Thursday, April 16, 2015

starting over,

Do you have those times that you are just crazy busy and you just live on autopilot for a while?  Perhaps you have studied for exams,  completed projects, and worked at jobs that don't allow you to have time for much of anything else.  Well, that's what I've just ended and now I'm ready to start over, catch up, or get going. For years the end of tax season means I go back to more hours at my other part time job. But this year is different. I'm staying home and reclaiming my space and myself.
Today we slept in a little, then I started my kitchen tidy. We walked the dog and there was a bit of laundry and a little more tidy and an errand or three. It was a good day. There are many things on the to-do list and I'm anxious to get started. Ready to get back to posting and back to life. Maybe I'll even have people read my post and write comments.
Welcome back, life.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

2 months

Can't believe it's been 2 months since I wrote a post....yet again, I can believe it.  It is almost over.  This crazy, busy time of year that I both love and hate.  And I am ready.
I write this every first quarter of the year.  We are Tax people.  That is what feeds our family and funds our life for all the other months of the year.  So we make hay while the sun shines...and the moon and while the snow drops our temperatures to negatives.  We work a regular day, then we get more comfortable.  You know-sweats, slippers, sometimes a curling-up blanket.  Then we work another shift.  We work with people in front of us, and we work with what they drop off and we re-work it when they call to tell us they forgot the new baby or the new address or found some other important papers that must be included.  We laugh and listen and sometimes shed a tear, as our people share their stories and catch us up on their lives.  They ask how our kids are doing and pet our dog and sometimes bring him a treat.  Because we are all a family.  And it's a good thing.  But even families get tired and as the deadline approaches, I realize the importance of my own time... quiet time... projects for me time... sleeping in... so I'm putting the machine on and you'll have to leave a message starting April 15th around 6.  If you didn't do it by then, it'll wait.  But I'll be around.  After the resting...

Monday, February 9, 2015

Do it NOW !!

Today I had a call for an appointment.  It was from a lady that I am friendly with.  We don't hang out together a lot, but we are often in the same places at the same time. She has been having some stresses lately with the health of her husband, and parents on both sides.  Major stress.  The conversation was done.  The appointment made.  Ready to hang up and I got a God-bump. "Hey, can we pray before I hang up?" And I did.  Simple and short, but from the heart.  How many times have I tossed out, "We'll keep you in our prayers", only to think about it several days later and wonder if it ever really got prayed about by me.  Hey.  I'm admitting it.  I have a problem that way.  Sometimes it's out of sight, out of mind.  But Granny Helen Bensink talked about praying with someone on the phone right then.  And while visiting my sister, we popped next door to see her neighbor, who was recovering ever so slowly and before we left my sister asked if she could pray with her, and the neighbor grabbed each of our hands and held tight.

 woman bowing her head in prayer

Why is it that I hesitate to pray out loud?  or for someone right then?  Aren't I lying when I say I'll pray for someone and then it slips my ever-forgetful mind?  Why don't I do it more often?  So today, I just did.  I'm not telling you this to brag about myself, or to look holy.  I'm telling you this, to encourage you.  It's time we said a prayer for a friend.  Or maybe someone we don't even know that well.  What's holding you back?  I'm telling you it's OK.  And even if they are unsure, you'll both feel better.  Don't think you have to use big words, or if you stumble, that it won't 'take'.  God listens ALL THE anyone who calls His name.
And I know I don't have a lot of people who read this, but there are some quiet ones out there.  If you find that you need a prayer yourself, please post something here in my comments.  You can do it without a google account, if you don't have one.  And everyone who reads this is then challenged to join me in praying throught any requests posted.
May you find God today, waiting for your prayers, and smiling through them all.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 29th - Snow Angel Day

At 6 am I met my friends in front of the school.  It was January 29 and we were there for Elaine.  Snow Angel-ing was on her bucket list.  So last year on the 1st anniversary of her becoming a real angel, we had a group- really two groups, because one was the night before and another was like this year, in the early morning.
Then we angel-ed up and down the front sidewalk...  For the walkers....Elaine was a walker as a student, and then again as a teacher....Last year was very cold and it had snowed and the janitor was blowing, so we had to be a bit more careful....or not...
I did one in front of the tree.  I know, because just as I was going to swoop my wings someone said,"Watch out for the tree!"
I'm pretty sure the blurr is Willowe.  She must be fast, like a hummingbird.  We did some in back, where the school buses unload the children...
And then we walked out on the fitness trail...or what would be the fitness trail underneath the 2 feet of snow, to the bench out there in memory of our dear friend, Elaine.  And we did some angels and sat on her bench and I took a picture, but it was still dark, just a hint of the sunrise coming up...

Missing you, Elaine...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Clipboard Beauty....

This is the latest craft project coming from my messy room....

 Are these cute, or what??  I've seen pictures of them and thought, oh, maybe.  When I have some time.  Well, let me tell you, they don't really take a lot of time, but they take a lot of time.... It takes lots of layers of Modge Podge and you need to dry between layers.  So you don't sit for hours working on them, but you need a place to just let them sit for a a couple of days.
 Here's Andrea's.  She found this lovely paper and then I found a sheet of velum quotes.  The paper works a bit better than the velum...hmmm....not sure the spelling of that.  They do bubble up a bit when you are on your first layer.  If you've ever done some wallpapering, you'll see some similarities.  But most of the bubbles will dry back down to flat.  And if they don't, then you just slather on bunches of layers of Modge Podge.  It's one of those things that covers up a multitude of sins.  The velum bubbles more and didn't flatten out.  That one might take a little more experimenting to figure out.  So I just hit it hard with more layers....  It's all good.
 See...isn't my board lovely?  I used 12x12 paper cut - one piece for the front and one for the back.  Yeah, my words are still looking wrinkly, but they feel smoother now, with the layers of goo applied. I have smaller flowered print on the back.  Most of the ones we saw at first, only had the clip side decorated.  But I said THAT'S where the paper goes.  You hardly can see all the beauty there.  Let's decorate the BACK where it can show all the time.  Except when you lay it down....but you might just want to carry it around and flash that beautious back to everyone.
I can show you this one, that is for Chad, because, although I wouldn't really tell him about it until I handed to it him, it seems that Andrea is not so good at he already knows.  I don't know if she sent him a picture, but this is the clip side.  The back is smaller mickey mouse print.  Very cute handsome.
You can do a lot more embellishing of them and layering and strips of this and that, but for now, we just picked some great paper and started small.
I do want to tell you that I was reading a tutorial and gathering my 'tools' and was told to unscrew the clip.  That sounded great.  And it would have made things a bit easier all around, but none of our new 5 clipboards, nor the older two that we had here, had screws to unscrew.  They were all more of a rivet/grommet type of thing that appears to be pretty impossible to remove and put back together for the amateur.  So we left them together and all looks like it going to be OK.
A few more layers and we'll be writing on these babies.  Aren't you jealous that you don't have one?...yet!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday night light

Here we are.  Sitting in by the fire.  It is ROARING and I'm good with that.  It's icy outside and my half hour trip home today, took an hour and we went past at least 10 cars who had recently gone off the road.  The first one was at least 4 vehicles, with one of them laying on its side.  It became our warped game as we approached to guess which side of the highway the car came from, because they pretty much all took incredible rides before they stopped in a puff of snow.

So, Instead of heading out to hear one of my favorite preachers at CONDUIT, we unpacked the few purchases, and went inside and lit this candle and built a fire and put some sweats and slippers on and threw another log on the fire and covered up with a blanket...and here we stayed...nice and warm and cozy.... It's a good smelling candle, too.  50% off at Bed, Bath and Beyond on my trip.  Candles for winter...good stuff.

When I was gone, I finished this headband, but it was loose and the one I was copying had a fleece liner and it looked like it was so much warmer that way.  So I sewed a brown fleece headband for a liner that fit a bit tighter and took it and whip stitched it inside my new knitted headband and it is AWESOME!!  And it's cold enough to wear. every. single. day.  And it's alpaca and it's very soft and lovely and it will smash my hair, but it will look GOOD!
And I finally finished a book.  It was The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown.  And it was fun and I was slow, but I'm totally inspired to keep dreamin....
Tomorrow is church and youth bible study and then our other Sunday nite bible study...then we are into another busy work week.  Hope yours was good last week.  Praying for a good one next week, too.  My dad's chemo last week has been rescheduled to this week.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Time Away

This week I did something different for me.  It's totally out of character.  I took off.  By myself.  And drove and drove and drove.  And this is where I ended up.

Fancy Gap, VA.  I pulled in the driveway just in time for the end of the sunset, which rocked because I sure didn't want to do that in the dark.  Way too curvy and I didn't know my way.  And phone service there can be spotty.
I'm not too bad at directions, but usually it works better in the daylight and with someone else to be lost with.  This was an under 8 hour trip that was over 9 and it was slushy and sloppy.  I stopped for a gallon of windshield spit along with my gas fillup.

But I had a date....with my sister....from Tuesday to Sunday...
 On Wednesday, in Raleigh, we did this...

Artistic Abandon...very fun.  I'm not artsy, just crafty, but she walked us through step by step. She was so kind, Emily Page.  Please go there and schedule a good time.
Then Thursday morning we went to White Dahlia and I let them put HOT STONES on my body.  And it was AWESOME!!
And Thursday, in Raleigh, we did this!  It was so much fun and it was a great production!  I'd see it again.

WICKED!!  What FUN!!
Then Friday we drove back to Virginia and today we just hung out.  Tomorrow it's church and then the drive home....and back to reality....lots of stuff waiting for me.....and gotta hit the floor running, but it was a great time with the older sister.  And she says I can come back again!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Every Day a New Adventure...

Yesterday morning we got up and walked the dog before church.  It IS January in Western NY, so it SHOULD be winter and cold and snowy.  But it was 54 and we just had sweatshirts and there was just a bit of mist, so I put on my baseball cap to shield my glasses.  And within 5 minutes of arriving home, there was a great downpour and I just figured God knew I was going to the shower and I didn't need a pre-rinse that day.

 But THIS morning.  It is 23 or so, and snowing.  Oh, is it snowing.  Lots of snowing and blowing and cold and icky and ice under the snow.  You just never know what's going to be out there in the morning.  hmmmm....

But last night, before it snowed, we loaded a bus with a few adults and a bunch of youth, and headed over to Bemus Point United Methodist Church.  They had invited us to their winter event.  It is a concert of their youth bands.  They have a progressing, perhaps is the word, group of youth bands.  Last year the younger ones are jr high age, the next a little older and the oldest has mostly college kids, I think.  The older group being the ones who performed the longest.  This year the youngest went first, then the oldest, and the featured group was the middle age. 

One of them, being a senior girl who spoke from the heart and just inspired and challenged me to quit doubting and worrying and give it to Jesus. appears this picture just might be sideways.  wonder how I fix that??  anyway...She is stressing over which college to attend and filling out tons of scholarship applications and trying to catch up on homework that needs doing and she's so afraid of making the wrong choices and disappointing people.  But she said she sat crying in the cold woods, with her devo, trying to journal while tears mixed with cold rain on her face and decided that God loved her so much that he wouldn't let her make the wrong choice.  She had to TRUST.   And I thought how often I don't just TRUST God, cuz you know, I think I'd better help him because he gives me strength and I should just suck it up and use that strength and am I not using it against myself sometimes??
  And then there was the music...such good me to want to learn to play the guitar, even just for myself...  Perhaps the bucket list for 2015.  Don't you think every well-packed camper should contain a guitar??  yep.  Just a nice acoustic model...
That same girl, I believe told us that they were playing for God and using the gifts he gave them.  And if we didn't have those gifts, don't feel bad, cuz God has provided everyone with gifts to use.  Probably wrong to wish mine was that girls voice.  But I really should be working to make her devotion a model for myself.  How often do we start out great gun headed in the wrong direction and so many things of life come flying at us and we don't even realize how many steps we've taken off the path we intended to be on.  Every day is a new beginning...

That's a summer picture.  Today's picture?  Not so much sun....or green...or visibility...keep smiling!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Not much going on here...

Unless you count...

Thanksgiving together... We are the Thanksgiving Meal house.  We started this several years, when hopping between a couple of big feasts left us heavier than we should be and so we decided to just do the cooking. Join us if you want...if not, it's all good.

Christmas prep... oh, it is upon us.  I have to admit, other then my tree, a wreath my friend made me and my outside fall one that I revamped for Christmas, decorating around here was a little sparse.  Always next year.  Oh, yeah.  I did put ornaments of bear heads on my tree in the hallway.  It looks cute.  And it makes me smile when I walk past it.  That counts for something.

My daughter and her boyfriend will be tying the knot the summer of 2016.  Something to keep us busy and crafting!  Always good to have purpose.  Welcome to our family, Chad.

Christmas Crafting....
Let's see....I made 2 flannel couch cozy blankets, two faux fur wraps/shawls, one faux fur cowl, some exercise headbands, and still have some flannel pj bottoms to finish sewing. This was the quilting that I did on one of those couch blankets...for my vet...that one that watches Big Bang Theory...pretty darn cute, right?? .. I started to make a list of projects that are started and need finished and it got too long to fit on my I stopped.

Nope.  Not much of that happened for our own household...but....  Our other church, Conduit, had a special Christmas Collective and they wanted cookies.  Someone stirred up a bunch and baked 600, then we picked up the rest of the dough and brought it home and baked 650 more.  The Christmas event was a huge success.  And they had 200 cookies leftover to donate to another cause.  God is Good - All the Time!!

Bert is into basketball season.  We are bleacher sitters again for a while.  It's ok.  We have friends there and look forward to visiting while we watch games and eat popcorn. 

Job rearranging....
It is time to think of tax season.  It is a crazy, busy time for us.  I look forward to it and seeing those people that I only see at that time.  But it was really almost more than I could juggle last year.  So I've made the decision to drop my vet clinic job for now.  I'm going to miss that place.  Four years of working and learning all about cats and dogs.  Puppies for their first shots and man's best friends for their last ones.  Dogs hit by cars and cats with cuts....and all the itching....  But my other job.  My tax season/accounting job.  It has continued to grow every year.  Instead of a busy time and the rest off time, there is always stuff that needs doing.  Computer entering.  Filing.  Sorting. Arranging.  Preparing.  Wondering why this is here and that is there and alphabetizing.... So, although this is a wonderful blessing to have a busy business, it is just good to know my limits.  And I was there last year, so I'm starting to work it out now for this year.

And soon, very soon, I am taking a few days, just me to go visit my sister.  I two places she lives that I have never seen yet.  I'm anxious to do this.  I've spent months waiting for there to be a good time to go with my mom and daughter on this trip, but waiting has ended and I'm up for a roadtrip...soon.

Monday, November 17, 2014


It is officially winter.  It is snowing now and getting colder.  My youngest passed his driving test and wants to drive, but I'm dragging my feet a bit.  The bus is OK on days like today and tomorrow.  Watching the news that says Buffalo will have 2 inches and just south of it in Hamburg they are expecting 26 inches.  Crazy.  I'm in the fewer inches area, southwest of this stuff.  And I'm good with that.  Dentist tomorrow for lunch.  Got some Christmas projects going.  Never one at a time.  Something like seven...all at once....all over the house...and Thanksgiving is here.  I like to have Thanksgiving here, but I have to keep reminding myself of it, because I bought a new jigsaw puzzle that I want to open up and start, but I can't until after eating Thanksgiving dinner.  Worth the wait.  Need to make a plan.  Gotta spread the invites around.  We have family.  We have friends.  We've invited strangers before.  I need to see the lady from Joann Fabrics to make sure she has the address.  Yes, we were at the cutting counter and said something about Thanksgiving dinner and she said she'd be over and we said SURE!  Come along!  The more the merrier.
I finished a book!  I have gone in fits and spurts.  It was Chickens In The Road and I really liked it.  I got the suggestion from I can't remember who, but waiting a bit and checked the Library and then found a copy and bought it and read it and enjoyed.
Today, because of the weather, I drove the new driver to basketball practice and then went to hang out with my parents.  They have just completed a bathroom addition and it is FINALLY completed and I love it and they do, too.  So I dragged her into service with making messes in crafting.  She will probably have to vacuum the evidence up now.  But we had a good time.
Thinking about bed now.  Had one of those trouble getting to sleep nights last night.  It catches up with me right away these days.  In my younger years, it took several of those nights to slow me down.  Now, not so much.
Are you into Christmas mode yet?  Haven't tagged the tree yet.  Might just have to cut it and bring it home the same day I pick it out.  Done it before and that's OK.
Good night

Saturday, November 1, 2014

popcorn and cider

Sittin' here with snow falling outside and feet up.  Fire in the fireplace. And just enjoying doing nothing for a wonderful change.
This morning sleeping in, I had to wake up and answer the phone.  I know, wahwahwah....whiner.  But I do enjoy a good sleep in on occasion.  Most days I have to get up and get moving.  But today, I had a chance and rat!  The phone.  So I got up and puttered around for a bit.  Then collected my garbage together and took it to the dumper truck.  Headed over to my mom's to see what was up with her bathroom project.  Adding on a master bath where there was none, is exciting and invasive.  When workers need to get to the work and they need to go through your bedroom to do it, you lose a bit of privacy.  I keep reminding her that it will soon be done and it will be wonderful.  I even stressed that today by having part of the conversation while sitting in her new tub.  Then I whisked her away to an Open House on an alpaca farm...

 We looked at yarn and knitted items in the farm store, and then we were invited inside.  There were refreshments, and strangers who quickly became friends.  There were knitters and spinners and weavers.  I tried to keep away from the spinners and weavers, because I don't have the room for too many more creative hobbies!  Once inside we found a couple of comfy chairs by a window and took in the scenery...
 Someone or something got them going and they starting running around and ended up down by the barn.  Their pasture area goes right past the large windows we were sitting by....
I had to admire the great bird feeders on the window the window and throw in more seeds, no matter how deep the snow.  I thought these were just what I should go home and whip up for my mom...she wasn't quite as convinced.  I thought she would be crazy, happy to have them!!  I'm still working on her about it...

I was very comfortable in this home, with a group of people whom I've never met before, but who all were interested in alpacas, and yarn and knitting and just looked around and thought - yeah, this is good stuff.  And I wanted to grab my knitting and just sit there and knit and visit and listen and enjoy.  But although they were friendly, that probably would have bumped me into kind of a weird category, so I got my mom and we came home.  But we had a great time...with strangers...which really isn't us at all.

Came home, stopping at Necker Company Store to get some potatoes and a slice of ham and whipped up some scalloped potatoes and slow cooked them until supper.  While the snow fell outside....

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Today was a church day....a late to church day.  Not what I like, but what happens more often than not.  It was a grab some lunch day.  It was really a pretty nice fall day.  But it was a driving day.  I'm at the end of this place...this student driver, trying to pass the test place.  For the last time, I have a kid who needs to move from permit to license.  We have already tried two times.  Hoping that the third time is a charm.  We have a rough time at this sometimes.  He is learning to drive in a bigger town than we live in.  There are no Amish buggies, tractors with wagons, or leaping deer on this test.  But those are the places we mostly drive.  There are curbs on the three point turns and parallel parking.  There are an abundance of stop signs, traffic lights and school zones to pay attention to.  We don't always get along when we do driving.  I'm too grumpy and tired.  He's too worried he'll forget something when he is turning left at the light....or cut his right turns short again....or not check the mirrors enough....or be too cautious...
I'm finishing up the kind of week that I really don't like.  The busy days and busy nights week.  The busy weekend week...the week coming up busy-ness already weighing on my heart.  I look at the huge gaps in my posting...the little amount of time I spend being creative...the lack of sparkle in my house...and a sadness moves in.  So today, I got the paper out.  The ones I copied that have a heading of THINGS I JUST MIGHT DO TODAY.  And I made a list for tomorrow.  A list of things that will make me feel better.  A list to cross out my tasks.  A list to make ready some of the things here that are just drifting along.  And hopefully, tomorrow night, I will be tired and I will have a lot of lines on my paper.  Lines marking the many small things that contribute to the stress and the heaviness and the sag.  And I'll play some happy music and perhaps the sun will shine and I'll open the window for a I get ready for the end of October.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Not giving up my shorts yet...

Here I sit in Erie.  In my office.  In my shorts.  With my heater on.  Yep.  I'm a die-hard shorts wearer.  I will wear them with sweaters and sweatshirts and I just can't quite bring myself to put on long pants yet.  I did have them on for a while yesterday.  They just felt odd.  So today, I decided I would be sitting right by my heater.  I looked into a tub of fall/winter clothes yesterday, but couldn't bring myself to quite unpack and redo the closet yet.  Hanging on to the summer layers.  I know.  I'll do it next week.  Promise.
But this weekend is Scrap and Sew #23, so I had other stuff to do.  And there is a golf outing Friday that has a Chinese Auction and I was working on that item, too this week.  Seems that sometimes you have something laying around, just looking for an excuse to finish it. So the flannel couch cozy in pink and chocolate is being bound and tucked into a box/basket with a book and a bottle of wine and something chocolate.  It's the box I would want.  So, once I finish that tonight, then I can make an awesome pile.  A pile of other things that are started.  I decided to try not to start anything this fall S&S and maybe finish up a couple of things that are already in the hopper.
Sometimes I help other people and then I don't get as much of my stuff done, but I'm really there just to be with my friends.  We need that time together.  After you lose a friend or two, you hug your others just a bit closer.  Some people have hinted rather strongly that they would love to come for the weekend.  I know.  It's a nice thing.  But right now, it's kind of a comfortable thing and there is a list and they get info in groups and if there is enough space, then the next one or two is notified.  It is a group that is low maintenance and they all get along.  Flannel,....more laughter....sometimes tears....a toast to Elaine....not much sleep....road trips for things needed...
We've done this 23 times.  Ok, so I'm the only one who has made it 23 times, but Willowe is a 22, and many more are close behind.
We will miss Cindy, who had to go to some thing with her husband...seriously, Dale....Couldn't you just SKYPE into that family reunion in Indiana??  Ok, we will let him off the hook this time...have a great trip.  See you next week.....

PS .  Our Prayers and Squares group now has a post that I lifted a picture into my last post from.  Thanks, Gail.  She takes the pictures.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Prayer Quilts


This is Saturday.  Today I had to work.  It's what I'm doing right now.  There is one lady in my vet clinic office that works every Saturday morning.  There are three of us that take turns working with her.  It's not a bad thing, but it sure makes your weekend short.  So, the good thing about working Saturdays is that it is so busy, the morning is gone before you know it and it going-home time.
Today, being done time was when I headed over to my church to join a group.  It is the Prayers and Squares group.  It was started a while back.  They meet periodically to cut, piece and sew quilt tops and then layer them up and sew them together and put threads in for tying.  It's a pretty big group for a church this size...for a town this size... But nothing is bigger than the prayers attached to each and every quilt that leaves the hands of this group.
When we receive a request, a quilt is chosen and the next Sunday, it is laid out on a table in the fellowship hall of our church.  A note is posted beside the quilt stating who will received the quilt and the things they have asked for prayer for.  Sometimes it is healing, sometimes it is strength, sometimes it is acceptance.  Everyone is invited to say a prayer as they tie a knot in the quilt.  The quilt is then delivered and often is taken to the hospital, to their home, to the Regional Cancer Center, to rehab.  They offer support and comfort in the form of something warm and huggable.  We have a couple of ladies who have taken charge of this project and  a couple of ladies that work close to them in this ministry.
A couple of times, like this morning, I've taken along a 16yr old boy from my house.  Originally, I pushed it as a great way to rack up some volunteer hours.  Last night he said, yeah, I need volunteer hours.  But he goes at 8 or 9am , even without me pushing, or even when I'm not going to be there until noon.  He sits with the older ladies of the church and puts strings into the layered pieces and he listens to the stories they tell of the old days.  He learns from them and they might even learn a thing or two from him.  He doesn't even know the gift he is getting from them.  Or probably the magnitude of the gift he is preparing for someone else.
You can read a little more about this here...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Yarn ALong - Happy October!

"~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading (though not at the same time!), and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~  Ginny at Small Things..."

If you click on the link, you can hop over and get some great inspiration on books and yarny things!!

As for me, I'm working on the Juliette.  It's kind of a concentration thing and I'm a bit lacking and have had to unravel because of it.  But my mom and I were talking and she said she heard that if you are having trouble, string a piece of yarn along the needle and then attempt your knit.  If it is a mess, you just pull it off and run your needle back through the yarn path and start that row over again.  Sounded too easy.  But I've strung it through the past 4 trips across this vest and knowing I have a safety net is HUGE!  Also, math minded, figuring out that my repeat is 14 stitches, I slid a large coated paper clips at the start and then each repeat, I count stitches and if it's not 14, I'm only out that one stretch.  If I'm good, I bend it open to slide it off and then pinch it and slide it back to start over.  This, too, has saved my sanity.  I have too many interruptions to keep track of 215 stitches, so I am grateful this week for this two lifesavers that may just make it possible for me to finally wear this vest that I started over 2 years ago.
I also have that little sock yarn sock in a bag and knit on it occasionally and mindlessly.  It is on one of those little circular needles and it's not very slippy, so i have to keep sliding it along.  There is probably a tip to make it more slippery, but then I might just slide the whole sock off the thing, so perhaps I should leave it alone.  The other two pair I knit a few years ago and on DP needles, so this is a new experience.  Not sure if it is preferred to dp or not.  I still have to attempt a cable.  Have to find an easy project to do that on.
I do have a project bag with my Christmas stocking project in it that I pull out from time to time, but that needle also tends to be a stickier project.  So, after a few rounds, my finger gets sore from the pokiness and I trade off to another knit....or perhaps to my book.

I finished the Peculiar Children book.  It was pretty good.  I didn't really think that was the kind of book I was picking, but it all turned out OK.  Now, I've started A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick on my Kindle.  I have several Bible Study books that will be on the string for quite a while, because they are group efforts and we moved at a group pace, but I think the youth girls books were good picks so far and moving through Captivating slowly will be good, too.

 A Single Thread
What are you reading and knitting or crocheting or just getting ready for winter doing??

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yarn Along-Sept 24

"~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading (though not at the same time!), and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~"  Ginny at Small Things

Starting this yarn along post with no pictures...I'll try to slip some in after I get home!
My camera is at home, my phone is at home....and I am not...
In the knitting area, I'm slowly working on my Juliette vest.  I am hoping to get this finished to wear this winter.  I have been working on it for 2..3..4 years??  off and on the needles.   I have ripped and redone and unknit and even this week, I was practicing my unknitting skills.  I've finally come to switching over to the knit pattern for the bottom and it is a bit of a challenge.  More of a challenge than you can handle talking and counting and knitting all at the same time. Especially while riding in the car, talking to friends, traveling to and from the Hemlock Lake Fiber Fest, where we got a hold of some really yummy yarn.  This is where the unknitting comes into play.  Getting close to the end of the row, I discovered my stitch count was really off,so I put it away in the car and just talked...then after I was home and settled in, I started at the other side and counted across until I found my mistake and undid my stitches, made it right, and re-knit to the end of that row, then put it down.  Last night, in the living room alone with a 16yr old boy and his tv show, I was able to make it back across with no far as I know!  And then put it down again.  I was starting to get tired and didn't want to stop mid row or make big mistakes.  The weather reports tell us to expect lots of cold and snow this winter.  Hey, I live in western NY state.  That's what's supposed to happen in winter here.  But it will be nice to wear this vest over a turtleneck and have that yarn wrapped around me in a big hug.
So, to keep me going in the less thinking time, I grabbed some sock yarn this morning and a pattern I had printed off for some little yoga socks.  It is self striping yarn.  My confession here is that I have a small stash of sock yarn, but I like thick knitted socks.  I have made 2 pair of socks in my lifetime.  Both pair thick socks.  One is mine and the other my mom wears...and I've darned for her.  I thought she might be wearing them out of guilt, and also that they sure weren't wearing well.  So I said, These aren't wearing very well if they have a hole already...she said...When it's cold, I wear them whenever they are clean. My mom doesn't have piles of unwashed, unfolded, un-put-away clothes. ( It didn't rub off on me yet.) Ok.  Then handknit socks ARE worth the effort and buying handknit socks is probably worth whatever you are paying.  It's funny how I used to look at beautiful handknit sweaters and think - My WORD!  How Expensive!  I'd never pay that.  Now that I knit a bit more, and I buy some nicer yarns, I look at them in a whole different light.  More often then not, I look at them and smile, thinking, that's a HECK of a bargain.  Remember, I am on my 4 year vest project!!  And there is a jealousy when I read the blogs of focused knitters who are stocking the drawers for winter with new socks, hats, scarves, sweaters for them, the hubby and six+ kids.  You GO, girls!!  I'll just putter a bit with my projects - the never-ending vest :o) and now some socks, and then some research for the new yarn that came home from Hemlock with me.  Isn't knitting and yarn just great therapy???  I thought you'd say so.  Hunkering down....

And the reading is really mixed up lately.  I started Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
and it is taking me forever, but I am determined to finish it.  But I'm also starting a Bible Study - 
 Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul | [John Eldredge, Stasi Eldredge]
my Sunday School book, The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury,
 The Family of Jesus
and my youth Bible Study with- Leah - and
 Leah: Confessions of a First Runner-Up, TrueLife Bible Studies    -     By: Shannon Primicerio
Ten Things for Teen Girls.
 10 Things for Teen Girls  -     By: Kate Conner
  I wonder why I am a bit scattered with books right now.  I took a big stack of magazines with me camping and was able to finish a bunch of started ones, so that was good.  One bite at a time.

So what are YOU doing??  Keeping on task or jumping around??  Several going to fight boredom or concentrating and crossing off those finished projects??  Hmmm.... Check out the others here...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Big Project...

    Every summer should have a big project.  Something that says, yes!  I have accomplished a large feat.  And now, after summer, it's past time to talk about mine.  We have some storage in that there garage.  And we store lots of stuff in it.  But, perhaps like you, the storing is more of piling...and there is no order or rhyme or reason after a while.

 So last year, I decided I could build some more shelves in my garage.  I already have some on one side of the garage, but this would be on the office side.  And this would mean hauling stuff out of the garage, throwing stuff out, sweeping stuff up, organizing, checking out the several piles of Christmas lights and cords and stuff that just might not work.  And if they don't work, THROW THEM OUT!!.  How many of you think it's necessary to keep it just in case...or as a spare....or the lights in the string might be good for something someday.  I realized I was turning into one of those people that could be buried under their stuff on a tv show and be OK with it.   How bad is that.  It was time for action.   Back a couple of cars out. Drag out bunches of stuff...and attack the problem.  It took, of course, more time than I thought it would.  The shelves, though doubted by some, are full of stuff and still hooked to the wall and no visible sagging has occurred.  I didn't appreciate the opinion that they weren't heavy enough, made of the right material, or engineered correctly.  Yeah, so you say.  They are done, they are up, and they are working. How good is that??  It's wonderful!  If I did nothing else this summer, that job would carry me through.  Even if you didn't think it looked better, with stuff up off the floor, it SMELLS so much better.
    Then today, I gave myself time off from my office stuff.  Pretty much, every day that I don't have appointments, or job errands, or other jobs to go to, I have office stuff here waiting for me.  I know.  You thought I was a sit around and eat bonbons girl.  Well, I might look like it, but most days I am working in our office, even though the washer and dryer are running and the dishwasher is swishing, I'm on the computer, or piling and adding, or copying and stapling.  But, today I excused myself from that. I even found these pumpkins on the way home from my moms.

 It has been feeling like fall air here, so I decided this was a good day for soup....and for bread...and so I made honey-oat bread,

 and then because I like to share it with my mom and dad and it never lasts long, I made a second batch of the meantime, I was getting some frozen chicken to boiling and the ingredients around for one of our favorite soups- chicken wing.  Popped the stuff into the crockpot... And then for good measure I washed my quilt, my sheets and pulled off my summer blanket and got out my cold-weather blanket.  Actually, yesterday I came home from camping and puttered quite a bit and it felt good.  Putting stuff back to right.  Seems like too long since I've spent a day or three getting things in order just because.  Just because it's so much better for my stress level...and my mental health....and I can find things.  And because it makes me so DANG happy, I mixed up some Oatmeal Choc Chip cookies
and Original All-Bran muffins.  It's been too long.  I've missed days like today.  The sun was shining and it was beautiful out.  And I was smiling.  A few things that had me stewing a couple of days ago, have sorted themselves out and that rocked, too.
I realize I've not posted in a long time.  I'm just hoping to get back to some sort of routine here, and work it all out.
Hoping you are having a great Fall Y'All!
PS After supper, we took a little trip to Joann Fabrics for driving practice and I came home and put THIS together.  Yes, it was a very good day!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Some nights....

You just can't sleep.  Your brain doesn't turn off and you just think yourself awake.  If only there was a little switch, that makes the problems of the day stop, for just a couple of hours.  That makes the big stuff get small.  That makes the broken stuff get fixed.

And it's that end of summer weekend that marks the beginning of fall with back to school, and football and cooler temps, and changing leaves and although I'm good with all of those things, and snuggling up, it's a sad goodbye to summer. 

I stopped on the street yesterday to chat with a friend, whom I haven't talked with in a long while.  He said how are you?  No, really, how are you?? And I said tired.  I feel like I'm always running around.  Some people want that vacation full of activities and stuff and doing....I'm not those people.  I crave the quiet.  The lack of commitment that comes from going far enough away to not be able to do anything that needs doing at or from home.  You can field a few phone calls, but the rest - take a message.  If your life is full of obligations and activities and schedules and games and meets and practices, you might just know what I mean.  And then there is nice.  I've got quite a bit of nice.  And I like to share it with as many people as possible.  If you need help, and I can give it, I'm more than likely glad to do it.  But sometimes, nice gets pretty thin.  If you've been pouring out more than is coming in, than you get is a place that's tough.  I'm not meaning that not enough people are nice to me and I'm pouting about it.  I'm talking about setting aside a bit of time to be nothing, and God will take care of putting some nice back in your pitcher.  But you've got to sit still long enough for it to happen.  If you keep answering the phone and answering questions, and running here and picking up there, you too, could get a bit sparse in the nice department.  It's really too bad that it happens, but I think there was a plan involved with this.

So, if you're thinking you'd like to be here, don't look for me, because I'm thinking I really need to be someplace more like this one
so, if you can't find a spare minute to call your own...and you just need to regroup and rest up and reset yourself, perhaps you'll want to spend a little time here, too.  Alone, or mostly alone.  Maybe a few things like sewing, or knitting, or reading, but not too much.  'Cuz then it starts to be work and obligations and you've defeated the purpose by just bringing it along.  Yeah, I've been doing that, too.  I have a whole pile of magazines that are partly read and I don't know what ones I've read all the way and what ones are partially read or unread, so I just keep carrying this huge bag of reading material around from campsite to workplace to car trip, to whatever.  And then there are the multiple knitting projects in many zippered pouches, which seemed like a good thing to do, but I'm not going to do them all, so I'm thinking it's backfiring a bit.  But now it's fall, the season to hunker down and get ready for hibernating.  For preserving, canning, freezing and making ready.  I've got some tomatoes in jars on the counter, and some corn in the freezer.  My garden is a disaster, but I'm OK with that, all things considered.
Some housecleaning would probably be a good idea and some catching up in other areas.  I have a benefit for a friend with ALS next month and I need to get a Chinese Auction item or two ready for that.  I have a new Sunday School year starting in a couple of weeks, so we are getting our books in for that.  We have a new year of youth Bible Study starting in September, so got to get that bookage lined up.  School is starting, which means football.  The fullness of the calendar doesn't excite me, it tends to depress me.  Something's got to give.  Looking for balance.. looking for less...hmmmm



Saturday, July 5, 2014

just books..

Even if all I write about is what I'm least I'm writing something.
Yesterday was July 4th.  And on July 4th, I get people for supper and fireworks at my house.  It's not a bad thing, it just is the way it is.
So, on July 5th, I like to do not-too-much.  Today, that consisted of grabbing the Karen Kingsbury book- The Chance-

 The Chance   -     By: Karen Kingsbury
 I had started and reading in my chair on my deck.

It was peaceful and just what I needed today.  The glass was a bottomless helping of iced tea, frequently mixed with lemonade.  It was hot and it was filled a lot and the ice would melt and I'd just need more.  The cordless was out there with me, well, because I was alone and I didn't want to jump up and check if it was someone here I sat, in all my hours of afternoon today.  Thankful for the freedom to do just that.
Bible School starts tomorrow night, but I think I can bop out for the few things I still need for that and be back before Addie closes her ice cream doors for the night.  I'm thinking there will NOT be 40 flavors left at that time, but as long as I can find one of my favorites, it's all good.
Happy Weekend to you all.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

hey there...

It is summer....yeah, baby!
It's hot.  It's sticky.  School is out.  I've attended my last graduation party and I'm looking at a nightmare kid's activity schedule.  It must be summer.  So I finished my first summer read today.  It's not a book I would normally have read.  The language and parts of the content are not my style and a little more racy than what I read.  But the story line had me hooked and I read it to the end.  It was a different ending than I expected....and I think it made me sad, when I had hopes of a happy ending.  I'm just that you prefer happy endings, or are you good with whatever comes your way??

 SO, not to give the book awat, but just reading off the front cover-
If you won the lottery, would you trade your life for the life of your dreams?  What's on your Wish List??

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Camping for the first time this season.  We chose a campground close to home because we always seem to have stuff. This weekend I had a bridal shower and a kid playing in a basketball tourney. Turns out he is getting along with the help of others and I bopped out for a few hours and then back again. We both needed to get away from home. This camping thing is a little like running away with a whole bunch of your stuff.

Yeah. It's a bit scary of a picture but it is who we are. We did bring the dog who discovered last night that when no kids go along, the couch is empty all night. Guess where he was this morning??
When I loaded the stuff back in the camper for the year I remembered that I was going to sew a camper quilt and haven't yet. Going on the list and close to the top.
I had mixed reviews from friends when I talk about camping. Some think it is too much work and no kind of fun.  I assure them that my camping is far from roughing it. Listened to another friend talk about her childhood memories of family camping trips and the camper they had and the restriction that each child had to fit her clothes into a dishpan with her name on it and that their frig was really more a cool that had a big chunk of ice in it that got smaller as time went by, giving them more room for food but they were eating the food up and didn't need the space. Imagine that camping with Wayde was an adventure all its own.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Where in the world am I?? Yarn Along

" ~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~"  Ginny at Small Things...
link over and see what everyone is working on...

Does it sometimes seem like you just drop out of the world and spin for a while?  I don't mean spin yarn.  I just mean spin your wheels.  I've been trying a little harder the last couple of days.  Writing lists and crossing things off.  Trying to stay on task.   I'm not so good at that these days.
So, after taking it easy Sunday, and mostly Monday, too, I sat down Monday and typed up a form for a TO DO list for me and ran off a half dozen.  Yes, I have a ton of scrap paper that could be called upon to use for a TO DO list.  But I'm looking to motivate myself and make the list more difficult to lose.  I'm looking to keep on task.  I'm looking to not lose so much time figuring out what was it I wanted to do today??  Or, oh, rats.  I forgot to call and make that appointment.  So Monday, I started making a list for Tuesday...and I got lots done on that list, by gum.  And then last night, I got another sheet, and started the list for today.  And I got to cross a lot off of that list, too.  I still have a little more time for today's list, then it's on to tomorrow.  I have to go to my dog & cat job tomorrow, so the list won't get near as many XX's on it, but I'll put GO TO WORK on there, so I can cross it off!!  Are you a list person???

First there is the checking in for the reading part of the yarn along...  Here are what I had at home this week.  I got them on interloan from my library and then renewed them.  Spinning there, too.  I realllly liked The Feast Nearby a lot.  Thinking about picking up my own copy of that.  I think I'd reference it again.  Mud Season was funny.  OK.  I've become a bit more of a prude.  If there are a lot of cuss words, I return the book.  I don't want someone to tell me that it is dialogue and that's how they talk.  That's really not how my friends and I talk.  So halfway through, I decided back it goes.  The Forest Years I started.  And I'd like to read it.  But I ran out of time.  And although my Library is alright with me renewing more than once, interloan has a limit.  So back it goes.  But I'm also checking on ebay and amazon for a good used copy fairly cheap.  I've found the two separate, but not both books together in this form....still looking.
Then I picked up a couple of other books.  One I had order on interloan again.  I had heard about Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl maybe on Yarn Along.  And then I picked up A Single Shard, which is part of my Newbery Award list...and this Susan Mallery, Already Home.  Think I'd better add READ to my list for tonight and tomorrow!!  Read any good books lately??

THEN -- there is the knitting part of this deal.  This is the grrlfriend market bag.  Haven't tried it out shopping yet, but it is fun to look at!!  I just wanted to try it and see what I could do....
This is the issue I have in my yarn stash right now.  Too much digging and not enough organizing. And I've vowed that I need to work on a WIP at least part of the time, even if I start something

It's time to drag these back out and get moving.  The stripedy stocking I really like, but I started it on a pretty small needle for this type of yarn, so it makes my fingers hurt, so I can only knit on it for a little while, then I switch it out.  But there is the green vest that I can go with now!   Each time I say this is takes a night to figure out where I am and then I'm good to knit for a while.  Perhaps tonight, after I plant the stuff I bought at the Amish greenhouse today, I can sit and figure a bit.  I really want to wear this vest this winter.  Think that's a possibility??  Hoping, hoping.... tell.....what are you reading and knitting and yarning on about????