Saturday, September 24, 2016

Flaum you and I are finished, and a story about Mr. 22.....................

Three hundred and fifty five days ago, I started Flaum.  It was love at first site, I was so into this sweater I could not get started fast enough.  I worked like crazy until things had to be made for Christmas.  I put Flaum aside and never got my mojo back.  You see Flaum taught me a lot, and the biggest thing I learned is that fisherman's rib is excruciatingly slow.  I mean slowwwwwww.................

It took forever to knit a row and because you knit into the stitch below it seemed to never get longer.  I had to pay attention, another thing I do not want to do when I knit these days.  I simply have no brain power left to knit anything complicated at the end of the day.  I put Flaum into a basket and put it right out in my family room so I could see it all the time and convince myself to get back at it.  When that didn't work I hid the basket in hopes I would miss seeing the project and rush to get back to it.  I told myself I would only work on it during the Olympics and that ended up being a big bust.  Finally this week I had a good ole talk with myself.  I was about half way through with this sweater but would it be worth the agony of the finish?  Would I wear a fisherman's rib sweater in wool, in Florida enough to justify the hours and hours of torture to get it done?  And of course the age old question, what the heck is wrong with me that I can't finish this sweater when so many others have done a great job on Ravelry?

After work on Tuesday I decided this was it.  I needed to get that sweater out of the basket, out of my head and back into yarn form.  Beautiful yarn ball form if I might add.  Yarn that kept catching on itself making me work almost as hard frogging the sweater as I did knitting it.  Now I have all these wonderful balls of yarn ready for another project that I hope to enjoy.  And I don't feel one bit guilty, I am still in awe of those who were successful with this pattern but as for me I am happy to put it all behind me and move forward.

So here is a story you might be interested in.  Let me just say from the start that no phone call from your son that starts with, "Mom, I did something stupid." ever ends up well.  Mr. 22 called me Monday night after a very long day at work and said those very words.  He had spilled boiling water on his leg and ankle trying to pour pasta water into a strainer.  It hit the side of the sink and went over the counter down on his foot.  I told him to hang up and take a photo of it and send it to me right away.  Yup you guessed it, it was pretty bad.  His leg was fine, a minor burn, but his poor ankle area was hit hard.  There was already a large flap of skin melted off, sorry for those of you who are squeamish.

I sent him the the ER, but in typical college boy form he went to an after hours clinic.  Sure enough it was a very involved second degree burn, they gave him medication, wrapped it up and sent him home.  The thing is that burns continue to deteriorate and should be watched very closely, they did not even ask him to return for a check up.  I got nightly updates and photos until Thursday night when it looked very bad to me.  At 9:45 I marched down to my neighbor in my PJ's, with my iPad, and showed her the photos.  She is our doctor and I love her, she thought he needed intervention that night.  But again he would not go, it was late and he had to be up early for his internship.  You can't make a 22 year old, who is about 1,000 miles away from you do anything!  He did agree to go after work on Friday.

He was sent to three different hospitals before anyone would touch him.  He finally got it all cleaned out and tended to and is now on pain medication, and wrapped up until he goes to a burn clinic on Wednesday.  Today he is still in a great deal of pain, those nerve endings took a big hit yesterday with all the clean up, but he is resting so that is good.  I am feeling better about it now but I tell you it has been a very worrisome week.  I was just about to hop on a plane and take matters into my own hands.  I won't show you any photos, it is really horrible to see.  I think his leg looked like a bad injury on a Halloween prop, it was gruesome.  I anticipate some scarring, I can work with all of that when he comes home at Christmas.  I don't want his ankle function to be limited in any way.  Until then he needs to heal.  Please keep your fingers crossed it continues to heal up nicely with no infection.  

So today I tried to catch my breath and let my Mom-Worry-Meter have a rest.  I ripped out old plants, weeded my completely overgrown garden and planted some mums and marigolds.   Supposedly deer do not like either of these plants but I am sure there will be a big buffet at my house tonight after I am asleep.  My deer tend to like everything they are not supposed to.  These were the very last of my summer flowers, a little posy to make me smile.  Mr. 19 came home for the weekend, another reason to make me smile.  Little Buddy and the potty training, well lets just say those smiles are very sporadic.

Hope you are having a great weekend and remember to be careful with boiling water.  An accident like that could happen to any of us.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Big Boy bed news........

Before we get to the big news I want to thank you all for your special comments about my Great Aunt Rhoda's doll Dinah.  She really is a treasure to me and I appreciate you all understanding how very special she is.

Okay on to the Big Boy news.  This past weekend Little Buddy and I had a big chat.  We talked about being done with his crib, which he really loves, and moving to a big boy bed.  This boy of mine while five is very tiny.  He has been very safe in his crib but it was time to move him on.  If I am expecting him to act like a big boy I need to start treating him like one.  I decided that what works for me is not fostering independence in him.  I know nice therapist Mom  I am doing some things to help him move along in his development but holding him back in other areas.  I need to help him in all areas!

Do you want to peek?

We have had this bed almost as long as we have had Little Buddy.  We had some special money of his to spend before he was adopted or the state would get the money after he was ours.  This was one of many things we ordered for him with those funds.  

Little Buddy helped me put it together by pretending to use the tools and basically getting in my way.  I asked him to hand me the screwdriver and he said, "Mom, I would be delighted!"  He makes me laugh.  He is able to get in and out of the bed all by himself.  He can use his canes or crutches to walk right up to it and sit down.  He loves it!  And like a very good boy he does not get out of it during nap time or bedtime.  I am so proud of him, this is a big step.  Now about that potty training.........
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Saturday, September 17, 2016


Let me introduce you all to Dinah.  Dinah is one of my most prized possessions.  She belonged to my grandmother's sister Rhoda.  Rhoda was the youngest of my grandmother's siblings and she was adored by everyone.  She was a beautiful young woman and died at the age of 16 during the great flu epidemic of 1918.

This is a picture of her a couple of years before her death if my memory serves me correctly.  My grandmother was the middle child of five.  She grew up in a poor farming family in Orillia, Canada.  Buying a doll for a child at that time was very hard to do as money was tight in a big family.  I think they must have got Dinah on sale as she was bought without any clothes and if you look closely you can see that her feet are on backward.  My grandmother made the clothes and necklace for her beloved little sister's doll.  My grandmother was older when Rhoda came along, she got called back from nursing school to tend to her ailing siblings when they caught the flu, Rhoda and her older sister Maggie, died just two days apart. 

This photo is of my grandmother and her older sister Maggie and brother Bill.  She must have been around three in this photo.  Can you imagine nursing your siblings and then having them die so close together?  After the worst of the epidemic was over my grandmother returned to nursing school and became a nurse much to the dismay of her family.  She was a very independent woman back when that was not well thought of.  She remained very independent all of her life and died at the age of 92 when I was 20.

When I was a little girl and was staying over at my grandmother's house she would reach up high on her closet shelf and bring Dinah down to show us.  She was wrapped in a plastic bag, much like an old dry cleaning bag.  It is a wonder she is preserved as well as she is.  We would be told the story of Rhoda and how precious she was.

I received Dinah a few years after my grandmother's death.  I kept her wrapped up to save her from the humidity in Florida until I could afford a nice glass case for her.  She sits on the top of a music stand in my bedroom that also belonged to my grandmother's family.  I keep all the blinds shut in my room and she is away from the sun so she stays nice and dry and doesn't seem to age a bit.  I have to admit I was scared to death of her when I was little, I thought she would jump out of that closet at my grandmothers and get me!  My boys have always thought she is a bit creepy, but when I tell them the story of her life and that of Rhoda it helps to make her more precious.

As best as I can guess Dinah is over 100 years old.  It is so sad that my grandmother lost her sisters, both of whom had so much to live for.  So many people lost loved ones during that time, farm accidents, childbirth, the flu, it was a way of life for them.  My grandmother never got over the loss of her sisters, especially Rhoda who was the light of her life at that time.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

We interrupt these projects for something new..............

I can't start my post today without sending all of those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 terrorist attacks against our country 15 years ago my thoughts and prayers.  It is a day our country will never forget and should never forget.   

Yesterday I was innocently browsing on Ravelry when I decided to check out friends projects.  If you aren't my friend you can find me as Mereknits on Ravelry just like I am here! Anyway my friend  Acorn to Oak made these wonderful leaves and I tell you what I could not get them out of my mind.  I quickly looked up the pattern link which you can find here, then preceded to find yarn and a hook and got started. 

These leaves were made with Malabrigo Mecha that was gifted to me a few years ago from Suzan for making her two little scarves.  I have been waiting for the perfect project for this yarn and I found it.

The colorway for the green is 045 Chircas and the rust/orange is 227 Volcan.  I used a size L hook but should have used a J.  These will be coasters for my house and to give to friends.  I already have two wrapped to give to a friend tomorrow.  This is the fastest project I have completed in a long time, and frankly I needed a fast finish as my other projects are taking me a long time.  260 yards of yarn  made 12 leaves so they use approximately 22 yards for each leaf.  A fun project for those little bit of yarn leftovers. 

One of my goals this weekend, besides not getting in my car once was to finish this scarf.  It has been on my loom for a while and I felt the need to get it off.  I swear my edges are horrible because I always seem to be in a hurry.  I still love it even though I don't want you to look to close at it.  I have not decided if this is for me or for my gift basket.  I used 100 yards of Elann baby silk for the warp and about 300 yards of Louisa Harding Pittura for the weft.  It looks very much like my last scarf finish because I used only the Louisa Harding yarn for both warp and weft for that scarf.  I like that the Elann yarn makes up the fringe, it is a nice contrast.

This is not the best picture and would have been deleted until I saw the photo bomber at the bottom.  A clean photo bomber because one of my other goals this weekend was to give this boy a bath.

Hope you all have had a great weekend and a great week.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

North Carolina, I miss you................

I am home from my short visit to North Carolina and I just want to jump in my car and head back.  It is so beautiful, so green and lush, perfect temperatures and  beautiful mountains everywhere you look, you can't get better than that.  I had a very uneventful trip up, I was ahead of the storm by about 30 miles the whole time.  I was lucky I only had a bit of rain.  Seems like the rest of Florida, Georgia and North Carolina got loads of rain and wind, but not me!  Little Buddy's school was canceled for two days because of a chance of flooding in our county.  My house was dry and didn't even lose power.  Thanks for your well wishes for a safe drive for me.

My friend and I chatted, ate, knit, ate, made some small day trips, read, knit, ate and slept.  The weather was gorgeous.  The company was great.  Just spending time with an old friend is the best, especially one that has been through so much fighting cancer all the while her husband was at the end of his fight with cancer.  

On Friday we went to visit Skyvue Ranch where they raise beautiful alpacas.  This is the view from their front porch.  What a great way to live.  Carol, the owner, was as hospitable and gracious as she could be.  She has a small fiber shop in her basement and yup I had to buy a little yarn.

She taught us all about these beautiful creatures.  They are gentle souls, only spitting when they are upset.  They make lovely little sounds, and are just as sweet as can be.  Did you know that alpacas do not have upper teeth so they can't bite?  They are sheared once a year and can have babies almost at any time so the boys and girls need to be separated.  A pregnancy can last 11 1/2 months, that is a long time!

This is Lil Pumpkin.  She is about to give birth in just a few weeks.  I bought some of her beautiful yarn.

Above is Patches, he was my favorite.  He was hanging out with the guys.  They also have a guard Llama called Sargent Pepper.  You can call for a tour, which is free if you are ever in the area.  You can find out more at their website here.

I felt I had to buy some yarn because it was only us and the owner, I know it doesn't take much for me to make an excuse to buy yarn, but how can you not buy yarn after seeing those sweet faces?   I also bought this cute little alpaca, not for Little Buddy for myself.  He got some new Paw Patrol pj's!

On Saturday we spent the afternoon in the middle of historic downtown Franklin.  It is a wonderful area full of shops and little places to eat.  This is the view for the center of town, isn't it beautiful?

This is my second favorite yarn shop in the world, Silver Threads & Golden Needles.  It is a gorgeous store with so many beautiful things to see. 

My favorite part of the store is the yarn they have made for the store.  It is so soft and wonderful.  The owner hand dyes the yarn in incredible colors.   This yarn is Black Cherry.  I kept going back and back to it so I thought it was the perfect purchase.  Remember souvenir does not count when you are on a yarn diet.

On Saturday we went to a fun dish store south of Asheville.  We saw a billboard for this store and found it was only a few miles away.  It was a wonderful store, but actually too full if you know what I mean.  It had everything from yarn, to weaving and felting supplies.  But by this time I was at my yarn purchase max so just wandered the store for a few minutes.  It was packed full if you are ever in the area.

When I returned home I was able to spend a few hours with my middle son who was home visiting from college.  I had enough time to squeeze him and kiss his beautiful face.  He is not loving college yet, actually he has roommates that are older and gone all the time but he is adapting.  Tough on a mother's heart isn't it when one of your children are making a tough adjustment.

Okay I am off to work, have a good day.
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

This is the current scene outside my front door, rain, rain and more rain.   It is almost 10 in the morning and the street lights are on. Of course we would have a tropical depression that is turning into a tropical storm later today right as I am getting ready to drive to North Carolina tomorrow.  Ah well, this is Florida and we do rain and storms without blinking an eye.   I fear that this storm and the one currently looking at the east coast of North Carolina are in cahoots to make my weekend away a real mess.  I am okay with all of that, I plan a nice rainy drive listening to audio books.  I plan to sit on my behind and knit once I arrive.  I plan on talking to my friend, eating out and visiting a wonderful yarn store in downtown Franklin, NC.  Rain you can come all you want, I've got this, there is no way you are going to dampen my trip.  You might get me a bit wet but I am going to have a great time with or without you!

Have a wonderful weekend my friends.  I am working like crazy today and tomorrow morning then heading out on my trip.  If you live in the US, enjoy your Labor Day. 
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Saturday, August 27, 2016

A special thanks and some catching up.........

First off I would love to thank you all for your loving support.  I am just so overwhelmed by all of your positive thoughts and all the love that has been sent my way.  The funny thing is I have been very out of sorts and isolating myself, yet feeling very lonely at the same time.  All I had to do was post and there you all are, patting me on the back and giving me a hug.  There was no need to feel sensitive or lonely, you were all here all along.  I thank you for caring so much, because you know what I care about all of you, too!

Okay enough of the mushy stuff.  Here is something that will make you happy or cry, look at Little Buddy!

He now has brand new forearm crutches that he is practicing walking with.  These are a step harder than his canes and he is doing a great job with them.  They make him use more balance and trunk control so they are not easy to walk with, but my boy is sure making it look easy!  Go Little Buddy!  He is such a fighter and isn't going to let anything stop him in life, something I can sure learn from.  These will hopefully be much faster than his canes, and will be more functional than his walker.

My darling Max turned 12 while I was on my little hiatus.  He is still doing really well.  Yes we have the occasional difficulty getting up, sometimes he may need a little bit of a hand, but most of the time he is getting up on his own and is still enjoying his life.  I gave him a much needed bath this morning outside with the hose, no groomer here at my house.  He was so happy to be cool and clean, well that is until I treated his ears, he is pouting in the lower picture because I had to use ear medicine on him, he is trying to make me feel bad!

Although I have been more tired lately than normal and have had less time to create there has still been some work on projects.  This is a scarf made for my friend Lynda whom I will be visiting next weekend in North Carolina.  I used my smaller loom with this scarf and it was so fun to make.  Made with Louisa Harding Yarns, Pittura.  It reminds me of the colors in a Monet painting. 

After getting it off my loom I immediately warped my loom again.  This time I used Elann Peruvian Baby Silk as the warp, and the Louisa Harding Pittura as the weft.  It will look different but still have a similar feel to it when it is all done.  The Elann yarn came to me from a wonderful giveaway I won from Araignee.

I have made minimal progress on my Harvest sweater by Tin Can Knits, but am still enjoying the process.  I will be taking this along on my trip next weekend in hopes I make progress on it.  Berroco Remix yarn is so lovely to work with.

I have also been working on this very fun Cancun Boxy Lace Top by Erin Kate Archer.  I started this as the Olympics started but ran out of steam after swimming was over.  You all know my love for swimming, boy it was so exciting to watch this year.  We know several of the swimmers there competing, one of which won three gold medals!  I was so thrilled for him and his entire wonderful family.  Back to this sweater, in the original design it is much more of a crop top, let me tell you this 52 year old body is all about the tunic, no crop here, so I lengthened it quite a bit. If I ever finish it I will tell you the details.  This Tahki Cotton Classic yarn is at least 15 years old, it is some of the oldest yarn I own, talk about stash busting!

And last but not least my dear friend Marcia, who moved to Texas two years ago met Little Buddy and I for breakfast this morning.  She gave me this felted sheep with soap inside.  I am in LOVE with this little guy.  He is so adorable and will never get wet as long as he lives with me.  Oh and he smells so good, much better than a real sheep I am sure.

Thank you again for your kindness my friends.  I am pulling myself out of the abyss, slowly but surely. 
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