Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A cold with asthma

Sorry I've not posted, I came down with a cold the day after I returned, and breathing takes a lot of energy right now! Actually, I really thought I HAD posted in between, but it is hard to dispute the evidence!
While I was gone, there were a lot of storms that blew through the area. In the space of just over 2 weeks our rain gauge outside has registered 12+ inches. That is a lot of rain! I think the day after I returned Howard pointed this out to me. It is the suet feeder that we see outside the kitchen window. The wind had wrapped it around the branch from which it hangs.
On the knitting front, I'm knitting baby hats. Not for the grandtad to be, but for the nursery at the hospital where we all volunteered. I had 3 operations there, Nathan had one -- it is a way to say "thank you" again. The Bernat Baby yarn goes a lot further than I had expected, instead of 2 hats per skein it looks as if I can get 3. Oh my! In other words, I'm on my third, and by the weight of the first two, there should be enough to finish this one. That is a lot of hats, when you count the number of skeins I bought! LOL They don't all have to be knit at once, but I'd like to get a good-size number together before I ship it off. I wish the yarn came in other than "baby" colors (pastels.) Many new mothers (or mothers to be) do NOT want pastels!
While in Colorado I just "had" to go to Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins in Boulder (such a hardship!) Mom brought a book in to the store and read it while I browsed. Actually, I bought enough yarn while in Colorado that I had to ship a box home because there wasn't room in my suitcase! I also shipped home some books, as I figured that it was cheaper to do that than pay airline over-weight fee. After I sent it off, I worried, because the only things that have ever been lost or delayed in shipping are things that are heirlooms or knitted goods, and I'd included all of the remaining yarn for the generation afghan. Wouldn't THAT have been annoying! But the box showed up intact on Monday. I've gone so far as to open it and remove the books. Other than that, it sits beside the couch, waiting for me to have the energy to enter it all in my database.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What fun!

I love being at Serena's, I never know quite what I will see! There have been elk droppings all over the driveway, even though I've not actually seen them.

At one point this evening, I saw the tips of a deer's ears go past the basement picture window. A little bit later we heard an odd sound, finally decided it must be a bird. Shortly a fawn came by, and we realized it was the one making the sound! It was looking for its mother, who must have been the ears going by earlier. All of a sudden the fawn came right up to the window and looked in! There was a bit of a concern that it would try to come in! Finally it decided that mommy wasn't hiding in there, and went on, calling for mommy.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Yesterday we drove an hour to my favorite yarn store then met up with the aunt and her two daughters who live in Iowa. They were in Loveland visiting Kay’s daughter for the weekend and wanted to see Mom. I’ve lived in Iowa 4 years, but this is the first time my cousins and I have gotten together. I see their Mom several times a year as she lives about an hour away. Do you find it as ironic as I do that we had to catch up with each other HERE?

Anyway, not much knitting is getting done. I think part of that is stress. I can’t imagine why, can you? Sigh and grin.

I did pick up some great yarns for grandchild to be. Dalegarn Falk for a Debbie New baby set and Encore Chunky for a jacket. And some FANTASTIC buttons! I love the fun buttons you can get now!

I left some of my asthma medicine home by mistake. Howard was a dear and mailed it out Friday for delivery this weekend. This morning I sat in the living room, working on the computer with a cat in my lap. On my left was the picture window in the living room, on my right was the patio door looking out over trees and mountains. Bliss! As I sat there two does and a fawn came mincing by on my left, while birds arrived and departed on both sides! What a wonderful relaxing time! I had to stop when my computer, which had been plugged in, died for lack of battery. Not sure what happened, I moved it to another outlet and it was fine.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Positive Thoughts

I'm in Colorado, to help Mom with this difficult period. I'm not going to be online much. But someone posted this somewhere, and it really struck a chord with me.

The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. -- Chinese proverb

This is true in so many areas of my life. It deals with stress, knitting, exercise, weight control -- each begins with a small step or stone. It is in continued action that progress is seen. But it is still a series of actions. I sometimes forget that -- wanting to see the finish without doing the rest of the steps. Some things are easier for me to accept that I need to complete the stages -- knitting is the only thing that comes to mind, honestly. The rest -- I want to see progress and I want it NOW!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Embrace, what?

I was going to write somewhere else "Embrace Life!" And had to stop. Because there are so many ways that meanings become twisted. Someone else may take that to mean something other than what I do.

My thought was that life is to be lived. I must not be so enmeshed in self that I forget the joy in small things, the smell just after a rain, the carol of birdsong as the sun rises: the beauty around me.

One of my great joys is knitting. The feel of the yarn feeding through my fingers, the particular feel of the needles in my hand, the fabric as it emerges. Much of the time I don't need to look as I knit. There is the feel of the pages as I turn them, and the ideas that emerge as I read. There is also the thought for the person who the knitting will go to -- prayers and love go into the knitting as well, I like to think that becomes part of the fabric as it grows. Sometimes it becomes mechanical, then it must be put away, there is no joy.

May you find joy in many things!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gack Spit!

I can't believe it. I was at 18 squares on the afghan. I'm back to 14. And I'm not to sure about 7 of those! sigh

I was trying to figure out why I was using more yarn on these squares that I had on the last one before I frogged it. So I counted stitches on the first strip. I'd cast on 30. This strip, for whatever mad reason, I cast on 35. I'd knit 26 inches at 35 stitches instead of 30. I can't believe it!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Random Thoughts

Look what I found in the back yard while Howard was gone! It was growing on the remains of a tree or bush that was cut off at ground level. I don't know if the heat and lack of water caused it, as there haven't been any more since the rain started. I wish I had included something for perspective, the mushroom was 6 inches (30 cm) across and about 4-5 inches (20-25 cm) tall.

Why is it that out of obviously 5 sets of measuring cups (based on the fact that 3 are Tupperware and are in different colors,one is a plastic from another company and one is aluminum), I have :
2 - 1 cup measures (one aluminum and one Tupperware avocado green -- so you know their ages!)
2 - 3/4 cup measures (one orange Tupperware and one is a different shade of orange Tupperware -- different dye lots?)
2 - 1/2 cup measures (one aluminum and one white plastic from somewhere)
2 - 1/4 cup measures (avocado green and orange Tupperwares)
Does this make sense to YOU? LOL Perhaps it is time to toss all of them and buy several new sets -- I haven't decided. Did I send partial sets with each kidlet when they moved out? Do you notice there isn't a single 1/3 cup measure in the lot?!

I wish the dentist didn't instill such fear in me. It has been years since I had a dentist who could be considered terrifying, yet it is still difficult to go in. I do it as I'm supposed to, but sheesh, it is hard! I knit through the exam as much as possible -- calms me. Today, however, I ran out of yarn. Didn't expect such a long wait and wasn't prepared. This wasn't good. But I survived, and no problems with the teeth this time.

Howard was sweet and brought me back a pedometer from California. I'm trying to increase the number of steps in a day. It would certainly help if I didn't accidentally reset it several times during the day! I must say it is discouraging to look down and have it a MUCH lower number than it was the last time I looked! For example, this morning I had 199 steps on it. Later on I looked down and it said 4. Somewhere in there...

I know there was something else I was going to write, but I sure can't remember it now! I'll add it if/when I remember!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm back!

Baby afghan progress: 16 of 35 squares knit I suspect I will need to knit a border around it. As you can tell, there is still a hitch in my getalong with knitting right now.

For my friends who suggested Birkenstocks, I asked the doctor about it, he doesn't feel that they are good for the feet. This was surprising for me, as my feet love wearing the 3 pairs of sandals and one pair of clogs I have. I've worn my Birkies for years. Perhaps it is a symptom of working in Ithaca for a while? LOL Actually the clogs were purchased BEFORE I started working at Cornell. Too bad I bought suede, as the rest of the clogs are in fantastic shape. They really don't look good enough to wear in public any more. :-( As to why I have so many pairs of the sandals, well I need to have different ones for going without socks than the ones with socks, don't I? grin

Reach out to someone you love today!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Changes in life

My dad is 93, my mom is 85. They have been in great health for years. Just before we came out in June, Dad was diagnosed with a sprained back. He hasn't done well since. Tuesday I got a call that he was being hospitalized. My parents have always been part of my life. It is difficult to be reminded that I need to cherish each day that I have them -- that my time with them is limited. There aren't any guarantees in life!

I talked with him today, he is doing better. It looks as if he'll be going to a short term care facility Saturday for PT. This has been stressful for all of us, but especially Mom, Serena and Annette (who flew in to help out.)

One would think that I'd get a lot of knitting done during this, but it just hasn't happened! sigh I did get one more square done on the baby afghan. "Only" 20 more to go! LOL

If you are planning to knit for the Red Scarf Project, the deadline has changed! The received to them dates are September 1 through October 15. I need to check my yarn database for red yarn....

Monday, August 06, 2007

The knitting is coming back

I lost my knitting mojo for a while. It was so bad, that when the new Vogue Knitting arrived, it took several days to open it. As for the new Interweave Knits, I've looked at the first few pages and not gotten any further. This is NOT usual behavior! LOL

Yesterday I bit the bullet and frogged one and a half strips of the baby blanket. The one strip had the colors reversed of the way I need for those dye lots, and the partial had both dye lots on it. What I plan to do (you notice I'm trying to keep it fluid?) is to finish the strip Mom and Serena started, then make one more with the same color sequence. That will make 3 strips in that color sequence (variegated squares on both ends.) I'll put the one they knit in the center. Perhaps I should mark it with a safety pin in the meantime, so I don't forget which it is? sigh I'll make 2 strips of the other dye lots out of the opposite color sequence (solid squares on both ends.) I'll see how much yarn remains when I've finished knitting those strips, then decide whether to make an edging all around or to leave it as is. May make sad eyes at Howard and see if he'll crochet the strips together. That would add another grandparent into the blanket...

I know what I want done to join them, but don't know how to go about doing it! My grandmother on my Mom's side did an afghan of garter stitch squares in many colors. I think she edged each square in crochet, then sewed them together. I suppose she might have used a single crochet seam, and then used the seam on the public side. Unfortunately the afghan succombed to bugs while we lived in carpet beetle heaven in the house in New York. I tried fulling the blanket to preserve it, but it didn't work. So I can't look at it for reference. Now you know why I keep so many of my fiber treasures in the freezer!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Saturday random thoughts

I've been talking with Serena and Howard as they are flying home. Both airlines have way overbooked all their flights!

We had some wonderful, much needed rain today. According to the little rain gauge in the back yard, 1.1 inches fell this morning. Yay!

Thursday I drove to Fort Dodge to get a pair of shoes that don't hurt. I tried on 15 pairs before finding ONE pair in the store that didn't hurt! It seems dreadful that I spent more on this pair of shoes than I've ever spent before, and while they are comfortable, they are NOT lovely. They truly remind me of what is referred to as "old lady shoes." I had to get shoes that diabetics buy.

I haven't knit since Howard left. I don't know if it is asthma related or if it is frustration with the baby afghan. I do have a baby sweater started, but haven't worked on that either. I should have checked peak flow a long time before this. Um, to be honest, I've not checked YET. sigh

Oh dear, I forgot to post this. It is now Sunday morning, I've picked up Howard from the airport (YAY!) and Serena is home as well. Oddly enough, they both flew out for their last leg within 10 minutes of each other! Serena made it home while we still had ~20 minutes left to go on our way home. She did make several stops on her way: my parents' place then the grocery store -- the grandcats were about out of food which would never do! LOL

Gas was 19 cents a gallon cheaper about 42 miles south of us, which doesn't seem fair in the least! It was 10 cents a gallon cheaper about 13 miles south of us, but, since I wasn't going to run out of gas quite that fast, and the town further south is historically known for being even cheaper, I kept going until I could get it there. Whew! I wouldn't have been happy if I'd knuckled under the pressure of the gas gauge and had paid that much more!