December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year!
What a year this has been! And, it's one year I am glad to put behind us. I always hope for the best for the new year and hopefully this year will bring better things for all of us.
This is the first New Year since RL and I have been married that we aren't together. It feels really odd. He felt the need to go to Florida to see his parents, so he and L are there. His Dad was given bad news from the oncologist and chemo has been stopped. Hospice was called in and the time has been made to face the facts. Somehow we will all have to be positive to get through this.
I did not want to make this post all 'gloom and doom' but it seems our year has been that way. My Dad's brother passed away a few days ago and my parents are headed to Tennessee tomorrow. Tomorrow is also their 48th anniversary. So, in spite of the sadness, Happy Anniversary Mom and Daddy!
On the upnote, Christmas decorations are down! The tree is outside and almost all the boxes are in the attic. The house feels so much bigger! We needed that extra space...the kids got a Wii for Christmas. What a great game system! We are all sore beyond belief, but it feels great to get some exercise and work out some of that frustration we've all been feeling.
I'm off to test a pattern that R created. Wish me luck!
Have a great New Year and I hope it's happy, healthy and safe for everyone!

December 26, 2008

Christmas Goodies

In the past, Christmas around here has been, well, pretty gluttonous. Rack up those credit cards, wipe out the savings account, forget the bills - just buy, buy, buy!!! This year we just couldn't do it. Nobody knows what tomorrow holds and we don't want to be paying for this year's Christmas in 2015! So we told the kids to be very specific about what they wanted. If they wanted to buy someone something, they had to be sure it was a gift that would be appreciated and/or used. If they could make the gift - well, that was even better. And, still better yet, if they could make the gift out of stuff around here - yarn and fabric stashes - that would be wonderful. They took the message to heart and worked their fingers to the bones. The picture above is our living room on Christmas morning. You can actually see the floor and the furniture! That's a first! RL and I set $$ limits on each other and stuck to them. R was the appointed elf who kept us both on track - letting us know when the other was a little ahead and we needed to step it up!

This is what Santa brought to me! A Fine Fleece, which is a beautiful book. I can't wait to try my hand at some of the sock patterns. Of course, Santa brought the sock knitting book by Ann Budd - looks like a great book and my annual calendar by Susan Branch.
The yarn is the beautiful kettle dyed sock collection from Knit Picks. Isn't it great? It came with six toe up patterns, so I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and learn how to knit toe up socks!

The other big surprise was the circular interchangeable needles from Knit Picks and the beautiful wooden cable needles. Santa totally surprised me this year!

R is making this beautiful linen towel for me. She went through the fabric stash and found all the fabric and set to work. She is making a second one too and I will be sure to post pictures when she's finished. She took a small break to help her brother work on a project for me. She was disappointed that she didn't finish, but how on earth could I be upset with her when she gave of herself so willingly to help L create something?

What was it? Hmmm, looks like some sort of pouch....

It has the date embroidered on it...
It has numbers of dpns embroidered on each little pouch and a pocket for stitch markers.
R told me that L wanted to make something so they went through the fabric stash and found the black fabric and ladybug fabric. L drew a picture of what he wanted to make and she took the pattern one step further with all the details. She had him do all the embroidery himself! She taught him how to use the sewing machine and off they went! Now how many 18 year old boys do you know who are willing to spend three evenings with their older sister sewing on a machine and by hand for their mother? I don't know any. This is truly a gift that will be special to me forever because L wanted to make something for me and because R gave of herself freely and put her own gift making on hold to help L.

Here's a goodie I found stuffed in the bottom of my stocking! More beautiful sock yarn from Knit Picks. It's Imagination Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Wicked Witch. I was informed that the name was not a reflection upon myself. Hmmm, wonder if I should believe that? Some days it's a dead on reflection, I'm sure!

December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Can you see Ginger hiding in her little hidey hole under the Christmas tree? I think she is the smartest one of us all! I would like to be tucked in there too. The past few days have been filled with last minute trips to town...even one to the mall which I swore I would never do this close to Christmas! Mom sounded a wee bit needy, so I sucked it up and went. Consider it a BIG Christmas present, Mom! BIG, BIG, BIG PRESENT! A couple of trips to the grocery store thrown in for good measure and we are as ready for Christmas as we can be. Like everyone else we have seriously cut back on our spending. I hope the kids will be pleased with what Santa is bringing them.
It's been a wee bit depressing around here lately. The holidays always have a touch of depression in them for me. Don't know quite why. This year has had its fair share of real, honest to goodness depression. As for little Logan - his Dad opted to have him be an organ donor. I was so happy that something wonderful could come out of his death. Logan's mom passed away today and is also an organ donor. When I found out and was upset, RL reminded me that they are now together and we should be happy. I truly am grateful for that, but I am so sad for Logan's dad and grandparents. But then I think of all the people who have been waiting for a donor and now their Christmas will be wonderful. Also I have to remember the great things that have happened at Christmas time. Both R and L asked me to baptize them on Christmas Eve three years ago. That always makes my heart smile.
So, look for the good in whatever your situation is this year.
Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2008

Please Pray....

We have an urgent pray request. Last night this precious little boy was involved in a car accident. The car went over an embankment and hit a tree. He passed away this morning. His mom is in a trauma center in critical condition. Dad is the only one who is 'physically' okay. Please pray for him too as he was the driver. Thank you.

December 18, 2008

The Snowman and his Minions

Monday was RLs Christmas party at work. He volunteered to bring a cake. R set her brain in motion and made her Christmas special - the melting snowman.

Of course when you have left over cake batter, you can't waste it! So, the minions were made. The cake is normally a big hit. The only problem we've ever had with it is nobody wants to cut into it! RL said he had to take the plunge at work or it would have sat there all day in one piece!

Tomorrow is RLs last day at work for the holidays! Can't wait to have him around here for a couple of weeks!

December 14, 2008

Sheep in the City

Today was our town's parade. When we moved here ten years ago, we were in for a rude awakening. Having lived in a city, we had numerous high school bands, big floats, shriners in little cars and a stunning lack of tractors. However, when we moved here - we were exposed to a stunning amount of tractors! We thought, "What have we gotten ourselves into?" After ten years, we have adjusted. We have grown to accept the one or two high school bands, fire engines from every neighboring small town, belly dancers, country line dancers and the two sheriffs who make up our town's 'squad'.
This was the first year for the pink tractor. Where else are you going to see a pink tractor?
Sheep! We had sheep on the main drag in town! The knitters among us were very excited!
We had to be held back.

Just how could we get them to follow us home? How on earth could sheep be topped?These babies topped the sheep! Forget all the 'big city stuff' - we have fibery goodness in our parade!

Oh - for the menfolk among us, we have little beauties like this. See, a little bit of something for everybody!
The thing we noticed more than anything else were the floats that had a Christian theme. One had Jesus from the manger to the cross and several had natitity scenes. Everybody was saying 'Merry Christmas' instead of 'Seasons Greetings' or 'Happy Holidays'. Maybe it's because we live in a small town that we can get away with being 'politically incorrect'. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I do know that I like it and we need more of it.

December 12, 2008


I've been putting this blog post off because I wanted it to be spectacular! I wanted to have a give-away. I wanted to share fabulous Christmas news. I wanted a lot. I've been waiting for all those wonderful things to come together before I posted #200.
It's not going to happen.
L came home from a get together with his friends who have been off at college. A day later he was sick with a cold which turned into a sinus infection. Four days later, R got sick with the cold. Four days later, I got sick with the cold. RL is doing his best to stay well. Needless to say, all the fun Christmas shopping and other holiday outings have been cancelled. Today was the first time we actually ventured out into the world. It felt....liberating!
On Monday RLs Dad started his second round of chemotherapy and has been gradually getting weaker. He has two weeks off, so we are hoping he can regain some of that lost strength.
RLs youngest uncle had surgery on an aneurysm. It was supposed to go very well since it was a small one. No surprises. Guess what? There were surprises. Another aneurysm was found and during that time something went terribly wrong. As a result of all that, his bowels died. Surgery was required for that, but he was too weak. During the surgery it was found to be much worse than they had ever thought and he passed away.
The kids are trying hard to feel better, but think this cold is never going to end. They are also trying to find some cheer this season when they know their grandfather is probably not going to get 100% well and now he has lost his little brother. It's a hard lesson to learn, but one we all have to learn sooner or later.
Sorry post #200 was not the spectacular post I had hoped for. There's always hope for #300!

December 4, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!!!

We bought our tree the day after Thanksgiving and Miss Ginger had to check it out. Last year she hissed at the tree. This year she just sniffed. She must approve!
We don't have any good pictures, yet, of the tree completely decorated. R was playing with some special glasses a friend gave to us. You look at the lights through them and you can see different designs. I didn't think she would be able to get an accurate picture of what it looks like, but somehow she managed!
I think the one above is a starburst pattern. You can tell that the one below is a snowman.

Christmas crafting is stepping up a little more. Hopefully it will be finished in time. I don't know if I'm trying to convince all of you or just me! The kids have terrible colds, so that is forcing us to stay home and I'm able to do a few things as a result. I just hope they will be better soon. It's no fun for them to be sick when they want to be busy with holiday activities!

We have a prayer request. RLs Dad has been battling lung cancer all year. He started having problems breathing and the doctors thought it must be scar tissue from the radiation treatments. Turns out it was the cancer again. Either it never went away or it has come back. They suggested he start chemo treatments again and he would possibly have 6 to 9 months. If he didn't get treatments, he would only have 3 to 6 months. Our prayers were answered when he agreed to the treatments. Our prayer now is that the treatments will work this time. Maybe we are being selfish, but we just aren't ready to let him go just yet! Thank you for your prayers.

December 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is Daddy's 76th birthday. I have no idea when he is going to start acting his age. I hope never. I love the above picture of his family. If you look real close at the little fella on the right in front of his father, you can tell that his father has a pretty firm grip on his shoulders. That little fella would be my dad! Maybe Pa knew at that time the type of grip he would have to use for the when Daddy got his pilot's license and then bought his first plane and then crashed it. I guess there were times when his grip wasn't as tight because it didn't need to be. Like when he let Daddy go to Nashville on a bus, all by himself, to pick up some photography equipment, when he was 12! Can you imagine letting a 12 year old do that in this day and age? Daddy's always been a bit of a free spirit. There's the story of when he got tired of winter and decided to show up at school in white shoes. That earned him the name "Summer Time Sam". There were lots of fancy cars - don't even ask me about long trips in the back of a 'bubble back' Corvette. It's a wonder my sister and I don't have humps on our backs from that one! There were motorcycles. My sister rode with Daddy and I rode with Mom. I even managed to find a way to fall asleep on the gas tank. Through it all, he's been an excellent provider for our family, an open minded person to talk to, a Christian example and one great Daddy! Thanks Daddy and Happy Birthday!

November 29, 2008

I Just Wanted a Picture....

On Thanksgiving I decided to take a picture of the beautiful lemon meringue pie that R made. I just wanted a simple picture to show what a great job she did. Every single bit of it is from scratch. She used Alton Brown's recipe and followed it exactly.
The pumpkin pie was sitting there in its pumpkin shaped pan, looking so cute. I had to take a picture of it too.

Was that good enough? Oh no! My photographer's assistants decided it had to be artsy fartsy. So, the two of them placed pies like they were pieces of art.

We have a chocolate chip pie on the left, followed by Mom's fabulous apple cake, the pumpkin pie and the lemon meringue.

(Yes, my kitchen/dining area actually has all that crafting garbage in it!)

Okay, maybe their pictures were better than mine. I guess it was nice of them to make all the fuss. All we have to remind us of the pies and cake are the pictures anyway...well, that and the pounds!

November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve and Christmas Crafting

Today is the official baking day around these parts. I know we're not the only family in the U.S. in the kitchen. Special requests have been made and groceries have been bought. Now to get down to the business at hand. R requested an apple cake from Mom. RL always loves pumpkin pie. I want a chocolate chip pie. R wants to make a lemon meringue pie. L just wants it all! Ever since he was a little bitty thing, if someone asked what his favorite food was, he would say, "Thanksgiving Feast!" So I think he will probably be easy to please! Lucky for me, RL is the master Thanksgiving chef. He makes the turkey, dressing (which we all help with), and whatever else needs to be done. A year ago he had to go to Florida to visit with his parents because his Dad was going to have emergency surgery on an aneurysm that snuck up on them. RL plopped the turkey in the oven, left instructions and his cell phone number and hit the road with L. Even with his unexpected trip, he left us taken care of. What a man!
The Christmas frenzy is upon us! A month away...ARGH!!!! The kitchen table is officially the crafting table. That will take a real job to get it presentable for tomorrow! Here are a few crafts almost ready to be wrapped:

I thought the baby next door needed a little Christmas wrapping - so she is getting this little stocking cap. What a quick and fun knit!

Since the baby's Mom graduated from Appalachian State, I figured baby needs a little team spirit too. As soon as the "A" is sewn on, it's ready to be wrapped too.

As for the rest of it - you'll just have to wait! I still have some finishing touches on some sewing projects and then - maybe - I'll show you!

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2008

Ginger's Wild Ride

Yes, Ginger? You have your paw raised. Do you have a question?
Yes, you do have to go to the vet today. Why?
Because of that nasty sore above your eye that you keep picking.

What an adventure we had today with Miss Ginger. Man, oh man! This is a cat that squeals the minute she sees the carrier until she is officially out of it. Since it was time to have a yearly checkup as well as get that nasty sore looked at, we loaded up the car and headed to the Animal Ark. What a thrill! R pushed her into the carrier as nicely as she could and off we went. If she had been on top of the car we could have sped through town because people would have thought we were the police! Yes, it's that bad!

They used to have a CAUTION written on her folder. However, the vet's assistant came in without any fear whatsoever on her face or without the leather gloves that they wore the last time. She sprayed the room with feline pheromones. P-U! Ginger didn't mind. She totally mellowed out and laid down in a basket of bags of treats! The vet came in and seemed to understand her completely. He is absolutely wonderful with animals!

She's in great health except for allergies. A cat with allergies. Get this - she may be allergic to wool! That is not something you tell to a family that insulates their house with wool yarn! The vet gave her a cortisone shot and we have to apply Neosporin to her wound. Aside from a little limp from the shot site being sore, she's doing great. Wish us luck so she doesn't have to go back - I don't think I can handle it!

November 21, 2008


We had our first snow of the season last night! What a great treat to wake to!

November 19, 2008

Logan's Hat

Don't you love seeing something you've made being used and appreciated?
Remember this hat? I made it this past summer for some of my Mom and Dad's friends first grandbaby. (Whew, doesn't that sound confusing?) It was such a fun knit and I hoped it would be enjoyed.
Even though he looks like he's not quite sure of this whole hat thing, the hat looks great on him! It fits! Joy! Every knitter's dream!

Thanks for modeling the hat Logan! You're a real cutie!

November 17, 2008

Thankful Days

So much to be thankful at this time of year when we are all thinking of Thanksgiving. RL and R made it safely home last night. Whew! L and I sure did miss them and were thrilled they made it back so quickly and safe. They were able to do some things for RLs parents that needed to be done. They also got in some touristy stuff too. They got to see the night time launch of the space shuttle from the river, got to go to a seafood restaurant in Titusville, went to the beach for seashells and sandy feet, ate at our favorite sandwich shop 'Doubles' and then hit a yarn shop in Cocoa Village. Being the wonderful daughter that she is, R got some sock yarn for me.

There are quite a few colors mixed in there that are hard to see. I know this yarn will make some beautiful socks! Unfortunately Christmas knitting takes top priority, so it will have to sit with the rest of the stash and get acquainted with all the other future pairs of socks!
Some Christmas knitting is finished. I made a pair of socks for my FIL. Since he's had cancer treatments he has a tendency to get cold and stay cold! I felt like a new pair of socks were in order to help remedy that situation.

I got a wonderful surprise in the mail from a Ravelry buddy. Six lovely Christmas place mats! I'll have to find a red or green table cloth to really make them pop on the table. R and I also got an extra surprise of fingernail polish in several shades. Our fingers and toes will be lovely through the holidays now. Thanks so much!!!! You made our day!

All of that makes us thankful, however, we have something to be really thankful for. I just found out that our neighbors were involved in a car accident which flipped their car and totalled it. Mom and baby were in the car at the time. Some great people stopped to help them out and they escaped with only a little soreness - no broken bones. Although the expense of a new car is never cause for thankfulness, especially at this time of year - having your family intact is. God was truly looking out for them!

November 14, 2008

Busy, Rainy Days

Gus is feeling NO pain! This is one cat that knows how to relax. I think we could all learn a lot from him.
We've been having some rainy, dreary days around here. It makes it easier to sit on the loveseat and watch movies while knitting. However, it makes going to the grocery store a real chore. The cooler temperatures are a nice change of pace and wearing sweaters that have been put away for months is like getting a whole new wardrobe.
RL and R left on Wednesday for a working vacation at my in-laws. It's been a year since my FIL started having health problems which soon spiraled into bigger health problems. Just a year ago we found out he had an aneurysm that needed to be taken care of immediately. During the testing and surgery for that, they found out he had lung cancer. As soon as he had healed from the surgery, it was time to start chemo and radiation treatments. Now, on top of all of that, he has emphysema in his other lung. RL goes down when he can to do the heavy duty work that needs to be done around the house. The kids take turns going and helping where they can.
L and I are manning the fort waiting for them to come back home. We've done some Christmas shopping, grocery shopping, hit a book store or two and watched some movies. Don't forget knitting! Knitting is always happening! Today we visited with Mom and Daddy and watched the cats. For some reason Gus thinks it's his duty to mess with my hair. When I say 'mess' I actually mean rip it out by its roots.
Now that it's dark and still raining, I think I might have to try that new yoga position Gus is demonstrating in the picture at the top. Looks like he truly knows how to relax!

November 10, 2008

'It Feels Like Hair'

This morning was Old Timey Day at the local elementary school. Since our friend who got R her spinning wheel had asked R to come demonstrate spinning, we felt like she should go. Although R was committed to being there, she sort of committed her brother and me to also be there. Sweet kid! We are not early risers. Anybody who knows us knows this fact. RL and I had been discussing it and decided that over a two week period we would prepare everyone to get up a little earlier every day. Somehow it worked. This morning at 6:30 everyone was up and getting ready for the day. That, my friends, is a major accomplishment! MAJOR!
I took some pictures while we were sitting around listening to the same speech during the same demonstration every 10 minutes for four hours. Every once in a while I would pull out a sock and knit. The poor kids! Most had never seen someone knit a sock. One little boy said it made sense to him. At least I didn't have to go out and buy some. I didn't have the heart to tell him how much sock yarn can cost and how long it can take to knit a pair of socks. (As for the quality of the pictures - it is very difficult to get decent pictures when you are trying to avoid getting the children's faces and they are everywhere! Since we didn't know any of them, we felt it was best not to use pictures of them.)

As for the title of this blog....R had different samples of fiber and yarn she had spun on the table. Every single group had at least one child, normally a boy, who would say, "It feels like hair." At first I laughed when I heard it. Then the second group came and another little boy said it. Then the next and the next. Pretty soon it became a game for us to figure out which child would say it and when. We only had one group not mention it. I thought it was so odd because I have never thought of that comparison.

Jan, our neighbor for the demonstration, had this basket under her tables of weaving. Do you know how difficult it was for me to keep my hands out of it? I wanted all of it!

Here's a picture of part of her display.

I believe she had woven all her samples except the napkins. The scarf in the upper right hand corner came home with R as a thank you for participating. This was the perfect day for a scarf and very sweet of Jan to give it to her.

This is a very blurry picture of the quilting demonstration. Some of those quilts were gorgeous.

On to the backyard. R took this picture a few days ago. Hard to believe we have flowers of any kind still out there blooming.

As you can tell from this picture and the one below, we have our raking cut out for us, don't we?!

As for the ladybuy migration I told you about a couple of posts ago, they are finished and settled in for their long winter's nap. This is a cobwebby corner in our stairwell. They will stay there (or in any other cubby they have found) until they either die or find their way outside in the spring.

Shhh, I need to sleep. I'm soooooo tired!