Saturday, August 11, 2018

East End and a few other updates........

I finally finished my East End sweater by Alicia Plummer.  I started this sweater just before my visit to NYC in June, and finished the sleeves today.  I gave it a quick steam block and plopped it on Caroline the dress form.  It fits Caroline and so it also fits me but a little more snugly than Caroline as she is much thinner than I am.  I have to say it is not as drapey and loose as the photo in the pattern but it still fits.  When I make something it is inevitably too tight or too big, just right just does not happen very often for me.  

This sweater was made with Entice Yarn from Silver Threads & Golden Needles Yarn Shop in beautiful Franklin, North Carolina.  I bought this yarn two years ago when visiting my dear friend Lynda for a few days.  This is the yarn that is dyed specifically for the store.  I have bought this in gray and this beautiful black cherry, and have been so happy with the end results.  What do you think?

I used approximately 750 yards of yarn for this sweater, I have about 400 ish yards left to make something else.  I used size 4 needles and these really great Addi Flex Tips double pointed needles to make the sleeves.  I could not believe I did not have size 4 double pointed needled in my stash!  So I popped in a yarn store in St. Petersburg, FL between patients last week and picked these up.  They also were out of regular size 4 double pointed needles, and only had these, so I bought them.  Although they were very expensive, I can see these being a great go to needle if you were a sock knitter, so much easier than wrestling four double pointed needles and hoping no stitches fall off.  Anyway back to the sweater, next time I make it I will move up to a size 5 needle to add more drape to the fabric.  It really is a nice and easy pattern and I think a great look.  I am usually all about cardigans but this sweater really caught my eye and I am so glad it did.  Now for it to get out of the mid 90's so I can actually wear it.

I have been battling from intense headaches these past three weeks.  A surprise visit from Mr. 21 last weekend helped me keep my mind off all the pain I was in.  He was taking a break from moving from an apartment into a home near his school.  I think it is very close to where you used to be Dee.  He was suffering from too much IKEA furniture assembly and needed a break.  I wish it were to see me but I really think it was to get some puppy love and of course Little Buddy snuggles.  He was nice enough to pop in the pool with the two of us for a swim.  It was so nice just to see his adorable face and talk about his plans.  He had a really rough time earlier in his life and to see him doing everything a normal college student does, with ease, just warms my heart so much.  Right now he is in Indiana after driving his best friend back up to school.  He returns on Monday.  See, just normal 21 year old stuff.  He is just a wonderful young man.

These two also got a bath last Sunday and I swear I could not stop laughing at them.  They look sooooooooooo skinny when they are wet.  We think they look like Greyhounds although I am sure it is much more like Irish Setters.  They get all sorts of crazy when they are wet, jumping and running around like maniacs.  Well, to be honest, they jump and run around like maniacs much of the day until they plop over in exhaustion.

They poof back out in no time at all.  I suppose that is the poodle in them.  This weeks casualties, the corner of the rug you can see in the photo, something completely unidentifiable that was thrown up by Hank right before I had to leave for work of course, two of Little Buddy's cars and a toothbrush.  See, we are making progress.  

Little Buddy starts school on Monday.  Please keep your fingers crossed it goes well.  I am a bit of a wreck.  He is expected to keep his own desk organized and sit still for much longer periods of time.  We will see how that goes.  I am so fortunate he has his helper, Ms Rachel, to be by his side and guide him along, she will do her best to keep him on task.  He is already talking obsessively about fire drills, poor guy.  They scare him so much.  And new this year is active shooter drills.  Is that not the saddest thing you have ever heard?  We need to train our children how to deal with active shooters and that is just going to be a normal part of their life now.  One month is the run as fast as you can drill, the next will be duck and cover.  I swear I could throw up right now just thinking about it.  What a horrible time we live in where guns are so prominent in the lives of everyone and gun owner rights over ride the rights of citizens safety.  Okay, no more lectures here. 

Have a great weekend my friends.  If my headaches calm down I hope to catch up with you all soon.

Friday, August 3, 2018

On my day off.......

On my day off there was cleaning, laundry and agave sweetened, gluten free, blueberry and strawberry muffin making. Yum!  I also saw a private patient who is getting ready to head off to college, I will miss her very much.

While Little B was swimming there was plant watering.  I am so happy my oldest Christmas cactus seems to have re-rooted and the small one I rescued from my parents porch is starting to thrive again.  There is new growth on all three of them.  See the photo bomber in the reflection in the window?

I walked around just to see if anything is surviving in this late summer heat.  I found exactly two blooms, everything else is dead or full of weeds.

Trying to get a good photo of these two together continues to be a challenge.  I even tried it with my big girl camera and once again failed to capture just how darn cute they are.

Bear has giraffe eye lashes, they are so long.

A rare smile captured with Hank.   He smiles all the time just not when the camera or phone is out.

Little B is blowing bubbles here which is also hard to catch in a photo.  He continues to be a bit grouchy and over sensitive, then again so do I.  Maybe it is a long summer, molars coming in (with him, not me), or just the oppressive heat and humidity.  I have had a bad headache on and off for two weeks, he has just been fussy.  Today he cried and told me he really missed Max, and wants the boys to go back to their house so Max could come back.  So hard to explain to a little one that Max is not coming back.  We waited five months to get the boys after Max passed, still it is confusing.  Max did not play with Little Buddy, the boys do, so I am not sure where all that came from this morning.  Back to the pool, it was even too hot for Little Buddy to be happy here this early August afternoon.

There was school supply shopping, which is great on a tax free weekend.  Little Buddy also got four more shirts for school.  We have to move onto more mature themed shirts like superheroes and sports because Paw Patrol isn't that cool in first grade.  Little Buddy is different enough with his issues and his tiny size, we don't need anything else for the kids to notice about him.  Paw Patrol can be worn on weekends.  I long for uniforms, that would make it all so much simpler. 

This weekend I hope to get a few rows in on my East End sweater by Alicia Plummer.  I only have about an inch and a half of the seed stitch border to go before I knit the seed stitch capped sleeves.  If you are a knitter you know that seed stitch seems to create a time warp, time actually slows down so much you never make any progress.  This has been my worst year ever using yarn and finishing projects.  I am not worried, life is busy and it is not a contest.  Just enjoy playing with yarn when you can my friends.

I am resting up this weekend, although I seem to say that every weekend.  I must need more rest than everybody!  Next week is expected to be very busy with work, adding a new patient to my schedule and I have no idea where he will fit in, but he needs so much help it is a must. There is also a progress note due on the 8th, for a very involved child.   I have two appointments for Little Buddy, one for myself, and meet the teacher morning next Friday.  Our school starts on the 13th.  Summer is quickly ending here in Florida, although the heat and humidity will remain until mid October.   

I want to thank you all for your kind comments on my flower shawl, you made me smile each and every one of you.  I hope you are all surviving late summer no matter where you are, and I hope you all have a peaceful weekend.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Flower Shawl...........

It has been a very long time since I have had a project finish.  I'd like to introduce you to the Flower Shawl.   I know you have seen this pattern before, actually in 2011 I made two of them after my dear friend Teresa sent me the chart for the Japanese Flower pattern.  That was just when I was realizing how super special blogging friends can be, they send you a pattern just to help you out.  

I am going to weddings in August and November  I had another dress picked out to wear and then I saw this sleeveless dress at Dressbarn one day when dropping in to use up a few spare minutes between patients.  The moment I saw it I knew I had to have it.  It is sort of a light denim, embroidered, crinkle dress that is long, not something I usually wear as I am so tall.  But it fits and it was a great price so I bought it on the spot.  The thing is it needed some sort of wrap to make it comfortable in cool air conditioning.  Enter in this shawl.

I found this Appalachian U.S. Organic Cotton yarn when visiting my dear friend Lynda in North Carolina at Silver Threads & Golden Needles yarn shop.  While there I looked for only yarn that would work to make a shawl for this dress.  This cotton yarn is so soft and lovely, a beautiful gentle ecru color.  It feels a bit heavier than the sport weight it states on the yarn band, still it was perfect for this shawl.

I searched and searched Ravelry for crochet motif type shawls and have to say nothing struck my fancy.  So after much contemplation I decided that a big flower shawl would be perfect from my old stand by pattern.  I used a size J hook and added some length to the petals by adding more chains and stitches to the last two rows.  A total of 24 flowers were made, joining as I went along.  Eight flowers for the top row, seven for the middle and six for the bottom row.  After seeing I was rapidly running out of yarn I made a quick call to the shop to order two more skeins.  One would have been sufficient but crochet is a yarn suck as you know, it eats yarn at super rapid speeds.  I wanted to be sure I had enough before the store did not have any more skeins.  I used 3 3/4 skeins of yarn, approximately 725 yards.  The finished shawl measures 72 inches across by 18 inches wide.

So here it is the finished shawl and I have to say it feels just lovely to wrap around my shoulders.  I hope it doesn't look too crafty, like a beginner Girl Scout project.  Nothing against Girl Scouts, I was one myself.  You know what I mean.  I don't want to look like a hippy you know all flower power and everything like that.  Although we could all use a bit of peace and love right now that is for sure.  Let me know what you think, honestly what you think, don't fill my head with a lot of rubbish if I am going to look like a nut I want to know I am going to look like a nut.

I leave you with the stand off.  This was taken yesterday afternoon.  No barking occurred just lots of looking from both sides.  This is not the rogue deer of Friday's post, this is a new one that gratefully kept its distance.

Have a great week everyone.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday thoughts.............

Two furry boys turned nine months old yesterday.  They are still as fun and crazy as ever.  This weeks casualties, a pen, two wooded trains, two decorative pillows and some plant leaves, which is a whole lot better than last weeks broken iPhone.  Tomorrow we are off to get our nails trimmed, wish me luck because they are pretty hard to handle in a parking lot.  My arm might be a new casualty as of tomorrow........

This boy spends a lot of time under water especially when he knows I am trying to get a picture of him.  He is really into knock knock jokes right now and laughs hysterically at his own jokes.  For example:

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Banana who?
Banana is your name!

Insert gales of seven year old laughter here........

Little Buddy was not laughing on Sunday after I pulled out his second baby tooth.  It has been poking his lip for months, the two adult teeth behind it are already in, but this little tooth was stuck.  He cried and cried and told me to put it back in.  The next day I asked him if the tooth fairy had come and this is what he said.

  "Just so you know the green tooth fairy is a boy and he leaves bills.  And the yellow tooth fairy leaves coins"
Me-" Did you see them?"
Little Buddy- "Yes I did"

(The yellow tooth fairy is a girl)

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all saw the world through such magical eyes?  By the way this visit produced coins as requested by Little B.

The day Little Buddy and I were leaving for North Carolina this rogue deer kept coming near the boys and I as I tried to get them to go to the bathroom before we left.  The deer kept following us everywhere and was getting way too close.  I had to take the boys in before they did their duty, and so the deer walked to the back of my house and rubbed itself up against to pool screen enclosure trying to get to the boys.  She was not aggressive but coming much too close to us.  I am not sure if someone had been feeding her or if she thought the boys were baby deer, it was crazy and went on for over 30 minutes till she finally walked away.

So this week I have been working and doing more paperwork as it always seems someone is in need of an update.  Today Little Buddy and I are hanging out at home because my head is hurting.  Not that that is unusual but still I think I need some rest.

The news continues to haunt me, really what have we become as a country?  I made the mistake of actually commenting on an article that popped onto my news feed the other day (my first time doing so I might add).  It was about who wore it better, Hillary Clinton or Melania Trump?  The comments were just so disgusting I could not help myself.  It is 2018, why are we comparing what people wear and judging how they look.  Melania is a former model and Hillary is 70, for Pete's sake, aren't we better than this?  Should we not be talking about what people contribute?  But not even comparing that?  Just stop already!!!!  You should have seen the disgusting things said back to me.  People are just incredibly rude and hide behind their fake user names and such.  It is really disgusting and disheartening that this is our reality.  Then I happened to go on Facebook because I had been tagged to go see some photos of one of my foster families vacation.  Just below that post was a post by someone in my past who really was a lovely woman and mother.  She had a rant about how Democrats are all hypocrites and we should all get over ourselves.  I went back to it three times but did not comment, Yay me!  I just blocked her from my account.  This is one big reason I rarely venture onto Facebook.  So no more commenting for me. 

Okay, I am off to rest.  How do you think I am going to do with that with two furry boys and one energetic seven year old?

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

North Carolina we miss you........


We are back from North Carolina a day early but home safely.  Hope you did not mind the photo overload my friends.  I can get a bit camera happy when it comes to Little Buddy and our adventures.  

We had such a fun time.  There was a wonderful street fair on Saturday with firetrucks and face painting.  There was also a very quick visit to Silver Threads & Golden Needles yarn shop, but only for a quick purchase. 

Little Buddy made cupcakes and frosted them with Vanilla frosting.  Vanilla is his favorite flavor.  We had a visit to the park and breakfast with a friend.  Little Buddy was not that thrilled with whipped cream on his pancakes.  

My dear friend Lynda spoiled us.  Her next door neighbor on one side has a Harley Davidson motorcycle and brought it over so Little Buddy could see it up close.  It had to be turned off, my little one does not like loud sounds.  And her other neighbor is a sheriff!  He brought over his patrol car for Little Buddy to explore.  Sheriff Bryant got a real kick out of seeing Little Buddy in the back seat with bars on the windows. 

We came home a day early because by yesterday Little One had had two tantrums with lots of crying and snotting by 8:00 AM, and he had only been up a half hour.  I decided right then to pack up and head home.  He was very quiet on the way home, even fell asleep for an hour.  Now that we are home he is still sensitive and not eating a whole lot.  I'll keep my eye on him to make sure he does not have to see the doctor.  Overall he was an excellent traveler which makes it easy to head back up to NC again.

It was a wonderful trip and I already miss the beautiful mountains and just sitting with my dear friend and chatting.  Now it is back to reality, those relaxing days go by in a flash don't they?  Today is all about laundry and getting my house organized again before I head back to work tomorrow.  The biggest boys tried to keep it all in check but you know how it is, there is so much you do that they have no idea needs to get done.  

How have all of you been?  Any news?