Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Natty

I vowed not to ever have another dog after the untimely and grisly passing of Duke.  Anah, my granddaughter, never let an opportunity pass when she thought she could change my mind.  At last, I told her that if the Universe sent us a dog then I would adopt it. 

Thus, near the end of June I was outside when I heard a sound coming from under the deck.  Huddled there was a tiny brown bundle of fur, whimpering softly and scared half to death.  She was so cute (aren't they all?) and so needy.  And, after all what do you do when the Universe sends you a puppy?  I couldn't help but love her and Anah was and remains beside herself ecstatic that she has a dog now.  Naming honors went to Anah who chose "Natty". I thought, how cool.  She named her after Bob Marley's song, "Natty Dread.".. Oops not so.  Her cousin, Lainey also has a new dog and her name is "Maddy."  She wanted a sound alike name.

Life with a puppy is challenging and quite a change.  I feel a bit sorry for my cats at times.  Their lives have definitely changed but I figure they have a cat tree if they really don't want to play.

Looks like Natty is going to be a big dog.  She weighs 46 lbs at abt age six months.  She is brindled and Anah says she is a "Tasmanian Wolf" which seems to be some sort of prehistoric critter she read about. She has those deep brown eyes that seem to look right into you and see all your secrets.  She's not always very biddable but we work constantly on teaching her to behave well.  Its kind of like having a baby again.  Its work, its fun.. and after all every farm really should have a dog.  Thanks Universe!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Zucchini Brownies

One of the women in my knitting circle gave me this recipe yesterday and I was quite pleased with the results.  Although it is looking like I may not have any more zucchini this season (hot weather & squash bugs are taking a toll) I will certainly make this recipe next summer.


Zucchini Brownies

2 Cups flour
1/3 C. baking cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 c. pecans (chopped)
2 tsp vanilla

Mix flour, cocoa, salt, and soda in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine zucchini, sugar and oil.  Stir in vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 dgrees for 35-40 minutes.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Keeping You in Stitches - Volume 7


Frogging and Tinking…Basic Knitting Terms, You Don’t Want To Use

At a recent meeting of “Tuesday Morning Hooks, Yarns, and Thinkers,” an unusual hush fell upon our usually chatty group.  Some were contentedly working on their projects in silence, but most were quietly counting, the numbers flowing softly out into the air creating a buzzy undertone.  You might wonder why so many of us were counting that day.  Keeping count of your stitches is necessary as pattern stitches must be verified and the amount of stitches in a row has to be accurately maintained.  If you come up short or long, correction can be irritating.  No one wants to rip out their work and so we count.

If you are knitting along and much to your dismay see that six rows down you have a horrible ugly error then it is time to rip it out.  And then you just rip it, rip it, rip it ... gently pulling the thread from the stitches. This action is the basis for the knitting term of “frogging.”   We knitters envy the crocheters the ease with which they can rip their work, just a tug and the stitches come out easily.  Not so with knitting.

Knitters are free to frog their work too if they dare to strip all the stitches off the needles and then do what it takes to get them back on.  We have some dedicated “froggers” in our group. Virginia once completely frogged a single sock so many times that the yarn started getting fragile.  When we caught her at it, we exclaimed a collective “STOP!”   And proceeded to show her how to go back to her error, correct it and then go from that point on again. At last her sock is getting longer.  (Now if we can just convince Marie of the same thing.) 

Frogging is certainly not fun, but if your error is several rows down, if you just don’t like the pattern or think it is not going to fit, then frog you must. If, however, you discover an error in the row you are currently knitting, the recommended method for repair is called tinking. A knitter who has an error in an intricate pattern will cautiously remove stitches one a time, backing them off to the left hand needle.  Essentially this is un-knitting or knitting backwards, therefore we have the term “tinking” which is knit spelled backwards and indicates unknitting your stitches.

As much as we would like it to be different, errors are by no means uncommon.  We sometimes talk too much,  our project falls on the floor and off the needles; the cat decides our project is a toy, or that TV program is just way too interesting and we lose our place.  Certainly there are any number of ways in which you can lose count or lose your needles; believe it or not, some patterns actually contain errors that take a while to sort out.  Everyone makes mistakes and they are really not that difficult to correct.  As with the whole of knitting, or of life Patience is certainly a virtue.
                               
So, don’t “tink” you need to frog your whole project.  Bring it to the library on Tuesday morning and we will do our best to demonstrate the easiest way to get you back in the swim of things.  Hooks, Yarns, and Thinkers meets every Tuesday at the Little Dixie Regional Library at 9:30 a.m.  We tink you’ll like it so join us!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Keeping You in Stitches - Volume 6



When Size Matters… 

If your knitting project is something flat, long, or square as are dish cloths, scarves, and afghans, or even a triangular shawl, you can choose your pattern, buy the yarn and needles called for in that pattern and get underway.  Nothing has to “fit.”

Perhaps you have seen the cartoons showing the sweater a granny lovingly knits for that little boy and it looks as if it is shrink-wrapped to his body.  Or the college co-ed who made the sweater for her guy and the wrists of the sleeves hang below his knees.  These knitters set themselves up for disappointment in two ways.  They failed to measure the person for whom the garment was intended and they skipped checking their gauge.

Pay attention to the gauge shown on your pattern.  We know.  You found this great pattern and bought the yarn and needles suggested and you are eager to get started.  STOP!  Take time to knit a small swatch (piece).  This step may be boring, but is necessary.  You will get an indication of how your personal knitting tension compares to what is given in your pattern.

How do you create this gauge swatch?  Cast on about 20 stitches and knit one row, purl one row (aka stockinette stitch) for a couple of inches, enough to get you rolling in your usual style.  Put the swatch out on a flat surface, lay a ruler on it and place straight pins in the vertical rows of stitches at the inch marks.  Then count the stitches across the inch.  Don’t fudge, no matter how bad you want it to work out in your favor.  If the pattern calls for 7 stitches to the inch and you have 6 ½, don’t say, “Close enough.”  Across 40 stitches this small discrepancy will make quite a difference.  Not enough stitches to the inch?  Try a smaller needle.  If, on the other hand, you had 8 stitches, then try a larger needle.  Re-knit your swatch and count again.

So, when size matters, check your gauge.  It is the ‘fitting’ thing to do.

“Tuesday Morning Hooks, Yarns, and Thinkers” 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. at the Moberly Public Library.  You all come.  No charges.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Keeping You in Stitches - Volume 5

In an effort to give these articles a "home" on the web.. here's another one of my knitting related newspaper articles.  Well not totally mine, I co write them with a dear friend, Sandy.




Going Like Crazy

One long, gray Iowa winter when I was 10, my mom taught me to knit and I made a few simple items.  I let my skills lapse and did not pick up the needles again until I wanted to knit sweaters for my own children. I picked up a book, “Learn to Knit” so that I could refresh my memory.  Right away I saw diagrams illustrating the way I had been taught.  It is called the American or English way. My aunts had told me that my Danish grandmother knit differently from my mother.  They called it: “the German way.” but, I had never seen it.

Fast forward 40 yrs when Mary joined our Tuesday group at the library.  I noticed she could knit so fast that the stitches seemed to jump onto her needle. She was going like crazy. I was really interested now.  As I watched, suddenly the light bulb went on.  This was German knitting or as it also called Continental or European style.   In American knitting you hold the yarn in your right hand and then throw the yarn around your second needle.  European knitters feed the yarn from their left hand and pick their stitches, much like in crochet.  A bit later Sonya showed up, another European style knitter, and she was going like crazy.  And then Inga came and she was going like crazy and well…

Elaine and I became intrigued by the idea of all this speed.  Just think how many more things you could knit if you could go that fast.  It staggers the imagination!  The European knitters were happy to show us how and so we tried to go like crazy. Elaine knitted a cowl using European style, but never achieved the quickness of Mary and Sonya.  I found it difficult to change my style after over 50 years of doing it the American way.  So, it’s not likely that either of us will switch over.  But, we sure do long for the increased productivity of going like crazy.

I now realize an apology is due a former knitting student, a Higbee lady.  She was an avid crocheter and was accustomed to using her left hand to hold the yarn.  I was trying to teach her to hold it in her right hand and we were both frustrated. If I had only understood the difference between English and European knitting styles she’d be sitting there in Higbee right now using a style that was comfortable to her and going like crazy.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Fingerless Gloves

Been on a kick of knitting fingerless gloves lately.  Just finished the "Beer Gloves" for the hubs and another pair for myself.  I usually don't like doing cable work, but the beer gloves just might have given me a new feeling for cables.  I do like the way they turned out.  While not traditional cable work, the "Tree of Life" mitts that I made for myself are nonetheless cable and I enjoy wearing them.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Keeping You in Stitches -Volume 4

I continue to co author a knitting/crochet column for the local papers.  I had originally intended to post them all here, but have fallen seriously behind in that intent.

Perhaps this go round I'll get more of them in this journal.

    KEEPING YOU IN STITCHES
                                                          By Sandy and Elaine
"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." Mark Twain
So, you have leftover yarn? Has your “stash” taken over the laundry baskets?  Have you made a hat, sweater, scarf or pair of mittens for everyone in your family and the neighbors?  I think anyone who has ever worked with yarn has leftovers somewhere in their house, no matter how deeply hidden. 

What do you do when this happens to you?  Tuesday Morning Hooks Yarns and Thinkers decided to use their extra yarn to become a part of the Knit-A-Square Community.  Knit-a-Square is a charity organization based in Australia.  They provide blankets to AIDS orphans in South Africa. The blankets are made from squares knitted and crocheted by folks all over the world.

Founder Sandy McDonald was born in Africa and lives now in Australia.   An aunt, who still lives in Africa, paid Sandy a visit.  Aunt Roda’s stories of the tiny orphans living in terrible conditions moved Sandy to try to keep them warm and Knit-a-Square was born in 2008. 

There are an estimated 1.4 million orphans in South Africa alone.  Every day over 500 children lose one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Some of the children are ill and warmth can be vital to their survival. Blankets do more than keep the children warm.  They are also a way to raise awareness of the African AIDS epidemic and its impact on children across the world.

Both knitted and crocheted squares are acceptable.  Wool is preferred, but acrylic can be used.  Each square is 8 x 8 inches.  Twenty four squares make a baby blanket.  The squares are assembled in South Africa by volunteers. 

Knit-a-Square’s goal for 2010 is 400, 000 squares.  Our squares will make up a part of that total.  We would love to have squares from you too.  Instructions and information are available online at www.knit-a-square.com or come to the next meeting of Hooks Yarns and Thinkers, Tuesday October 4 at 9:30 a.m. upstairs at the Little Dixie Regional Library.  We’ve got instructions and instructors and loads of good energy to share.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Daughter


Monday evening as I was sitting and knitting the phone rang and it was my daughter, Tracy. She was all choked up and managed to say I'm ok, but I've had an accident. She was driving home late. The roads were bad, the middle a snow storm really. And, she had swerved to miss a car that was broadside in the road and been hit in the rear by a semi. YES she is OK!

I talked to her until the HP arrived and then they took her in an ambulance to be checked out. I was not terribly fearful at this point as she was talking quite logically, not bleeding and seemed to be all right. X-rays confirmed that nothing horrible was wrong.

She had to spend the night in town since her husband could not get there in the storm. They live a ways out and he had no one to watch their daughter. I was stuck here 45 minutes away and could not help. But, her boss and a co worker were there to take good care of her.

Gosh am I ever appreciative of her safety. She spends a lot of time on the road and this is her first accident ever. We are so blessed!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Feeling Good!

I am excited that 2011 is off to such a rocking good beginning.  I read somewhere that the year will unfold much as the first week has and if that holds true then I am definitely in for the best year of my life so far.

Christmas was good, all of the family were in attendance in spite of a nearly 5 inch snow fall the night before.  The snow was incredibly beautiful, the wet soft kind that hangs on all the trees.  The grandchildren were happy to go outside and play for a good part of the afternoon.

I continue to enjoy knitting and writing for the local newspaper.

I finished my polar bear hat and another pair of socks and am currently working on a pair of mittens for my Anah.  They are yet another stranded color work pattern, this one with cats.  Anah does love cats!





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Monday, December 13, 2010

Tempus Fugit

Having been very lax in my blog posts I will attempt a sort of catch up thing here today.

October ended with a great Halloween party for the grandchildren and their friends.  I really got into this year and decorated a lot more and dressed up.  Everyone had a good time.



November started off quite sadly when our newly adopted dog was run down and killed by a car.  Good bye Duke, you were a good dog.



Thanksgiving happened.  I was sick and very grateful to my girls for helping out with the dinner. 



And now its almost time for Christmas.  The tree is up the gifts are purchased and we await the day.



I shall not promise to keep up with blogging, but perhaps in the dark cold days to come I will find more time to do so.  I hope all who read this are happy healthy and ready for the holiday season.

Much LOVE.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Keeping You in Stitches

I continue to co-author editorials for the local newspapers and from time to time I post one of them..  We are quite limited in number of words that we can use so nothing goes into great depth, but this does give a brief overview of crochet. As many of our members are not knitters we try to give the crocheters some attention as well.

The history of crochet…
Crochet is a method of working interlocking loops of thread into a chain by means of a slender rod hooked at one end. The work is begun by crocheting a single chain of loops, each new loop being formed by catching the yarn and drawing it through the previous loop. The chain is made to the planned width of the finished piece, the yarn is turned at the end of the chain, and a second chain is crocheted, each new stitch being looped through a stitch in the previous row.
There is no solid evidence to pinpoint the exact date of when crochet began.  Theories abound as to when and where it came about, but solid documentation does not show up until the mid 19th century in Europe.  In 1824 the first crochet pattern was published and by the middle of the century patterns were easily obtainable.

As the cost of manufactured thread dropped crochet began to develop as a cottage industry.  During the Irish Potato Famine nuns taught children to crochet and the lace they made was shipped all over Europe.  Most notably in Ireland and Northern France whole families would stay at home and produce crocheted items for sale.  The emerging middle class created a ready market for these items.

Because it was sold to the middle class, crocheted lace had to overcome the stigma of being labeled as common or cheap. Those who could afford it still bought lace made by older more expensive methods.  Queen Victoria was instrumental in changing this attitude. Victoria conspicuously purchased Irish made lace and actually learned how to crochet herself.

Crochet continued to grow in popularity until World War II.  At that time not only was thread scarce and expensive, women had left the home to fill jobs left empty by men and there was no time for the leisure arts. 


Then, in the 60’s a 70’s a new generation picked up the craft of crochet and granny squares were born.  The new relaxed styles of clothing made crocheted vests, sweaters and accessories extremely popular. Both men and women were learning to make everything from afghans to belts and scarves. New, vibrant colors of yarn were now available and magazines on how to crochet were prolific. With this new era, crochet was more than just a way to make practical items; it gave people the opportunity to express themselves with new colors, patterns and designs.

At that time, interest in psychology was just beginning to peak and it was found that crocheting, like many hobbies, helped relieve stress. Not only could people created a crocheted afghan for every room of their house, they could relax while doing it.

Crochet continues to evolve and the latest magazines show incredibly intricate designs in clothing. Yet another generation is picking up this skill and finding satisfaction and relaxation in needlework.

You see, we are not all about knitting.  Many of us crochet as well as knit and we welcome crocheters to our weekly meetings of “Hooks, Yarns, & Thinkers” – 9:30 at the Moberly Public Library.  Join us, you’ll be hooked too!





Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm SO Done With It!


Finished the sweater that I started in April.  This is the first sweater that I have knitted and I am inordinately proud of it!  I purchased the pattern from the twistcollective.com.  It is called "Gytha."  For the project I used Wool of the Andes from knitpicks.com.  This is a 100% Peruvian Highland wool and I am very pleased with the yarn.  It was knit on a size 7 circular needle with some DPN action thrown in now and again.  Bands of stranded color work aka Fair Isle Knitting decorate the bottom of the sweater.  The  colors in the color work are repeated in stripes on the sleeves and hood. I love the belled sleeves and the bit of ribbing at the elbow too. I still need to find just the right toggle button to complete the neckline of the sweater, but it is certainly wearable as is.

It feels really good to complete this project.  I was a bit daunted by it in the beginning and so totally satisfied with the result that I am now eager to choose another sweater pattern.  In the meantime I am knitting a pair of socks and a have a couple of hats on the needles too.

This post would be incomplete without some pictures.  Hubs and I went outside on the one of the most lovely fall days that you can imagine and he snapped a bunch of shots.  That was fun!  This is an uplifting conclusion to a week that has been fraught with off the charts anxiety and one HUGE Panic Attack.  I am grateful to be on the upswing once again.





Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another Keeping You in Stitches


    KEEPING YOU IN STITCHES
                                                          By Sandy and Elaine


In the past, friends, neighbors and relatives often came together to help each other.  Women gathered for quilting bees and men for barn raisings.  In this country today, however, social isolation is at an all time high.  Television, the internet and a fast paced lifestyle have all contributed to the creation of a society in which many sit at home alone in front of a flickering screen.

Tuesday Morning Hooks, Yarns and Thinkers is part of a movement back to a simpler time when folks met, worked and interacted with each other face to face.  We are much more than an arts, crafts or needlework club. We are a group of friends, neighbors and relatives with like minded interests and we are never lacking in ways to interact.  We share news, patterns, techniques and knowledge and we laugh a lot.

Gardening is a hot topic in the growing season.  Did your tomatoes do well this year?   Do you have a recipe for a great salsa? What variety of corn are you planting?  And, you may even find surplus veggies being passed out to any taker.

The wide variety of life experiences of our members shows in the stories they tell.  Inga grew up in Germany and was there during World War II.  Her stories are absolutely riveting.  Ginny has lived in many other countries and she is a fount of information on their cultures.  Mary came to Missouri from Minnesota and she can tell you just how cold it can get up North.  Lively communication like this is the highlight of our meetings.

There is a loss of community in this country, and we are seeing its reflection in a diminishing of physical health and emotional well-being.  We have a great remedy for loneliness: Find something you love to do and find a group of people who do it together on a regular basis.  It’s simple.  It’s easy and it’s free.  Come join Hooks, Yarns and Thinkers at the Moberly Library any Tuesday morning at 9:30.  Bring a yarn of your own and spin it!





Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Newspaper Article #2

  KEEPING YOU IN STITCHES
                                           
                                               By Elaine and Sandy


“What’s In a Name?”…

Why is it that when a group of people of like interests begin meeting on a regular basis, they decide their group needs a name?  Our particular needlework bunch came to that idea several months into our schedule.  Beverly declared, “We need a name!”  And we went home with orders to think on that and come up with something fitting, maybe even clever.

The next two meetings saw us trying out everyone’s ideas.  Someone suggested “Happy Hookers” and, after a few laughs, we decided that wasn’t really an image we’d like to project. Another had heard of a group, “Stitch and Bitch” – there again, perhaps not a fitting moniker.  We rejected both.  However, in the last Herrschner’s catalog we discovered they were selling books entitled, “Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation” and “The Happy Hooker!” 

A consensus was that the name needed to reflect the day we meet.  A current selection from the Little Dixie Reading group, “The Friday Night Knitting Club” provided some influence.  We didn’t want to be copycats, but when a member’s daughter suggested Tuesday Morning Hooks, Yarns and Thinkers we fell for it – hook, line and sinker! 

Just a reminder:  We meet every Tuesday morning 9:30 – 11:30, in the Little Dixie Regional Library, upstairs. Just look for the sign. The earlier you arrive, the more likely you are to find a parking spot.

Instructors are always available in both knitting and crochet. Other crafts are always welcome.  We are currently searching for an instructor for tatting.  If you know someone please tell us.

 For more information call: 660-530-8495

This is the second article that my friend Sandy and I wrote for the local newspaper. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Writing

intend to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year.  This will be my third year.  I have never even come close to writing 50,000 words but I do have fun.

I figure if I keep intending to do it for the whole month of October then by the time November rolls around I should be really pumped and ready to get going.

That said, I think I'll go lie down and chill.


Monday, October 4, 2010

TUESDAY MORNING HOOKS, YARNS & THINKERS


In March of last year I decided to check out a new knitting group that was meeting at the local library.  For the past decade I have piddled about with yarn and needles and manufactured a few rather odd looking dishcloths in the process.  I couldn't seem to hold the thread right and the rhythm of the needles was way beyond my grasp.

A year and half later I am nearing the end of my first sweater and have made all manner of knitted stuff.  I look forward to every Tuesday morning when our little group meets.  I get out of the house no matter what the weather and get to the library to hang out and knit. 

Recently one of my knitting friends suggested that we write a column about the group.  And we did.  Writing the column has been an incredible experience, reopening doors and revealing ideas and knowledge that I thought were long gone.  It has rejuvenated me!

Here's a pic of some of our most faithful members and me, of course! And, the first newspaper article about our group. KEEPING YOU IN STITCHES is published once a week in two of our local newspapers.



 
KEEPING YOU IN STITCHES

               
If you haven’t already heard the news, we are here to tell you that knitting and crocheting are “IN”!  One of the coolest things happening right now is a revival of needlework skills from long ago.  Housewives, college students, retirees, folks from all walks of life are picking up needles, hooks and yarns to create beautiful, wearable, durable art.  Many celebrities are into needlework.  Vanna White from “Wheel” and author Debbie McComber have their own yarn lines.  Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tracey Ullman have all been spotted with needles in hand.  It’s not just for girls either.  Retired NFL football players, Roosevelt Greer and Randy Grossman and actor, Laurence Fishburne are all knitters!

The renewed interest in needlework made us think that there might be interest in a local needlework group.  And there was!  The Little Dixie Regional Library graciously opened their doors to us.  We have been meeting there every Tuesday morning for nearly two years.  We call ourselves, “Hooks, Yarns, and Thinkers”.  We are many different ages.  Perhaps when you think of needlework you have an image of a little old lady bent over her needles. Sure, some of us are seniors and have been senior for a while now.  But, we are also middle-aged stay-at- home moms and even quite youthful home schoolers. We come from many different backgrounds and even different countries.  

 Right now we are all female, but would enjoy seeing some male participation.  Some of our knitters were actually taught by their fathers.  More and more men are learning needlework. Published in 2007 there is a great book titled, “Men Who Knit and the Dogs Who Love Them.”  Did you know that tough guy Russell Crowe is a knitter?

Let’s be honest.  We are writing this column to encourage participation in our group, to show you who we are and hope that we spark your interest in joining us.  We are a great group and have lots of fun as well as learning new and improving old skills.  Meetings are loosely structured with no dues, agendas, or officers.  Some of our members have been doing needlework of many kinds for more than 50 years and they are always ready to give instructions and assistance to newcomers. 

Needlework does not have to be costly.  You can often borrow needles, hooks and yarn scraps from your grandmother, aunt or a neighbor.  For a small investment you can buy a single skein of yarn and a crochet hook or pair of knitting needles and be ready to go.  We have plenty of patterns to share, and the library has some excellent books too.  Supplies are available from Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Ben Franklin, Jo-Anne Fabrics and the local “Mart” as well as online.  A good size for beginners is an H-8 crochet hook or size 7 knitting needles paired with a worsted weight yarn.

Haven’t you always admired those beautiful handmade garments, mittens and afghans made by someone else?  Haven’t you wished you could do it too?  You can.  Check out “Hooks, Yarns, and Thinkers” any Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. upstairs at the Little Dixie Regional Library and learn the art of creating with yarn.  See you there!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sweater Blockage



I cast on this sweater in April, 2010.  It is my first sweater.  The pattern is called "Gytha" and I purchased it from Twist Collective.  The yarn is Wool of the Andes from KnitPicks.

Two days ago I completed tucking in all the loose ends of yarn and blocked the sweater.  We have had some pretty damp days and so it is still drying.

I love the colors and the color work in this sweater and can't wait to wear it.  After drying, I still need to put in the sleeves, add some trim, a button and a hood and she will be ready to wear in the crisp days of Autumn that lie ahead.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

An Abundance of Basil

Earlier today my niece, visiting from Texas, asked me if we had an abundance of garden produce this season.  I told her that because of the wet summer some things have not produced as well as in other years.  After she left, I went out to see if there was a need to harvest anything and discovered that I have an abundance of basil.  Huge leaves, dark and fragrant and plants that look like little shrubs.  So YES, i do have an abundance....of basil. 

I really love basil and now the whole house smells of it.  I am blessed:)

Namaste`

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wanderlust

I feel it more with each passing day, the need to move to travel to leave the farm for a little space of time and see, feel, hear something different .

I'm thinking maybe Colorado would be good, a nice hot spring in which to soak would add to the flavor.  Looking at Glenwood Springs at the moment.  http://www.hotspringspool.com/index.php In 1986 I spent the night in the Glenwood Springs hospital ER.  We were traveling West.  The old blue van held my husband, daughter, Erin (age 8) and friend and co-pilot, Bird-I. 

A sign caught my eye.  We were coming up on No Name, Colorado http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Name,_Colorado  and I just had to have a picture of our group gathered around the sign.  Everyone dutifully posed by the sign and we moved back to the old blue van to continue our journey.  OOPs.. I leaned against the van and Bird-I shut the sliding door and caught my finger, middle finger right hand.   Big ouch!.. not bad at first, it was hanging by a thread.

 We had no idea where the nearest hospital was located having no cell phones, BB's etc,  but a friendly fellow traveler offered that we could probably get help in Glenwood Springs.  And, thus we spent New Year's Evey, 1986 in the ER.  Finger successfully reattached and we drove on to Utah.  I do remember spending a lot of time with my finger up in the air to help with the pain.  WE were on the road for four weeks.  Came home, got the pics developed and I'll be damned if the No, Name Colorado picture did not come out!

Glenwood Springs and I have a history.  Maybe I'll go there again, but I won't stop at the No Name, Colorado sign.




Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Today

he storm has settled around the issues with my daughter.  Her surgery was successful and though she may be left with some numbness in her cheek, she is going to be ok.  Perhaps when she experiences the residual lack of feeling she will be renewed in her determination to have nothing more to do with the abusive bastard.

Two of my other daughters were gone on vacations over the last few days which resulted in a couple of free days for little old me.  I have knitted, read, watched movies, enjoyed myself for the most part.  I say for the most part because today I experienced the mother of all anxiety attacks.  Youngest daughter and granddaughter traveling with partner are headed back to Missouri today and I tried to reach her by phone and got no answer via txt or by calling.  Whoosh I am transported to a screaming weeping piece of flesh in a heartbeat.  The scenarios that flashed thru my head I shall not mention but all of them were quite ugly.  I finally reached her partner by phone and once I had established that all is well with my loved ones, I was fine.  Well, fine except for the energy expended to get that damned upset.

I weary of anxiety issues.  I exercise, eat well, meditate, do yoga, prayer, chant and work with LOA.  Yet, the anxiety shows up.  I can lay it at the feet of the stress created by the other daughter's pain and drama.  I held up well for the two weeks in which she really needed me.  Then it seems I fell apart.  I am more than pissed!  I have been medication free for a year and half now.  I know I am still healing.  I intend to be patient.

My hubs was nice and I appreciate his words.  He told me that anyone who has been thru the things I have experienced in life would no doubt have some anxiety issues.  And yeah I can see that.   I find progress in seeing that I am not beating myself up for getting anxious.  I intend to go back outside and walk around and look at the flowers and remember to love myself not matter what.

Namaste`

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Slow Down Rosie

moon
Ok.. here I am today all wound up and still not taking time out to rest.  The whole thing with my daughter has consumed my time and my energy over the past days.

I find myself at times being resentful because I do so much for so many people.  That happens when I get very tired.  Then I get angry at myself for not being more giving.  That happens less these days than it used to in years past. I do love progress!

Daughter is having surgery tomorrow for a "blowout" fracture in her right orbital socket.  Hopefully it will be same day surgery, incision through conjunctival tissue and quick recovery.  I will be staying there tomorrow to take care of her kiddos.

This morning I made spaghetti sauce for one of the local homeless shelters.  Since youngest daughter's conversion to Islam, she has become quite good about volunteering to feed these people and offers me the opportunity to help out.  So I do.  Although it is a difficult for me to say, being so anti-religion for so long, I can see that her religious choices have helped her mature into a gracious caring young woman.

The rain has affected the veggie gardens.  The tomatoes are slow coming on, but seem to be growing well now.  I picked the first cucumber today and there are more on the vines.  Have seen an increase in honeybees which may be why the cucumbers are setting on nice fruit this year.  Hubs planted some "San Merino" tomatoes, a sweet Italian variety similar to Romas, have yet to pick one, but two are nearly ripe.  Plan to make a freezer sauce from these off of a recipe where you bake them in the oven w/garlic and herbs.  Planted more sweet corn and green beans today.  The first plantings produced but not enough to freeze. Am enjoying  using lots of fresh basil and other herbs. 

Loving the new pool and getting in as often as possible.  Still doing Five Tibetan Rites sporadically, working out and lifting some weights. 

Knitting on sweater continues.  Just cast on second sleeve.  Body is complete.  This is my first sweater and I am finding it takes quite a chunk of time to complete, but the joy is often in the work.. eh?

Ok.. now I am slowing down and breathing.. in and out.. in and out..

I seem to keep myself wound up tightly so I can keep up with all these things that I want to do and enjoy doing.  Yesterday I was tired a grumpy, but it passed.  My mother was much the same.  My granddaughter asked me yesterday if I only felt good when I was doing something.  So, I am thinking I might benefit from slowing down.  So I did for the time it took me to type this blog, and now something is buzzing at me.. the oven.. the washer, the dryer??   Guess I'll go check it out..
xposted to LJ

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reunion

I have not spoken to my daughter since last August.  Friday morning I received a call from her.  She was crying so hard she could barely talk.  She told me that her husband had hit her and that she needed to go to the ER and could I come pick up her children.  Quickly my husband and drove over to get the little ones.

The police were still there.  The house was a wreck.  My daughter had a huge black eye and bloody nose.  She left to go the hospital and the children came home with us.  Amazingly, the kiddos seemed to remember us! 

My daughter suffered an orbital floor fracture (bone beneath the eye) and two fractures in her nose.  I am grateful that she was not injured worse.  It seems that he hit her only one time.  He was arrested, though out on bond before she got home from the hospital.  She now has an ex parte against him.

All of them stayed with us until yesterday.  My other daughters and I helped her get the house back in order.  Her husband had trashed it out madly searching through everything in this insanity. 

She has been living in fear for the past year and staying away from all of her family because her husband was threatening to harm us all.  She has also been reunited with her oldest son, whom we have been caring for since the estrangement. 

Lots of emotions rolling around the whole family right now.  I am so pleased and happy to have her back, to have the children around again.  We are all hoping and praying that now finally she is done with this man and will put him out of her life as much as is possible.

Her return filled a hole in my heart that I had not realized was so big. 



xposted to LJ

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday




Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Letter to a friend

Hi Elizabeth,

I just love that picture.. the photographer was a very cute scoundrel who flattered me and told me my hair was like silk.. the photo shoot was fun.  Erin and I had some taken together and they will remind us of the fun we had in Mexico this year.

And yeah I look really great in the picture.. I needed that cause I was feeling pretty darned old when we first arrived.  Seemed like all my wrinkles showed up in the sun.  The picture taking session was a very positive note.

It took us a bit to settle in to the routine there.  For the first couple of days, Anah was a crazy kid.  She never drinks soda back here, and Erin let her try some.. not good!  But, we overcame that with time.

I managed some high anxiety and panic attacks quite well.  Just let em have their way with me and let em go.  I have come to think I will forever be challenged by my nerves.. oh well.. so it goes. 

I am really happy to be home.  We are hoping to do some renovations around here.  Getting a new furnace *fingers crossed*.. the old one literally belches fire into the hallway.. we rarely use it, but still.. going to go total electric.  We are also investing in a 24 ft above ground pool and I am working up my excitement for that one.  I am looking forward to having some old lady afternoons w/no children lol

Joe is working hard on the gardens.  We have peas sprouting, lettuce is up and the garlic and onions look good.  We had some hail here the day before I got home and it shredded some of the daffodils and knocked the blooms off of the forsythia.  The redbuds are getting ready to pop open.  My dogwood tree looks as if its still going to bloom.. wonder if its a boy?  I am thinking of going to a garden club meeting, becoming quite the socialite these days.

I am oh so relieved, happy, grateful to hear that Jake is ok.  I had not talked to you since you asked for prayers and just wanted him to be all right.  A new baby can really put us in touch with God I think.  Their innocence inspires me. 

The crocheted blanket sounds really cool.  What size hook will you use?  I have never crocheted anything with that itty bitty stuff, but love the way it looks.  I am going to start my first sweater soon.  I have the yarn, need to create the space and time I guess. 

And for sure babies always had a coming home outfit.  I think I still have the one I crocheted for Erin. 

We are all doing well.  Dylan remains in school and is now living in a trailer by himself.  He is learning how to be responsible for what happens in his life and I am very proud of him.  My oldest daughter is getting married in the summer.  This is her third marriage and his second I think, but they seem well suited and if I were doing the choosing I would pick him for her.  So, wedding plans are in the air!  I am doing the flowers.. been a long time since I did that so it should be fun.

How are your kids.. still at home? 

So glad you wrote.. our vibes must have crossed in the ether as I sat down I was going to write to you...

Love,

Elaine

Monday, March 29, 2010

Anah

I delight in the company of my granddaughter, Anah.  She is almost 7 now and still as bright and surprising as she was on the day of her birth. 


She loves to read and is at the head of her class in language skills.


Enjoys being outside and is learning how to plant seeds.



She is a fierce and awesome warrior girl when her mother paints her face.



And, a tender love of animals of all kinds.



I am grateful that this beautiful young soul is my companion on my journey.  She teaches me so much about unconditional love and enthusiasm for living.

Being a Mooma.. it's just the greatest thing that ever happened to me!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Quilting

At long last.. and I do mean long.. I am completing the quilt I began in 1975.  I am amazed that I managed to keep the pieces for so long though in those years I moved only once so that no doubt was a factor.  For a long time the quilt lay in a box in the upper reaches of a closet or under a bed, untouched and not thought about and unfinished.

Then, during the last several years my interest in it was renewed and every year I got it out, did a little bit more.. a block finished one year, a border completed in another time frame.  The winter of '09 saw the quilt reach completion and this spring, prodded by an old friend, I made the "sandwich" of top, batting, and bottom, ordered a Q-snap quilting frame and yesterday the quilting began.

I stand in awe of all the women who make quilts.  I have seen some with the tiniest of stitches.  Can you imagine 20 to the inch? Quilting is not for the faint of heart.  It is a art  that takes time, patience, persistence and skill.   I was almost ready to fold my quilt back up and put it away again yesterday morning.  I couldn't seem to get the rhythm.. couldn't rock my needle.. stitches were huge and uneven.. oh what a mess! 

I kept running back to the computer, reading more instructions, more blogs hoping to find a "secret" to quilting mystique.  And, I did find help and much encouragement that with time and practice the sewing will get easier.  I called a friend who gave me more help and a push in the right direction and I kept on working.  By noon I could see improvement and I could feel the rhythm that earlier I could not grasp. 

Today, I am looking forward to getting back to it.. to complete this beautiful, practical piece of art that I began as a young woman.


xposted to LJ/rosegardenfae

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Leavin on a Jet Plane

Today getting ready to leave for a trip to Dallas, Tx.. must be at daughter's house by 7 a.m. in the morning and have nothing in the suitcase yet. 

Doing laundry so that I 'll have everything I might want to wear clean.

Last year we went to San Antonio which was beautiful and warm.  I am not expecting to find that in Dallas, but I will be visiting with my niece, Monica who lives in the area.

Monica teaches "Conscious Dance".. and also participate in kirtan so I am hoping to learn more about these two practices.

The snow remains on the ground here though only 36 miles to the south it is totally gone!  We've had sunshine and above freezing temps for the past few days, but no significant snow melt yet.  At least Dallas should not have snow on the ground!

I appreciate my daughter arranging this trip.  She has a meeting for work down there and since we seldom do anything, just the two of us, takes me with her for some time we can enjoy together.

Leaving the kittens with my hubs.  I'll miss then, but he has bonded so well with them that I know they are in good hands.  I appreciate that he will take care of things around here till I return.

I'll be taking my knitting with me, maybe start a new pair of socks since they are so portable.  Currently working on a hat for me with an intricate wide band, a hat for my grandson and finishing a pair of socks I started before Christmas.  Knitting plans include a sweater for me.. http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/index.php/component/content/article/60-winter-2008-patterns/141-gytha-by-jennifer-appleby
and a Fair Isle hat...http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/index.php/component/content/article/78-winter-2009-patterns/504-polar-chullo-by-mary-ann-stephens.  I absolutely love Fair Isle knitting!  Here's a hat I just finished:



And I guess I'd better start packing.. Love to ALL...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yes Its Snowing Here too!

This winter has certainly reminded me that here in Missouri we can and do get snow and lots of it.. not sure how much is on the ground right now.  It keeps melting and snowing and then doing it all over again.  I haven't minded it so very much since I have lots of projects going on in the house right now.  We have been sledding, built snow men and slid around on the icy pond trying to wring all the fun we can out of the white stuff.

I am actually almost finished with the quilt that I started in 1975.  Will be ready to begin actually quilting it next week.  In the knitting department I am working on a Fair Isle hat, my first try at that sort of knitting.  I like doing this kind of work, a bit tedious, but worth the effort.  I have another pair of socks almost completed.  These are for me!  And a scarf is lying in my knitting bag, waiting to be frogged back a few rows before beginning it again.  I do love knitting and the beautiful practical things that I produce.

Grandson has moved back in with us.  He is trying to get an apartment with a friend so doesn't want me to set his bedroom back up so is sleeping in my computer room at the moment.  He is back at school.. high school again and seems to be hanging in there with the program so far.  He has been in touch with his mother a few times, but is getting little satisfaction in that area.  I have not spoken to her since August though she did accept Christmas gifts for her younger children from me and her sisters. 

My exercise program now includes the Five Tibetan Rites.  I have worked up to 13 reps now.  I have been having a lot of challenges with my back and don't know if it is due to the Rites or not and don't know how to ascertain that.  I guess I could stop doing them and see if my back gets better, but I hesitate to do that knowing that I will probably never get back into the habit of performing them daily.

I do hope that everyone is enjoying snow if they've got it and if not enjoying whatever is going on in your "neck of the woods."

Namaste`

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY
February 4, 2010...

Outside my window...
.it is cold, cloudy and gray.. expecting snow later tonight. Getting weary of winter and hanging onto the knowledge that Spring is not far away.
I am thinking...not much really, trying to keep down the noise in my head, wondering how this thing with my grandson will work out.
I am thankful for... being able to write some down and the friend who posted these questions that inspired me.  Thank you Deb.. you are appreciated!
I am learning... that setbacks are not the end of the world and that I am stronger than I think sometimes. Getting much better at realizing I deserve to be happy.
From the kitchen...for today meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans.. On Saturday family is coming and I am doing an Olive Garden day using copycat recipes for soup and salad.
I am wearing...black pants and red tank top.. still in my jammies.
I am creating... a knitted hat in a Fair Isle pattern, my first attempt at that kind of knitting, a couple pair of socks in the works and plugging along on my scarf.  Once again am working on the quilt I started in 1975.. I intend to finish it this time. 

I am going...to pick up Anah at school this afternoon.
I am reading...  The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I am hoping... that Dylan really does have a house to move into next week.
I am hearing...the fan on the stove, why is it so squeaky?
Around the house...cleaned really well first of the week, so letting it go today.  Measuring windows that need to be replaced and thinking about redoing hubs computer room.
One of my favorite things...my new knitting needles.
A few plans for the rest of the week: as mentioned above family dinner and Lainey's birthday party on Saturday.
From my picture journal:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Abraham Quote/Remembering Ram Dass





People say, "The joy is in the journey," but they rarely understand what they are saying. You are in this focused time/space reality with goals and objectives that call you because as you identify a desire it literally summons life through you. Life summoning through you is what it's all about --it's not the completion of anything.
--- Abraham
Excerpted from the workshop in Chicago, IL on Sunday, November 1st, 1998 #323
Our Love,
Jerry and Esther

This quote from Abraham came in my email today.  I read it several times over the span of this day and am really appreciating the bit about "Life...--it's not the completion of anything.".

Ram Dass told me to "Be Here Now" over 40 years ago and I'm so happy to be learning how:)

Namaste`

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year Spread

I love Twitter! because today I found this great 3 card new year spread via a "tweet."  Spread was originally posted by Tarot Dame on her blog http://tarotdame.blogspot.com/2009/12/new-year-spread-reading-with-dame.html, and was tweeted by @aurarcana.  Intrigued by the tweet, boogied over to visit Tarot Dame,  and wanted to immediately use the spread.  I opted for the Robin Wood Tarot which is conveniently close by, and the results are:
                                        
 1.     What I should leave behind me when the new year arrives.
2. What I should take with me in the new year.
3. What I have to look forward to in the coming year.
 
Card # 1 is the 5 of Cups.. oh what a sad and lonely looking image.  The wine stains the rock blood red and the dark hooded figure stares gloomily at the ground.  Well who wouldn’t want to leave this behind?  I certainly do!  Goodbye to regret, sadness and disappointment.  There are more cups still filled to the brim.. all is not lost.. Forward is my direction for this year!
 
1.   Next card is Judgement.. the glorious golden figure that emerges from the fiery cauldron and is transformed ! Well yeah, that could be me!  Its time to hear the call, take action.. transform myself into the next step on the journey.  A golden Phoenix rises behind the main figure on this card..
 
2.    Card #3 is the 2 of Wands.. Fred always said that the 2 of Wands is a card of personal power.  He had a long rap about all of that, and indeed his interp has long stuck with me.  There is a sense of anticipation of forward looking and the figure on this card realizes that the world is his to command, that the first stages of the energies in motion have set the stage for even greater things ahead.  I feeling the fiery energy going on between the 5 of Wands and Judgement and feel that 2010 will be a year of growth and action for me.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                            
 
Great reading.. what a grand and fabulous year 2010 will be for me.  I love it, I’ll take it, I ‘ll run with it!........Goodbye sadness, hello adventure and spiritual awakening.
 
Bring on the next decade!

Friday, January 1, 2010

First Day..2010

Awakened at midnight by some local fireworks, I didn't sleep as well as I might.  Anah and Erin spend the night in Columbia and Anah called me this morning to tell me that she loves me.  How delightful.. she is such a darling little girl and loves her Mooma so much.

I had a lot of nervous energy and focused my anxiety on the kid's who were in another city.  I finally just called to see if they were OK and after a quick check in with Erin, my anxiety dissapated and was able to have a pretty good time.

I baked bread..read, knitted, finished Erin's fingerless mitts, danced, scanned some photos, took a long hot bath, cooked black eyed peas and mustard greens, ate, had a fab breakfast of smoked pork chops, home fries, fried eggs, toast and coffee.. yum

I am working on choosing a word for this year, that word will be something I want to manifest.. considering.. bloom, expand, open, flourish, creation, authenticity.. will think more on the word tomorrow.

I'd like to think I'll write again tomorrow..


Thursday, December 24, 2009

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

MAY YOU AND YOURS BE BLESSED DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!!