Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday smiles......

Hope you all have a great week.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Hank and the Kaleidoscope Wrap.........................

It has only been six days since Hank arrived in our home and he is already changing so much.  He is taller and sturdier.  I swear when he got up this morning it looked like his hind legs grew but his front ones didn't.  He looked like he was going to tip over.  Then after a dentist appointment for Little Buddy and a few errands I returned home to see that his legs had evened out.  He is a snuggler, well when he isn't biting us all and running around like a mad man.  These craptastic photos are the best I could get today. We are in my office that does not get the best light.  Hank is usually a blur or activity or has knocked himself out with exhaustion.  In those rare moments of calm I run around like crazy getting things done.  Little Buddy looks like a giant right now but will soon be the smallest again.  These two are inseparable, Little Buddy is always on the floor being jumped on and either laughing or screaming.  I tell him to get up on the sofa and away from Hank but he just goes back for more.  I am sure Hank thinks Little Buddy is a puppy and likes to be nipped at, have his shirt pulled or to be jumped on in a surprise attack.  Hopefully there will be more photo opportunities this weekend, as for now I am just enjoying that he is still.

Really who cares about a wrap when there are puppy photos to look at but here I go anyway.  I finished this the afternoon Hank arrived.  And as you can guess not one stitch has been made since that time.  It is all work, Little Buddy, and Hank 24/7.

Once again I am calling this the Kaleidoscope Wrap.  The circles are made with Verdant Gryphon Traveller, in the color Big Rock Candy Mountain, 2 skeins used for a total 560 yards..  The deep gold border is from Amano Yarns, AWA in the color Q'olle Flower, just over 2 skeins used for approximately, 700 yards.  A total of 1,260 yards for this wrap.  I used a size K hook to help make the fabric drape a bit more that using the hook size recommended by the yarn manufactures.  

The pattern was sort of my own even though I am sure you could find hundreds of motifs just like this on Ravelry.  There are 44 circles surrounded by a two row border, 4 motifs per row.  The motifs were joined as I went along and at the end I did a simple double crochet granny border to surround the whole thing.  Nothing fancy as I want this to be simple yet I hope elegant.  I hope I don't look like I am wearing a blanket when and if I ever wear it.

The Verdant Gryphon yarn was a gift to me and the other I purchased at the end of last year for this project.   A week ago I needed to buy one more skein to finish it off.  I went into the yarn store  and  went directly to this yarn and did not allow myself to look around at anything else.  I am determined to get more done with my stash this year.  It shrank considerably the last two years and is still manageable but I would still like to work on it.

Okay computer time is over, we need to go outside, to do our business and go back in the crate before I go get Little Buddy from school in time to get all of his therapies.  Have a great weekend my friends. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Welcome Hank..............

I'd like to introduce you all to Hank, the newest member of our family.  Isn't he gorgeous?  Hank is an Irish Doodle, Dad is an Irish Setter and Mom is a standard Poodle.  Hank was born on October 26, 2017 and was adopted on January 14, 2018.  He is so wonderful and we are all a bit giddy over him.  I mean we stare at him and think every little thing he does is marvelous.

I wasn't really intending on getting a puppy quite so soon.  I have been watching adds in the paper and looking at the thousands of websites out there.  Nowadays you have to fill out applications online and put down deposits not really knowing what puppy you will get and when of course.  I was really overwhelmed by it all.  When we got Max we saw an add in the paper, called up and drove a few hours north to get him the very next day.  There was a litter of 7 pups and Max picked us out the second we got there.  Now it is not that simple.  I have been looking and wondering how to make it a bit easier when I saw an advertisement in the paper about Irish Doodle pups.  I had never heard of them so I looked them up and was just amazed by their cuteness.  I called, left my number, and got no call in return.  I let it go thinking they were all taken but then the next Sunday there it was again.  I started to see it every day and last week I called again.  I immediately got text messages telling me there were four pups, one black girl, one black boy, one blond boy and one rare chocolate brown boy.  After a bit of discussion texting back and forth on Friday evening, we asked to see them and it was arranged for last Sunday, when Mr. 20 could drive over and join us.  Can I say that when we saw this little boy our hearts collectively melted?  He stood out in a sea of dark squirming puppies.  He just sat there looking at us, like saying finally you are all here.  My husband picked him up and Hank snuggled right in, he was passed to each older boy and finally to me, and frankly we didn't even have to look at the other ones.  They were cute and all but we had found our boy.

It is funny, Max left such a hole in our hearts when he left us.  Hank, with his brown nose and deep green eyes is set to fill that hole up again.  He won't be Max, we wouldn't want that, we want him to just be Hank.  We are a better family with a dog, does that even make sense?  We are softer and kinder.  We make silly sounds and talk in baby voices and get all sappy and silly with a dog.  Little Buddy is beside himself excited.  They wrestle and Little B gets jumped on and his ears nipped at, we are trying to put a stop to that but Hank is a baby after all.  Little Buddy and Hank will grow up together, every little boy or girl needs that uncompromising, unconditional love.  We all do.  Be prepared for puppy overload my friends, I mean how can you not take a million photos of this adorable boy?  

My oldest son named him just in case you were wondering.  Only after we had decided on the name did I tell him what a hank of yarn was. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

A little this and that.......

Hi there, how are you?  Are you warming up or getting cold again?  Has your week been, busy?

I have to admit I am very tired.  Work has been crazy, a bit stressful but it really shouldn't be.  I have been driving a lot, doing more paperwork, trying to be entertaining as well as therapeutic, it can all get to be a bit much sometimes.  Yesterday I started my day at 5, left the house by 5:20, proceeded to treat five different children in four different homes and made it to my shot appointment for my headaches just in time.  After 35 shots, yes I know it is a bit much, I drove home to meet my computer repair man, he is wonderful and got my very reluctant to start computer up and running smoothly.  After he left I saw two people privately and I swear by 8 in the evening I was almost ready to cry.  I was sooooooooo tired.  Do you get that way when you have overextended yourself?  This is how I have felt for a few months now, there just isn't a lot of gas left in my tank at the end of the day or week.  This weekend I intend to rest up.  Sorry for the moaning, I just had to let it out of my system.  I do love my job, I am so blessed to have the perfect job for me, it just can wear me out a bit.

After Little Buddy and Dad went to an eye doctor appointment yesterday I had to have a stern talk with myself.  His vision has not improved these past six months and it had been improving by leaps and bounds previously.  I had made him patches for his glasses a few years ago, and recently he has just been looking over the top of the patch.  Seems it did not occur to me that he has grown and he needed bigger patches.  While running around today I popped into pick up some felt for the new patches.  A big 89 cents spent at Joann's.  I made the front a double thickness of dark grey so he can't look through it and the back a lighter grey.  I popped on animal stickers, and look it works!  If any of your little ones need a patch I highly recommend this route.  Just sew the double thickness felt all the way around and when sewing the two together leave and opening in the wide area for the ear piece to go through and feed it around to the small opening at the end.  It is so much better than those band aid type patches that kids hate because it is like taking a band aid off your eye area every time you wear one.  Sorry for the messy face on this one, he was between bites of cookie when I asked him for a photo.

You can see the size difference from the black zebra patch I made when Little Buddy first moved in with us.  He is indeed getting bigger.

One of the odd things about living in Florida is we lose our leaves late in the year, usually in December.  But for some reason this year it has happened in January.  We have had a bit of rain and grey skies today so it feels like Autumn outside.

I am enjoying this brief change in the season as there are already little buds on trees getting ready for brand new leaves to burst forth.  This usually happens in early February, there is always a few days of brilliant green on the trees before the leaves start to darken as they grow.  Our changing leaves are much more subtle than you all have up north, there is a hint of yellow or red, not the brilliant colors you all experience.

One of the private patients I see brought Little B this firetruck for Christmas.  She brought it today and he opened it after school and all of his therapies.  He was so excited,  "Mom, it's a new firetruck, can you believe it?  I just love it!"   

We are also getting loads of grammar lessons from Mr. Kindergartner lately.  Did you know that commas are for a break in a sentence, periods are for telling, question marks are for asking, and exclamation points are for YELLING!  Well now you do!

As for you crochet wrap, I intend to settle down and get some work done on you this weekend.  Wish me luck.  Sending you all thoughts of peace and love.  Have a wonderful weekend. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The first week of the New Year......

Here we are with a week gone of the New Year already.  Wow!  I am already behind reading blogs and blogging, so much for starting the New Year on track.  I have been working three days a week of the past two weeks, putting in 12-13 hour days so I can't say I have had much rest.  Lots of beginning of the year paperwork and such has kept me busy at home when I am not at work.  But yesterday we did find the time to make a trip to IKEA for a new bed for Little Buddy.  He is getting too big for a toddler bed and he is really too small for a twin bed.  I had a whole other bed in mind when we went, an adjustable bed that grows with him but look what I found, this darling bed.  It is just the perfect size.  I'd say it is about 14 inches longer than the toddler bed so it has plenty of room to grow, but still feels like it isn't too big for a wee little boy who thinks he is big, but is barely on the growth chart.  

Here is the funny part of the story.  We were looking at the sample bed in the store, with Little B popping on and off of it to see if it would work. There was a duvet on the bed and pillow covering the headboard so I assumed the top was big white slats.  I did not know there were any sheep on the headboard until we got it home and put together.  How cute is this headboard?  Now I know this bed was meant of Little B.  

Of course in typical IKEA style the fitted sheet comes in the size of the special mattress but no other linens did.  I bought the twin robot bedding and brought it home intending to have it all tucked in so I could use it when he moves to a twin bed, but quickly realized I would not be happy with it like that.  After a late afternoon trip to Joann's Fabric and Crafts for some light weight flannel fabric to make a top sheet/light blanket, I made three blankets to put between the duvet and Little B.  I then took on the duvet and duvet cover, shortening the length by 8 inches and each side by 6.  I think the finished duvet looks and fits perfectly.   As for Little Buddy, when he got into bed last night he proclaimed it to be, "The most cozy spot ever."  I can't ask for more than that!

Work continues on my new wrap.  Well whenever there has been a spare minute there has been work, and frankly those minutes have been tough to find lately.  I have 24 completed squares, and there are many circles left to put this beautiful golden border on.  I am going to run out of this gold color yarn before I am done so will pop by the yarn store this week for more.  I am hoping for simple and elegant, but we will see how it turns out.

I have enough yarn in my stash to make three different sweaters.  My goal this year is to simply knit one sweater.  This soft and beautiful yarn is by Malabrigo.  I got it for free with a scratch off card from Eat.Sleep.Knit a few years ago.  They placed a scratch off card with your order so you could win some lovely things.  I won $100 in yarn, I know right?  I was beside myself.  I ordered this yarn and have been researching the perfect sweater for it ever since.  I have always wanted to make the Einstein Coat by Sally Melville, this might work perfectly.  After this past week of cold temps I should have made it long ago because I could have been wearing it all week long.

How has your first week of 2018 been?  Are you staying warm?

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Saying goodbye to 2017.......

Like many of you I am not sad to see 2017 leave.  It seems to have been a rough year for many.  I know I am genuinely fatigued from work, from life, and from all the horrible news reaching my brain every single day.  All of the natural disasters have been horrendous, but I fear the man made disasters within our government will be far worse in the long run.  It seems like you can never catch your breath before another bit of hopeless news comes over the screen.  Are you as fatigued as I am?  The problem with that, as we all know, is the more tired you get the less you want to listen and stand up for what is right.  I won't let myself get to that point but it would be nice to get a break.

I worked three days this week and the kids were all crazy, and the parents even worse.  I found out two of the kids that I have worked with for years will be cut in their services.  They need help so I am not sure if it was what I wrote or the Medicaid system in Florida wanting to reduce services.  Either way I feel I have let them down, not the way I wanted to end my year.  This has never happened to me before so I fear I am losing my touch a bit.

 I have been cleaning like a mad woman the last two days since I have been off work.  All of Christmas has been put away again for another year.  Floridian homes are famous for their large shelves to but up decorations.  We call them planter shelves and as far as I can tell they mostly collect dust.  Once a year I climb on my ladder and get the dust all swept off.  Well you can imagine the whole room needs to be cleaned after that. It is a grueling process, but needs to be done.  I like to start my New Year clean, all the dust and rubbish from the last year needs to be gone.  I clean our sheets, I clean our towels, bath mats and whatever I can get my hands on.  I want to start the New Year with nothing hanging over from the year before.  Of course all that cleaning landed me in bed with a massive headache last night, Lord knows I don't want to start my New Year off in pain either!

I am not one to look back too seriously at the year as it ends but I do have a favorite make, my Mezzaluna Wrap, made with yarn I bought on a whim.  It makes me happy just to look at it.  Overall I used up 13,495 yards of yarn, making 36 finished projects.  I was down in yarn usage from last year but worked a lot more so that makes a lot of sense, there is only so much time in the day.

We lost our dear Max in September.  I am still grieving and am feeling the loss of my beautiful boy.  I am sure this year will bring us a new puppy, I think Little Buddy needs a special friend to grow up with.  I needed to get through the holidays before I got to thinking about it seriously.  Do I have the energy for a puppy?  No way, but I think it is important that Little Buddy have a furry friend to grow up with, there are no other little ones in our family, and no little ones in our neighborhood.  I am not sure how an adult dog will treat him, with a puppy I have a bit more control.  Still I will miss my beautiful Max forever.  He had the kindest soul, well that is until you got him around children or the pool, then he got quite cranky.

As much as I hoped to be further along on this new project I'm not.  I seem to be as busy as ever this past week and rarely had a second to sit down and work on it.  I do realize that very little knitting occurred in 2017.  I was much more comfortable with a hook in my hand.  I hope to knit a sweater in 2018, I have beautiful yarn in my stash calling out to me.   That is my only creative goal for the year, one simple knitted sweater.  By the way even though yarn was added to my stash, with the 13,495 yards used and all the yarn I donated, much more yarn left my house than entered.  I am going to try to whittle the stash down even more this next year.  I'm not going to be all crazy restricting myself, just more aware of my purchases.

Along with projects and yarn used I always keep a list of the books I have listened to or read.  I am in my car a LOT for work, so I listen to a lot of audio books.  The best audio book I listened to this year was, The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah, it was incredible.  The best book read was, Glass Houses by Louise Penny.  The best series read was the Women's Murder Club by James Patterson.  I started at, 1st to Die and ended with, The 16th Seduction, read one after another.  They were wonderful.  After you finish a series don't you feel like you are missing good friends?

Once again this little boy of ours made life merrier for all of us.  He is a pistol and so much fun all at the same time.  He is excelling in school, learning to be more social with his peers and advancing slowly but steadily with his motor delays.  Of course you have no idea who I am talking about  do you?  This boy has many disguises and is constantly trying to trick us.

Well who could ever not recognize that crooked smile?  Little Buddy is the best!

Wishing you all a happy New Year.  My wish for all of us is peace, safety, happiness, security and love.  I want my country to be kinder, our world, too.

Thank you for sharing your lives with me this past year, and thank you for coming to visit.  You all mean a great deal to me.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A day of rest........

How are you?  Did you survive all the festivities?  We had a great day.  It started early with a very big surprise visit from Santa, actually it was a very big surprise because I was still in my pj's with my hair up on top of my head.  My neighbor found Santa and brought him around for a quick hug.  Apparently he was stopping by for some cookies on his way home to the North Pole.  Little Buddy is no fool, he asked Santa where his sleigh was and got the reply that it was out back in the woods, the reindeer can't be seen because they are magic.  Well that seemed to settle his mind a bit and we were able to go on with our morning and open presents. 

I actually forgot to take many photos, I know how could that happen?  I finally remembered when Little B was opening up his Paw Patrol Sea Patroller, yes the one he repeatedly told me he did not want.  He has been playing with it non stop by the way.  He also got his much wished for red remote control car and V-Tech watch from Santa.  He had the best time, six is the best age!  They believe in the magic of Christmas with every cell in their little bodies.  I have to add even the biggest boys got a big kick out of their little brother.  He was so excited all day long. 

After all the presents were open we walked outside to see this wonderful jeep waiting for Little Buddy.  He was beside himself excited.  The adapted jeep we received from his teacher has not worked since we got it in June.  I asked Mr. Bill, who adapted it, to come fix it but he must have forgot.  That jeep has been sitting in our garage not working for months.  That is hard for a six year old to handle.  We thought it was time he got a brand new jeep, one that works.  Little Buddy doesn't need the adaptations, he can drive it all on his own.  He even uses his right foot to push down the pedal, that foot is more involved so it is good therapy for him, too. 

We had a wonderful dinner with family, the family that is in Florida for the next few months.  It was wonderful food and good to be with loved ones. 

This morning has been all about playing with toys, and recovering for Mom.  It got cool last night so Dino jammies were a must.  Have you ever seen a dinosaur driving a jeep?  Come on over, I'll introduce you to one.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday if you were celebrating.  Wishing you all a wonderful day no matter what you are up to.