Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Retrospective

This *&^%% "hand in a cast" thing is getting old.............. the CAPS LOCK key KEEPS GETTING in my way acCIDentally....,,,,,,,.

I am not knitting, crocheting, or doing anything fiber or even craft related. Unproductive is how I feel... so......... I decided to take a look at some of my old projects to help me get my creativity back...
Calling this"a retrospective" makes it sound very artsy, and artsy is what I am missing,,, so for the next few days, I will be featuring a retrospective of some of my stuff.
LA dE DA !!!

A number of years ago, I made some projects using broken bits of pottery and dishes. Primitive, but pretty. The first is a flower pot, using a clay flower pot as a base.

The second piece is familiar to anyone who has used my bathroom,,,,,,,,,,,(a very elite group) it is a trash can,,, uh um.......waste receptacle.

The shards cover a metal base. Much lighter to handle than the flower pot.

While I enjoyed making these, I do not think I would ever do it again, too putzy... and messy and well, just not my cup of tea....

More tomorrow........... I bet you just can't wait, RIGHT???

Monday, July 30, 2007

Just do it !

I know everyone in this world does not share my infatuation with my granddaughter with me,,,,, although I cannot understand why . :) Here is yet another photo of Emmi.
Relax, this post is not all about her, it is about strength, and stubbornness and determination......... and a picture is worth a thousand words... Emili is born to all these character traits..........just being a female in our family------------

Let me explain. Yesterday was my mother's birthday. She is 80 years old and one tough woman. Her life has not always been easy, she has jumped many hurdles........... and yesterday she celebrated those 80 years with such grace and joy.......
Thinking about it, I wondered to myself how she has done it...........but there it is on Emili's face,,,,,,, the photo shows how my Mom, my grandma, and all the other women have done it ,,,,,,,,,,, sheer determination!
"Where there's a will , there's a way...." I don't think I have ever heard my mother utter that cliche......... but she sure has modeled it for us... It has passed through the generations, maybe it's in the DNA,,,,,,,, the proof is in the grandchldren and great-grandchild.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The fling

It started innocently. Liam got a new toy for his birthday, a super duper high powered thing, made for flinging other things. What a great gift for a twelve year old boy. A bucket of water balloons proved to be perfect ammunition on a hot day.

The big boys got into the act, too.

And the little girls and dogs had to try it.

The children watched as even the old folks were flinging things........

water balloons and giant, overgrown yellow summer squash.

Dave shows the young ones how it's done

"It's not the thing you fling; it's the fling itself." -Chris Stevens, Northern Exposure

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

how I feel


Nothing much new to blog about. My life is dull these days. Here are a few highlights of the last few days. Our first tomato of this season fits neatly into a shot glass.

Shocks of wheat on an Amish farm near Portage.

Emili sun dyed some silk scarves while visiting me on Monday.

A beat-up file box that I intend to store books in.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


It is not all bad having surgery, sure there is pain ............and dressings see the end of thi post......... and boredom, but....

There are GIFTS and get well cards and calls from friends.

Mel knit me a reversible bowl/container as a get well gift.. ..........Here is a photo of Emili with a third use for it, as a hat. I got a stitch marker in the mail from Diane. ..........................

Betty brought over her set of video tapes of Lonesome Dove...to help kill the lonesome hours. I can't think of a better way to kill time that spending it with Robert Duvall.

There are also meals brought over unexpectedly. Tuesday, Lynda and Terri brought over a lovely chicken salad and fixings for lunch and Wednesday, my daughters Megan and Lauren brought over supper. Thursday, Delores was here with a beautiful apple pie!!!!!!!!!

Friday, Mary M brought homemade strawberry jam......

Also on Friday,,,,,,,, I went back to the MD and got a cast on the affected limb.

Not bad,,,,,,,

Here is a tiny photo of my arm after the dressing and before the cast...... It is tiny photo for those of you who are squeamish,,,,,,,,or just would rather not see such things,,,, if you click on it , it will become larger and details are more clear...

More tomorrow

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Grandma in the 21st century

I live in a neighborhood of homes that were built in the early 1970's,.. small ranch houses. Homes built during a fuel crisis, energy efficient, but tiny. Kids played outside. A lot.
My neighborhood is quiet now as most of the residents are either small families or couples with grown children.

When my children were growing up in the 80's and 90's, the neighborhood was different. The yards teemed with kids, all-ages,, all-sizes. Anytime of the day, the kids could step outside of the door and find someone to play with.

There was always a lot of noise, ball games, and secret plans being concocted. Back then, come suppertime, it was hard to locate my three kids. One might be here, the other might be there, and another might be up a tree. ..........Do I have to tell you which one that was?

At supper time, bed time, or just anytime I needed the kids home, I would have to walk and walk until I rounded them up.

Dennis, my neighbor, and the father of two boys, had another method. He would stand in his yard, put his fingers to his mouth and whistle. This was a loud piecing whistle, and his sons would come running. It seemed to work great for him, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, then, as now, I cannot make a sound of any kind when I try to whistle. I can't whistle a tune, or even a tweet.

So, I found this great, old, brass whistle at a rummage sale, and decided to use that instead.

Today's parents may think this sounds as if I was treating my kids like animals but, it was efficient and saved frustration. For me and them!

Why am I telling you all this? Well, my daughter Megan informed me that she has purchased a cell phone for her niece, Emili. That's right, six-year old Emili has a cell phone!

I reacted in typical knee jerk/old lady/grandma/crabby fashion with, "What the heck does a six year old need that for? Parents are too indulgent these days,... and kids are growing up too fast. She's only six...etc. on and on....." It was then when Megan reminded me of the whistle, I had completely forgotten about it. Lauren and Megan and Emili live in a small town now, and Emili has more freedom than her past years. She is in a safe neighborhood and can play freely, as my kids did back in the late part of the century past.........
Since it is a new age,,,,,,the phone seems not so bad,,,,,,,,, I like the whistle better, but I am just the Grandma, times change.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Killing time

There is this old (1989) country song by Clint Black with the line "this killing time is killing me"

Kinda describes my days lately. Just killing time,,,,, waiting to heal. There are only so many things I can do with one hand,,,,

Today I decided to kill time by sorting my stash of new, old, vintage, crummy, good knitting needles. Circulars went in a large basket, DPNS went in a small basket and straights were put in crocks. This task took me all day! Remember,,, one handed!

Crochet hooks were put in this nifty container.

I purchased this container at an antique show a few years back. It probably was a shop display for steel crochet hooks. It came with about 20 hooks, all very tiny and all very rusty. There is even a nifty little covered box on the back!Now it holds an assortment of books, wood, plastic, metal and bamboo. I can't believe that it took me 2 years to get my hooks into this nice piece.

I am sure that once I start looking around the house I will find more hooks and needles , in projects (under sofas)... and other places that I don't expect to find them.

I also came up with an entire basket full of knitting notions, stitch holders, markers, rulers, etc... I can't believe that I have so many of the old fashioned safety pin type holders, I usually just use a piece of string.

In sorting through my circular needles, I found a lot of metal circs that I know that I will never use again. I am keeping the 12 inch ones and taking the rest to the shop to use when I am doing demos, or when people need needles to practice on.

It will be interesting to see how long this new found tidiness will last. I hope I am healed before I get sloppy again. We will see.......

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Funky chickens

Last week, I gave a hint about an upcoming birthday gift..... It was Lynda's birthday yesterday, so here is the big picture.

Lynda loves chickens,,,, so much that our mutual friend Mary made Lynda a similar chicken, too!

I will have some for sale at the shop soon.

Monday, July 16, 2007


A wonderful friend gave me this assortment of fabrics as a "get well" gift. Dick and Jane, Sally, Spot and Puff. Do you remember? I
learned to read with this crowd!
I have some ideas about what I will make when I am able. In the meantime, just looking at the fabric makes me smile, remembering....................

Dick and Jane and the rest certainly lead a "white bread" kind of life didn't they? Not much racial diversity, or diversity of any kind. As a child, my life was sheltered. I lived, shopped, studied and worshipped with people with looked like me.

Now, 45 years later, two young people, both blood relatives to me, sit at my kitchen table. Both have brown hair, brown eyes, and one has decidedly brown skin. I am grateful that my house is a multicultural home.... it's never boring...........Wouldn't Dick and Jane be surprised?

temporary tattoos

Emili's arm

my arm

Saturday, July 14, 2007

same hand, different day

A big thank you for all your thoughts and prayers, the surgery is over and it went well, or so they tell me.

There is more pain than I expected, but aside from that,, I am doing fine, and I can wiggle my fingers! Hurray!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

50,000 miles maintenance

I am an experienced at lot of things that I am very proud of.... experienced mother, nurse , wife, business person,,,, add to that list experienced patient. Not in being patient,,,,,, I hate to wait for things,,, but in being a patient,,, as in---- the sick one.

Not really sick, just needing repair.... Maintenance is how I prefer to think of it. I intend to live a very long time, longevity runs in my family. I need maintenance. Replacement parts. I wouldn't drive around on bald tires...........or low on oil...
My left hand needs maintenance, I have worn out some crucial parts, and will have some repairs done tomorrow. I will not have to stay in the garage overnight............ my family will not need a loaner, thank heavens! But I will be out of commission for a few weeks.
I am not ashamed to admit that I am nervous about this repair.... Basal joint arthroplasty is the name of the procedure.... I have had lots of surgeries,,,,,,,, but this is my hand, and I depend on my hands to do what I do.........be who I am.....
Please send me good thoughts tomorrow, pray if that is what you do...... I need positive energy...
I will post on Saturday with an update.

Monday, July 9, 2007

She can be sweet,

but sassy,

not really,

(I requested the tongue-sticking-poses.) Mondays are always fun! I made Emili a new dress, the photos show it unhemmed....she was patient while I sewed....

I also finished crocheting something fun today,,, but it must remain a secret until a regular reader's birthday passes later this month. So if your birthday is coming up, I have your gift ready.......HMMMMM..who and what could it be???

I felt the urge to do some handwork today while I still can,, I think six weeks in a cast will drive me crazy...... I can blog with one hand, I am almost sure of that!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

What did I do after I closed the shop yesterday? No matter if you want to know or not, I am going to tell you because I did somethings that I had been putting off............ I am the Queen Of Procrastination!

It was hot.........a good day to wash wool.

This is a raw fleece. "Raw" means fresh off the sheep........not washed or anything done to it yet. It smells like a sheep, for some people this is an unpleasant odor.... I like it. This particular fleece, while dirty, had very little VM*, and had been well skirted*. (See Glossary at the end of this post)

Here are my hands adding wool to a tub of very hot water, and Dawn dish soap.,,, picking out bits of stuff* as I add it to the wash water. I then left to do other, less desirable chores.

Like cleaning the junk out of my car! Being a pack rat, to me, my car is just a mobile closet, another place to store valuable stuff.

Or stuff I don't want to deal with...... Oh, denial is a wonderful thing sometimes.

"Did I really pay that much for a book, what should I do with the evidence of a junk food indiscretion?" If I leave the receipt or the wrapper in the car, I don't have to admit it!

So on a 95 degree day, I decide to face my dark side..........it was just slightly akin to hell for me.

Back to the wool..... Here it is in the first rinse, again in hot water. Looks much better, doesn't it? That's because the wash water looked like chocolate milk when Dave dumped it for me.

Dave is working now,,,,,,,,,he just wants to get it over with, I think. It's after five, he thinks it is time for a cocktail.

The entire wool washing process was witnessed by a little wren, making a terrible racket! He or She was upset with us for being too close while He or She was busy building a nest.

From Wild-Bird-Watching.com

In spring, the male wren arrives and begins to establish his territory. You'll know he has arrived when you begin hearing him sing from his perches.
As you watch, you'll notice he begins placing sticks into prospective nest holes. He may build as many as twelve different nesting sites. After pairing with a mate, the male takes the female to each of the nesting sites he has begun building.
The female selects the one she likes and begins to rebuild by adding soft materials to the nest before laying eggs.
House wrens are cavity nesters and as such, are an ideal candidate for attracting to birdhouses. In fact, these birds seem to prefer man-made nest boxes to natural cavities.

Now, we should take a lesson from the wrens....... the females only choose a mate until the male has made SEVERAL suitable homes for them!


VM???? Vegatable Matter,,,, bits of hay, chaff, burdocks, etc.

Well skirted??? to skirt: to remove low-grade wool and foreign matter from the outer edge of fleece. That means Poop,,,,, most of the sheep poop had been removed!

stuff??? More poop