Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Alpine Roses

This is the last item in my last box to my Secret  Pal, Julie Schramm, in York, Maine.  My own design I call Alpine Roses. The label in the foreground is for the angora "snow" on the mountain.  It was angora I used on my daughters outfits . I  loved it and hope Clover will also.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Picture Friday


I think this book came from my Secret Pal...if so, THANK YOU very much as I really like it! I've already put 2 things on the list and I am looking for yarn for a third. WOW!

But this definitely came from my Secret pal! You can tell how much parts were enjoyed by noticing the empty candy package on top. Yes I ate them all and I am proud of it! The two skeins are a hand printed rayon chenille and 2 balls of ribbon yarn. I have so many ideas it is hard to choose. Definitely will need to use stitch markers though so I can use the lovely ones pictured. Lovey green yarn, my favorite color, that I may just fondle and look at. AND the very delectable scented tea lights to warm up the stuffy air winter brings to a closed house. Thank you SP, for a most thoughtful and generous gift package.
This should round out a very busy week.  My across the street knitting friend who organizes us all to knit out  in public ( we now have 3 different MEET-UPS for knitters)  had a friend visiting from Germany and I think I just laughed the week away. She may move here and I can't imagine a more welcome knitter than Rachel.  We took her to the Thursday knit-up and she fit right in. She was missed this week as she had to return  home.  Too bad, because we could have used her Saturday and Sunday afternoons as we knitted prayer shawls for breast cancer patients.  This is a real labor of love as each one takes 3 skeins of k3,p3 on and on and on. I would be so bored if it was not for this worthwhile cause.  The reason is so compelling that I chastise myself and start another row. Must knit with good thoughts so the shawl will be full of comfort!! Thank you Susan and Sue from my LYS, THE KNITTING CORNER for organizing this.

I did treat myself to a set of pink Denise needles. They really help with the good feeling!  We were about 12 of us and we ate pink M and M's, and won pink prizes.  Really rewarding work. I also won the door prize, a set of pink and white nylon scrubbies. Love them for a good scrub!!

It's been great week and my hands ache but my heart is full! Happy week-end!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Not a Cat


I know everyone oohs and aahs over the cat photos but this lovebug, all 75 pounds of her is my rottweiler, Ein Liebchen or Liebe.  Dismiss the drool, it's a hazard of big dogs.  What I wanted you to see and she would not turn away, is her collar. It's new, bright yellow and from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and bears the logo, LIVESTRONG. A real eye-catcher and has a very important meaning for us since we have lost 2 dogs to cancer.  So look at this sweetie good, she just wants to be petted, fussed over and sit in the drivers seat of the motor home.  The intense stare is for the 3 miniature poodles at the next campsite who were allowed to run wild off-leash. Liebe is very disgusted at their antics and huffed at them for their bad behavior. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A bunch of things

I have so much just stick with me. . . we will be jumping around! This is our new (1995) RV and did we have fun. We went camping locally for a "shake-down" and filled 2 pages of "we needs", "we wants" and "wow, look what they are doing". We also had many lookers at our spit rotisserie set up where we roasted a chicken, a pork roast and a beef roast at the same time. We had a very experienced Girl Scout and a Boy Scout Troop leader along! Camp fire cooking tastes so great, as the roasts cooked we just took a knife and sliced off a piece, added more rub to the spot and keep turning! The French toast my daughter made for breakfast in a 60 year old cast iron skillet over a backpackers stove was from Italian bread and tasted like a custard filling. Many oohs and aahs. Only problem is I am not a paperplate, plastic spoon gal so I am the official dishwasher. It's ok to me as it was a great tradeoff, I just don't cook!
First don't these booties look like they are talking to one another? This set is going north to where US Route 1 starts from my home where US route 1 ends. It's a "lemon".

Wow what a week!  We have torn my living room apart and made an Art Studio. When you have 2 ladies in one house who dabble in it ALL, this is what happens.  From home made cards, gift wrap, sewing, watercolors, seasonal decor, knitting, needlepoint, scrapbooking,wedding invitations,  do I need to say more.  We desperately needed a space to create. The living room was rarely used.  Since DH retired from military service, our socializing is very informal. So we are very excited.  Guests either gravitate to the den or sit and craft, What a life! Photo to follow tomorrow when I flash my stash.
EXERCISE . .  I  got quite a cramp/strain in my right calf from one hr a day biking and after a rest have restarted at half an hour twice a day. This seems to feel better.  CLimbing up and down the steep camper stairs was quite a workout. Lifting my weight was better than a gym.
SLEEP .  leveled out at seven hours a night. I do not seem to be able to stay there for eight. Maybe I just need less. I sure did sleep in the RV. It has a queen size bed so it was like home.
WATER . . I have a cup of cappucino in the early AM and only want water the rest of the day. It is true that it is the best thirst quencher. We have great water here at the Beach.  I take mine straight or on the rocks. Tee Hee!
NUTRITION/HEALTHY EATING . . The style continues with small variations, mushrooms, spinach or asparagus in the omelet, some type of salad with a protein added and dinner. Well, last night we had Moroccan chili made with turkey and Ten Thousand grains of Sand.  I am rediscovering some spices that I really like. This was full of coriander, cumin, paprika, chili powder and fresh lemon at the end. The couscous cooked in defatted chicken broth with some apricots, raisins and fresh parsley  was delicious.  If only I was Jane Brocket on Yarnstorm you would have great photo but alas, we ate it all.
AND NOW TA DA!
WEIGHT . . another two pounds bit the dust.  For the little exercise I can do this was great. The doctor does not want me to lose too much before surgery but I feel fine and I am eating very nutritionally.  The camping weekend put back 2 pounds but they should come off quick before they get stuck

Friday, September 28, 2007

JOY TO ME!

I received 2 of my favorite cards from my secret pal. Hoops and Yo-yo have been my favorites since I first saw them. They can brighten the gloomiest day. These were about FALL ... I got quite a giggle from the first and then the second was a beautiful calm one! I did not know they could be calm and quiet!! My secret pal included the news that she was sending me a subscription to KNIT SIMPLE. I did not know this magazine and of course had to go look it up. I'm excited!!  This was totally unexpected and guaranteed to help use up the stash, I hope. Thanks you SP for such a novel idea. 

Knitting pictures have to wait . . mostly knitting for secret pal!  

Biggest news. . . . drum roll, please!  We bought a motor home. Yessir a 35 footer complete with queen size bed, full kitchen with side by side refrigerator/freezer and a bath with shower. Our dream was always to hit the open road and my knees have really delayed plans.  SO we will make some small  trips here in SE Virginia and tune up our skills.  Everyone is excited so we are busy with maps and campground directories, as well as combing the house for all the things we can use in it to cut down costs. Anyone with suggestions? Jump in, because we love help!

Maybe we will see you in the coming months!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Week in Review

Let's see . . . .
Bummer of the week - The Redskins lost. A real downer
Exercise- I biked for an hour each day. Friday my foot and ankle began to really ache and I decided to forgo biking until it stopped. Normally I would have pushed on BUT the injuries and trauma to that leg make me gun shy. Tonight it is much better and I will be back on the bike Monday AM.
Water-Lots of water and one glass of wine this week . . not too bad.. 2 glasses iced tea, no sugar
Weight-I am down 3.5 pounds for the week.  I know it is probably water weight but it sure felt good on the scale.
Sleep- I actually got 6-7 hours each night, a real success for me
Relaxation-This was a surprise flop. I substituted knitting simply booties instead. It felt good and I finished them.
Nutrition-first week of SBD, no flour, no sugar, no fruit, no problem

so to sum up it onward and downward. I feel good. Could be that John's cappucino's really can do the trick . . they sure taste good. Come on over, he is a frothing genius!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

How to make a Box of Chocolates



First you scour the LYS's for the ingredients, then you "cook" the ingredients  and load the box...

be sure to
label
them 
and 
add a
cover.



Now what do you think I should do with this???

Conversation


I was invited to join my daughter and friends at their monthly book club meeting. They usually meet on the beach with wine and brie, etc. but I cannot walk over the dune with these knees. Due to a rain that evening they met at a local Mexican restaurant to discuss a book about the chef of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".  Julie Powell wrote a book called "Julie and Julia" in which she resolves to cook all of the recipes in Julia Child's book and do it in one year.  I've laughed, winced, commiserated and been astonished that she succeeded.  The discussion was almost better than the book. I've missed the exchange of ideas between a variety of ages. We all brought views from different experiences, travels and jobs. They all had an interplay with the occurrences in the book.  I have always believed that this  cookbook has never-fail recipes because Julia tells you exactly what to do, how to do it, pitfalls and what to do if something does go wrong.  We all recommend this read!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Breaking the Fast

My son sent me the following picture of his breakfast.  Like me he has discovered the joy of  breaking the over night fast.  I have perfected the egg-beater omelet. It's fluffy outer has contained many a good thing recently:mushrooms, salsa, asparagus, spinach, lo-fat cheese. Coupled with a cup of John's luscious cappucino topped with clouds of foam, it slips me into another beautiful day. Early morning on the porch the birds sing,  the newspaper even reads better. Shep has found a frozen mixture of  black beans, peppers, corn  and onions that he uses but I have not found it yet. Yummo!  Knitting continues with pictures later today.

Fit to Knit

Once a week I will be accountable to myself (and you because you are reading this) in order to help track my progress. Please feel free to jump in with any thing you thinks needs saying. 
Water . . . Dr. Oz said water makes no difference in keeping your skin healthy, however it is necessary to proper bowel function along with fiber. I have no problem drinking water. Over the past years of trying to find a Diet I could live with I discovered I like water. It satisfies thirst and when you are tired, it often is the pick-me up solution. Also I try water first if I start thinking of food.
Healthy eating. . . I have egg-beaters every morning adding Canadian bacon, or spinach or  mushrooms and 2 T. of salsa. Then in 2-2 1/2 hours I need a small snack. Usually 10-15 cashews or pistachios or a slice of turkey in a romaine leaf or a wedge of Laughing Cow Lite in a celery stalk.  Lunch is a salad. I love salad WITHOUT dressing. Another thing I discovered looking for a "LIVE-IT" is that drencing my salad with a fat dressing covered up the taste of the veggies. I like the veggies. So, no dresssing or maybe a little fresh lemon or lime or white balsamic vinegar. These freshen up the veggies.  I have edamame, spinach, field greens, 1 oz. cheese, 2 oz meat, cucumber, peppers, or any combination of lo-carb vegetables.  Mid-afternoon a snack again. Supper has always been the downfall. WOrking and coming home to prepare a meal with no processed food was a B-----! Now it is a lot easier. Megan has gotten us on a healthier supper routine and we are looking for a downward trend!!
Exercise . . . Here is the real bug-a-boo.  Walking is out as is any weight bearing exercise for longer than a few minutes. So my recumbent bicycle and I had a discussion. We set up in the living room near the new small TV and yesterday I biked for an hour. Easy to judge as it was the length of the TV show. Not very fast, no resistance, burned 30 calories 12 of which were fat.  It's a start. I don't intend to set the world afire right away. Just get the knees moving around and strengthen he quads.
Sleep . .  I get up at 6 every morning. My knee, hip and back never let me sleep more than 6-7 hours. I am working on this. Hopefully as I lose weight, I can sleep on my back.
Relaxation . .  This is funny as I knit the days away. But watching TV and knitting is not the unwind I think I need.  So I am having a 15 minute break every morning and afternoon to meditate. Sit in solitary splendor and concentrate on nothing, clear the mind and let any tension flow away.  I did it in college those many years ago and it worked then.

So those are the goals and along with the weight I will report each week.

I am excited. I have 8 weeks to surgery, and the more I can get rid of, the easier the recovery.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Secret Pals

s-s-s-s-s-h!! It's a secret!! What fun...packages being wrapped, knittery things arriving from on-line orders, shopping around with lists in hand, surprise e-mail cards, and just tickled giggling when some item worked out well!! Whoopee!!  And then. . .there are the surprise friends you make from reading blogs. During SP10 I read 2 blogs in particular. One resulted in a knitting buddy who lives 2 blocks away. Some one who comes and spends the afternoon in companionable knitting and "knittip" (that's knitting gossip).  We ride together to knitting groups at LYS and coffee shops. How great is that!  And then.. there is the knitter I may never meet. I hope to meet her one day but she lives across the big pond in England. Her heart is so-o-o-o big. How big, you ask? Well, she knitted MS3 and sent it to me! I could never have let it go. I just sit and admire the hours of tiny knitting and marvel if I will ever master stockinette!!
My secret pal this year has sent messages and e-cards. They are so much fun to get. Suddenly they just pop up in your mail and you know someone somewhere got up that morning and thought of you. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
My downstream pal is about to be gifted. Because of the surgery in November I decided to get it all together now. The hardest decision now is what to send when. I am a terrible gift person about waiting. Christmas is torture. At 66 I am the first up that morning and I want everyone to open now!! Fortunately My family understands and jollies me around. They take the paper off so-o-o- slowly!
Knitting news . . . the lace socks have gone to the bottom of the barrel. The pattern was distorting because my tension was not dependable!! I am a self taught knitter and picked up some terrible habits. One of which is throwing and it is not conducive to even tension. So I am putting myself through Cheryl's knitting school of "picking". I quess in all the years of baby and childrens knitting I never ran across these lovely patterns that require a certain degree of continuity in tension. The variance never seemed to make a difference and now it does. I am still knitting, booties and some hats and dishcloths.
Knee and general health. . . . the lack of exercise has resulted in a hip spread that is deplorable. My daughter, however has stepped in and shown me the way. SHe is going to lead me to weight loss and better health. I hear my son cheering in the next state over! I have gotten very slack about diet and exercise. I found "Fitter Knitters" and "Diethack". I also used South Beach Diet last year and liked it. These are my tools and I will report every Tuesday after our check in with each other. Megan created a visual to help me achieve my goal.  Don't you like my new ME!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

WOWEE!


At my age in life to be nominated for anything is a treat but to be considered ROCKIN" is fantastic!! Thank you Christine! You made me grin from ear to ear! Up till now my chair was the only thing rocking!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Too Funny



I posted about this TV show and I quess someone had the house bugged. Can't you just see this! Instead of Rhumba, Jitterbug and Samba they could have Socks, MS 4, Baby Booties, Aran Cables, Bobbles and Beads, Mittens, and on and on. Oh my gosh! I hope they haven"t bugged this post!!! AAAGH!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Down Under

I read a wide variety of books and love books to be recommended to me. I learn something of the person as well as the book subject matter. So it was a very satisfying read to delve into DOWN UNDER by Bill Bryson. It was given to me by my son on his return from his 2 week turned into 8 week trip to Australia. AU has always been my number one dream destination. I got as far as the Philippines and Hong Kong and Japan and Thailand and Vietnam but could not find a way to go down under. Now through blogging I have met some really delightful bloggers in Australia. I am not sure what they would think of this book. At times it is a hoot and at times irreverent but I loved it. Bill B. travels as I like to, stopping at every nook and corner, cross roads and bump in the road. Some people have to stay at the big resort but I much prefer going off the byway. After all, I can stay at the Westin, Holiday Inn, or Marriott here and anywhere else they would look the same. I am glad to say my son took after me and wandered hither and yon on the East coast, met a lot of people and never stayed in a resort hotel. Even rented a camper van and went to a ute round up. He loved AU and wants us to plan a long trip back. So I have marked a number of pages. I may have to see some of Bill B"s little known but treasured spots.

I discovered the source of the sock malady. I knit the lace too loosely. My teacher says I was afraid of it. So I RIPPED it back and started over one needle size down and I love them again. 2 weeks of knitting shot but a great lesson. I also need a better way to hold tension of my yarn. I am trying continental on a smaller piece but this is my usual throwing. Now I look at people's hands while they are knitting. I dislike to knit the last stitch on a dpn especially if it is a purl. It is still very awkward and I fumble as I move the spare dpn into play. Ah well, things to practice. If we were perfect right off the bat, there would not be anything to learn and have fun doing it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

So you think you can knit!

I feel like the TV show "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE" where I have a new dance/knitting dilemna each week and succeed or am voted off. Our hostess gave us a tiny set of questions to answer. My knitting projects are tumbling down a black hole and she actually thinks I know anything about my knitting???? SHe has great faith!!

The one knitting accessory I cannot do without is a steel crochet hook that belonged to my father's mother. It is the smallest size and I use it to tink mistakes, a lot of them lately. My latest is a missed yarnover about 8 rows back. I've tinked down to it but cannot get it to yarn over. I also have a lamp by my chair with a great magnifier that helps with the size 1 needles I seem to be always using.

I use to always have a book with me when I left the house. Now I always have knitting. My SP10 pal sent me a sock sized tote and I always have it with my handbag ready to go. If I am off for antyhing more than the day I take about 4 or 5 projects and 2-3 books. ALways a sock, a baby hat, some charity knitting, maybe some yarn I want to start if I get bored or frustrated with the others and always space to pick up something on the way.

WHen I go on vacation I go to relax totally or to go, go, go. It never seems to be halfway. My favroite vacations were trolling around NY city with my daughter visiting button shops, ribbon shops, fabric stores and a tassel shop. She is an interior designer and we had a list of shops to explore. I have two of those tassels in my bedroom now. The other favorite was a trip to Hatteras Island on the North Carolina Outer Banks. We had a popup camper and I laid back, let the breezes blow through and read and read and read, Bliss!!!

A favorite knitting book is impossible. I have so many, all with bits and pieces of paper sticking out marking patterns. I re-read them occassionally and always find something I forgot about. I also write in them notes on former projects or ideas for a future one.. However the Yarn Harlot's book about the knitting rules is so funny I read portions aloud to anyone I could get to listen.

I have to admit I do not know what a pod-cst is or how to get one!

I'm off to bedevil my very patient knitting teacher and the yarnover problem.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ravelry

Whew! Ravelry has created a problem. I've been in it for a while, 2 months or so and a little overwhelmed. I had to sit back and decide where to start. I am a slow learner! SO I started cataloging all my books in LIBRARY THING and books started appearing from all over the house. When sock books start disappearing under the bed and baby bootie books are in the bathroom and scarvf books are in the garage, there is an accumulation problem! Now 2 shelves in the studio (ex-living room) hold my knitting books. Another shelf has quilting, needlepoint and cross stitch, But at least I know what I have, bookwise. Next was the yarn. Hey, I only started knitting seriously last November. But then there was some holiday money and the my LYS went out of business and then I discovered I like to touch yarn and cuddle it and it follows me home! I haven't found the authoritative voice to say "bad yarn go back" and so it just comes on in to the house and takes up occupancy! Ooooh, what a lot of yarn and in less than a year. So, Rav has been a big help in making me face THE YARN ADDICTION. I have no idea what I am going to kit with this stuff. Most of it I just like to look at and cuddle. The project page gave me a severe case of the FINISHIES as I faced my worst nightmare. Bag after bag of unfinished (UFO=unfinished and formerly unfound objects) items are not sitting in plain sight and everyone can see. A-a-a-agh there are so many! Enough to cover the top of the bed. So I swore (yes dear reader, I do swear, mostly in 5 or 6 letter Spanish or French but once or twice in American, but not often because everyone knows what you are saying) but I swore not to buy anymore yarn until. . . and I promply succumbed to a skein of sock yarn that I saw knitted up. I never would have believed it would look THAT good, so I just had to purchase. I've 22 UFO'S which I am not going to list, noting the number is embarasing enough. It will be sufficient enough to show them as they are finished. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Charting A Course, of Course


OK,OK, all you lacey people with your cobwebby-like threads and your 32 pages of charts, UNCLE. UNCLE. I get it! I started my Lupine Lace Socks and after my initial very wobbly start, I'm cruising. This IS fun! Of course I'm knitting in the round, so my chart is a lot easier (and smaller). I, by no means, am ready for a peacock shawl or a mystery stole. I have however invested in some chocolate brown cashmere for a scarf from the book, Scarf STyle, for Shep for Christmas. Invest is the right word, Wow, is that stuff expensive. That little glob of deliciousness is like gold. I've ripped out the first inch 2 times so the third time should be a winner.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Funnybones

I have a rare Secret Pal in SP11. She found my funny-bone and it wasn't on my questionairre answers. I love Hoops and Yo-yo. If you haven't seen them go to the Hallmark e-greeting cards and look them up. Their dancing alone can reduce me to giggles. Thank you SP, you were a high spot of this day!!!

I wish you many wishes also!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Dreaming

Maybe because I have been housebound so long now but my dreams are all of travel. I plan the whole trip and have developed the ablility to recall the dream and continue it. I've been to London and need to continue into the country side. I've begun the trip to Australia but the long plane ride has me a little weary. Maybe a boat! I found this little quiz and might need to start the trip to Ireland/Scotland. Ater all, Christina can tell me about the Hebrides when she returns. I've only been on one pub crawl.
You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.


BUT. . . .

I could not decide which answers I liked best ...so here is the second set
You Belong in London

You belong in London, but you belong in many cities... Hong Kong, San Francisco, Sidney. You fit in almost anywhere.
And London is diverse and international enough to satisfy many of your tastes. From curry to Shakespeare, London (almost) has it all!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Photos

I've been reading a blog (http://yarnstorm.blogs.com/} for 6 months or so for sheer delight in her photography. She can make the simplest cupcake or flower into a bright spot of joy. I have tried to emulate her photos but her writing and photography skills leave me by the side of the road admiring. I offer this one photo in homage. Thank you, Yarnstorm, you brighten my days.

Monday, August 6, 2007

John and Liebe to the races


The family that spent three weeks glued to the TV and the Tour de France got a chance to go to THE race. The dad, John, is on a bicycle race team, The Fat Frogs. His team was in the running for a state wide Best All Around Team award, so all team members had to race to earn points. .John raced in a time trial for over 70 year olds. The daughter Megan, the rottweiler Liebe and the mom, me, had to go to cheer on the Dad!. It was really hot so we stayed near the car to turn on the AC if needed.



Liebe was quite composed until Dad came in and won a Silver medal. Go Dad!! Can't you see the expression "that's my Dad" and the rapt attention in the pose. Then we went home and Dad celebrated. Liebe is in her guard Dad position. Please note medal on chest! What a day at the races! No illegal substances were consumed, no blood was injected but some beer was definitely enjoyed!!


Lizzie's bits!


This adorable little hat is for a 4 year old friend of ours. It was great fun to knit out of Tahki Cotton Classic. I seem to make all my hats for her but she loves them... so Lizzie's bits!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Secret Pal 11

Here we go again! The last was so much fun! I've updated the answers to the questionairre but feel free to ask away!

1. I've been knitting off and on for 35 years mostly in worsted and baby yarn. I am amazed at all the new yarns and am having fun trying them out. I want to try bamboo, linen, cashmere, etc. I am not too keen on fuzzy frou-frou yarns. I like a more natural look.
2. I store my circulars in top-loading plastic sleeves in a small 3-ring binder. My dpns are in plastic bags and my regular needles in a vase.
3. I taught myself when I was pregnant with my first child; ripple afghans, baby hats, a romper set. I knitted for friends children but never for me. Now I'm looking forward to knitting for me. I consider myself a very enthusiastic intermediate with ambitions! I took a class and made my first pair of socks. Now I have signed up to make a pair of lace patterned socks. I would like to make a pair of monkey socks.
4.I do have an Amazon wish list but I would read anything on knitting. Can a knitting library be too big?
5.My favorite scents are floras but no rose. I also like citrus but no WHITE LINEN. I love garden flowers, freesias, lavender, geraniums, carnations,
6. I have never met a chocolate or toffee I did not like.
7.I quilt, sew, do needlepoint, dabble in stamping, etc. for home made cards, and I've made Japanese ornaments, I have never had any desire to spin or dye as I do not think I have the eye for it or the patience
8. I've very eclectic tastes, from folk music to the classics. I own original Leadbelly, Weavers, Miriam Makeba and have Sting, Chris Isaak, a little Bohemian Rhapsody, Irish folk music, Andrea Bocelli, Yo-Yo Ma, etc. To get my children to listen to our music I had to listen to theirs and it continues through to today, I recently watched ROck STar Supernova and was entranced. Good music is good music whatever the genre.
9. I love greens, Shabby Chic Pastels, pewter gray, stark black, lots of colors, happy colors, except I am not fond of oranges or neon's
10.I've been married 44 years and 8 months. I was a service brat and a military wife, 2 children, daughter 41 who is an interior designer of high end residential/ commercial, and a son 39 who can make a computer do somersaults. We have a rottweiler, and all are active in fund raising for Cancer research as we have lost 2 dear pets to cancer and many family members.
11. I love hats, scarf, mittens, I want to knit a fingerless pair, but no ponchos. I am a heavier woman and ponchos look like tents!
12. It seems I like to knit anything I see that I like. I love pattern and color. I would like to learn to do entrelac and try mitered corners.
13. see the above post, I try to knit a hat a month for charity . I knit mostly for others as I like to make others smile and be happy.
14.Yes, isn't it nice that someone would want to make something for you!
15. Most of what I have is old plastic, or metal. I have used the bamboo circulars and like them. I understand new needles in aluminum have very sharp points and I would like to try them. I have 2 pairs of Addi turbos . I like to have 6”metal dpns for socks
16. No I guess I sure get one though.
17.My oldest UFO is a sweater over 10 years old for son who informed me sweaters are too hot. I am frogging it to make it into a scarf for him now.
18.Christmas is always a favorite and we do celebrate 12th night with a gift to remember the Gifts of the Magi. But I lived in Venezuela and in the Philippines and I love the Fourth of July. We had birthday parties and the children sang Happy Birthday to AMerica. Also my BIL was born on July 3rd and I lost my mother on July 3rd. SO we always have a do!
19. I inherited a house full of antiques from my parents, lots of fish plates and a vast collection of salt dishes. I'll post pictures. I try not to collect as you wind up getting a “collection” rather than the one of a something you really love.
20.I do not have any subscriptions. DO you recommend one?
21. I just want to be the best I can be and learn to knit beautiful garments for myself.
22.My first pair of socks is done . I’ll have to measure them!
23.I am a happy 66 year old, born March 27, an Aries woman married to a Taurus man. who is 75. He is an avid bicyclist and we are recovering from the Tour de France marathon tv of 3 weeks. Lots of lively banter and stubbornness in this house.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tour de France At Home

The first few days of the Tour de France, for us, are always the same. Who did not make the teams, (Bobby Julich you were missed) who is new, what teams were reorganized, who went from here to there and so on. We like to be able to pick out the little things in a race and not depend solely on the announcers. At 2 hours and 40 minutes the "bathing suit" was interesting! Not my style but interesting. At 4 hours forty minutes the guy in the bermudas who was clothes-lined off the course by another spectator before he caused the bike rider to hit him was a joy to see. How often I have waited to see other "stupids" pulled off the course. Then watching our Discovery boys and trying to figure out what, if any, the team strategy was. Contador definitely proved himself a climber. Our hopes for George Hincapie faded as the climbs continued. Levi played it cool. He loves the Pyrenees and there are only 1 and 1/2 minutes separating 3rd and 14th places. Go Levi!
But you have to love Rasmussen, all alone and asking for nothing. What a ride!!

My knitting has suffered but the rest day will allow this team to regroup. I have been mulling over the design on my TDFKAL dog cape and I may have solved it. I have been working the KAL baby hoodie and I am ready to shoulder seam but I am going to graft or 3 needle bind off the seams. Less scratchy and bulky. Never tried it so I am out here on the Col alone and bracing for the climb! Bring me good fortune, Rasmussen, I was pulling for you!

Shep just returned from 6 weeks exploring the East coast of Australia so we feel we have a vested interest in the Aussie riders. It was wrenching to watch Michael Rogers slowly slip away until he finally had to acknowledge it was over for this year. I used my kleenex a lot. ABout 5 years ago my husband touched a wheel with another rider and went down into a roadside ditch. His new bike, a birthday present from me, was OK as everyone kept telling me. But my John had 4 broken ribs, a broken collarbone and a punctured lung. 5 days in hospital, and a long recovery at home ensued. Since the breaks were in the back and side, sleep was difficult, and he wound up sleeping in a recliner on an eggshell crate mattress. I thought he looked like a baby bird in a nest. So our sympathies are also with Stuart O'Grady as we know what lies ahead. Robbie, how we have missed you. You bring us such great joy as we look and look for you at the sprints, trying to be the first to spot you before you burst from somewhere and take it all. Your fall must have been worse than we knew and your courage was admirable. Riding with banged up knees and wrists are murder on a cyclist and we ached with you. You'll be back soon for more last minute thrills.

After yesterday's stage 8 I am exhausted, (where is MY masseuse) and some slow pedaling on the in home recumbent are in the works while I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Wonder what Lance thinks of all this?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tour de France KAL recipe

We love asparagus, never met a spear I did not love. My favorite way is to grill them after marinating. Last night I had . . .in honor of the yellow of the competition
Asperges pour les maillot jaunes. .

1 pound asparagus, wash and remove woody end

Mix in blender
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
grated rind of one lemon
juice of that lemon
dash of cracked pepper
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon sugar

drizzle over spears, rest at least 30 minutes
grill over low flame about 5-8 minutes or until color change
and grilled to your taste
we like a little crunch

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bob is on a Roll

Bob Roll has always had a special appeal to us. Maybe because like me, Bob cannot talk without his hands. It has been said that I cannot describe a spiral staircase without using my hands. Have you noticed that his bobble-head doll is the only one whose hands move! I do enjoy his comments and I learn more from him than any other.

I just finished a book by Eric Delaney "Inside the Tour de France", containing the little told and untold stories of the tour. Each is just one page making for pick up and lay down reading. Some great, some not so but the photos, especially the older ones are captivating. I found it at the library and really enjoyed it.

My Tour de France KAL project is suffering, it may qualify for the Lantern Rouge at this rate. The yarns have had to bring forward another team member. Oh, yes, we have plenty! This is a blue and yellow hoody in a sixe 1. It is all stockingette stitch and I call it my knitting yoga. I can watch the race and knit with so much pleasure. I'm seeing the knitsters on Thursday to find out how to encourage the dog cape.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Crash and burn

In Dunkerque the Tour de France peloton crashed near the finish and I did too. I had to regroup as my design-on-a-dime dog cape had to be redone. I have never designed a pattern before and it is and is not easy. HUH? Well, the sizing was great but the edge curled up terribly and I can not figure were to put the holes for the legs. But if the riders in the peloton crash can ride to the finish cradling their arms, wrists and sore heads, I guess I can try again. To the Tour de France, allez, allez!

Has anyone seen Whitney's "Giotto-go-with-the -flow" socks posted on her website. See her name under the polka-dot jerseys listed on the TDF KAL, I am awarding her my personal huzzahs for good knitting/good idea. You inspire me Whitney. I did not think I was ready for a second pair of socks but for these I am, I am.

My husband did his three-four times a week ride this AM. He rides at a bike shop here in Virginia Beach called Fat Frogs. They ride every morning at 7:30 AM. He got up to 28 MPH today (not for long) after all he is 75 but he is amazing. While I wait for knee surgery he keeps the cycling going for the family. He has been impressed with this KAL. I can keep him updated with little tid-bits of info. Keep it up Debby and Meg, you make me look good.

The Tour de France ended in Gand/Gent/Ghent, Belgium . . we have a Ghent (same pronunciation different spelling) Historic District here in Norfolk. A lovely section of town where the water , the Hague, curves through and houses line one side. They are very European in look and the roof lines resemble those in Belgium. I wish we had the Belgium bike paths.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

IPHONE MANIA

Just when this Apple fan thought iPhone thought of everything . . this Mom (GrandMom) knitted one!! No kidding see for yourself and even included instructions to knit your own. Grandmom knitters rule!!
http://daddytypes.com/2007/07/04/my_mom_handknit_an_iphone.php

Frankly, I think she just won the Tour de Knit!

MyTDF KAL project is a "knit by the seat of your pants" design. The teacup pug belongs to my cousin who has never asked me for anything in her life. Her baby "Miss Beulah" named for our grandmother is 11 1/2 weeks old and weighs just under 2 pounds. I have never seen her BUT I am told this is a similar image. Now my personal choice for a dog is one who can warm your feet on a cold night and growl loud enough to wake you if there is danger AND protect you if needed. My rottweiler Liebchen is 72 pounds and a real love bug. But my cousin is in love. Her pug is black so we have the Neon pink cape in progress.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

VIVE le TOUR

Vive the Tour de France Knit along!
Last night the yarns of my house discovered the Knit ALong. They came for the prologue from my knitting basket, from under the couch, from the basket in the side table, from under the pillow on my bed, the depths of the old armchair, from the boxes on my shelves, from the little sock tote bag my secret pal sent me, and even the shopping bag from my lys, the Knitting Corner that I bought today. They came from places where I did not know yarn had been stashed. The excitment among them was palpable. The chatter built as the time for the start neared. Soon they began to form into teams, the greens seem to model Discovery. I distinctly heard one say he intended to be carbon negative. Once they chose up teams, the race began in earnest, each one trying to be THE ONE to be knitted first. A small skein of neon pink was not a favorite but really put up a good show and had an perfect gauge on the test swatch. We have a winner. Destined to be a cape for a teacup pug this yarn came in first. All the others were gracious, after all, we have many days ahead. As I cleared up from the prologue I heard a yarn who had been here a while explain to a newcomer, a laceweight, that the peloton could be hard on the newbies and to stick close.

J'aime tricoter
J'aime le Tour de France Knit Along!

Friday, July 6, 2007

postscript

Tomorrow's start of the TDK has pushed me to finish at least one UFO before I add another. So, Viv, I now present 2 of my favorites, my very first socks (yes, both of them are done) and my daughter who is very happy for me and proud.

AFICIONADO

Described as one who has an intense, occasionally overwhelming liking of . . . . as in my liking of the America's Cup race, and the Tour de France. We tape, and back up and argue about what we saw, look up terms on the web, rules of the road (water) and argue over sportscasters. We fawn over Bob Roll. We read articles in Bicycling, Yachting, pour over web sites, pass over the front pages of the sports section grasping for the tiny paragraph buried in the middle pages about Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton and the fight for better policing of the testing procedures for possible doping violations. We root for New Zealand to return the cup to New Zealand and died 10,000 deaths when New Zealand was awarded the first penalty ever in AC racing. The last 5 minutes of the last race were possibly the most exciting in yachting racing history. A one second difference, a near photo finish to win the America's Cup.

Today I entered the Tour de France KAL. I am going to attempt to build a team and knit the peloton! First I have to get the logo on my blog. This is possibly the hardest part of the whole race.

Voila! a tour de force for the logo! See the sidebar for my jersey choice. if you want to knit along with the riders you have until 3pm, London time, on 7th July 2007 - that's when the official tour begins. Come join the fun.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY USA

When my husband was active duty USN we were transferred to the Philipines. Megan was 1 and Shep was born over there. When our orders came to return to the States Megan was 3. She could not understand going "home" or going to the "states". Shep turned 1 the day our ship sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. In the ensuing year we tried to explain the concept of our country and had a birthday party for America on the fourth. We invited all the neighbors, had all the traditional favorites and sang "happy birthday" to America. This continued for a few years and gradually fell away when the kids wanted to go places to see fireworks and to the beach. I miss it. This year Shep was on a plane from Australia today and will be landing in DC as fireworks go off over the Capitol. Megan and her friends are going to the beach for fireworks. I will stay home with a swollen ankle. I will miss festivities but not the day. Independence day lives in my heart aong with my pride in the USA.

so Happy Birthday America. You are still my favorite country and I am proud to be an American. I still get chills to say the Pledge of Allegiance and I have sung all the verses to the Star Spangled Banner. When we lived overseas, the base movie would always play the National Anthem at the start of the movie and show scenes of home. On the last line " ... and the home of the brave" they would show the WHite House and I always choked up. Many brave citizens have given their lives to protect the ideals I hold dear and I pledge to protect them also. So Happy Birthday America and many more to come.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

SP 10

Dear SP 10 pal, I feel awful and I don't know how to reach you. I am not sure what happened but I
did not get the e-cards. I checked with COX who dumped my Ravelry invite into a JUNK file. Aargh!
(I hope you signed up . . it is a knitters heaven there.)
But no e-cards were in there. Your last package was so great, I can not imagine what more you
can send. I use my beautiful blue Sock Bag all the time. It is such a perfect size for the car and
wherever I have had to go sit and wait. . If you have read my blog you know how awful some of my
last 2 months have been. Knitting has been my yoga. Since my family wrapped me in spun cotton
and don't let me drive, the few time I have been let out the blue bag has been on my arm.
Last night the thoughtful lady from last week (Hi Cheryl) picked me up and took me to the local
knitting guild. She also has me in bubble wrap and dropped me at the front door while she went to park.

Harry Potter? Hmmmmm? I'll have to sit on the front porch!
Thanks for thinking of me. Just that thought is fun to ponder. While I was here, you were there, shopping
and packing and whatever . . . hmmm. Can't wait!

Monday, July 2, 2007

RAVELRY

I kept waiting and waiting . . patiently , ,, only to find out that COX . . bless their tiny hearts . . had sorted my acceptance into the JUNK file! Junk!! I was incensed . . I wish I could dump the JUNK sort!

Anyhoo . I've started inputting . it looks like just the organization I need. First problem, however, is listing the books. I have a very extensive library of knitting books. I was going to put them on a computer log but if I can add them in to Ravelry mores the better.

Daughter ordered her last J.K. Rowliing book. I do wonder what J.K.will do now that the series is finished. Is writing something you can turn off? I don't think so. I could not stop knitting. So what does she do now? I can understand a break but I feel we will see something else before too long.

I've read them all, have to keep up with the younger generation, don't you know! and finally decided to find out who I resemble. . what a surprise! This must classify as one of those "you can fool some of the peole sometime....." things.

You scored as Albus Dumbledore. You are very wise, observant, and analyctical. You have a very "well-organized" mind, which makes you function in a calm and fair manner. Though you get angered easily, its rare of you to ever act our of temper. You are constantly seeing the good in people and are naturally forgiving because of it. You're easy to please and a great person to learn from.

Harry Potter Character Combatibility Test
created with QuizFarm.com

Maybe now I'll have to find a house. I finished a cranberry and navy scarf resembling the Hogwarts scarves for a young friend. He is a Potter and these were the colors he chose. So we made him a House of Potter scarf. hah, hah! It is actually very attractive. I want a navy coat for fall and maybe I'll do myself a scarf. He has a nice house I could dwell in!

Son is leaving Australia on July 4th. Very bummed as he wanted to be gere for the fourth, instead he'll be on that long flight to CA and then on to DC. He'll see fireworks over the Capitol from the plane. He is having mixed emotions. Time to come home and get a job and leaving the joy of exploration and discovery. He has not only learned about AU but has had a lot of time on his own for self-exploration and introspective thinking. Judging from the lo-o-o-ng phone calls he did a lot of thinking. I feel he found a soul in that country that called to him. Many aspects of the life style and way of thinking were attractive. We all feel that we need to take a long trip down under to see what it is all about.

SP 10 is over. I have very mixed emotions. I have not heard from Kristen Since June 2. I feel her accident stirred up some life actions that had been dormant. I miss her postes and hope all is well. I'm intersted in what Louisa Harding project she will take on. The SP that was my spoiler is a mystery. I had a message in the beginning and then one big box in the middle and quiet. I was never able to contact her and could only thank her through the blog. I tried Yarn Junkies 4 but it was a oneshot affair and over. However the SP blogs led me to a blogger in England and one 3 blocks away so I am thrilled.

We will go to the beach for the 4th. My daughter has a group of friends that gather on the bayside. After the kids are exhausted we eat all the great goodies that this marvelous group of talented cooks prepare and then see the show. The location is such that we see about 4 different shows by turning our heads. Can't get any better than that. I will be making Gazpacho so I ned to be off to the store. It needs 24 hours to meld flavors and really get chilled.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Kindness

An act of kindness came my way this week. I've been scanning the blogs of the participants of SP10 and found a knitter who lives only 3 blocks away. She is a rare person, one who is truly, truly nice. She picked me up Wednesday and we drove to the next town to an evening knitting group. I've almost become a shut-in because parking and walking a distance is very difficult. Cheryl dropped me at the front door and went to park. SHe is also very thoughtful! We have much in common, her son is in Israel and mine has not come home from Australia YET. We are also service wives, hers USAF and mine USN. AND we knit. How lucky for me! Monday she is taking me to the TIDEWATER KNITTING GUILD. Sounds like fun.

We bought a new color printer and scanner. This one has many color cartridges and we hope will use color ink more wisely.
I'm busy printing many good things to knit and sew. I want to make a needle roll but haven't found just the pattern. I also want a project bag that holds 2-3 skeins.

John was the head of the SAGS for the MS-150 earlier this month on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. I was not allowed to go because of the chest cold and diminished immune system. They raised lots of money but had rain Sunday so finished early. This was our 6th year to head up the SAGS. I was also supposed to help with the accounting for the Relay for Life and had to bow out also for the same reason Thanks goodness for knitting. I'd be stir crazy with all I have missed.

My daughter is a Interior Designer ( more than a decorator and less than an architect) Like the proverbial shoemaker whose children had no shoes, her schedule does not allow her to work for me, often, BUT when she does it is always a joy. Today I had wide wooden blinds hung on the side by side windows in the den. They are almost the same color as the paneling and make the room look so much bigger. The room also feels much cooler due to the filtered light. It also feels more like my hometown of Key West where the rooms are also shaded from the sun. So I just sat for a long while and enjoyed. It is a luxury to have something that is just so right!

I am again waiting for a call for a knee replacement date. I think my family is tired of waiting also. My knees have both gotten so bad that the bulk of running the house has fallen on them. I do have a stool that can run the kitchen so I can chop and cook while sitting. For a change I cooked every night and we ate on the deck. The evening breezes made it very pleasant.
Things are slowly turning my way again.

See you on the needles

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm back!

I finally feel like posting again. For a while everything I had to say was so blue and sad I did not feel like writing about it. I've been taking some vitamins and some new meds and I have perked up. Of course I have not been anywhere or done anything so I really have nothing to blog about.

SHep is still in Australia and given half a chance I think he would stay. We are all green and want to plan a trip for ourselves. He dived on the Great Barrier Reef and gave us an e-mail update on flora, fauna, history and all he met. How small the world is today

Hubby was in a time trial for bicycle racers ( there were not too many in his age bracket of 60 plus) but he did manage to win a point or two for the team. At 75 I think it was fantastic. He has held us together during all these trials I"ve added to our lives. I am again waiting for a date for surgery.

Megan is busy working on me. Trying to find ways to get more exercise and better nutrition. With her busy schedule I am impressed she has found time. She has been a cheerful encorager when I needed it the most.

Thanks to everyone for the e-mails, phone calls and cards. They reaaly do help.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

UPS, DOWNS and SIDEWAYS

What a strange few days. I was riding the high (UP) after the good heart news. SLept all week-end, result of medicines and stress relief. Monday got up with a killer lower backache (DOWN) from sleeping in the recliner, bed, computer chair, porch chair, etc. I kept falling asleep anywhere. But because of backache, John gave me the heating pad and about 30 minutes later I started itching. Itched Monday, Tuesday, scratched Wednesday and Thursday broke out in a rash and started ripping skin with my fingernails and backscratcther (BIG DOWN). Saw my Gp who thinks I might be having a reaction to the dye in the procedure and either of the medicines I normally take. I'm wondering if it is the Zocor since the American Diabetes Assoc has recommeded diabetics take a low dose of a statin drug for cholesterol as it appears diabetics are prone to plaque build-up. The Zocor is new and could be the culprit. However I look like someone deranged as I itch literally allover. From knees to the top of my head there is not a pore of skin that I have not scracthed, continually. Friday returned to GP and said "help now!". Got a cortisone shot and 2 more medicines, with the 3 from yesterday I am now taking 6 different drugs including prednisone, Zantac, Allegra d, Atarax and more, UGH. Now it is Saturday, Gp called this morning, no change, Blood tests at least show it is all external and no internal organs have been bothered. Good kidneys, Good Liver. Ice packs and cold showers help. He will check in with me on Monday.

I have done A LOT of knitting in an attempt to keep my hands busy at something other than scratching!
I had successfully finshed my last charity knitting for the great Pirate Party Megan organized for FOR KIDS. They cleared 180K (big UP). I made another ladybug hat, a bumblebee hat and a tiny pink cloche with flowers on top. Photos are the pits due to lack of time and John did something to the camera. I'll reknit and rephoto later (SIDEWAYS)

I'm knitting a darling hooded sweater for a 12 mos size. The pattern is in this book "BABY CASHMERINO" by Debbie Bliss. Very navy blue and gold as his Daddy is in the NAVY. I can't get the hem to lay flat. In all the knitting I have done I have never blocked anything. I guess it is time to be a big girl and get a more professional look. I love the metal needles I found in my stash, Long narrow points that glide with the yarn. I dropped one yesterday on a tile floor and blunted the point end. I was ready to cry until John said he would sand the point smooth. Metal? Sand? Well, he sure did and now a piece of sandpaper lives in my knit tool kit. You can not tell the point was ever damaged. Sure is nice to know!

Christine, I have decided what I will do with my JOY yarn. It is a special project just for me. I'll post as soon as I have finished. Hope you will approve.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Heart Happy

I am still groggy from the medicines BUT if I remember correctly Dr. Mahoney said my heart was OK. The nurses in recovey were so happy for me. The procedure went through the artery in my right wrist rather than my groin. Dr, Mahoney thought with the state of my knee joints and an old back injury that lying prone for 6 hours after the procedure was too much. So I had to be still for 2 hours but I could be elevated. No knitting for three days as I am bot supposed to bend my wrist. So I'll read pattern books and my new KNITTERS magazine from my SP.

I had so many messages on my phone and e-mails. Your prayers, your well-wishes, warm thoughts and reiiki all worked for a very easy day. Thanks to you it appears I can reschedule my knee replacement. Oh happy heart news!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Memories of childhood

My SP10 hostess, Kery asked us to post our favorite flower. Little did I know what memories that request would invoke. Thank you, Kerry!

Do you ever see something or smell something and be immediately transported in memory to another time and place? Whenever I smell roses I am in the warm Key West summer sun at The Convent Of Mary Immaculate in an un-air conditioned classroom. Due to the island makeup of coral in the soil only the roses on the old Cherokee root stock flourish. They had the scent that so many of today's hybrids have lost. Every morning we would pick the island roses fresh with dew, wrap them in waxed paper and bring in to lay at the Virgin Mary's feet. During the day they warmed up in the heat and the scent was so powerful.

This is a hibiscus blossom and in Key West there are hedges of them in every color, singles and doubles. http://www.trop-hibiscus.com/ is a link for just a sampling of the colors. This one is at my front door and has been grown into a tree. Like many it is a lovely orange in the morning that fades slightly by afternoon. The blooms last only a day and remind me always to live each day for its own joy and perfection. I remember each family member by their flowers. My grandmother loved the bright yellow singles the size of saucers, my Aunt Crissie had pink small singles. My Aunt Nora had small red ones and my Aunt Florence had so many different ones. My brother loved a large white single with a blood-red center called a Delores del Rio and my mother loved the large red ones. I think of each of them as I wander the nursery. One year I had one called a Rum-runner than went through a color range of about 6 different hues from morning till evening. Just looking at it was like seeing all my family again. How lovely that a single bloom can bring back such intense happy memories. I wish you a flower of your own memories.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mail call!!


A treasure arrived in the post yesterday! If there is a better secret pal I do not know who it could be. My secret pal sent YARN.. oh lovely, lovely yarn, and she knows ME because she sent the patterns to use for each of the yarns! I am in love with the blue, green ELLA RAE. it's 100% wool from Romania.
It immediately went outside to look at the pool. like colors call to like, right. Actually the colors will always remind me of the water around my family home in Key West so it was perfect.
The LINIE 194 SOLO has been requested by my daughter IF I will knit the ruffled scarf pattern shown here in green. We saw this yarn on the Yarn Harlot's site in a much brighter color (too bright for me) but this color will be great this fall. Now, I have these yarns and patterns
AND an autographed copy of CAST ON, BET'S OFF, a kniting mystery! I did not know there was such a thing! and this great magazine that will accompany me for the heart catheterization Friday. And she wasn't through YET. I also found and I needed so badly a small project bag, just right sized for socks or childrens hats and she made it! in my favorite colors! AND when I opened it, look what was inside The photo of this yarn does not do it justice. It is Trekking pro natura, 75% wool and 25% bamboo. I will get to knit bamboo! What fun! she also included the right sized needles and they are the 5" size I have wanted to try.

If you look at the patterns ( note they are each encased in a plastic sleeve ready for putting in my notebook - how thoughtful can you get!) you will see the pattern for the Waterlily Socks. It calls for some very small beads to be inserted in the cables and tucked under the ball band was a small container of glass beads in the perfect color. Go ahead look close, you will see them.

Oh you beautiful, beautiful secret pal. You are so kind and so thoughtful. All the things I have wanted to try and been a little timid about. It is such a wonderful, wonderful day. I have been knitting charity hats and Duduza dolls and hats for friends children and Now . . I will be knitting for me. First is this great scarf that Megan wants. I'll cast on tomorrow . . for now I just want to look and think great kind thoughts of the lovely person who put so much time and effort into pleasing me. I hope it pleases her to know how much she did. Thank you, secret pal! Thank you!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mothers


See the reasons for my Mother's Day happiness! My husband has sent me cards thanking me for being their mother. I am thankful to be their mother. They bring me such joy and delight. They are as different and yet as alike as can be. In this day of dysfunctional families, they love each other and are there for each other, and they love their parents. We are blessed. They each have a close group of true friends, a rarity in this day. Megan is a tiny feisty ball of energy who believes in people and tries to keep love alive in people with her helping hands. She does not know "NO" and sees the world as one people all as one. People seem to be infected with her cheerful helping ways. Shep is a handsome guy who has always wanted to change the world in some way. He travels extensively whenever possible and would like to mean something to people. He expressed it when he was younger as wanting to be a "superhero" that would come in and save a town. With his intelligence and computer knowledge he will. He is a force for good, looking for a place to happen. Both of them have a wide range of acquaintances but when you become a friend you are a friend for life.
I remember my Mother today who taught me my love of books and learning, my Mother-in-law who taught me a love of cooking especially French dishes and entertaining, my god-mother/Aunt who impressed upon me the joy of serving in my church, my great aunt who was never a mother in one sense but all her life cared for a younger sister who had scarlet fever at age 5 and remained at that age for another sixty years, and my grand-mother who taught me to look for good not bad, to be joyful not sad, to remember that while I put up with others they were putting up with me and through her example taught me about God and the beautiful world He gave us.
I hope you all had a happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

SP10 package

I just read a post from my SP, you
know the one who said she would spoil me!
SHe said she sent a package yesterday. She kept finding things to add
and finally just had to send it. WOW! I am so excited. This is my first secret pal
and I have had so much fun with Kristen, the one I got to spoil.
Stay tuned for this excited receiver! I squeal! Loudly!

new found pleasures!

I have been mostly house-bound due to complications awaiting knee replacement surgery and have relied on my spouse for so much. He is a treasure and a great pleasure! But a new found pleasure is the luxury of organizing. Since I have difficulty walking, standing, etc. I sit alot and go through drawers, shelves, stashes, etc. Things that piled up for the past 21 years that I was working are outta here! As a service brat then wife I was used to moving every 2-3 years. You clean house often and pare down to meet your weight allowance when that happens. . I remember those times fondly. We have been here 40 years! As I look around at the accumulated "stuff" I am horrified at how fast it piles up.

But now (please imagine great smile on face) it is on the move OUT.

One of my found pleasures today was a book I got for Christmas from my son. He finds the most extraordinary presents. One year at a holiday in Key West he took pictures of all my family homes, schools I had attended, anything with sentimental value, put them all in an album and surprised me with it under the tree. What a treasure it was and he is! This book is an explanation of kitchen science. If you are an Alton Brown (TV Food Network) fan you will enjoy this. Can you really fry an egg on the sidwalk? Does belching contribute to global warming? These and many other mysteries and myths are explained. Virginia Purl you would like this, I bet! So while I wait I am de-stuffing. I'll bet George Carlin would be proud of me.

I am also knitting Duduza dolls. What a neat way to use of little bits of yarn!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

No daffodils

The cherry tree in my backyard bloomed late due to our strange winter. The blossoms began to drop immediately. Then winds blew them off and away, This is from the previous year. The prevailing winds blow toward the camera so the pool often fills with the blossoms and looks like Cleopatra's bathtub. We do not have a picture because we are always too busy unclogging the drains! Why don't we cover the pool, you ask? Because I like to look at the water from my windows.
I was born near water, always wanted to live near water and refuse to pay the outlandish home and insurance prices to do so! The pool and deck were designed by my daughter and have been a summer delight for all. Extra wide steps provide places for kids to play and nap. The tree shades the table and the stoves are in an alcove next to the house than can be closed off

from the children with a gate. Our rottweiler Liebe stands guard and greets one and all. The house is on a corner and she runs from side to side gleefully barking Hello to all who pass. In midsummer the tiny Clematis began to bloom and continued until cold temperatures came. I don't think it will reappear this year. We will look for another one as we all enjoyed it so much. There were no daffodils in my yard this year. We went from hot to cold to hot too many times and I think they all gave up.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Healing Thoughts

I have been very concerned about my SP, the one I spoil!. I had a very brief e-mail early in April and she had hurt her leg. Time went by and I did not hear anymore until the last week of April. Her injury was quite serious. She fractured her leg and injured tendons when a load of lumber fell on her. She is very, very nice and very appreciative of the Easter basket I sent her. (see April 6 entry) SHe wrote that the color of yarn I used as grass was the perfect shade for a project she had wanted to knit. How lucky can that be!

Kristen has a problem healing as I do and has had quite a time of it. It is difficult to accept that I heal so much slower than others. A cut on my finger, a bruise on my toe, any injury takes ususally twice as long. I have had to really work on not feeling guilty that I cannot do as I used to do and focus on the future when I can again. John has become my personal shopper and while that is nice, I am itching to go.

Kristin has to keep her leg elevated for quite some time yet so I see knitting in her future. When one is as housebound as I have been it is deeply satisfying to bring a little joy, however small to another. I’m sending some knitting books to her today and hope to cheer her as she heals. Keep her in your warm, calm and healthy thoughts, please. I know only to well how good that feels!

As for my saga. I saw the cardiologist yesterday. My daughter's medical friends picked him out for me. He is very patient, kind and reassuring. I have to have a cardiac catherization (run a snake with a camera up from my groin and take pictures). I asked if I would be awake. He said he would give me a " 3-4 martini lunch" and I would not remember a thing. I also received a call late in the afternoon from my G.P. asking about the appointment. How blessed I am to have such caring doctors. I slept well.

Thank you for all the e-mails and good wishes. What a treasure bloggers have turned out to be. I love you all!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

He's not 75!

This past weekend was my husband's 75 birthday. He rides with a bicycle club 3 times a week and on Saturday we had a huge cake with this picture on it and OJ and bananas and bagels. All things the riders like. He had a silly hat with a propeller on top that said "I don't want to grow up". I just love the man so much! Sunday we had a back yard surprise with a diverse age group of friends that also love him.I've made arrangements to get him a new Smith and Wesson target pistol to replace the one that was stolen. He also picked out a new teak round table and chairs to go on the deck. He loves to sit out there and read. Happy Birthday my love!

I have recently read (again and for the third time) the historical fiction novels of Inglis Fletcher. She was such a firm believer in extensive research and so committed to accuracy that she steeped herself in details of everything from historical events to what people ate and wore. I have actually traveled the pathways of some of her novels and can pick out the scenes she wrote about. Her characters and their descendants reappear from book to book, take part in intricate plots, adventures and love stories that blend with actual past events and personages. I read of English and Scottish settlers that walked the very grounds I live on and I can feel their presence. She definitely makes me appreciate those early settlers that helped to give me what we have today. The books were all written in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and are definitely not the novels of today. No titillating sex scenes, but beautiful command of the ENglish language depicting 200 years of Carolina history told in a compelling style that makes me always want more. I have my Mother to thank for the recommendation when I was much younger, i reread them when we moved to the area in the late 60’s and now I am enjoying them again. In you like historical fiction grounded in real events try these, you ‘ll like it!

Tomorrow I see the cardiologist and we will finally start things moving. I look forward to that!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Th Family of Friends

I am married to a retired Navy pilot and my father was in the Coast Guard. I have lived many places and missed having a lot of family. So I learned early how to make a Friendly (that's a family of friends). Today my daughter has acquired a large Friendly. When this heart problem came about, her Friendlies went to work. Many of her Friendlies are in the medical field. They vetoed my original cardiologist and found a friend they like better. I have not seen the cardiologist yet but I know much about what the medical procedures will be. I am being very well looked after. My family doctor is married to my children's former baby sitter and I consider him a Friendly. . He put me on Zocor and Loprol even though my cholesterol is not over the guide lines and my blood pressure is fine. He feels why take any chances. Until I see the cardiologist this is what we will do.

My knitting Friendly is growing each day. Jae, I felt your warmth from cold Michigan and Chris, the offer of your own joyous hand dyed and spun yarn carried a hug all the way across the Atlantic. Vickie, I so hope to see you next Thursday with good news.
I am so very blessed. Knit yourself a Friendly, and wrap yourself in their warmth, it is the very best hug you can have!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

WHat's in your glass?

Remember the debate about the glass half full or half empty? I've had opportunity to dwell on that situation this week. Yesterday was to be the much anticipated knee replacement. I was ready, I thought, but it appears my heart was not in it. The EKG that was done for the medical clearance had an abnormal result. That led to a stress test that had to be medically induced because I can not walk fast enough to put myself in enough stress! That was Tuesday and finally Thursday afternoon the operation was cancelled because the stress test showed a "reversible defect in the anterior wall of the left ventricle". I had that deciphered into english which meant I have a narrowing of one or more arteries. Now I go to a cardiologist who will probaby run a cardiac catherization to look at the arteries. SO half empty . . the operation I had looked forward to for relief and an improved walk was cancelled. Half full . . better I found this now before it became so serious to be a danger. We are standing down and awaiting the next set of orders. Life never gives us more than we can handle, right?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hats and Hats


In the midst of my charity hat knitting as my Lenten observance, a friend had her first grandchild. This yarn was too cute to pass up for a bouncy baby boy. The pompom is just full enough to rustle with each little movement of baby making it even more precious. All the other hats are on their way, one struck the fancy of a friend and I had
to knit one for her daughter who is fascinated with lady bugs. I've given her ladybug boots and a ladybug raincoat in the past.

I thought everything was a go for Friday's knee replacement but a call this morning informed us that the cardiologist saw an abnormality in the "underlying muscle of the left ventricle". So I am having a stress test tomorrow . Apparently medicine can bring my heart rate up to the rate they need, so all I have to do is lie there and be read. The stress in my heart rate at this moment is thundering. I had rheumatic fever as a 7 year old but have never had any problems. I hope I do not now.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Easter Blessings


As you come around the corner of my street the dogwood tree stands out front of my house like a great white cloud. It always blooms between my birthday, March 27 and my daughter's, April 6. Every year this also happens to be at Easter-time. It should not grow where it is because it lives in full sun and dogwoods like forests with shade from pine trees.
It also should not grow on the crest of the sloped yard because the water drains away too quickly. It has also been hit by lightning and the center is missing. But the neighbors love it and we pamper it.

This year it has been especially full, white and quite beautiful. Old legends say it was used for the crucifixion cross because it was so strong like an oak. But Jesus took pity on it and said ever after it would only grow slender, bent and twisted so it could never be used for that purpose again. The blossoms form a cross with two long and two short petals. In the center of each petal there is a crown (of thorns) and the outer edge of each petal bears the nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red. To me it is my personal reminder of the meaning of the day, a new awakening to all the beauty and a reminder of God's blessings.
Happy Easter to all of you!

Friday, April 6, 2007

A TISKET, A TASKET


A knitting Easter Basket, complete with mohair grass, bunnies in their Easter finery, knitted Easter eggs, some citrusy soap and candy. Miss Bunny is ready to do some some hand work with her thread cutter medallion hung around her neck and Mr.Bunny has a key ring on his arm with Purell inside for emergency hand cleansing.

My weekly review:
WHAT I'M READING “At Knit”s End, Meditations for Women who KNIT too much” by Stephanie Pearl Mac-Phee, the Yarn Harlot. I give thanks for a woman who can write directly to my heart.

WHAT I'M COOKING:! Chicken tenderloins breaded in Panko with lemon zest and fresh ground ginger then baked, fresh mixed green salad, red onion slices, thin red pepper slices and a dressing of duck sauce, rice vinegar, scallion and garlic, plus a cup of chilled homemade vichyssoise, yummy for our tummies. The chicken and salad were from Rachel Ray and now is one of hubby's favorite salads.

WHAT I'M KNITTING: I need to finish my socks and make 2 more charity hats before the 20th of April and the operation, got to make those needles move!

WHAT I'M WEARING: a bathrobe, knitted socks, flannel gown, and drinking hubby's nectar of the gods (his special blend of coffee) because the temperature bottomed out last night. I was so cold I had to get up and change clothes! But still nothing I have knitted for me. I took the class in “what not to wear” from our local yarn store and decided I need to lose weight before I knit for me.

WHAT I'M WATCHING; gave up on BBC’s Robin Hood, as husband and I thought it got a little stupid, but I am still stuck on LOST and watching the Planet Earth series. Last Saturday my daughter and 3 of her friends took me out to the local cinema and cafe for drinks and dinner to see Hugh Grant's latest. I feel very blessed that she AND her friends want my company. They are a special bunch of friends. We were minus another one who was home sick. 2 school age children bring home all sorts of nasty things!

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO: walking around the block and shopping, it has been 2 years since I strolled though a shopping mall

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

It's a wool thing


I really got a chuckle from this Easter card.
Off to my Secret pal goes a 2 week orgy of spend and knit. Gosh, what fun! Can't wait for her to get it so I can show you!. I hope everyone has been having this much fun. Isn't it pleasant and rewarding to think of someone else and hopefully bring them joy.
My mother always said I knew how to give better than to receive.

I had the last visit with the orthopedic surgeon today prior to the replacement. He quoted that 19%of people with knee replacements still have pain afterwards and 5% wish they had never had the surgery. I will, I will be in the 81%! If there is anything to positive thinking I will be there. I loved long walks and look forward so much to be able to walk around the block or to stroll the boardwalk at the oceanfront. We have a lovely seashore park with great walking paths. Oh I can think of so many places I want to walk. The rest of the discussion of morphine pumps and machines to move my leg is too much for here, so I'll return to a happier thought of Easter baskets and Easter blessings for you all.

Monday, April 2, 2007

A SWEET FO


My dh is going to a baby shower. Since this will not be a first child the new mommy has requested gifts that can be donated to a charity that my dh recommended. FOR KIDS is a program that works with disadvantaged and homeless children. I made a couple of children's hats and took a class to learn to make these booties. They are seamless and done on 5 dpns. I figured the more practice I get on dpn's, the easier the second pair of socks will be These were a lot of fun. I am still learning to use this camera. It is a very small digital, KODAK EASY SHARE C533, very easy to stowe and carry and to shoot. BUT the user's manual is a flat out zero for usability. I took 20 shots to get this fuzzy image.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Whats!

I think I will choose one day a week to decide WHAT is going on . . . SO....

What I’m reading: Sock patterns, and collecting books for the recuperation. Got any to recommend.
What I’m cooking: Roasted new potatoes, brussels spouts roasted in balsamic and meat loaf, I know most do not like meat loaf, but the maid I had when we lived in the Phillipines made a tasty one. I always do 2 and freeze one., That will be a meal for the family while I am recuperating, That’s 5 in the freezer!
What I’m knitting: lady bug hats, did one for a charity hat and now I have requests! And Easter eggs for a basket for my SP
What I’m wearing: nothing I have knitted because I have not knitted for myself. My LYS has a class on March 31 on WHAT NOT TO WEAR and we will learn how to find, measure and adjust patterns for ourselves. WHEE
What I’m watching: I confess to an addiction for some BBC shows. I am hooked and I see John and myself in “As Time Goes By”. I struggle not to be Judi Dench at times. I like the BBC newscast esp. Nice to see what the rest of the world is doing while we watch Anna Niclole.
What I’m looking forward to: I look forward to being able to walk around the block again. I can’t believe I ever took that for granted. I will be getting the new woman’s knee. I’m told it fits better and recovery is better.
What I’m thankful for: Daffodils, this is the month of my birth and they always bloom for ME! At least, that is what I like to believe. I ordered yarn from CIDER MOON and I received a birthday wish from Lufah. Cider Moon has the lovliest daffodils and daffodil colored yarn on their site. SO yummy. They did it just for me, didn’t they?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Happy Birth Day Celebrating

Today, March 27, I celebrate the day I was born 66 years ago. I hear people groaning and complaining about growing OLD. I have never been bothered with the years and instead have marveled at the changes time has brought with each stage of life. Except for the knees I like where I am and who I am. I am the sum total of all I have done and seen. It has been a great ride and there are many more curves to peer around in the road ahead. I think the following says it all...

Life can't be counted in candles
or measured in number of years,
it's counted in small joys
and good times and laugh lines,
as well as in heartaches and tears.

Life can't be counted in candles,
but in things done with effort and pride
with dreams followed boldly
and hopes kept alive- -
in times when we've failed - -but tried.

Life can't be counted in candles
or measured in years that have flown- -
it's counted in kindnesses
close friends, and loved ones,
and in all the sweet blessings we've known.