May 29, 2008

Is It The Weekend Yet???????????

Actually I'm not looking forward to the weekend as much as next Tuesday. RL has been visiting with his parents since Tuesday and will be back next Tuesday. I am so ready for him to be back home. The past few months have been about travel for him and I'm ready for him to sit on the couch with me and veg out. I know, I'm selfish. I do understand why he has to be there, so I'm trying not to complain as much as I'd like to. Try as I might, I still manage to complain. He's trying to give his Mom a little of a break while he's there by taking his Dad to his radiation and chemo treatments. He's also doing stuff around the house they need done. It's difficult when you live so far away when one of your parents is so sick.
I've been trying to get some cleaning and knitting done too. It helps to pass the time. I finished this little bunny hat a few days ago, but I was waiting to find some ribbon. I found some this afternoon and it matched enough that I didn't have to buy any. That's always a nice treat!

There are socks on the old dpns right now too. Socks are my comfort knitting. They also make for nice summer knitting since there's no bulk to them at all. The afghan was quite challenging on those warm spring days!

Talking about warm spring days - where have they gone??? Yesterday was in the 50's! Where did that come from? I was looking all over the place for a long sleeve shirt. Today we are back in the 70's so it's time for short sleeves again. This afternoon I put sweaters away while I was cleaning our closet. I hope I won't regret that.

The kids are fixing dinner tonight. They love to cook and they work very well together. Stir Fry is their speciality. I love to sit in the next room and listen to their conversations while they cook. I do wish they would clean too, but I can't complain too much. At least I don't have to cook!

May 27, 2008

The Birthdays of the Brothers-in-Law

Hope everybody had a nice Memorial Day. We did. It started off a little wacky, but turned out to be a pretty good day. RL has been complaining a little about his right ear closing up. We figured something was up because when he yells at us to say 'good morning' it's time to get the old ears checked. Luckily our doctor works half days on most holidays and was able to see him. Turns out he has a MAJOR ear infection and his ear is almost completely closed! The doctor couldn't believe it didn't hurt him. After he got home and we got some things done around here, Mom and Daddy came over with all kinds of great things to eat and RL manned the grill. I made brownies. Really put myself out, didn't I? We watched a movie, "Dan in Real Life" with Steve Carell. It wasn't his typical role, but I really enjoyed it. Kind of an easy going movie for an easy going day.
May comes and brings the 'Birthdays of the Brothers-in-Law.' (Is that correct? It looks weird. I want to say 'brother-in-laws instead, but that's not right.) It doesn't matter!
Here's Tim, RL's brother. He was the 'big 49' yesterday. I have no idea when this picture was taken, but RL said it was perfect and to use it. (Blame him, not me, Tim!) Tim is like RL, eternally youthful. He's standing in front of one of RL's first VWs.

Next comes my sister's husband, Paul. I asked her to send a picture to me that he wouldn't mind my three or four blog readers seeing. That's my little bitty big sister in the middle and then the Genius on the end. Why can't that boy find him a woman? I'm telling you, with a smile like that he should be beating them away!

So, Happy Birthday guys! Hope you each had a very special day!

May 25, 2008

Happy Memorial Day (weekend)!

I hope everybody is having a safe Memorial Weekend. We have been busy with the garden and cleaning this horrible house. I'm also trying to get myself excited about the ironing I have ahead of me this week. RL is probably going to help his parents for part of the week so I have all that time to iron. I have to pace myself. Don't want to have all that ironing fun in one day and get overly excited by it all.

Isn't this cute? Quite a bit of our family lives in Florida. When the fires went through the Palm Bay area, more than a few people were displaced. This little doe was also displaced. My cousins have some property down there that was burned out and they found this baby there. I guess Mom was nowhere in sight. I really don't know all the details. I just know that one of my other cousins is certified by the state to take care of wildlife and she is taking care of this baby as long as she needs to.

You can see how tiny this little thing is compared to their cat.

Now that the crochet madness is out of my system, I have returned to knitting. Mom and Daddy's friends are new grandparents, so I made a little hat for their grandson.

It's the little football helmet from 'Itty Bitty Hats'. It was a lot of fun to make. Reminds me of the helmets from the movie 'Leathernecks'. Right now I'm attempting to make the bunny hat from the same book. I hope it turns out just as well as this did. I think the break I took from knitting really helped me to enjoy it so much more than before. Hey, when didn't I enjoy it????
Everybody have a safe weekend and a fun Memorial Day.

May 21, 2008

I'm a Whiner

Those of you who know me personally, know that I'm a whiner. There's no way around it. It's time for me to embrace my inner whiner. I whine when it's cold, when it's hot, when it rains, when it's dry. I whine when we have money and I really whine when we don't. I whine when I have 50 knitting projects lined up and no yarn to do them and then I whine when I have the yarn and can't figure out what to do with it.
Today I will whine to you about ironing. Now Kelly, don't even get started. You have a very unusual ironing gene that I didn't get. Never in my life have I talked to someone who loved ironing as much as you. You have an illness. It just ain't right. I don't want ONE comment on 'oh ironing is so much fun' or 'I just LOVE to iron.' It's not right and I refuse to read those comments so keep them to yourself. Now, on to the ironing rant....RL has been very fortunate to work in an environment that does not require him to dress up. Nice jeans and polo shirts Monday through Thursday and casual Fridays. No more. Today he got the dreaded memo that from now on it was 'business casual attire.' Bring back the old ironing board - Yuck! Everything has to be creased. That means ironing. I can do this. I know I can do this. I don't have to like it, but I can do this.
Now, on to much, much better things! The afghan is finished! Well, sort of finished. I haven't decided if I want to put a border on it or not. I think it would look better with one, but I have been trying to use up yarn I have, not buy more and a border would require buying more. I've already bought all of the black! I couldn't capture the colors the way they truly looked, so being artsy-fartsy, R volunteered to be the official photographer.

L graciously held up one end of it so I could get a picture and I think it turned out pretty good!

Here's the artist's rendition.

Yet another. Check out those clothes pins! She bought those for something she wants to do in her room. Man, you could hang a whole load of wash with just those two pins!

All in all I think it turned out well and I promise not to whine about it anymore. Now the ironing is a whole other story...

May 15, 2008

It started so innocently.....

Remember this little hat from Christmas?

I had part of each color left over. Innocently enough, I thought they would make great granny squares. Black accents would just set them off. I started crocheting and promptly remembered just why crocheting is not my favorite. However, I went through all of the yarn and came up with 39 squares. Hmmm, 39 squares would not make much of an afghan. I went to the LYS and bought black yarn for the accents. One skein was no where near enough. Off to the LYS again and five skeins later, I am beginning to realize that I still don't have enough.

I'm trying to make enough black squares so I have a decent sized afghan.
Yuck, I'm making an afghan.
I am crocheting an afghan....out of an acrylic/wool blend. I have truly gone over to the dark side. I'm so scared.

Have you ever tried to take a picture of a moving kitten? R and L tried all Mother's Day when we were at Mom and Daddy's. This is as good as it gets! Gus is above and Scout is below.Scout looks scared. Maybe she knows I'm crocheting an acrylic afghan.

P.S. Chemo and Radiation are going great for RLs Dad and the fire is under control in my sister's neck of the woods. Yippee!

May 12, 2008

Waiting and Waiting....

Today is a day of waiting...and waiting...and waiting.

RL's Dad starts his radiation and chemo treatments today. We are anxiously awaiting to hear how his first day went.
I had a terrific Mother's Day.
These beautiful flowers were part of my Mother's Day gifts. The Gerber Daisies are beautiful. I even surprised myself by loving this orange one so much.
Of course hostas were in with them too. Hostas are the Mother's Day necessity!
This snapdragon made a surprise appearance in R's garden just in time for Mother's Day.
I was pretty well spoiled rotten. I had whatever I wanted for breakfast - waffles, strawberries and whipped cream. Everybody loves that for a special breakfast, so it was a safe bet. RL made a wonderful dinner and we took it over to Mom and Daddy's to share. We got Mom a cute bird bath that is small enough to sit on their upstairs deck. We also got her a new bird feeder since the old one bit the dust. I also gave her the dark red socks I made a few blog posts ago. While we were enjoying ourselves in cooler temperatures, this is how my sister was spending her Mother's Day:
This picture is of a helicopter that just got water out of their neighbor's lake because of this:

This is one of the HUGE fires down in Florida. Yes, this is right by her house. So, while I was enjoying a beautiful day of being pampered by my husband and kids - my sister, her husband and son were busy keeping their house wet to avoid any fire damage. I spoke to her about 10:30 last night and they were still dealing with it. She managed to get some sleep until 2:00 a.m. when her husband woke her to help hose the house and yard down again. What an exhausting night and more of the same today.

So, we sit and wait...and wait...and hear from her too and pray for their safety.

This waiting game really sucks!

May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

Last year for Mother's Day I wrote a little tribute about all of the special moms in my life. They are still very special to me. However, this year, I thought I would write about a couple of special Mother's Days to me.

The first one was not technically Mother's Day. It was the day before Mother's Day in 1987 and I went to the beach with my sister. I was telling her how crummy I was feeling. She informed me that I sounded pregnant. Coming from someone who had a baby in '81, '83 and '86, I figured she just might know what she was talking about. So, on my way home from the beach I dropped by the doctor's office for a pregnancy test. It was a YES!!!!! I hugged everybody in the office and drove home on cloud 9! RL and I hadn't really been sure if we wanted children when we first got married - well, I was, he wasn't. His family thought we would never, ever have children. I could not wait for our get together on Mother's Day so we could tell his family. We were sitting around waiting for everybody to get there and we decided to tell his Mom. She didn't stop doing what she was doing at all. She didn't believe us! It took quite a bit of convincing - like nine months! Then when R was born she didn't believe we had a girl! We didn't know prior to R's birth if we were having a boy or girl. My sister had three boys. R's brother had two and another boy was in their future. R is the oldest of three boys. So we figured we were set for a boy. Surprise! We were shocked! R's mother was really, really shocked!
Another special Mother's Day in my life is very different from that day. My grandmother had been sick with Alzheimer's for years. She passed away the week before Mother's Day. Since she was a full-time Mom to her kids and grandkids, it only seemed natural to have her memorial service on Mother's Day. I had never been to a service like it before. My uncle wrote a song and played it on his guitar. All of her children and grandkids who wanted got up and shared their happy memories of her. We laughed and laughed. We sang 'Jesus Loves Me' because it was one of Gram's favorite songs. It was a happy day. We went to my sister's house afterward and everybody brought a dish to contribute to the meal - just like all the get togethers we had at Gram's. The only thing missing was Gram and she really wasn't missing because she was there in all of us.

So, whatever kind of Mother's Day you have, I hope it holds happy memories - whether you are making them or are remembering them.

May 8, 2008

When You're Up You're Up

When I was little we would sing a song in Vacation Bible School about a rich old king. It told how he had 10,000 men and he marched them up the hill and then he marched them down again - when they were up, they were up. When they were down, they were down. And when they were only half way up, they were neither up nor down. I said all that to get to this point - I feel like that's the way our lives have been lately! RLs Dad had his aneurysm and we were down. He had a successful surgery and we were up. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and we were down. He was getting ready for chemo and radiation and we were half way up. He was told he probably had a mini stroke and we were down. Yesterday his MRI showed that he didn't have a stroke. Now we are up again. I can't keep up! I can tell you one thing though - I've never been fond of roller coasters and we are on a big butt roller coaster! The latest we've heard is that it is his thyroid. RL is on the phone with his dad now, so I might find something else out all together. Hold on tight - it's a bumpy ride! Thank you to everyone who has included him in your prayers. It is very sweet of you to pray for someone you don't even know and it is greatly appreciated.
(Thanks, Monica! I would have thanked you personally, but I don't have your e-mail.)

Look what I got at Knit Picky! R has designed a pattern and I get to be her test knitter. That's not the only reason I got it though.
Look, it's 100% wool. Yes, WOOL. My poor, poor, wool deprived sister who lives in Florida was not aware of colorful wool. Can you imagine living in a world without colorful wool? Me neither.

So, I am showing her the colorful side of wool. Beautiful wool. Beautiful, colorful wool. I have just expanded your world, Kel! Don't you feel better for that?

See, the new hosta is playing well with the others. Actually, I think they are terrified that it is going to eat them. It looks like it's starting to eat the little one in front of it! I just hope I can keep it alive. Wish me luck!

May 7, 2008

Hosta la Vista

I know, I know....stupid title, but what else could I have said?
Mom and Daddy's wonderful neighbor, Kay, is redoing her garden. She wanted to get rid of her Hosta and asked Mom if she wanted it. Mom didn't, but she knew how I love, love, love Hostas and asked if I did. Of course. This is the home for wayward Hostas. We love them all - small, variegated, large, green, light green, dark green, yellowish green. We do not discriminate. When I saw this Hosta, well, I was in Hosta heaven! Beautiful!

Last night we went over and dug this baby up. Well, I didn't do any of the digging - I was there for moral support. L did most of it and then RL did cleanup digging. Mom held it back so they could see where to dig.

See my teeny, tiny little Hostas in the background???? Do you think they are intimidated?

How's that for a planter? A 33 gallon trash can! Whew! This baby is big and HEAVY!

On a lighter do you like the bird's nest? The man who lived here before us was a golf nut and we find golf balls everywhere. Last night when I was cleaning up different areas of the yard I found these golf balls. I figured I'd put them in this planter for now and it reminded me of a bird's nest. Wonder what kind of birds we'll get out of these 'eggs'?

On a more serious note - we have gotten some 'sort of' bad news from RLs Dad. He started experiencing double vision over the weekend for no apparent reason. He went to the eye doctor on Tuesday and after much examination and consideration on the doctor's part and on the part of an eye surgeon, they came to the conclusion that he might have had a mini stroke. The oncologist sent him on to a neurologist who is sending him for a MRI today. He was due to start chemo and radiation this week and this puts a giant kink in the works. Apparently you can't have chemo or radiation under these circumstances. He is under a time table where these treatments are necessary to get the cancer under control. We don't understand any of this and hope that we will get some answers today. I know I keep asking for prayers, and believe me, I'm not going to stop. So, please, pray for some good results. We could handle some good news right now!

May 5, 2008

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Meet Gomer.R found him while weeding the garden yesterday. He was a little bitty thing. He wasn't moving when she first uncovered him, but eventually decided the sunshine wasn't something he was really into and tried to climb into a hole. He has been relocated per 'the garden relocation program' and is now living in a 'toad abode' in the flower bed. I don't know why she named him Gomer, but I have learned not to question such things.
I sat under the canopy provided by the beech trees and knit while she gardened. I probably should have helped, but yesterday I felt a little crummy. Fresh air and knitting were the remedy. L came out later and helped her with the heavy lifting of cow poop. He's a good helper!
I finished the second of these two dishcloths while I was out there. I have a huge basket of cotton yarn and figured it was a mindless knit. These turned out WAY better than the poor 'Born to IPod' cloth...may it rest in peace.

Look what else I've been working on. Crochet. Who knew? I originally started crocheting when I was a kid and then moved to knitting when I got older. However, I didn't understand directions for either. My sister taught me how to do a granny square and my pea brain somehow remembered when I picked it up yesterday. I had this yarn left over from a hat I made for a Christmas present this past year. No telling what I'll do with them, but they are bright and happy. I don't think I'll give up on knitting any time soon though. I can never figure out what to knit next when I finish a project, so this is keeping me busy until the next great project comes to mind. More than likely it will be another pair of socks. No sense in wasting all that sock yarn sitting around. Well, that and I need to make room for new yarn I'm bound to buy one of these days!

May 3, 2008

Our Backyard

I wouldn't exactly say today has been a lazy day, but it has been somewhat relaxed. This evening is beautiful and we took advantage of sitting outside and enjoying it. A walk around the back yard and we became pretend nature photographers. I have no idea what the plant above is. R read something about a plant called a farkleberry and we've been calling it that. I don't know if it is or not, but it is fun to say!

In case you were wondering what the top of a pine tree looks like, the above picture should help answer that. The kids think it looks like a sea urchin. How did we get a picture of the tip top of a pine tree?
When it looks like this, it isn't too difficult. I think it happened in the last big wind storm we had over the winter. I keep waiting for the tree to snap in half, but so far it continues to grow just like it is.
These little fellas are everywhere! Being true Floridians, we have a tendency to run around barefoot. Well, not now! These suckers are on the walkway, the deck, the yard, everywhere! I really don't want to feel one squish under foot, so I have been wearing shoes a lot lately.

Today we got word from our former church in Melbourne that a wonderful member had passed away. Her name was Lil Brown and she was such a graceful person. She will be sorely missed, but is now with her daughter who passed away a few years ago. I imagine that was a wonderful reunion to witness. I'm happy they are together now.

May 2, 2008

I Blame "Escanaba in da Moonlight"

I started off with very good intentions. Remember our nephew who lives in San Francisco and works for Apple? He's a Genius for them. (Now, don't get upset because I can't remember if you're an Apple Genius or a Mac Genius. I just know you're a Genius. Be happy I can remember that much - okay PJ?) Anyway, I saw this great dishcloth/washcloth that had "Born to I-Pod". Great pattern and I thought he would appreciate it. He seemed to appreciate the Transformer dishcloth I sent him some time back. I took a break from knitting socks, put away the dpns, picked up the straight needles and started this dishcloth.
It's not the pattern - it's me. I can't even read the freakin' words I knit! I couldn't read them right after it was finished, so I washed it. I thought it would shrink up and be easier to read. Nope. Didn't happen. I handed it to R - who is the knitting guru around these parts - and she could only make out half the letters. I took a picture hoping I could read it from a different point of view. Nope.
You know, I'm not even sure it's my fault. I'm willing to blame 'Escanaba in da Moonlight'. That movie is so stupid! The first time I watched it, I laughed my butt off. You know, when you laugh and you can't catch your breath and you feel like you're going to be sick? Well, that's the way I laughed the first time I saw this movie. I'm ashamed to admit that. The movie is dumb! This is one of Jeff Daniels babies. I love him, so I guess that's a good enough reason to watch it. I had watched it a couple of times in the past, so when the kids wanted to watch it again and I was knitting this dishcloth, I didn't see any harm in it. I knew I wouldn't laugh as hard this time. Well, I did. In the process I messed up the whole dishcloth. So, what do you do with a poor, pitiful, mangled dishcloth? I know I'm not sending it across country to a Genius, I can tell you that right now!

May 1, 2008

It's Our Anniversary!!!!!!

One whole year of blogging! I can't believe it! It's been such a fun adventure...trying to figure out what to post some days and other days everything seems blog worthy.

Things have been wild around here lately. Our neighbors, who have been wanting a baby for a long, long time, finally heard from the adoption agency Tuesday. Apparently they just might have a baby for them next month! Isn't that exciting? I'm thinking of all the neat little baby things I can knit. My babies are 17 and 20, so they are a little too old for all the cutsie stuff - ya think? I've been looking through all my baby pattern books and have found so many cute hats, socks, afghans, etc. A whole new world of knitting has opened for me! We'll know more next week about the baby. Keep them in your prayers. They will make great parents!

I finished a pair of socks late last night. I got the yarn from Knit Picky's a couple of weeks ago. The pattern is from 'Knitting Vintage Socks'. I just needed a little something different than my usual, generic sock pattern.

The toe is a little different from the usual too. It's not a kitchener stitched toe which is very different for me. I just hope it holds up as well. Time will tell.

Venturing out in the garden this evening we noticed the blackberries were all blossoms. I hope we will get more than last year - three!

Randy's Dad will start Chemo and Radiation therapy next week. He was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. We've learned more than we ever wanted to about the disease. He is going into this with a very, very positive attitude and that will help tremendously. Keep the prayers going up.