Sunday, February 26, 2017

Seeing pink and a bit of red.............

Spring is here early again this year.   Just a few short years ago my azaleas did not bloom until March, they are well on their way to being done blooming and it is only the end of February.

We did not even have a freeze this year.  The mosquitos and fleas are going to be hideous this year because it has been so warm through the winter months.  Crazy weather is occurring everywhere this year.  That is because climate change is very real my friends. 

My oldest geranium plant continues to grow.  It gets cut back and then sprouts up all year long.  I have had this plant for years and years. 

While I realize now this is not the best picture, I did plant 25 snapdragons this morning.  I love this color.  They are along the screen portion of my pool enclosure.  They are bright enough to be seen from inside the house.  It is amazing what a few flowers will do for your spirits, for a few minutes anyway.

I find it harder and harder to keep my spirits up this year.  Flowers help a little but not much.  This administration is worse than I thought it was going to be.  Now thinking of cutting free lunches to those children in need.  Those children who probably do not get another meal in their home. Those children who cry when school is out for vacation as they do not know when they will eat on a regular basis.  No one should be hungry in a country as prosperous as ours.  If we can spend $500,000 a day for security for the Melania Trump, who does not want to move to the White House, her choice by the way, can't we find money to help those hungry kids?  Hungry children do not learn well.  They are embarrassed and frankly too hungry to settle their minds and learn.  Kids who do not learn can't graduate and get good jobs when they are older.  What kind of a country are we?   

Two apps I would like to mention for those concerned about where our country is going are, Votespotter and 5calls, I took the last one from Claudia's blog on Friday.  Great apps to tell you how to make a difference in just a few minutes.  The Resistance Calendar can let you know about events near you that might be interesting to your point of view.   John Pavlovitz, a christian pastor for the past 20 years is a daily read for me.  Each of his posts really speak to me but this one really hit home.  You can find it here.  

I have been missing my parents so much lately.  I think that when a parent dies you are so busy helping the other parent you do not have time to adjust.  Then when the other one leaves just 18 months later you are busy getting everything in order.  Now I find that I am missing them both so intensely at times.  I have been missing my mom for years as she was not well with Dementia for at least 5 years before she passed.  My dad was together until the moment he left this world.  I miss having him over for Sunday dinners.  I miss his laughter about Little Buddy's antics.  He was so proud of all my boys but this little one brought so much joy into his life.  I miss talking to my dad about the status of the world and the shape of our country.  He was a WWII vet, a gunner on several different planes.  Not an easy job my friends.  He was a avid believer that we should take care of everyone, that we are all equal.  He was in downtown Detroit during the race riots and was often the only white person at a funeral for a friend/co-worker who had passed away.  He would be so disgusted to see our country the way it is now.  He was onto DT years ago, he would not have been fooled by this guy, not my dad. 

My mother was a staunch Christian.  She had us at church every week.  We were in Sunday school,  youth group, the choir and everything else imaginable.  She brought us up to have a strong faith.  She would be disgusted to see how people of, "faith" are treating their fellow man, women and children.  She taught us that we are all equal.  We should be there for everyone, and that includes transgender teens who should be allowed to go to the bathroom in the bathroom of those they identify with.  Such a simple and basic task, going to the bathroom where you think you belong.  How is it okay to take that away from someone?  How is it okay to rip children from their parents arms, split up families of those people who came here for a better life or to take people out of the hospital, those in need of care and send them to a deportation center?

I know you are all tired of all of this, I certainly am.  But it isn't going away.  My mother taught me that God, and Jesus love everyone.  Not a few select people who fit the right criteria of a specific type of religion.  Jesus, a man of color, a man of deep love and faith, who washed the feet of those others felt were beneath him, loved everyone.  I wish we could, too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Baby blanket finish..........

Hooray for me!  Not to be tooting my own horn or anything but I have finally finished this baby boy blanket.  I have a wee little grand nephew who will be entering this world in the late Spring.  I have been working on this blanket for a while, starting in the beginning of January.  I got sidetracked with all those fun pink hats, nine in total.  But once they were done I forced myself to get back at this before the little one is born.

Sorry for the weird optical illusion in this photo.  As you know every baby born into my family gets a blanket whether the parents want one or not.  This is the first boy born into my husbands side of the family in 16 years.  I think it will be fun to have a boy with all the little girls running around.  

Made with Berroco Modern Cotton, 3 skeins of color 1163 (Hope) and 2 skeins of 1626 (Mackerel).  I used a size I hook and a 16 stitch ripple.  I like the 16 stitch ripple as I think it flows nicely, less abrupt than the 14 stitch ripple.  You can find ripple patterns everywhere on Pinterest and Ravelry if you need one.   This was all the yarn I had left at the end of the blanket.  Each stripe took about 200 yards.

Final measurements are 32 in by 42 in.  Sort of smaller than I wanted but still good for a baby.  1,000 yards of yarn used, yarn especially bought for this blanket.

This sweet boy of mine has recently turned 12 1/2.  At this stage we count every half year.  Max is still doing well.  He  has days where it is more difficult for him to get up, those hind legs of his are pretty atrophied.   He is still happy, wants treats, to smell around the yard and of course loves to be fussed over.  We are so blessed this boy is still with us.

And just to make you smile here is Little Buddy.  Who could resist smiling when they see this special boy?

Hope you are having a great day.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A fun day with Mr. 19.....

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the whole day with my middle son, Mr. 19.  He goes to school in Orlando, FL and lives very near Universal Studios.  I have not been for years, actually when he was about 11 so it was time for me to see the sights.  I was really only interested in the Harry Potter attractions as I am a huge fan of both the books and the films.  Even though I live so close I had yet to see any of it.  I drove over Thursday afternoon, we had dinner and then I stayed in a hotel room all by myself.  Now I don't want you to be proud of me for staying alone, rather just imagine a few uninterrupted hours all to myself.  It was bliss I have to say.  I was in charge of the remote, my crochet and my time.  I would not want this in my life everyday but for a few hours it was bliss.

We arrived in time for the park to open, it was already very crowded.  We did all the rides that my son wanted to go on in the main park, well let me say that he went on most of them alone but I did ride on a few.  We finally made it towards the Harry Potter area, oh my I was so excited.  We saw the Knight Bus, and 12 Grimmauld Place.  

We walked around and saw all the places they talk about in the books including the Leaky Cauldron and Borgin and Burkes, located in the dark and sinister Knockturn Alley.  It was amazing I have to tell you, I felt like I was in the film, well minus all of us thousands of Muggles walking around.   We rode Escape from Gringotts and I was thrilled.  It was exciting and such an incredible experience.

We made our way to the train station where we went to Platform 9 3/4.  There is a bit of magic there to walk through the wall just like in the books.

Once through the platform there was the Hogwarts Express.  How many children, and adults have wished they could catch this train and enter the wonderful world of magic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.   I know I have!  

The train ride was fun and took us to Hogsmeade, the town near Hogwarts.  It also takes you into another park, Islands of Adventure. 

Hogsmeade is covered in snow as is seen in many of the Potter movies.  It looks just like you would imagine it, well minus the fact it was 80 degrees out and many of us Muggles had on shorts and t-shirts.   You can get a Butterbeer or a Pumpkin Juice and walk around the shops, many of which have lines to get in. 

The main attraction is the Hogwarts Castle where the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride takes place.  To get to the ride you have to walk through the castle, and you can see many places that are familiar like Dumbledore's office,  There are paintings that move and a dragon skeleton hanging from the ceiling.  The detail was amazing.  This was my favorite ride of the day, just so magical and fun.  I loved every minute of it.

Now fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it I had to go on steroids this week because my neck was such a mess.  I can't take regular anti inflammatories so a round of steroids occasionally is the only way to get things calmed down.  This allowed me to go on some of the rides that would normally have been off limits for me.  It was worth it, being with my son on those rides was so much fun.  Memories made, lots of laughing and having a great time.  I will be paying for it when those meds wear off, but for now I am just thrilled I was able to do it.  And how excited am I that my son, who has a pass to go to this park all year long wanted to go with me.  

Other news.....

Thank you for all of your comments on my last post.  I appreciate each and every one of you, and that includes all of you who chose to abstain from commenting.  

I just finished Year of Yes by Shonda Rimes.  Incredible book my friends, I would suggest it to everyone.  I listened to it on audiobook and was very happy that Shonda read the text.  I loved hearing her say her own words with her own voice.  I think I might have to start saying yes more, especially when it is uncomfortable and not easy.  That is how you grow. 

I did say yes to new bedding this past week.  I have been looking for quite a while since I had my bedroom walls painted several months ago.  Suddenly everything was so beige and boring I could not stand it.  I headed over to Bed, Bath and Beyond this week when I had ten minutes to spare and found this duvet cover on clearance.  It was the only King size they had so I snatched it up.  The shams were also on clearance so that was a bonus.  The next day I bought a bed skirt and the cheapest duvet they  had and here it all is.  I love it and I love it even more being on sale.  I am not a full price gal if I can help it.

Here is the pattern up close, isn't it fun?

Today I am recovering from sleeping on the hotel pillow, and all that bumping around on those fun rides, plus getting loads done around the house.   It is amazing all that has to be done when you are just gone for one night. Hope you are having a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Living in a rose colored world.......

Happy Valentine's Day a wee bit late.  I am not a huge fan of this holiday, seems like we all should be loving everyday but it was still nice to get roses from my husband.   He was a tad upset that they had some brown edges, but I think they are perfect for me.  I have some brown edges, too!  Flowers can't be perfect and either can love or life.  It is a work in progress, sometimes very hard work.  

My beautiful friend Holly gave me these beauties yesterday.  These are a thank you for helping her with some pain issues she was having over the weekend.  It is my pleasure to be able to help a friend in need.  She had no idea that tulips are my favorites.  I ADORE them!  Don't tell my husband he will feel even worse about the roses.

When I was growing up we listened to the news.  My parents kept the worst of things away from us but never sheltered us completely.  I was always aware, maybe still in my safe bubble but still aware of what was going on in my country and the world.  When I went away to college I had a different sense of reality.  Those four years are completely fun and  absorbing aren't they?  My best friend and roommate Julie never had a clue of what was going on outside of our direct orbit.  She could not name the head of any nation but the United States.  She never listened or read the news.  I used to tease her about it all the time.  She always told me she loved living in a rose colored world.  Frankly she still lives this way all these many years later and I am always in awe of her.  Really, why can't I be more like that?   

Let me be honest as you know I am.  I am not one to shy away from controversy and if you think oh Lord her she goes again you are right, but hang with me a while.  I wish that things were not as crazy as they are here in our country and many others.  I wish that we all were treated fairly, and that includes immigrants, people of any color, religious affiliation or gender.  I wish that this country was a safe place for all.  But that is not the case and putting my head in the sand, or my fingers in my ears so I don't hear about it is not going to work.  Not this time as the stakes have never been higher and the welfare of so many at stake.  I appreciate that you are all sick of hearing about what is going on, but I also appreciate those that bring these issues to light.  I am a busy woman, I work and I am a mother. wife, sister and friend.  I appreciate when fellow bloggers might mention something I might miss, something that is important to me and what I believe in.  It helps me see more of what is going on in the world and what is important to my friends..  You don't have to agree with me or my point of view, but discussion and seeing what is important to others is good for us all.  Seeing a different point of view, trying to understand something that is not comfortable makes us all think.   

My sister let me know that the link for children with special needs was taken off the Department of Education website, a link that helps us parents, teachers, therapists, counselors and administrators, in the public schools understand that laws that provide for these children, so they can receive the education they deserve.  I have learned many things that I was not aware of from my friend Teresa, things I might not have been aware of had she not posted links on her blog.   

The thing is that your blog is your blog.  You have the right to your opinion and the right to place on it what you feel is important.  Again, I might not agree with your point of view but I will defend your right to say it.  If you visit here I hope that you find information, the facts, and that you also find comfort.  If you visit here only for creative endeavors, well you might be out of luck as I am far too busy to get much done these days.  If you visit here to only see Little Buddy, well you are in luck there as he will always be a big part of this space.  He is important, and the rights he deserves are important, too.  The right to a fair education in our public schools.  The right to receive help in the schools, including therapies and extra time to take tests and learn.  He deserves to be treated fairly outside of school to not be mocked or bullied.  He deserves a safe country to live in, not a country that will treat him unfairly is he is gay or transgender or feels drawn to a jewish or muslim faith.  He deserves to be treated with respect as we all do.   

I wish I could surround him with the warmth of family and the cocoon of love for the rest of his life.  But when he is older I will not hesitate to tell him the truth, one he can handle depending on his age and maturity of course.  I won't let him put on blinders or rose colored glasses, he will have to see what is really happening.  That is the only way he will have a choice to stand up and make himself heard.  

I will stand up on this blog of mine if I feel that it is important and relevant to who I am.  I applaud all of you for standing up, no matter your beliefs.  Your blog is yours to do what you want with.  I will never tell you what to write about, what to believe in or what to care about.  

Reading blogs is not just about seeing beautiful things to me, it is about me connecting with you on a friendship level.  One that makes me want to know if you are ill, if your son/daughter graduated, found a job, got into the perfect school or won that tournament.  And that includes political things when and if you want to post about them.

Now for a little fun.  Seeing this face makes it worth reading to the end of this post I think.  The king of my heart!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Stash enhancement with a little help from a friend.....

As you all know I am on a self imposed yarn buying ban.  Only yarn that is needed for a specific project that I do not already have is allowed in this house of mine.  I am trying to whittle away at the stash to get it into more controllable proportions.   So while at the rehearsal dinner for the bride and groom to be last Friday I received a lovely surprise.  The Brides Mother, Little Buddy's Medical Foster Mother has a brother who crochets.  I know isn't that amazing!  Uncle Sean and I are buddies even though we do not see each other often.  He heard about my buying ban and delivered some beautiful yarn to me from his stash.  Believe me his stash is big and beautiful.  You have to love a man who appreciates beautiful yarn.  I received this gorgeous Malabrigo Rios in the colorway Liquid Amber.

Beautiful Universal Yarn Classic Shades in the colorway rust.  It is warm and gorgeous.

And The Verdant Gryphon, hand-dyed Dk 100% superwash wool in the colorway Big Rock Candy Mountain.  That is 1,520 yards of yarn that have been added to my stash.  Looks like I need to get busy making things.

I pulled out the baby blanket after completing my ninth hat.  The Pussy Hat project is asking for more hats to be delivered to people who will continue to fight for all human rights.  If you would like to contribute to the cause with a few pink hats they are still receiving them at:

The Little Knittery
3195 Glendale Blvd
L.A., CA 90039

And here is a little shout out to Sen Elizabeth Warren for speaking the truth and the courageous words of the deceased Coretta Scott King.  She should not be silenced by those who do not agree with her.  I am talking to you Mitch McConnell.  People should not be silenced for their views, even if I do not agree with them, it is a violation of our free speech. You can read about Sen. Warren and her treatment here.  Strong women who stand up for what is true and right are such a threat!  And this video by Keith Olbermann is well worth a view, you can see it here, thank you to the dear friend who sent it my way.

Have a great day.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Taking a break from all this stress for a little wedding fun........................

One year ago this lovely couple asked Little Buddy to be in their wedding.  The bride to be was part of the medical foster family that Little Buddy was placed in after he was born.  They took amazing care of his complicated medical needs and helped him to grow and develop.  They love him so much and still are very much a part of his life.  If you are new to this blog you  can read about Little Buddy's arrival into our family here and about this amazing family here.  They are like aunts and uncles to him, they rejoice in his accomplishments and laugh when he is a bit naughty.

I am still very active with this family, seeing them twice a week for several hours as I work with some of the children in their care.  They have adopted two girls in addition to the grown children they already have.  They are an inspiration to me everyday.  Little Buddy has been preparing for this day for almost a year, mostly being worried about what his walker would be decorated like!

Here is the wedding outfit.  He loved his belt and bow tie. 

His job on this very special day was to walk in front of the bride and her father, right after the flower girls.  He took his responsibilities very seriously!  He walked slowly so everyone had time to see his signs, both front.........................

and back.....................

Little Buddy used his walker for the ceremony and then his forearm crutches the rest of the evening, even while dancing.   It was a beautiful day, and we are so blessed that Little Buddy was asked to have such a special role in the festivities. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Justin Trudeau you are my hero.........

To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength 
Justin Trudeau

I am horrified about the events of this week, each day getting even worse than the previous one.  When looking for something to grab onto I looked to Canada, Justin Trudeau is my new hero.  Speaking out for what is right, what is kind and what is decent.  I applaud all Americans who have protested the horrible executive orders that have been signed this week.  You had better protest now because I read yesterday that some states are trying to make protests illegal.   

I just want to tell the world that we are not this.  It looks like Americans right now are horrible people, but we aren't.  Most of us are kind and embracing those people from different nations and different religious faiths.  We want peace, not alienation.  We want equal rights for all, and we want to welcome all of you, not ban you because you have come from a country that does not have a business interest by the president.  We want to tear down walls, not build them.  I really can't put into words what this week has done, I have tried to post about it several times but find the magnitude of these despicable acts have rendered me speechless.  Do I blame the man in charge, you bet, but I also blame those men and women in the government that are allowing all of this to happen.  Our elected officials are not governing for the people, they are governing for themselves and for big business,  They are governing on a platform of fear, not kindness.

  Here are some interesting links that might help you feel there is hope, well a smidgen of hope out there anyway.  That the press is not lying, that not all the people in America find these new policies to be okay.  

The newest issue of Time Magazine is out and it is amazing.  Wouldn't it be great if we actually went out and bought the hard copy instead of just reading it online?

For those of you who want to continue your quest to do more after the Women's March on Washington, D.C. and all over the globe, you can find out how to do more here.

John Pavlovitz, a minister, is my favorite read of the day.  He seems to be able to articulate so much of what I want to say in a much better way than I could ever imagine.  I have been reading his posts long before the election, and I find that he speaks for many of us.

Votespotter, is an app that keeps you in touch with your representatives and lets you know how they vote on the things that are interesting to you.  It is a non partisan project, just the facts.  Thank you Araignee's Tangled Web for bringing this to my attention.

The last day to sign up for the ACA or Obamacare is January 31.  You can still sign up if you want to and be covered for the next year.  The new administration does not have this information up anymore so now you know.  32 million people are going to lose their healthcare if this is repealed. with no alternative put in place.  The billions of dollars that will be lost repealing and replacing is staggering and so unnecessary.

Climate change is real.  Support those scientists that have been shut up, those at the EPA, NASA and the National Park Service.  Did you know that the new administration has made it much easier to sell off public lands to developers, oil drilling and for commercial purposes?  Our sacred parks and national monuments could be gone.

I just finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picout.  Oh my you have to read it.  I am usually not a huge Jodi Picout fan, I love her style I just don't always love her endings.  This book about race and the prejudice we all have was very enlightening to me.  I had to read it in small spurts as it was uncomfortable and frankly appalling at times, but it is so relevant to where we are in this country and in many others.  And it is relevant to some of the people who are helping to run this country, this mindset is beyond my comprehension but is necessary to face head on.

I have to say I am having a hard time reading blogs right now, my spirits are very low and I can't seem to hide them by posting about a pretty flower.  It isn't that those flowers are important with the beauty they bring to our lives, it is that there is so much going on that is against everything I believe in.  This election has brought a huge fissure to our country.  It has let the ugliness that is in all of us become unchecked in many.  I can't bury my head in the sand and pretend it isn't happening or that it will all go away.  I realize you come here to see Little Buddy and a few of the things I make, but this is my life right now and I am going to be honest.  Speaking freely is our right, protesting is our right, disagreeing is our right.  Speak out before our voices are silenced.

So I don't end this depressing everyone I found this article about people knitting/crocheting sweaters for elephants.  You can find it here.  It is helping restore my faith in humanity.