Monday, December 31, 2012

She don't call, she don't write...

Where the hell have I been?  In the same place and doing the same stuff.  I guess when you are retired, a year can just zip by.  My life just flows from day to day, then week to week, etc.

My grandchildren are the best in the world, just as everyone else's are to them.  Natalie had a fabulous Harry Potter christmas.  She has a quidditch robe, goggles, broom and  a golden snitch.  She is having a bit of difficulty getting her broom to fly and her wand to do spells, but she keeps at it.  Maybe someday...
Erik, now 3, loves trains, cars, planes, and anything that requires an engine.  He also loves my chickens and is thrilled when he gets to hold one.
Zane is a year and a half now and loves cuddly things.  He likes to sit in a pile of stuffed animals and observe his brother and sister.  He recently pushed back when his brother pushed him out of his way. Zane was sneaky about it and sneaked up behind Erik and shoved him in the back. Erik was certainly surprised.  This is the beginning of a long term relationship, with its ups and downs.  They'll get it sorted out over the next few years.
Grover is writing an article about the Lincoln Highway for a magazine.  He is also researching and writing a book on the same subject.  His love of the old cars and roads are keeping him busy inside when it is too cold or rainy to enjoy the outdoors in his 1919 Model T Ford.
I have been knitting snowmen.  I made a 3 last year and gave them to Sarah for her children.  They were a big hit and Rachel wanted her own set.  This year I knitted 5 for Rachel and 2 little ones for Sarah.  The pattern is called Snobuddies and is from Knitting at Knoon.  It seemed like I was knitting them for weeks and weeks.  Then I knit their accessories:  hats, scarves, etc.  They turned out incredibly cute.  I never took a picture so you'll have to imagine very cute snow families.  I am finishing up a sweater for Erik, and am working on a scarf for Natalie in Griffyndor colors for Harry Potter.  There is a Harry Potter club that is sponsored by the library and she is a charter member.  Such fun.  She is hoping to get an invitation to attend Hogwarts in 2 years.  She can't imagine that she will ever outgrow her love of all things Harry Potter .  I never really outgrew my love of all things related to horses.

My goal of reducing my pile of uncompleted projects has been partially realized, but my yarn stash has stayed about the same.  I started quilting this past year and it slowed down my yarn utilization.  I made a bat quilt for the grandkids for Halloween, and finished a snowman quilt for them for christmas. I took several online classes in quilting and they were full of helpful information.  I have a top almost finished that is for our bed.  I had to put everything away for a couple of months.  I'll get back to it soon.

My spinning has been nonexistent.  I plan to get back to that very soon.  My weaving room has become a catchall for everything I don't need at the moment.  I need to start cleaning it up and clearing it out.  Whenever I start something, I seem to make a new mess.  I fight this constantly, but not very consistently.  I need to find a place for everything so I know where to put it and where to find it.  That is going to be my resolution for 2013.  Wish me well.

May your new year be full of love, friendship, and good health.  2013 here we come!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Whose time is worth more?

I was running errands yesterday and one of them was at the local automotive parts store.  I needed a replacement bulb for a tail light.  As I waited at the customer service counter for help, a man around my age came up to wait alongside me.  After a moment he asked me if he could be served ahead of me because he only needed one thing.  I told him I only needed one thing, but I wasn't in a hurry and he could go first.  Then, as we waited some more, I got pissed.  When an employee came up to the adjacent counter closest to me and asked if 'you folks' have been helped (I guess he assumed we were together), I said no and walked over and asked for the part I needed.  It took about a minute and I was off to pay and out the door before man who wanted to butt in line.
It got me thinking about how some/many men think about womens' time. My day has the same number of minutes that his does, but this guy seemed to think his time was more valuable than mine.  It pissed me off. We all have a limited number of minutes in our lifetime and any one could be our last.  I often let the person with only a couple of items go ahead of me at the grocery store when I have a cartload of stuff.  I give strangers a few of my life minutes all the time.  Do I ask strangers for their precious life minutes? Not on purpose.  I think they are mine to give, but not for a stranger to ask for as a matter of course.
I'm thinking I'm sounding selfish and petty, maybe it was a 'you had to be there' moment, but this wasn't the first time a man seemed to feel entitled to be first.  Has this happened to you?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

To blog or not to blog...

Apparently I'm not much of a blogger.  Do I have things to say?  Of course I do, but do I think about typing them out?  Not so much.  I am considering flushing the whole idea of blogging, but somehow I haven't actually thrown in the towel. Part of my problem is that I am totally unfocused in this moment of time.  I do a little of this, then a little of that - nothing blogworthy.   I'd put up some photos but I stashed away the cord that goes from my camera to the computer when we were getting ready for the wedding reception (that was in April!) and I haven't been moved to hunt for it yet.  I am also thinking about looking for my ipod.  I stuffed into something for my trip to Idaho but I can't remember where. My motivation to find things is obviously missing also.
I have finished a bee-oo-ti-ful lace shawl (imagine something filmy, orangey/rusty, and lacy) and have ben knitting on another shawl.  I have been making a quilt for Grover to use on the napping couch.  I finished the 20 leaf squares.  I did them last weekend.  I still need to trim them and then add the sashing, the borders, then get batting and add the backing.  I can the hand-sew the edging.  I also have to do a bit of embroidery on it.  We won't be able to use it until it gets cold again because it is flannel.

This summer I plan to teach Natalie to sew with a machine and to knit.  I plan to do a lot of babysitting while Sarah goes to the last month of medical appointments before having the new baby.  There is a month to go.

That's about it.  Thanks for watching.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

On the road with Donna

I am in Idaho with my friend of 36 years.  We traveled from home going north through Bend, OR and up to Walla Walla, WA. We visited her relatives and then headed east to Lewiston, ID, then south on 12. The highway follows the Clearwater River and the canyon is beautiful, even in the rain.  The woman in the car ahead of us tried to avoid a rock on the road and went into the ditch and took out 2 highway signs and the bottom of her car. There was no blood, but she was hurt.  We waited with her until the emergency vehicles arrived, then continued on our way.  The sheriff told us that a rock the size of a washing machine had fallen the week before and landed on a car and killed 2 kids who were both sitting on the right side of the car.  The year before on the same day a tree fell and killed 2 teens at just about the same spot on the highway.  For the rest of the canyon we became very aware of all the places where rocks and trees had slid because of the saturated ground.  We were happy to get out of there without incident.
The quilt workshop is held in the woman's log home.  Donna and I are sharing a bedroom and there are 4 other guest bedrooms plus the owner's bedroom.  The place is large, has fabulous views of hills and mountains and lots of pine trees and fields.  The meals have been excellent. Today is the first sunny day of our trip.  I have been sitting outside with my spinning wheel working on the wool I got from Eva at the Spindle Retreat.  I am halfway through a second bobbin and it looks like the bag is just as full as when I began.
Donna has been sewing all day and evening since Thursday evening.  She is making a queen size quilt top made of a zillion squares that all have to be in exactly the correct sequence.  There are 5 other women working on the same design in various colors.  They have all been working constantly.
I, on the other hand, have read a book, taken a nap, spent time on the computer, knitted on socks, daydreamed, and spun. I have also been blowing my nose a lot.  I started a cold 2 days before we left CA and am now pretty much down to the bi-hourly blow.  There are 5 of us here from CA, one from CO, and one is local.  We are 12 miles from the nearest town, which doesn't sound like much, but it took almost a half hour to travel it.  People here go to Lewiston (2 hours) to get groceries.  They don't just pop down to the store.  The lady in the car accident was on her way home from Lewiston and was very concerned about her groceries.  Her back seat and trunk were filled.
It's been a nice relaxing time for me.  We brought several books on CD to listen to in the car, but we haven't even started one.  I have my Ipod to listen to, but I have been listening to the birds and the people chatter and the whir of the sewing machines.  The clouds in Walla Walla and here are of the sort we don't see too often where I live. They are huge and puffy - like the kind childen draw.  The sun comes up early and goes down late.
Having a good time.... pictures later!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I need to...

Friday was my 6 month anniversary of retirement and I'm amazed it has been that long.  I thought I would be much better organized by now and also have a routine in place.  So far my routine has been to think about what my routine should be.  I seem to get up every day, eat some food, pet some animals, and go to bed at night.  The rest of the time gets away from me.  Suddenly it is late in the afternoon and I wonder at how that happened.  I have fit in quite a bit of knitting, some spinning, some reading, a little napping, but not very often, and a tad of gardening thrown in here and there.  These are all things I want to fit into my routine, but I've been living so haphazardly that I have no focus and it seems that I am missing that.

I still have almost all of the 27 unfinished knitting projects I mentioned a while back and have added a few more to that list.  I have a warp on the loom for dishtowels, I have enough wool ready for spinning to warm  all of Alaska, I have books on all kinds of techniques, and on and on and on.  What I seem to be lacking is direction.  I am motivated, but overwhelmed with all the possibilities.

I need to focus.
I need to get organized.
I need to get rid of things I'll never use.
I need to get more exercise.
I need to use my exercise bike.
I need to plant my vegetable garden.
I need to clean my house.
I need to do the laundry.
I need to clean the garage.
I need to make a chicken coop and yard.
I need to get chickens.
I need to get the watering system in place for the summer.
I need to stop typing and get out of bed and get going.
I need to prioritize.

Apparently I am quite needy.  I'll get through this. It must be the sunny days that have opened up all these possibilities.  Today I think I'll..................

It's been a long time since I had this luxury of months and months to dabble in whatever flies into my head.  Now it's time to make some plans and then follow through on them.  I think my vacation has ended and my life is beginning again.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I have my life back!

The wedding and reception have come and gone.   


Now that we have had a few of days and nights to sleep, I can say a great time was had by all. The weather was lovely for the reception and the egg hunt was a hoot.  We hid 1000+ eggs (plastic filled with treats and hardboiled) and that kept the hunters going for quite awhile.  I was in the back area watching the little ones look for eggs.  In the front the serious competitors roamed the property looking high and low.
There was fabulous food that guests brought to add to the basic hamburgers and hot dogs.  The bride spent many many hours over the last few weeks making desserts and freezing them.  There was wedding cake in addition to lots of cupcake styles and brownies and tiramisu (?).  We had people all over eating and visiting.  Angie and her family flew in from Montana, the best man came from LA, but most people were local or from the Roseville area about 45 minutes away.  It is a bit odd to have people at your home that you have never met, but think you should know.  My usual trouble with names adds to that conundrum.
The birthday party for Natalie was Sunday night at Chevy's and she got the birthday sombrero and song and was impressed by the whole thing.  That hat will probably haunt them for the rest of their days.  It's the sort of thing no child wants to part with, but has no practical application and is too big to be easy to store.  That's the sort of thing grandparents get to inflict on their children, heh heh.
I spent a lovely day spinning yesterday.  Such a peaceful thing to do.  Today it is raining and good book reading weather.  
I have my life back.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's not over until it's over

Wedding week has arrived and it goes on and on.

Rachel married Chris yesterday afternoon as the rain/snow let up for the event.  We were at Empire Mine for pictures and they were married on the lawn in front of the cottage. The weather was chilly and that allowed me the excuse to wear a couple of my handknits. Rachel toughed it out wearing only a light sweater.  She was also surrounded in love so that must have helped keep her warm.  It was a small group for the ceremony, mostly family. The big party/reception is on Saturday featuring not only the happy couple, but also the annual egg hunt.  The exhausted parents that have been working their butts off are in the final stages of preparations for these festivities that are held at our place. Chris' friend James came up from Burbank to be his Best Man and Rachel had Jenn and Sierra, with Natalie holding the ring pillow.  Their vows were wonderful.

Our family is growing with leaps and bounds. We were just the 4 of us for years and now we have added Chris with Rachel, Barry and Erik and Natalie with Sarah (and another one on the way), Beth with Jimi, and a new member that needs a family - Jenn.   Holidays are more festive now with all the energy and personality they bring with them.  Marja couldn't get here for the wedding as she is in Germany with Holger and their twin 2 yr old girls Lilia and Elin.

Tonight we had a barbeque at Rachel & Chris' house with about 20 people.  Tomorrow we set up for the reception/egg hunt.  Saturday is the Big Event and Sunday morning there is breakfast at a local restaurant.  And, just in case we haven't seen enough of one another by Sunday, we celebrate Natalie's eighth birthday on Monday.  All the main characters will be there.  I love my family and friends, but next Tuesday I will want to sit in a quiet room and just be alone.  I have become more and more reclusive as I age.  Or maybe it is that I have become more comfortable with myself and can spend hours and days just being quiet and alone, going about doing what I love.

On the fiber front I am working on several projects, as always.  Nothing new is finished.  My big plan today is to swamp out my studios so they are safe for human habitation.  I have been throwing stuff in and  closing the door for weeks now.  They need to be made viewable by Saturday, as I'm sure there will be the curious ones who want to see, then know what I plan to do with ALL THAT YARN and FIBER.  I hope I can think of something clever to tell them.  I have lots of ideas - lots and lots of them.  So many, in fact, that I keep forgetting that they all take lots and lots of time.  Time is about the only thing I can't buy if I want more.  Starting next week I'm going to spend more time being retired and doing whatever the hell I want pretty much each and every day.

We've made a good stab at getting the place in order but we need to keep it up.  We have fence to pull (the posts are already in) and clearing to do and possibly some dusting now and then, but these are things we want to do.  No more have-to, here comes want-to.

Check with me in a couple of months and I'll let you know how well that plan is working.

(I have picture of the happy couple, but it is in my email and I am in bed writing this on my laptop so you'll have to wait to see it.  Coming soon, I promise.)