Sunday, March 29, 2009

Severe Weather Warnings!

There's been some wild weather here in Pennsylvania this evening. There were tornado warnings for Berks County, with funnel clouds spotted. Quarter-sized hail accompanied the storms as well as straight-line winds. I was hoping that it wouldn't head east. A severe thunderstorm did pass through our area about an hour ago. It wasn't a long-lasting storm, fortunately.

Brutus is so much better! I'm very happy. I think that he had a bad upper respiratory infection. He's breathing better, he is back to his old self again, carrying on whenever he hears the slightest noise. He's a great watchdog! I was really afraid that we were going to lose him.

I haven't done much crocheting this weekend. I did do a little pink baby hat for a girl at work who is expecting her first baby. I wanted to have time to do another one. I think I can put one together tomorrow. Otherwise, I've been busy with laundry and such here this weekend. I was feeling a little out of it today. Hope I'm not coming down with something.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Brutus and The Rainy Day

I'm beginning to think that Brutus has had either a severe cold or a touch of pneumonia. He's still panting somewhat but he's walking, almost back to his endearing prancing step, plus he's eating and drinking water. He is nearly his normal yapping self, with the exception of the heavy breathing. He jumps up on the recliner to look out the window and bark when he thinks he hears someone. I am going to look for a new vet on Monday. I'm not at all happy with the way he's been treated at our current vet. My sister suggested that they have more patients than they can properly treat, and I agree with her. I have to say, though, that I was extremely happy when I arrived home from work to find Brutus and our other min pin bouncing up and down at the door to greet me. Made my heart smile!

It's dull and drizzly outside this morning. A very good day for staying inside and doing "nothing". You know - laundry, dishes, vacuuming, yada yada yada! Actually, I think I will budget some fun time for myself. AC Moore is having a big yarn sale today. It will give me an opportunity to buy some Vanna's Choice yarn. I've seen it but never tried it.

I finished Barbie's sweater the other day. It turned out nicely. The photo doesn't show the finished project - I eventually sewed snaps on it and had the other side of the placket on the top. What a project that was! I suck at using a needle and thread! It took me as long to sew those tiny snaps onto the Barbie clothes as it took to make the clothes! Well, almost as long. I must have used a magic needle, as it shrank when it was time to thread it, and miraculously grew 10 times its size when it needed to be pushed through those tiny holes in the snaps! You really would have laughed to see me with needle and thread. I don't even sew buttons on unless it's absolutely necessary.

Well, I'm off to AC Moore.

Update: Back from AC Moore! I know, I know. I said I had laundry and dishes and yada to do. But hey - let's get our priorities straight! Yarn first, housework later! The laundry will always be there. It's like a magic hamper. Empty it, and it is full again within minutes!

I purchased some TLC Essentials in Light Celery. I had a single skein of it at home, liked the color and brought it to work yesterday to try to get some ideas about what to do with it. I ended up doing some "angry" crocheting with it after a phone conversation. I chained a lot of chains, and then just did some half-double crochets for a few rows to try to relax. I didn't know what I wanted to do with it until about 3 rows in. I thought maybe I could do a sweater for myself, if I bought more yarn. When I wrapped the piece around me, it was too big! YAY! At home, I frogged it and made it smaller. I've never made an adult sweater and I'm not even working with a pattern, so this is strictly experimental. I now have as many additional skeins of light celery as they had on the shelf at AC Moore (don't know how many it will take to finish this - I think I got 6 more). I'm excited about trying this.

And I did purchase some Vanna's Choice Baby yarn. I was petting the Vanna's Choice regular yarn in a pretty Linen color. I wasn't able to picture a project for it. But my eye was drawn to the Vanna's Choice Baby yarns - some really novel colors. I do have a baby hat to make for a gift so I picked up pink and eggshell. What really drew me was a color called Goldfish, and a nice gold color to go with it. I'm picturing a baby hexagon sweater, but I haven't made up my mind yet. I'm anxious to try out these yarns too. So many projects, so little time.

Yes, my washer is running now and there is a load of clothes in the dryer! Surprise!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Evening

The week is half-over - we're on the downside to the weekend.

I'm worried about Brutus, the min pin who came to live with us when my dad passed away. He had a rough night and still isn't doing very well. He started with a limp 2 weeks ago. The vet treated with a round of antibiotics and after finishing the course of medication, there was no improvement. In fact, this weekend, the dog seemed to be listless and feverish. I took him to the vet again on Monday. They did an x-ray of his foot. It shows bone loss in one toe. The vet said it could be the result of a severe infection, or it could be because of a tumor. I am hoping with all my heart that it isn't a tumor. We chose to treat him again with another course of antibiotics - a different medication this time.

He must have had an allergic reaction. I came home to find Brutus constantly rubbing his face on the carpet, and rubbing his eyes with his paws. I immediately stopped his antibiotic and called the vet again. They advised me to give him a 25 mg dose of Benadryl. I gave him half that amount, as one dose of Benadryl makes me so tired that I can't stay awake. And I'm a lot bigger than this dog. Anyway, we'll see how the medication works. I don't like the way he's breathing. He is breathing at almost a panting rate. I told this to the vet and I guess they think it's part of the allergic reaction. I'm watching the dog carefully. I hope he gets better. He'll be 12 in July, and he was a good friend to my dad. I don't want to lose him.

At work today, I started a new Barbie outfit at lunch time. I used some Beadies yarn that I purchased on clearance. It's a very stiff yarn and holds its shape well. I fashioned a cute skirt with a scalloped hem, and then used some regular acrylic yarn to make a top. The Beadies yarn made a great belt. I like the way it turned out. I think I'll write out the pattern and post it on my blog in a day or two. I don't know if there are many patterns for Barbie clothes made from yarn. Most patterns I've seen call for thread. I wish I was good with thread. I see photos of some beautiful doilies out there on the blogs I visit and would so love to be able to make something as exquisite.

We celebrated a coworker's birthday at work today with cheesecake! Yum! I took a ride over to Burlington to the Mother's Kitchen outlet store and bought the cheesecake. We had cherry topping and blueberry topping for it too. What a nice afternoon break!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday - Weekend is Ending...

The weekend is almost over. It was a nice quiet weekend, with just some household chores to keep me busy. The min pin is looking a little better today. The vet prescribed some pain medication for him. I will need to call them in the morning to see when they can do the x-rays of his foot. I really think that he might have a cold. He's been sneezing like crazy yesterday and today, and I think he is still slightly feverish. Do dogs get colds? I don't see why not.

DH and I just got back from Dan and Nicole's, and paid a quick visit. Baby Justin is just the cutest thing ever! So precious! He's getting to be an armful too!

I started an Easter project - a bunny candy dish. I'll keep it at work. It's an easy and enjoyable project and one I've done before. Like visiting an old friend...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Morning - Spring is Here

Winter gave us a little farewell gift yesterday morning. I woke early to let the 4-legged beasties out and, to my surprise, there were snowflakes falling! Big, fat, fluffy snowflakes! I thought it would stop in a couple of minutes, but by the time I left for work, the landscape was decked in a soft white mantle. It was picturesque and the perfect close to winter. By the time spring officially arrived at 7:44, it was all gone!

Our older min pin isn't feeling well right now. I'm going to be calling the vet to see if they can take a look at him this morning. He has been treating for some sort of abcess on his foot and I've been giving him antibiotics, but he's losing his appetite and feels very warm to me. My husband and I are worried about him.

On a crochet note, I think I'll travel to Joann's sometime today and pick up the snaps and maybe some fabric for lining - I'd like to finish that doll dress. Since it turned out okay, I'd like to see if I can fashion any other doll clothes for Madelyn.

It's 7:30 pm and I'm back for an update - the min pin is still not feeling well, and the vet gave us a pain medication for him and told us to bring him in on Monday for an x-ray of his foot. I am still worried about him.

I ran lots of errands this afternoon. One was to go across the bridge into Burlington and visit the Mothers Kitchen outlet. I purchased 3 cheesecakes for $13. Two of them I sent home with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law who came down to shop for a car.

I did find some fabric remnants at Jo-Ann's and also picked up the snaps I need to finish the dress. I'll work on that tonight.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blue Mood on a Rainy Thursday

We got sad news on Wednesday. DS Dan's GF's grandmother passed away. I only met her twice, but she was truly a lovely lady. She was friendly and funny and we had a nice visit with her at her daughter's home at Christmas. She must have been ill for a long time. I am so sad for Nicole and her family. Having just lost my dad a year ago, I know what they are going through. I pray that they find comfort and wish for them lots of joyful memories of her life and their love for her.

I didn't bring the sweetheart ripple afghan to work today. Instead I brought in a large skein of Bernat Shimmer yarn and with an E hook, started fashioning an evening gown for my great-niece's Barbie doll. I was working without a pattern, trying again and again to get it to look like a gown. It's almost finished. I need to sew on snaps or velcro to close it in the back, and I also want to check Joann's for s little bit of fabric to line it. It is a little see-through... Yikes! R-rated Barbie! But I'm proud of the way it turned out. Not bad for no pattern, when I've never really made doll clothes before.

Tomorrow is Friday - TGIF!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday - Justin's Christening Day

What a beautiful ceremony! There were five babies there to be Christened as members of the Church - one of them my dear grandson Justin. The deacon performed the ceremony and it was touching, as he told us he is the father of 3 grown children and has 13 grandchildren of his own. There were lots of friends and family in attendance. Justin looked so adorable in his little white suit and tie!

Many many blessings, Justin!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Best Night of The Week

It's Friday evening, the best part of the week. Our workweek is behind us, and the whole weekend is ahead! I'm going to pull out the Sweetheart Ripple afghan tonight and pick up where I left off. I dropped off the baby's hat I made, along with his pants and the bib. I hope that Nicole and Dan like them.

I made a dishcloth at work today. I added one more side than called for in the pattern (5 sides instead of 4). I like the way it looks - kind of reminds me of a sand dollar! I got another idea for a similar item while I was working on this and will give it a try sometime this week.

I also bought myself some new crochet hooks this week. They are the Clover bamboo hooks and they come in a cute little case. I can't wait to try them out.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm Thankful For...

A loving husband. I cannot express how lucky I am to be married to such a kind and thoughtful guy. He had dinner ready when I got home from work this evening. His cooking skills have come a long way since the early days when the kids were small. I still shudder to think of the half-cooked "scrambled" eggs he made for their lunch one day.

Wayne is working at the dive shop this evening. I am so happy for him that he has developed such a talent and passion for scuba diving. I feel like he now knows how I feel about the art of crochet. It's the thing I love to do the most in all the world.

After work, I stopped off to visit with Nicole and Justin. What a cute baby he is! I dropped off the hat I made for him, along with the "forever" pants and a bib. Justin is just beginning to make little gurgling baby noises now and it's so sweet to hold him and have a conversation with him! I got a couple of little smiles out of him. He is a sweetie!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Busy Crochet Weekend

I got a lot of crocheting done this weekend. It was perfect! I finished an infant hat - one of my favorites, the Acorn Hat. It's going to Justin. I've started another one already, too. I was also intrigued by the hexagon baby sweater, so I made one of those for the doll I use as a model to show my baby items. That turned out well. The patterns I've seen call for collars and button bands. Mine doesn't have either buttons or collar. It's nothing fancy - just a sweater so the doll isn't so naked!
Not that I was spending all of my time crocheting - I did accomplish some housework this weekend too. But the crocheting was the best!

Wayne had a busy weekend, too. He's been learning to performing servicing on the air tanks at the dive shop. He will become an equipment specialist. He was working all day there, and really enjoyed the work.

Finally, the clocks have been moved ahead and our daylight will last longer. I love it when it's still light out in the evening, instead of dark at 5:00 pm! It meant an hour of sleep lost, but I didn't mind.

I have a few more hours left to myself this evening, so I think I'll get back to my hook and yarn.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Couple of Small Projects

I picked up a nice skein of cotton yarn I had on hand here in a beautiful creamy French Vanilla color. I fashioned two round ripple washcloths from it. One has some front post stitches in the repeats to give it a nice nubby texture.

My brothers and sisters and I got together today, working at my father's house. I can't believe it's already over a year since he's gone.

My test kit came in the mail yesterday - the one I ordered from the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. It was simple enough to do - I received 4 swabs and swabbed the inside of my cheek in 4 locations. The swabs were then inserted into a cover, and I mailed the swabs out today. I think it says it takes about 4-6 weeks until they notify you that you have been added to the registry. Wouldn't it be a miracle if they find I am a match for my sweet sister-in-law?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy Dance! On To Another Project!

The forever pants are finally finished! I am soooooo happy! I found an error in the pattern, and had to do some corrections, but it was worth it. Glad that I stuck with it, and hope the kids like them. Posting photo:

It warmed up nicely today, and by Saturday it may reach 70 degrees. Looking forward to the weekend!

I treated myself to a couple of skeins of Sugar 'n Creme, and I'll whip up a couple of dishcloths.

Here's a photo of the second doll blanket I made for my friend's granddaughter. It's not quite finished in this photo:

I used my hexagon afghan pattern, and the same colors as the round ripple I just finished. I'm thinking for the third doll blanket, I will be looking for a mile-a-minute pattern.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March Snow Day and The Forever Pants

It was a snow day today! We got about 6-7 inches of snow overnight and into the morning drive time, so I took the day off from work. Hopefully, I'll be able to apply a vacation day to my day out. With 2 knee replacements, I've become very leery of venturing out in inclement snowy weather. If I were to fall, I don't know if I could get back up again! So we've had our "big" snowfall - not as big as expected, but it was postcard-pretty and now it can go away! Springtime - I'm ready!

I gathered up some nice pastel yarns and put together a small round ripple doll-sized blanket. I promised some for my friend's granddaughters. I like the color combinations, so I may use the same colors in different patterns to make the other two I need to finish. The colors I used are all RH Super Saver colors - pale yellow, pale green, pale plum and light blue.

And the forever pants - well, I buckled down and worked on them today, too. I spoke to DS Dan the other day and told him that I had been working on pants for the baby, but that I wasn't sure if I was going to finish them. He encouraged me to keep working on them, and he said that maybe Justin would be able to wear them for Easter! So here is the progress I've made on them so far: they now have one and a half legs.

I hope to add a few more rows to them this evening. Once the legs are finished, it's just a matter of making the button and buttonhole rows up the legs. They unbutton all the way up the inside of the legs and crotch for easy diaper changes. I'm happy with the progress I've made today - they don't seem quite so daunting now.

Dinner was baked chicken with potatoes, gravy and green beans. The dogs heard the can opener as I prepared the vegetables and went crazy! They love canned vegetables! So I had to open a can of green beans for them too. I usually buy the no salt added carrots or beans for them. They get veggies mixed with their dog food several times a week, and they eat the veggies first! Sometimes I'll add canned pumpkin to their kibble too.

You will notice that I've added a new gadget to my blog. It's a donor drive locator button. I signed up today on the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. My dear SIL Gloria has been afflicted with leukemia and is undergoing treatments, but really needs a bone marrow transplant. Her blood siblings have been tested and none are a match. In fact, they haven't been able to locate a donor inside the US and will need to start checking registries outside the US to find a donor. I've signed up for her sake. I should be receiving a test kit in a few days. It involves nothing more than cheek swabs that you send back for testing. Simple enough.

If I am a match for her, that would be wonderful. If not for her, perhaps I'll be a match for someone else.