January 30, 2012

Meet Chester

Chester Winchester had his big photo shoot today.

Riding into town on Grampa's Horse.

Two of my favorite things!

I am manly!  Yes....as a matter of fact, I did cut all this wood....with my teeth!

This pose works for Harper.  Wonder if it will work for me????

I don't see what the big deal is with stupid Chester.  I'm not allowed to play with him.

January 28, 2012

My Mundane Life

I love to read blogs written by people who post daily.  What is up with this one?  Why don't I post daily?  I guess I feel like my life is a little boring.  Or maybe it's too depressing.  Either way, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more regularly. 

Not a whole lot has been going on in my crafting world.  I came across Rebecca Danger's book, Big Book of Knitted Monsters.  I've wanted to make one of her monsters for the longest time, but I'm a big chicken when it comes to new knitting patterns or techniques.  How on earth I ever learned to knit socks is beyond me!  I sent a copy of the book to a friend of mine who made two of them for her cousins.  After asking her if she thought they were easy enough for me to make one (and she did think I could!) I pulled the book out again.  I'm on my second one now!  I LOVE them.  No, I don't have any pictures of them yet.  By the time I remember to take a picture, it's too dark.  Oh well, I will try my best to remember during the day!

Life has gotten a little hectic around here.  I haven't really shared a lot of our problems over the past few years because I wasn't quite sure how to go about it.  Most of you know that my father-in-law passed away in January of 2009 after suffering from lung cancer.  A little over a week after we got home from his funeral, my father had a stroke and never recovered.  He passed away in February of 2009.  Since that time, RL and I have been helping our moms anyway we can.  From time to time RL will fly or drive down to Florida and tend to things for his Mom.  My Mom lives about four miles away from us and we tend to her needs.  Shortly after my Dad passed away, my Mom went into a major depression she just couldn't shake. She was diagnosed with it and her medication was changed.  She was also diagnosed with a few vitamin deficiencies.  The major diagnosis was the beginning of dementia.  That was a real blow.  We haven't really gotten a firm diagnosis because the depression has been in the way of that.  So.....our lives have changed quite a bit.  No longer is it just the four of us, it's the five of us most of the time and sometimes the six of us when RLs mom has a need.  Gone are the days of knitting non-stop.   I don't read much these days either.  Shoot - gone are a lot of the things I enjoyed doing in my free time.

All of that to get to this .... I have to make myself slow down now.  I have to find the time to knit, read, work a crossword puzzle, sew, steal an hour to go to the bookstore, go to lunch with RL, go to therapy to learn how to be a caregiver.  The kids have been teaching me to slow down too.  I don't always want to slow down or just sit, but I have to so I can maintain some level of sanity which was shaky to begin with!  :)  

Last week, on a very cold day, the kids built a small fire pit in the backyard and loaded it up with wood for a fire.  They asked if we could roast hot dogs and marshmallows.  My gut instinct was to say no.  I had too much to do.  I didn't want to just sit around.  Excuses, excuses, excuses.  So, going against what I felt I needed to do, I did what I truly needed to do.  We didn't notice the cold because the fire was so warm.  The hot dogs were wonderful!  Don't know the last time I had one fixed over a fire.  The marshmallows were hit or miss....sometimes they hit the fire and sometimes they missed our mouths, but the ones that we did eat were great.  Harper even managed to get a taste or two.  Such a bad dog!

So, bear with me as I learn how to met the needs of my Mom, cope with adult children learning to truly be adults, and most of all, learn to stop and take time to just breath.

OHHHHH - before I forget!  My daughter has started a blog:  Linsey Woolsey.  Go check it out.  It's pretty good - if I do say so myself!

January 18, 2012

Birthday Headquarters!

We had a birthday at our house.  Monday, R turned 24 and we had to celebrate!
I made her cake this year.  Some years she does, others I do.  She requested at 1, 2, 3, 4 Cake from one of James Beards recipe books.  Turns out you can find the recipe almost anywhere.  Really good cake and simple to make.  Thank goodness!  She requested strawberry filling and whipped cream for icing.  Very, very good!

She made herself a banner.  It was a WHOLE lot longer than what made it onto the cake, but there wasn't much room due to the candles.  We could have ended that birthday with a visit from the fire department if the entire banner was on there!
She picked out her own candles too.  How many types of candles do you need?  Apparently she needed three different types.  Very colorful and very smoky when they were all blown out!  Lots of fun gifts and phone calls made for a very happy birthday for my baby girl!

January 10, 2012

I Am A Slob

There.  I said it.  I am a slob.  My house is disgusting and nobody here seems to know what to do about it.  Oh, I have wanted to clean it in the past and even made some efforts.  However, nothing stuck.  I keep waiting to see the A&E van out front to tape an episode of "Hoarders:  Buried Alive", but they haven't shown up yet - thank goodness!

While going through my blog list, I ran across an interesting post by Socks For Mum.   There was a link to an organization calendar.  Everyday you do something to get your house in order.  One day is clean out the drawer of your nightstand.  Another day is clean the top of your nightstand.  I could do that!  I was so excited.  However, I was going into this a week behind since I didn't discover it until the second week of January.  Still, I wasn't discouraged.  I CAN DO THIS - I kept telling myself.  Well, I hit a doozy right off the bat.  Clean off the top of your cabinets.  Hmm.  When did I do that last?  Maybe when we painted them - over six years ago.  Yuck!  That would explain why the little ceramic piggy bank I had up there had fur on its back.  GROSS!  I was discouraged.  A call to my sister - the one who inherited every single last cleaning gene in our family.  EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE!  - was in order.

I called her this morning.  It went something like this:
"Uh, Kel.... I know you are really good at cleaning.  You have your own cleaning business.  So, I have a question for you.  I have a friend.... and she...NO he, yes definitely HE, is having some issues with cleaning.  HE is supposed to clean the top of HIS kitchen cabinets and HE doesn't know where to begin.  HE has a terrible problem with that gunky, greasy, dusty crud on top of everything.  What should I tell HIM.  Oh, by the way, this is all hypothetical."  Boy, I pulled one over on her!  She had no idea it was me!  Aren't I good?

Well, she said, "Hypothetically speaking, you, I mean HE, need to get a really good degreaser." (See how well I fooled her?)  She gave me some really great suggestions to give 'my friend'.  Off to the store HE went to pick up all HIS cleaning supplies.  One thing she didn't suggest that HE got was a putty knife.

After a really good soaking of degreaser, time to do its job, and time to work up the will to do the job, I climbed up my step ladder, grabbed the putty knife and set to work.  Man, oh man!  What a task. Oops, I slipped, now you know it was me. Darn it!  I scraped that stuff off those cabinets and got the cobwebs out of the corners.  You know what - it looks pretty darn good!  It looks so good I made R and RL climb up on the ladder and look!  Now to move on to the next task.  I really hope it's an easier one, for my friend, of course. 

January 5, 2012

Harper's Loves

There are two things Harper loves in his life.  Riding in cars and his Dad.

20 something outside and Harper loves having the window down!  BRRRR!
Sitting in the backseat and happy as can be.
Wait......can this car ride get any better?

YES!  A car ride WITH Dad!

January 2, 2012

Bless My Soul

RL and I haven't had much luck with cars lately.  His truck died in October.  We borrowed Mom's van.  Mom's van had transmission issues and was getting close to dying in December.  Our driveway was starting to look like a bad used car lot!  We decided it was time to look at a new car for RL.  I've been driving an HHR for a few years and loved it, so I wasn't even thinking about a change for me.  Having always loved Kia Souls, I asked him if we could at least go by and test drive one.

These friendly guys greeted us when we went inside to talk to Bullfrog - our salesman.
We drove two cars that day - a Forte and a Soul.  The decision was all RLs, but I just couldn't contain my excitement with the Soul.  It was so much fun to drive and much roomier inside than you would ever imagine.  I LOVED it!  And....since I can't seem to hide the way I feel about things I like, RL knew which car I wanted.
I don't have to tell you which one we bought!  Guess which car RL got????  The old HHR!  That was never my intention.  Apparently it wasn't his either!  We went back a few weeks later and traded in the HHR for a Kia Sorento!  Good thing I got yarn for Christmas, because all of my future yarn funds will be going toward car payments.  :)