Friday, December 30, 2011

Somethings never change

Received a panicked phone call yesterday from sib's. Another financial crisis. Desperate need for money. The same kind of call my parents received regularly when they were alive. The same call I've received since becoming executor of their small estate. I could plug the dike again, but not much longer. It makes my head feel like its going to explode. I dread seeing their names pop up on caller id. And I can't imagine what will happen next time crisis arises and I say no.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We are spending a quiet holiday at our Florida home. It is our new "norm". Last night we went to the square and listened to music and danced. It was delightful. Then home to open gifts. Every Christmas since the girls were little and spent hours under the tree shaking presents, their Dad told them the gifts were filled with socks, underwear and a poster. So every Christmas some of the packages contain underwear. A Christmas tradition.

The unexpected gift was that we decided to splurge and surprise them with Ipads. We haven't seen them speechless upon opening the last gift of the night since either of us can remember. That was truly a gift for DH and I. So last night and today will be filled with exploring the wonderful world of apps.

Another Christmas tradition is taking place today as well. Every year since DD1 went to college, DD2 dyes DD1's hair over the holidays. Usually a shade of red. This year it is a lovely merlot/magenta.

So, how ever you spend today celebrating or no, may it be filled with good things.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The wonders of multitasking

I wouldn't have been able to do this a year ago.
How cool is that! reading a book and knitting a sock at the same time. Granted neither the book not the simple sock require a great deal of focus, but still how cool!

Friday, December 16, 2011

One down

One to go. Dd2 has arrived safely. We stopped at Costco on the way home. My fridge no longer looks like something from a sitcom.

I turned the heel on the 1st of a pair of socks.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Cold

It is really unfair to wake up with a sore throat, chills and achy so close to the arrival of DD's. It is really unfair so close to all the Christmas festivities. So I will stay home today, potting, drinking loads of liquids, and dust and mop.

It is even more unfair because today is spectacular! Sunshine, blue sky, and finally not so much wind.

On the knitting side. Finished the wrap except to do a crocheted edge around the arm holes. And give it a vineagar wash. Pictures will follow. Cash on a pair of stock. The pattern is Denizans of the deep. I purchased it on ravelry.

I have yarn out for a scarf, a gift. After the rough feel if the wrap yarn I'm going for uber soft.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

No FO's and lots of whining.

The wrap vest is just plain tedious at this point. I don't mind massive amounts of stockinette. Truth be told I rather enjoy it. But this vest has not been fun. I've had to wing it on the number of rows to adjust for my size/yarn weight/tension. I lost/threw out my pattern with my notes on the first half of the vest, so I've had to do the knit measure/count/compare/rip and re-knit approach to sizing for the second half of the vest. It is the sort of thing that does not result in happy dancing around the house. But I will muscle on!

Today there was a drop in temp. So had to bundle up when I walked the dog this am. DH turned the heat on in the house.

This afternoon, Motherbear. I am bringing a neighbor who is interested in resuming knitting and looking for a charity.

On a positive note, the sun is shining brightly. I am not on a golf course cursing the cold. My camellias are blooming. This variety reminds me of a "MOD" flower from the 70's.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What a lovely day for snowflakes!

They are hanging on my Magnolia tree. The tree is covered with buds this season, so I'm really hoping they bloom soon. Sadly they seem to bloom one flower at a time. And the blooms are short lived.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

We have a set of 3 lite trees, from Home Depot in front of the house. Our neighbors on either side have the same. Looks very festive at night.

I have a small amount of decorations in the house. Storage is so limited I haven't shipped down much from MN.

In the back yard I hung some big bright ornaments on the palms. While humming Christmas carols. And thinking how much easier it was to do when one isn't wearing mittens.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

care to join me for coffee

The neighbor gave me some wonderful gingersnaps that just cry out for a cup of coffee. Not the healthiest breakfast but ever so wonderful.

DH is off getting something to stake down the lighted Christmas trees in the front yard. He will set up the neighbors this afternoon. I plan on putting out our meager FL Christmas decorations. Tonight we have the BIG neighborhood party. About 250 folks. I will go over and assist with decorating, the party starts at 5. Sunday is a smaller neighborhood potluck holiday party. I'm making a Stromboli from a recipe in the paper. If it is well received I'll share it. The base is a Pillsbury pizza crust. I'm hoping that it will be delicious so it can be my "go to" potluck recipe.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Finally Things with pictures

Short socks! For some reason held side by side these socks do not look like they are the same size. But they have the same number of rows and they fit! So they will not be a gift, they will be for me. I have another skein to make a pair for dd2. I will make sure that hers look the same a well as fit the same.

My wrap proceeds. I have made a bunch of mod's to the pattern for sizing. more rows at every step. The yarn will have a nice drape, but definitely needs a good vinegar bath. It turns my hands green while I'm knitting.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Things with no pictures part 2

After 10 days DH is finally able to leave the house. He walked to dog. Eats real food. Took the car to get gas. We couldn't be happier.

I golfed at a lovely newly opened course yesterday. The women I golf with are delightful. I golfed, for me, quite well. The only downside was that the tempt was just barely over 60, and the winds were HORRIBLE! I spent much of my life growing up in the flat lands of North Dakota in non-stop serious wind. Yesterday for golf was mimicked those days. The only plus side was the wind was not accompanied by freezing rain or snow.

I finished my 2nd sock except to seam the toe. Pictures will follow. I made progress on my flyaway vest. Just about to to the second arm hole. There is an advantage to being housebound.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Things with no pictures

That would be the theme of my week.
DH has had a horrible intestinal virus since late last Friday. Worst ever! In the beginning it included a temp. Now just lingering intestinal issues..enough said. But it means he hasn't left the house in 7 days. He is tip toeing towards recover. No pictures of a sick guy needed.

Dear neighbors hosted a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. With the germs in our house we stayed home. But they delivered plates filled with the holiday. No pictures of dinner needed.

Dear DD2 has pink eye back in MN. No pic needed to know how miserable that is when going to dinner at a friend who takes a gazillion pictures at every event.

Frogged hat! Definitely no picture needed. I have been trying to knit a Christmasy hat for my friend with no hair, chemo. I made her a pumpkin that was well received for Halloween. So picked up some red and a skein of white pompom. I have knit and frogged it 4 times. Just can't get it to look like anything I want to give her. So broke down and I'm just knitting a red hat. Think I'll pass the pompom yarn to the motherbear group for bear scarves.

Black Friday. Not venturing out, may do a little online shopping. No pictures of my computer screen adventure needed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Things and finished objects

Well, there won't be a picture of the new thing I learned about this week. Spotted the tiniest ants I've ever seen crawling on the wall behind my stove ewwwww! and In the soap holder on the washing machine ewwwww! Called the Bug people, everyone here has bug people. Turns out we have "ghost ants". Yet another breed of bug I'd never heard of before...super tiny harmless ants. So they sprayed and left little clear pyramid shaped things in the kitchen and laundry, with the pleasant thought that they should be gone in 2 weeks. So there ya go, something new.

Finished my Aquiataine shawl.

It's blocking. Loved the yarn! A nice pattern, easy to follow.

Finished the "Gap-tastic" cowl for DD2

Just a huge circle that you can wrap once or twice around your neck depending on how cold you are..she's in MN so could end up being very cold.

Finished another club cover. One more to go, then all my woods will be dressed in Fun fur.

We have had a roller coaster of weather. The temp on Friday am when we tee'd off was 48 degrees, today high near 80. So not unlike my northern friends layers are the way to go around here.

My Azalea's have started to bloom.

And my Camelia's keep blooming.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Just want to say what a wonderful thing my Minnesota library is. It allows me to check out e-editions even when I am out town. Granted the options are fewer then paper books, but still. One can hardly complain. Plus, I find that the wait for access isn't that long.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

reading the fine print

I am usually good about reading the fine print on coupons and offers. But today I didn't. I bought an online coupon for a LYS, you know the kind a $25 value for $10. I've purchased several for a LYS in MN. I jumped at the chance thinking it would be a great way to treat myself to another set of addi's. Good that it was only $10. After I had paid online with my credit card I printed out the coupon. Only to read the fine print....the $25 coupon is only good on a purchase of $110 or more! Yep, it was there clearly stated on the screen with the coupon ad, but it was one of those moments where my brain processed a past experience rather then the current visual. So now I think it is $10 that will never be spent as I don't need $110 worth of merchandise from the store. So a not so good deal. But I've learned my lesson and am not likely to ever purchase another online coupon from this site.

on a positive note, the sun is shining and I spotted this lovely flower by side walk leading to a public restroom.

Monday, October 31, 2011

another club covered

This time a club cover for my aunt.

I keep thinking, darn who knew I'd be buying fun fur again when I cleared out my entire stash. Oh well, it went to a good cause. I do think that I will knit a few more for other woods.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A tale of three shawls

I discovered a strange looking yarn over in version one of my Aquataine shawl. Of course it didn't jump out at me until row 43. Of course the wonky looking yarn over was back at about 20. I tinked back, and dropped a stitch which ran before I could catch it. So I decided to use it as a "learning experience" and frog the whole thing.

I cast on again using size 7 needles, the pattern calls for 6's. It just seemed a little dense to me. So I cast on again using size 10. I decided not to frog the 7's until I could compare the two.

The winner is the one on 10's.

I like the more drapey feel. The yarn is a wool/silk blend.

I decided to knit the yarn over's on the purl side rather then purl them. It means the yarn over holes are not as big. I'm not sure how I feel about it. The big holes make the waves more pronounced, but for everyday I'm thinking less holey/lacey might be a bit more practical. So I'm going to continue as I've started. I'm going with the theory "third times a charm"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

No knitting but lots of fun

first a better picture of someone really enjoying his lunch.

Yesterday our immediate neighbors all went to the small lake to watch the sunset and enjoy some nice wine, great snacks and socializing. We were not disappointed.

Jack along for the ride.

DH and I. For my friends "up north"...note the complete absence of snow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Silliness abounds

In my knitting.

After seeing similar knit club covers I had a "I can do that" moment. So looked at Ravelry patterns and improvised my club cover using Deborah Norville Everyday Worsted and Bernat Boa. The Everyday worsted is a really nice acrylic yarn. I'm going to use it to knit a club cover for my aunt, in different colors.

And on the golf course I had to take a picture of this squirrel. He was sooooo enjoying eating his pine cone. He paid no attention to us at the tee box not 12 feet away. Stretched out as long as he could, looking a little like a squirrel rug.

And for my friends back north, a few pictures of my flowers. I hear its getting colder, possible flurries. So thought I'd share a little sunshine.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Not knitting

Reading books about knitting! Read two this weeked. The first was knit with love by Lisa Bogart. A collection of essays about knitting for charity. She was on a book tour and stopped at the Minnesota knitting group I attend. This group knits an amazing number of things for charity. I wasn't able to attend but a dear fried (thank you Marcie) got a copy of the book for me , had it autographed and sent it. I read it in a day. Now I passed it on to my Aunt and asked that when she finish she donate it to her church library. There is a very active group of charity knitters at her church, so it seems fitting that the book be passed on so others can enjoy it. In the book Lisa mentioned the book The Beach Sterret Knitting Society and Yarn Club. I lookedit up on Amazon. There was a kindle version available for less the $3. So I ordered it. It was a very relaxing read, a little like The Friday Night Knitting Club. No patterns, darn. But a nice way to spend the day.

Now I need to spend a little time knitting, instead of just reading about knitting.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

looks like its gonna rain.....again

There is still a tropical storm hovering around. We never got the much predicted rain yesterday, only grey clouds. More of the same today.

Very little knitting completed. One quick trip to Target turned into stops at 4 other stores....cause I was in the neighborhood. This lead to my new cast on last night. I almost can't believe I'm knitting this....a fake fur topped golf club cover. A knitting neighbor has made a few and that caused me to have a "I can do that" moment. I will knit one for my aunt and one for myself.

Made a little more progress on my Aquataine shawl. NCIS and NCIS:LA are good knitting tv. They don't require much concentration and I find them entertaining background.

I tried roasting cauliflower last night.

Yes indeed I posted a picture of cooked vegetables. It really was yummy. drizzle with a little EVOO, some ground pepper, and I sprinkled on some Tastefully Simple Paprika blend, just because I had it. Then baked at 350 for around an hour. I would highly recommend it. I've roasted beans and asparagus in the past with equally good results.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

looks like its gonna rain.

For the next two days. So I plan on "hunkerin' down" with my knitting and a movie.

On the needles

The Aquatain shawl from Ravelry. The first yarn just wasn't very pretty, but the pattern the logical thing to do was to frog shawl 1 and cast on same shawl in new yarn. The new yarn was from deep in stash Berroco Softwist. Purchased a couple of years ago from a someone else's stash.Very soft! much better choice.

And a big fat cowl

Plymouth Italia Fingerpaint. A stash down from someone else. They had one wayward skein. I'm making the pattern up as I go. Will send it up north either for DD or to charity.

Put out all my Halloween decorations.

The Dept. 56 Halloween Village pieces I bought years ago. I didn't ship my Dept. 56 Christmas stuff to FL. But for some reason I needed this little piece of my MN home here. Brings a smile to my face.

Another thing that brings a smile to my face is the first bloom on my Azalea.

The plant is covered with buds. It will be brilliant.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Missing, gone, no more....that would be the description of my downloaded pdf files stored in ibooks, my music and some of my game apps after downloading the new ipad operating system. Luckily most of the patterns I had stored on my ipad were free from Ravelry and can be replaced. I listen to Pandora radio more then my downloaded music and I will slowly reload my personal music over time. I will have to decide if I want to re-purchase Angry Birds and Plants v. Zombies. I started downloading the podcasts I enjoy and in the process found a couple new ones I wouldn't have if not for the missing podcasts.

So in the end the damage will be small and I hope that the operating system will be a good thing.

But it was a little annoying at 1 am when I couldn't sleep and really wanted to listen to a familiar podcast. So there I sat searching the app store and downloading podcasts.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Connections make some/loose some

We left MN on 10/7. Back to being snowbirds. The joy of this is that it allows us to reconnect with the wonderful people we know here, the sad part is leaving DD2 and friends behind. Thanks to the miracle of the internet we always feel connected. Except that when we arrived we were not connected! Comcast said it looked like everything was working on their end, but we had nothing on our side. So we spent 4 days with no service! Monday a technician stopped by, did something to the box in the yard and after one more phone call we were live again. Connections restored! Happy people all around! I finished my "wisp of a shawl" on the plane.
It is beautiful! Light, airy, super soft. It needs to be blocked. I think it will be great here when the temps drop to chilly in Jan/Feb/March. I started socks for DD2
They are short socks out of Cascade Fixation. A free pattern on Ravelry. Since they are short with no pattern they are quick! Changed the toe to a more traditional kitchner style. Started another shawl last night watching TV. Oh we do love to watch some tv at our house! Will post pictures when there is something to see. Splurged and got a manicure and pedicure at the local beauty school. They were selling pink hair extensions as a fund raiser for Breast Cancer. $10 and all the proceeds go to cancer. So I got one.
And speaking of pink
My shrimp plant.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Brilliant combination

A fall day with amazing color and temps in the 80's. What a brilliant combination!

Struck up a conversation with a woman over magazines at Joann Fabrics. Turns out she's a newish knitter. Invited her to join the knit group I attend at a local Culver's. Think there is a good chance she'll show up.

I can see the family gene pool. The women in my mothers family all talk to strangers. I find my self often doing the same thing. It embraced me as a teen and yet I can't help myself! I'm sure somewhere my mother and grandmother are snickering.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Today is brought to you by the letter F

F is for fall.

What a beautiful sight! Fall colors reflected on a still MN lake. What you don't see is that the temp was in the high 60's.....and it got even warmer.

F is for friend, a dear friend began chemo on Friday for recently diagnosed breast cancer.

F is for finished objects. So DD's and I are trying to supply her with a variety of hats. DD2 whipped up 2 before her first chemo. I finished 2 over the weekend. The family dog is a reluctant model.

The purple is Berroco Comfort Sock yarn. A free slouchy hat pattern from Ravelry. The orange is Caron Simply Soft, the Pumpkin Beanie also free from Ravelry. She always wears a pumpkin beanie on Halloween so it seemed perfect that she should have a knit pumpkin for her no hair days.

And finally

Another I love Moss Stitch shawl, this one out of Joann Fabrics Sublime. I started knitting this for her the day I found out she was going to have a biopsy. She is allergic to wool, hence all the knits with no natural fiber. I figure this is not a time to take any chances with irritating her skin.

Monday, September 26, 2011

foggy Sunday

One last weekend "up north" as we say in MN. The last of the cabin close up chores.
Woke up Sunday morning to this....

The fog on the lake was so thick you couldn't see the water. Actually you couldn't see to the shore from the cabin. Like something from the start of a "B" horror film or a BBC murder mystery. About an hour later, it was clear. The colors by us were like a muddy version of fall.

I CO a slouchy hat out of Berroco Sock yarn. The first of a collection of hats for a friend who is about to begin chemo. She is allergic to wool so that narrows the field of soft yarns. DD2 finished a worsted weight one over the weekend and CO a second. DD1 is yarn shopping in CT today. The sock yarn slouch hat is a good use of fun colored sock yarn, mine is purple. Unfortunately, sock yarn hats are not speedy. I'll keep plugging away on it, but I am going to go and look for something soft in a worsted weight. I think an adult version of a pumpkin hat would be perfect for Halloween.

A tech note. I can't seem to post pictures from Flicker to blogs or ravelry. I know its just me. So I took the pictures with my ipad, then uploaded them to Dropbox. Then on my laptop I downloaded from dropbox to my desktop. Then they can be inserted with ease. Perhaps a bit convoluted but it works well for me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

bowing to peer pressure

Yep, I confess I have bowed to peer pressure. No I didn't get feathers in my hair or buy jeans with bejeweled pockets to draw attention to my behind. But bow I did. I am knitting a moss stitch shawl for a dear friend who just had a lumpectomy. We went to lunch on Sat. and stopped at a LYS in her area. Much to my surprise she picked up a skein of hot pink trendy yarn and said I love this.

So on the way home, even though I swore I would never knit with it, I bought a skein of the new pink Bernat Rufelina yarn for breast cancer yarn. You know the stuff that knits up like a pink poodle.

There ya' have it. I'm not proud, but if it brings a smile to her face when the surprise scarf arrives in the mail then I'm happy to have knit it. As long as I don't have to wear it I guess its not all bad.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

finding pennies

Years ago I read a charming story about a woman who believed that when you find a penny it means an angel is watching over you or thinking of you, I forget which. I think she was recounting it to a child to comfort them over the loss of a beloved grandparent. Ever since when I find a penny, whether in the street or in my dryer, it makes me stop and think that an angel is thinking of me. Sometimes, its one of my grandmothers, other times one of my parents. No doubt whoever is stirring closest in my sub-consious. It doesn't matter, it almost always makes me smile and gives me a sense of connection to someone I've loved and lost.

And that is why I always stop and pick up pennies that other people leave behind.

and now for something completely different.

I was a big Monty Python fan in the 70's. One of their not to subtle segues was to have one of the Python guys pop up in the skit and say "and now for something completely different" That's how I feel about starting the "Just a Whisper Wrap" and knocking out a baby hat.
I found some Douceur Swirls by Knit One Crochet Too deep in my stash that was crying out to be knit. I could hardly ignore it, could I? Lovely jewel tones on size 11's.

One skein of Lionbrand Kool Wool in a really pretty geranium color. Bought it on clearance years ago. It was a joy to knit with, if you ever stumble across some grab it.

Meanwhile, back at the original skit....I do love the moss stitch shawl I'm knitting for a friend who just had a lumpectomy.

But endless moss stitch on small needles with drapey yarn wears on my hands and my heart. So to make sure I only knit good feelings into the shawl I went looking for something different yesterday. Besides finding the yarn for the whisper and the baby hat I boxed up for mailing some roving style wool for DD1 to use with her loom. This is yarn we bought years ago as new knitters smitten by color with no thought to FO. I'm counting on the fact that she's at the same phase with her new loom. She can squeeze the yarn and imagine making something soft and warm. Later, when the loom honeymoon is over and she still doesn't have a clue what to do with the yarn she can pass it on to someone else.

For now she can have the fun of getting a surprise package in the mail. Because even though I am a huge fan of technology in general, the wonder of the internet and the joy that is my ipad there is still nothing quite like getting an unexpected box in snail mail. As Martha would say "its a good thing!"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Let the sun shine in...

Cleaned windows this am while listening to the Glee Cast Radio. Station on Pandora. We have Pandora loaded on the computers and have it as a feature on our DVD players. What a way to bring a smile to your day. I'd add a picture, but somehow I think looking at a clean window is akin to looking at a picture of paint drying. Trust me, it is lovely.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall is in the air

Another milestone moment. Walked the dog this morning in long jeans, a hooded sweatshirt, real shoes not flip flops, and my hands got cold! Whats up with that? The sun is shining and it looks to be a lovely day.

I have a new favorite, FAGE Greek yogurt. I really like Chobani but COSTCO, my favorite store next to TARGET, didn't have it. Instead they had FAGE, IMHO it is yummy. My Dr. told me if I ate a yogurt everyday I could skip taking calcium pills for now. Can't argue with that, although admittedly I don't eat a yogurt everyday. But, there is always some in my refrigerator.

Finished my Blue Baby sweater

Sewed on the buttons at my knitting group and turned it in. Another WIP for charity finished before I leave MN. Yahoo! This sweater had a "something new" for me. It had the option of using a i-cord button band vs. just a garter stitch button band. I think I'll be using the i-cord approach again. Made a very clean looking edge, so I also did an I-cord bind off on the other side and on the sleeves.

Still working on my mossy red shawl. I moved the project to knitpicks Harmony needles, the rayon/acrylic blend was just to slippery for me on my metal needles.

Today I'm going to delve into my "closet of good intentions" and see if there is anything that I can pass on to some crafting friends. They are part of a group that puts on an annual craft sale with all proceeds going to hunger relief. Sadly, the needs are so great and everyone's funding has been cut. I'm no longer an active part of the group, but I love the cause.