Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sidewalk Shawl, a finish.......

Ladies I have a finish!  I am very excited to introduce you to the Sidewalk Shawl by Kimberly K.  McAlindin.   This is one of the oldest patterns I have in my Ravelry library and I finally took the plunge.  You see when you actually go through all of your yarn and make a list of what you have, you start to get some ideas about a project or two.

I remember printing off this pattern years ago and running to Joann's and trying to find the yarn that was suggested.  That was Debbie Stroller Bamboo Ewe which I believe had been discontinued by that point.  Instead I bought Vicki Howell Sheep(ish) when it was made by Caron.  It is now made under the Bernat label so I am really dating this yarn, it has been in my stash for probably 6 years or more.  Still stash yarn or not I have never given it away because I love the color.  Of course I should have been finishing my Harvest sweater but I got sidetracked once again.  

You see I was starting to whine a little bit using those double pointed needles for the sleeves.  They sort of, in a very small way, make the ring finger on my left hand hurt.  Now I am talking minor, minor pain here but still it was enough for me to want to dive into some crochet for a breather.  It obviously does not take much to make me get distracted when it comes to playing with yarn.  

The above photo is before this shawl was blocked.  This was a hot mess I tell you and I was a bit concerned that it would not block out as beautifully as I had hoped, but it did.

So here are the specifics, 4 balls of Vicki Howell Sheep(ish) discontinued yarn in the color grey(ish).  The dye lot is 08/2011 which sounds a lot like the year I bought it in.  Totaling 660 yards of yarn using a size J hook.  I think now that I am looking at it I could have gone up another hook size and it would have been a bit more lacy.  The yarn was a little rough in the making but steamed out to be softer with a nice sheen to it.  Now friends it says do not use an iron with this yarn right on the ball band, but you know me I can't block a thing without steam so I took my chances.  

As much as I love this shawl it is not for me, but for someone dear to me.  I hope she will like it and wrap it around her shoulders on chilly mornings.  I am already stalking my stash for more yarn to make another Sidewalk Shawl, the possibilities are endless.  So that is another 660 yards I can cross off my list, hooray for me!  But unfortunately I still have four more balls of this yarn so I can't completely cross it off, *insert sad face here.*

***A little side note.  Every year at Christmas I order a few items from the Women's Bean Project, and every time I do I am so pleased.  This group provides job training, classes and business skill development to impoverished or chronically unemployed women.  It helps empower these women to get on their feet again.  After this election cycle and the horrible things that have been said about women, and frankly done to women without their consent, I think this is a perfect group to give my support to.  Please check out their site, I think you will be impressed and just might want to help too.   

Have a great day.
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Another fun day with Little Buddy......

 Yesterday Little Buddy and I went to another farm near us.  The group that used to provide him with vision services had a morning at the farm.  The weather was brilliant, finally cool enough that he had to wear long sleeves and even jeans!  His favorite part of the farm was not the animals although we saw plenty of them, it was this tractor that he was, "pretending" to drive.  He corrected me on that several times.  "Mom, I am just pretending to drive the tractor."

He learned how to milk a cow and even got some milk in the bucket.

Little Buddy loves anything with wheels.  He found this green wagon and pushed it all over while his group visited the chickens.

He did a great job riding Pepper. I just had my hand on the back of the saddle in case he lost his balance but other than that he held on all by himself.  Another reminder that this boy needs to get some equine therapy.

We saw bunnies, goats, baby pigs and two donkeys.  We also saw these beautiful turkey's, the white one is called a Royal Palm Turkey.  She was beautiful.

We found three of her beautiful feathers floating on the grass.  I love the blunt tips of the feathers, usually the wild turkey feathers I find in my yard are brown and tapered on the end.

You might remember my fascination with this structure from years past.  Part of the land this farm sits on used to be a boy scout camp.  This used to be the boat house.  I think you can almost hear the squeals of delight as little boys used to run down the dock and jump in the water.  Squeals of delight or fear as I am sure there are many gators and water moccasins in this lake.  I am not going near it.  We saw the deserted cabins the boys stayed in while on our hayride.  A picture perfect day although I have to say carrying Little Buddy and his walker around when he got caught up in sand or long grass, or walking to and from the parking lot was pretty exhausting.  

We came home to a fast bath, lunch and then one tired little boy took a long nap and his Mama sat on her behind and played with yarn.  I had the windows open for the first time in months and months. My husband was in Wisconsin with my two older boys enjoying the Packer game on Thursday and hiking all over Door Co., while enjoying the Autumn colors and smells.  Quiet time for me these past few days has been pure bliss.  Now onto cleaning, laundry and getting ready for the work week.  Enough rest and relaxation, real life is calling.

Hope you have all had a great weekend.
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Things I love about Halloween....

Halloween, I love you so much.  I love your pumpkins, witches and all other slightly scary things.  You have always been my favorite holiday.  You are all about fun and not about presents.  You are all about dressing up and not about stressful shopping.  You are all about spooky and not about endless wrapping of gifts, making major meals,  and the worrying about making the holiday nice for everyone.  I mean who does not have a good time on Halloween?  And of course you are all about candy, not something I can have but my kids sure like it, even in small doses.

So here is to Halloween.  I have been decorated for a week.  Even though I am trying to reduce my decorations every year, I still have lots to make it festive.  Little B's costume is almost finished, just a few tweaks to the walker decorations and I am done.  The candy has been purchased,and not been opened yet!  And Little One will be ready to be dressed up for his school celebration and of course trick or treating in the evening.  

Mr. 22 will officially be Mr. 23 on Halloween, another reason to celebrate which I am sure he will do in style.  

My favorite Halloween decoration will be blogged about next week.  If you have been reading my blog for over a year I am sure you will know what it is.   Here is hoping it is feeling festive at your house!
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Sunday, October 16, 2016

A trip to the farm............

It is that time of year again where there are things to do to celebrate Fall, even though it is still pretty warm out here.  This means visiting the near by farm for their annual fundraiser, they work with children with Autism year round.  It is one of Little Buddy's favorite places to visit.  This is the third year in a row we have attended.  We get there as early as we can so he has more room to walk around with his walker, and to have a little less wait in line for the activities.

We always start with a pony ride.  Little Buddy loves it once he relaxes a bit.  I would love to give him therapy on a horse, it helps loosen up the pelvis and the tight muscles that want to keep his legs together.  There is not much time for that in our schedule but I hope to do it soon, it would be so good for him. 

There were lots of sheep and pigs in the barn.  There were even bunnies that dig holes in the ground to keep cool.  Little Buddy tried to give the sheep a kiss through the pen. 

The absolute highlight of the trip is a ride on Thomas the Train!  Oh my, could life get anymore exciting?  

Dad took him on Thomas twice and I took him on one time before the line got very long.  There are only three little cars so you have a long wait if you don't get on right away.  Here he is waving at all of you!

We saw lots of animals, a camel, llamas, a giant turtle, and cows.  We also saw two beautiful white wolf dogs and this Zorse, a zebra/horse!  Do you remember her from last year?

We only saw one alpaca, Princess Petunia.

Little Buddy has waited an entire year to go on the cow train.  You have to have good sitting stability and trunk control to ride on this ride as it is very bumpy and there are no parents allowed.  Last year he was not that far along so we have been talking about it and decided he could do it when he was five.  Well wouldn't you know the ride was not working this year.  But Little B got to sit in the cars which was the next best thing to taking a ride on it.  He wants to go back as soon as the cow train is fixed.

He also got to sit on the tractor that pulls the cow train!  Little Buddy had the best time.  But I have to tell you I am exhausted!  Carrying this very heavy, 35 pound boy around when he could not use his walker is tiring!  Next week he goes to another farm and then in early November he visits the farm we were at today for a field trip with his school.  Dad will be attending with him, hopefully that cow train will be fixed by then.

I have had a very busy week so have been out of touch as far as blogging goes.  I am trying to catch up, hope you are all well.

Have a great week.

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

This and that on a Sunday.......

This was the sunset Friday evening after many of the clouds from Hurricane Matthew had dissipated.  Thank you all for your well wishes from the storm, for all of your private emails and mentions here on the blog.  This side of the state was unharmed.  We had a bit of a breezy day, very little rain, actually it was quite nice out.  Our schools were canceled on Friday just in case, and Mr. 19 was home from his school in Orlando, it being canceled on Thursday and Friday.  He ended up watching Little Buddy for me while I went to work on Friday.  It worked out perfectly, especially because Little Buddy did his business in his diaper while he was being seen by his Speech Therapist, she took care of the clean up.  This is a direct quote from Mr 19, "I am so glad she was here because last time I changed his diaper it took me 40 minutes to get it on right."  He returns to Orlando this afternoon, it has been fun having him home for this unplanned visit.


Suddenly it is looking a little bit more like Autumn around here.  I picked up some sunflowers at the grocery store last week, they are so fun to see on my table.  I cleaned and decorated for Halloween yesterday.  Fun life I have I know, Saturdays are catch up days for me at home, all boring work that has to be done.  I am working on Little Buddy's costume for Halloween, he is going to be Chase from Paw Patrol.

Yesterday I looked outside and saw this amazing event.  Leaves turning colors!  This does not usually happen until December down here in Florida, and even then the colors are usually very muted.  I was so excited I risked being eaten alive by mosquitoes this morning to get this photo.

My wonderful sister Claudia wrote an amazing post about one of our candidates yesterday.   After all that has transpired this past weekend it was more than time these things were said.  Once again she is my hero for speaking her mind, for not shying away from the reality of the situation, and for not being afraid to speak her mind and potentially lose followers.

I love this little boy of mine so much.  He deserves a world were everyone is respected and treated fairly.  He put together a 24 piece puzzle all by himself yesterday.  I was so proud of him.  He went potty twice on the potty, and woke up this morning, crawled up into my Grandmother's rocker and read some books.   Little B is my hero, too! 
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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

No more lectures, at least for a while.......

Autumn has not arrived here in Florida, we actually don't ever have much Autumn at all.  So last weekend I hung up my glitter leaves from last year in the windows in my family room/kitchen area.  I love to see them sparkle as they twirl in the air.  No other decorating has been done as of yet.  I am up to my eye balls getting my sons rooms cleaned up for painting and of course putting them all back together again.  Plus Little Buddy wants Halloween to come quickly, he is excited about Aunts returning and a potential visit from Aunt Claudia and Uncle Don.  If I put those decorations up now he won't understand why they aren't all here yet!

While getting organized this past weekend I decided it was high time my brothers children had the few items I have been holding onto for them.  My brother died 25 years ago this past September.  I had been keeping two trucks for his sons and these sweet leather shoes for his daughter.  I have packed them all up and they are on the way to Michigan and Chicago.  I will miss having them here with me but it is time they went where they were intended to go all along. 

I was completely spoiled this past weekend when I got a box left on my front porch.  A gift from Araignee's Tangled Web.  Would you just look at all of this lovely soap, lotion and a foot fizzy.  I want you to go right over to her blog and and give her a shout out.  Araignee is amazing in all that she gets done and how absolutely, incredibly generous she is.  Really Araignee has giveaways all the time and frankly I did not deserve this as I have already won one of them.  Go over there right now, go and make sure you follow her blog so you can throw your name in to get another amazing bundle next time it is offered.  Thank you Araignee for your generosity.

Jennifer over at thistlebear is hosting a Winter Project Link Party.  I am going to join in again this year with much more manageable aspirations than last year.  My only goal at this point is to finish this sweater.  As you recall from a few months ago I am making Harvest by Tin Can Knits.  I am enjoying this sweater a lot but am having difficulty finding the time to knit it.  I am determined to get it done even though I have to admit I have veered from the pattern several times, not because I had planned to, I just got distracted and knit extra rows and such.  I am almost at the bottom of the sweater and ready to get busy with the sleeves.

I appreciate all of your comments on my last post.  I have to tell you I am a believer in free speech, you do not have to agree with me at all.  But if you are not nice, and frankly not accurate with your facts I will not publish your comment.  It is that simple.  

Happy Autumn everyone, hope it is more Fall-like where you are!
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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Much on my mind on this Sunday................

Lets start with a photo of Fall flowers, a beautiful gift from a good friend.  I am in a mood so I am warning you about it right now.  I am over this election as many of you are.  The unbelievable disrespect for women in this election is putting me over the edge.  I am a Feminist, and I say that proudly.  I am an advocate for equal rights for women in all areas of life.  Women should be treated equally and have all the opportunities men do.  And frankly in 2016, in the United States of America, that is sadly not the case.  We are paid 78% of what men are paid.  Women make up only 19.4% of the seats in congress and as we very well know there has never been a woman president.  If you think that is because no woman has been capable you are sadly mistaken.  I found this amazing site Status of Women which tells us how individual states rank in terms of economic equality, health care, etc for women.  Florida gets pretty bad grades, which is not a surprise to me.  Ranking 37th in employment and earnings for women, and 30th for health care. 

Being a full fledged Feminist does not mean I am anti-men, it means that I demand equal rights for everyone of every sex, color, religion and culture.  The word Feminist has some how gotten a bad reputation, it shouldn't.  Many, many women have fought over the years to get us this far and we still have a long way to go.  Equal pay helps reduce poverty, which in turn cuts down on government dependence.  Equal pay helps grow the economy, such a simple thought that some how gets left in the dust during our election cycle.

I think that Hillary Clinton, with her knowledge and her background is an amazing woman.  If you say she is a liar you must look at her opposing candidate, you must listen to all the lies he says.  She takes all the hits thrown her way with grace, that much can not be said for her opponent.  In terms of gender equality, can you imagine if she had interrupted her opponent in the debate over 50 times?  Can you imagine if she had talked over her opponent and the moderator as much as her opponent did, or even less than he did?  She would have been called all sorts of things that her opponent was not.  Can you imagine if she went on a Twitter storm and called a man horrible, degrading names and made issue with his body?  She is held to a completely different standard and is judged by her looks, not smiling enough, smiling too much, or being, "over prepared."  Frankly I want my president to be over prepared on all issues, whether my president is male or female.

 I am not asking you to change your vote, your vote is entirely up to you.  What I am asking is for you to fact check when you hear something, not just assume it is right. Fact check on a non-partisan site so you get a true answer, not one that is in favor of either candidate, it is just the truth.  Politifact is a great site that will let you know the truth on both candidates.  I am asking you to think of your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and the little girl next door.  I am asking that you think of the world you want them to live in, that we give them the equal rights they so deserve.  That they, like everyone else, should be treated with respect in their communities, in their work place and in their homes.  What kind of a world do we want to leave our children, our children of every sex, color, religion and background, that is how you should vote.  I know you all love Little Buddy, he is an amazing little boy.  I think of how he will be treated in life and I want him to have equal opportunities also.  I want him to be judged by what he has to offer, not be shunned by his disability.  I have raised two young men that I have taught that they are not special because they are male, or Caucasian.  They are special by who they are and what they can contribute.  They have been taught that they must treat everyone equally, every single person, not just who is convenient and who has the same belief system as them.  Every. Single. Person!  That includes the person they don't like and don't agree with.  That is the world I want Little Buddy to grow up in.  A world where everyone is equal no matter your sex, color, religious belief or background.  That is who a Feminist is, not a women lover at the expense of men, simply a lover of all.

I may lose many of you with this post, so sorry about that but I cannot hide who I am and I am a proponent for equality in all forms.  Don't you think Little Buddy deserves a better world?  I do.
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