish one of your guests wouldn't bring to your house?
That darn green bean casserole. It's been overdone IMO.

12. Does your usual mix of guests result in drama, or is it a group you're happy to see?
When either my or my husband's family gets together, there drama of some sort. Sad really. But this year, it should be Mothers only. Small and intimate gathering of elderly where the worse problem should be lack of hearing aids. haha

13. What's your absolute favorite thing on the menu?
Pecan pie! I don't care if we're having sweet potato and pumpkin....I want pecan pie!! And I'm the chief there.

14. What are you thankful for this year?
This year, I will count all my blessings from 2009 - looking on the bright side and not necessarily in order...
  • Husband and daughter top my list of blessings always.
  • No surgery was needed for my broken ankle
  • Our house survived the April wildfire
  • Mother-in-law is healthier now that she is in assisted living
  • I met the deadline for my next publication
  • We've reconnected with extended family now that we live closer
  • My Mother is coming to stay with us for two weeks during Thanksgiving
  • Many things I haven't thought of yet.
I am especially grateful to all the men and women who serve our Country. They have been on my mind a great deal with the news of Ft Hood shootings. Being a veteran, I know how stressful it is to serve overseas but that was during peace times. I can't imagine the stress of serving during war/conflict. Thank you.
Norman Rockwell

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Native American in me...

....loves being close to nature. That's one reason why we love living outside of metropolitan areas. (I'm a descendant of Pawnee Tribe on my maternal Grandfather side).

In our little area, we see deer and hear hawks daily. Today I snapped a photo of a hawk in the woods out the backyard area.

I *believe* he's a red tailed hawk. Beautiful and majestic.

We pay homage to the Native American background in our art work also. A lithograph of Frank McCarthy's "Big Medicine" is one in our collection.

About 4 years ago, I read about buffalo yarn and knew I wanted to give it a try. It's not an easily found yarn, nor is the price conducive to stashing it away. So when Buffalo Gold had a call for test knitters, I jumped at it. Yeah, I know....I am my worse enemy when it comes to taking on too much. But I really wanted to knit with this yarn (probably the ancestry thing again). Here it is before winding into a ball.

It's worth every penny if you can get your hands on it. I never imagined that bison (buffalo) hair could be turned into this soft yarn.

And speaking of Native Americans...I had a reality check yesterday. Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away. While I'm happy to see 2009 coming to a close (it's been a tough year), I'm amazed at how fast it's leaving!

Back to finishing up the Leisure Arts publication I'm doing. Both it and the test knit should be finished this week. Then I need to think about holidays. How 'bout you?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Monster's bash

Last week was a week of Halloween parties. The first on Tuesday night where bowlers are invited to bowl in costume. And even though bowling in costume isn't easy, I managed one game of 191. Angela got tired of trying to bowl with her hat on... finished the 3 games sans hat. Candy and cookies were had by all (nice little sugar high hehe)

Then there was the Goodwill party which was a blast! Friends, pizza...

..and dancing. Her job coach did the twist with her. Fun to watch.

Hope your trick or treat was a blast too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Say hello to my little friend

*title is a quote from Scarface*

Too much weight gain the past year. Probably stress. Regardless of the reason, I must do something to get myself moving again!

Because of the ankle issue, I need low impact exercise. Recumbent exercise bike seemed to be the most convenient choice of low impact exercise. A little research brought this one to the top of the affordable heap. It has the card slot for iFit workout cards. But most importantly, my short legs will comfortably reach the petals (5'1" ya know!?) Plus I believe I'll be able to KNIT while exercising which is a plus.

It's a done deal. Now I just need to stay motivated and away from the chocolate.

Knitting update - sample knit for Knit Picks finished and ready to ship tomorrow. Book re-knits 1/3 done.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Absent blogger

Absent from Twitter too. I've been super busy but happily it's a good busy!

Part of the time, I've worked on the family "to-do" list.

We've managed to get the swimming pool winterized and covered...

...while Elvis watched.

We also managed to settle my 86 yo mother-in-law into her assisted living apartment, cleaned out her house in Dallas, and are in the process of selling the property.

Plus we finally found what seems to be the right program for our daughter (21 yo with disabilities) so that she has something outside of family...her "niche" so-to-speak. Because everyone needs to have something that promotes self-worth - especially folks with disabilities.

Thankfully it appears we found it! I'm thrilled to say that my daughter has decided to participate in a sheltered workshop at Goodwill.

She works two days a week. Works! She started training last week. Job coach(s) have said she is doing fine. She says she loves it. A very important item on "to-do" list done!

The other busy stuff has been knitting. On the needles, I'm doing a sample knit for Knit Picks. Getting ready to block and happy to have it that far. On the loom, I'm re-knitting a couple of my designs for an up-coming loom knit book in colors preferred by the publisher.

Of course, I'm already making plans for what I want to work on after the deadlines are met. I think I'll plan it around this yarn...
...which is already in my stash. See? I am still sticking with that yarn diet!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Wisdom

No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime.
Mason Cooley

Looking around my house, I must be very creative.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Knit Purl Gurl WEBS Giveaway

I love my bamboo knitting needles. I started buying them 20 plus years ago and am still knitting with them...except for 1 poor needle that Elvis "borrowed" for a chew toy (he was thoroughly yelled at for that)

Anyway, Webs Yarn Store has interchangeable bamboo circs for sale. AND Knit Purl Gurl is giving us a chance to win a set.

In case you missed the link it is again. Enter...go ahead, I dare you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

If you run into problems...

...with web site, drop me an email to let me know. I did a little housekeeping and moved files around. Everything seems to work but who knows.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yarn diet

When we packed our household stuff for the move last year, it hit me...where did all that yarn come from? Well, I know the answer but had not realized how out of control it had become.

During the pack up, I donated skeins that I couldn't remember why I got them, or if it was one of those "what was I thinking" skeins. And the remainder moved to Oklahoma with us.

During the un-packing, I attempted to organize my new workspace...and realized it was still more yarn then I'll ever use. And I donated more.

I kept that which I knew I would use. Then I put myself on a yarn diet. A serious yarn diet...with 1 exception - yarn that would be needed to finish the last book.

I'm proud to announce that almost a year later, I've stuck to my diet.

The yarn stash is starting to look manageable. I still have a bit to go before I will ease up on my diet.

I say "ease up" because I know I will always have yarn stashed. But it needs to be in my studio space only - not here AND in the garage!

Now...start watching for designs and projects that I've done just from the stash!

P.S. It's still raining. So no work in the east-side patio area to show. However, my Mother is working on rose bushes for me. She is so talented with taking cuttings and rooting them for new bushes. I'm looking forward to visiting her next month and learning how to do that! ;)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A little knitting, a lotta reading

It's been raining for 3 days.  Makes me miss Southern California sunshine. Since I can't work in the garden, I've spent time knitting and actually finished something!
Hubby is happy since they were custom fit.  And I've managed to impress my MIL who is normally not impressed with me - at.all.  She lived with us for 3 months and never noticed that I knit rather well??  Oops, patience....perhaps she's forgotten (at 86, her memory is fading).
I've made time for another favorite hobby in the last two weeks - reading. And instead of buying, I went to the local library (pat myself on the back).
I drooled over thumbed through A Gathering of Lace for a few days.
So many patterns I would love to knit but I've put myself on a yarn diet (more about that another time) and do not have yarn for any of the projects.  Drats.  Book is now on my wish list.
And I've managed to catch up on fiction reading (don't you just love the library!?) 
With hubby away helping to pack his Mother's house in Dallas, I'm hitting the library again tomorrow to see what else I've missed.  Suggestions? 
Time to read is bliss!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Latest project...

...hasn't been knitting or beading. I am reclaiming the patio area on the eastside of our house. That is...reclaiming it from weeds and other unwanted green stuff.

It was suppose to be done in Spring but repairs from the wildfire kept us working in the back of the house and on the workshop. Summer brought it's own issues but included high temperatures - not conducive to outside activity other then swimming (my excuse and I'm sticking with it!) So crabgrass took over and invited their friends - weeds.

The temperatures are more reasonable now so I'm out with shovel and hoe in my gloved hands to tell them the party is over. They are not going quietly as my muscles ache at the end of every session. But I'm winning. :D

The plan includes eliminating the water grass in this flower bed so that I can have color (a.k.a. flowers) along the walkway.

Planters along the patio are also included in my mad little scheme. Hopefully next Spring I'll see more of this -

and less of weeds.

I have to admit that I am a student when it comes to gardening. Being a lover of reading, knitting and beading, I'm a couch potato - but I am learning and have the determination! Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Elvis gets a shower

Entertaining watch a small dog bark at a swimming pool.

But what he's really barking at is the pool sweeper...

...'cause it squirts water up and out of the pool when it changes directions. And sometimes he's a little too close... he gets a shower. Fun stuff. ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back from trip

We had a wonderful visit with my Mother (who is 86 yo) last week! The best part was spending my birthday with her for the first time since my 18th birthday...which was quite awhile ago. Wondering how long ago? Scroll down to the cake picture.

Notice how the new camera shows off the gray in my hair? ugh

There was a little family get-together which turned into a bit of a birthday celebration complete with cake.

Knitting note: Finished "Deadliest Crab" for hubby during the trip.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Outta here

Since my ankle healed last March, I've told my Mother we would visit her in Texas . It hasn't happened because...
  1. car at mechanics
  2. wildfire and subsequent repairs to property
  3. car at mechanics again
  4. flooding in living room
  5. Mother-In-Law medical problems (came to live with us, in hospital, back with us)
  6. designing for a new book
  7. car repairs AGAIN (have new car now)
Everything is taken care of (MIL is visiting her sister for a week) and we're outta here tomorrow. What a nice birthday present to myself!

CYA later!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


...and shipped to publisher.

Now to catch up on sleep and clean the mess up.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Which stitch are you?

Beading that is. :D

You are: Peyote Stitch

You come across as put-together and easygoing, but the truth is you’re fairly lazy, often tread on thin ice, and like to play the horses. You don’t like to be confined to one way of doing things and would rather experiment, sometimes at the cost of showing off your inner workings.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A break from knitting...

...and playing with pictures. :D

The deadline is looming and I'm gonna make it! Yippee skippee