Friday, December 21, 2012

Recent Events

I haven’t posted in a long time.  Been busy making Christmas gifts – photos of which I will post after Christmas.  The past week I’ve spent being angry at a system in which a mentally disturbed person can get their hands on a legally-purchased semi-automatic military style weapon and end the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in an elementary school for a reason apparent to no one except the killer.  I don’t use the term “suspected shooter” as the media does.  He was a killer.  In addition to the school teachers and their pupils, he also killed his mother, the owner of the legal rifle.

In my rantings and ravings against the sale of the above-mentioned weapons, I’ve upset family members with other thoughts on the subject.  For that, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry for the distance between us now, not for my opinion.  They are entitled to their opinions as well.  You start off posting your thoughts on the subject, you receive a response in opposition to your opinion and you answer it.  Suddenly, it’s escalated to a point where neither of you wants to see the other in print again.  For that, I grieve.  Perhaps the best thing to do is to ignore a post that you don’t agree with - social media is for people to share what’s important to them.  If you don’t agree with it, ignore it.  I promise to do my best to do this in the future.

The news in the last week has driven me into a deep depression like I haven’t experienced in a while.  Today – I feel somewhat rejuvenated.  I attended the holiday recital at my grandson’s preschool.  They were a chorus of angels.  I found myself smiling again.

The lost children of Newtown CT and their families deserve our prayers and shouldn’t stray far from our hearts.  But our children and grandchildren, full of life, should be in the forefront.  They should be hugged and squeezed, have attention lavished upon them and should be appreciated for the joy they carry within and they joy they share with us.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Finally! A Crochet-Related Post!

Sorry I have been off my game, and not had time to crochet lately.  I finished my business course (with an A - yippee!).  And now I have time to get back to my hook and yarn.  I just finished my first pair of socks.  They aren't the kind you wear with shoes.  These socks are for wearing around the house this winter.  I like barefoot, and this is close to it.

I made this pair without a pattern - just winging it and trying on as I went along.  They aren't the best looking things in the world.  Now that I've finished them, I can see some things I would do differently next time.  I've been intimidated by trying to make socks.  Don't ask me why.  I've been crocheting for over 30 years and I've made dolls, toys, blankets, vests, sweaters, doll clothes and kitchen items.  Lots of different things.  This is a first time for socks though.  I used 2 skeins of Deborah Norville Soft Worsted yarn - the color is called Toasted Marshmallow.  They made nice thick socks to keep off the chill of winter.  I finished one sock, and then used the second skein to start the second sock.  I ended up cutting about 3 feet of yarn off the second skein in order to start the sock in approximately the same place in the color sequence.  I was hoping to make them match as closely as possible.

Thank you to my inspiration Mrs. D who has crocheted many a sock and displayed them on her blog.  I've been admiring her work and it made me want to give this a try.  Maybe a little more practice and I'll be able to make socks as nice as hers!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Things I've Learned From Hurricane Sandy

1.  to be thankful that all we lost was electric power, and that family, pets and property are still with us.
2.  that my hairdryer is my best friend and I miss it...
3. that the thump in the night is probably one of the 3 cats...
4. that I am a Facebook addict...
5. that my 4G mobile device is my best friend...
6. that in spite of the difficulties, I was able to finish my online college course because...
7. Panera Bread offers wireless internet at 6:00 am...
8. that my washer/dryer is my best friend and I miss it...
9. that we don't need a house phone and I don't miss it at all...
10. that I can survive without TV (until Sunday when The Walking Dead comes on...)
11. that my dishwasher is my best friend and I miss it...
12. that T-Mobile is not my best friend - everyone else has signals and we have diddly-squat...
13. when running around looking for D-batteries, stop at the place called Batteries Plus first, not last...
14. that my coffee maker is my best friend and, yes - I miss it...
15. that food tastes better during a power outage - BBQ grill vs. microwave - grill wins every time...
16. that a portable generator is a thing of beauty!

Now on day 4 without power and possibly another 24-48 hours ahead of us.

Sincerely - my prayers go out to those who lost loved ones, who lost their homes and cars, who lost everything they own.  May God bless you all.  He has blessed me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Pioneer Life - You Can Keep It!

We are on our second day without power here - 5:39 pm will be 48 hours.  Doesn't look like it's coming back any time soon.
Sandy was not kind to the East Coast.  I read on the internet (battery will soon be dying on the 'puter and thank God for my mobile 4G hotspot) that over 5 million are without power.  Lost a tree in our back yard but a special thanks to God that it fell away from the house.

Now I see why the pioneers were up so early in the morning.  It's because they had no electricity and they were in bed by 7:00 pm!  We have 2 lanterns and several flashlights and I have 2 small candles in jars burning in the sink in the bathroom.  That's it.

We are cooking outdoors on the gas grill.  The contents of my refrigerator will be a total loss.  I have a huge amount of frozen food in the stand-along freezer which I am not touching.  I hope that it stays frozen enough to re-freeze.  I was always told that as long as there are still ice crystals in it, it's safe to freeze again.  I may be making a big pot of vegetable soup when the power comes back though.

Damn Sandy!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Storm's A-Comin'!

They're dubbing it Frankenstorm - Hurricane Sandy working her way across and about to collide with a cold front from Canada and an early winter storm coming from the west.  The way it sounds now is that it will linger over our area for days - high winds, lots of rain and plenty of flooding and power outages.  I'm hoping that things don't go that way.

I'm almost finished with schoolwork - hope to have that out of the way before the storm  hits.  Power outages will keep me from finishing my online work.

I've got yarn and hooks at hand, so I'm ready to hunker down and wait it out if necessary.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Good Wishes For My Daughter-in-Law

My dear daughter-in-law is having surgery this morning.  I am wishing her all the best.  I know everything will be alright.
We had dear grandson stay overnight with us so that I could drop him off at the baby-sitter's house this morning.  My goodness - to be young again!  "Let's go, Grammy!  Let's race!"  I loved watching him skip up the driveway (notice kids are the only ones who ever skip - why do adults not do that?  It's looks like a ton of fun!)  I really wish I felt as good about starting my day as he did about his.  The innocence of children.
I really have not had time to crochet and I've been missing it so.  But I'm almost through with this class and I should finish with an A!  Just one more group project to work on and one more test.

I do have plans to make another gray and white afghan for the NICU, since I still have plenty of those colors left.  I can't believe that it is almost Halloween - heck, it's almost Thanksgiving!  I'm taking the easy way out for Thanksgiving this year.  Ordering a pre-made Thanksgiving dinner from the local supermarket.  I can't enjoy a dinner after spending hours making it.  This way, no muss, no fuss, no 50 pounds of leftovers!

Well, back to school work this morning.  I miss my little grandson already!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Haven't had a chance to write in a while.  I have been very busy with school work - I have about 2 more weeks of classwork to do before I finish this course.  I also had a request to make a baby afghan for a friend of my daughter-in-law for a baby shower.  Trying to crochet and study and do assignments was tough!  I did finish the afghan - on the morning of the baby shower!  I am sorry I did not get a picture of it before it was picked up.  It was a round ripple afghan in shades of pale gray and white, with charcoal gray accents.  It turned out quite nicely, as I was surprised by the color requests made by the girl who requisitioned it.

My online class is going well.  I should be able to pass with a high enough score to merit tuition reimbursement through my job.  I'll roll that reimbursement over into a spring class.  I'm enjoying the freedom of online classes.  I can work at my own pace and as long as I get my assignments in on time, it doesn't matter if I spend thirty minutes or 3 hours at a time on it.  In fact, today I had the opportunity to work ahead and finish something that isn't due until Wednesday this week.

Recently we lost our cat to cancer.  Shadow was a shelter cat, and we adopted her about 10 years ago.  I asked my son if he was ready to adopt another cat.  I truly do believe in giving homes to cast-off pets.  He was okay with it, so my son, my brother and I went to Cape May NJ to adopt a cat.  My brother intended to adopt one as well.  We chose the Cape May shelter because my sister has dealt with this shelter in the past and works with them socializing cats and kittens to prepare them for adoption.  Well, upon the approval of our applications, we met with the volunteers at the shelter.  She asked me what kind of cat I was looking for, and I asked her to show me a cat that was affectionate and sociable.  She showed me two - siblings that had been at the shelter since they were kittens.  Let me tell you - the minute I picked up the boy cat I was hooked.  And I didn't leave with one cat - I took his sister as well.  So we adopted 2 new pets.  Haven't finalized names for them yet.  The shelter people named them Rhett and Scarlet.  I felt silly calling the cat "Rhett", so I am calling them Pepper and Cinnamon.  My son isn't crazy about these names, so I asked him for input.  Hopefully, we will soon have forever names for them.  Photos of the cats to follow.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Visit to Pike's Peak

My sister, her kids and my brother accompanied me on the Cog Railway to the top of Pike's Peak yesterday!  What a trip it was!  We saw bighorn sheep,  marmot, deer - the trip to the summit was so amazing.  I would recommend this trip to any visitor to Colorado Springs!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Visiting Donna

I am in Colorado visiting my sister Donna and her 3 great kids!  I am impressed with the scenery here.  You can see Pike's Peak with its snow-covered summit.

Planning to visit Pike's Peak later this week - can't wait!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I'm All A-Twitter...

Like I don't waste enough time on Facebook - now I'm tweeting. I should tweet the nearest psychologist and get myself some help! I found a few friends on twitter, but it doesn't look like they are very active yet. Most of the action is on Facebook.

 As if I don't have enough on my plate, I started an on-line college course, working toward a 2-year associates degree. Wait, let me correct that. This is 7 years into an associates degree. I wonder what the record is? At my co-worker's services, there was a memory board with a newspaper clipping - she and her mother graduated from college on the same day. Maybe one day my grandson and I will also graduate together - he with his bachelors and me with my walker and an associates degree...

 My father wanted to send me to the local community college when I graduated high school and I had my heart set on going to Temple University. Since none of us could afford Temple at the time, I declined college altogether and chose to start working instead. Always had intentions of going to college at some point. Well, now it's that point, and I'm trying to fit in classes whenever I can afford them and whenever I'm feeling well enough to succeed. I won't waste the time or the money if I can't do my very best in class. This course is an introduction to business. Business and I should never have met - I've never come across anyone as boring as Business. Looking forward to finishing though, and moving on to the next class. Maybe Italian?


Friday, September 7, 2012

Finally Friday - The End of a Difficult Week

As I mentioned earlier, a member of my "work family" passed away on Sunday.  I cannot get over how much this has affected me.  I am broken-hearted, not just for the family she leaves behind, but for my own loss.  It sounds selfish.  She was our leader, our mentor, and our friend.  This entire week has seemed so surreal.  I keep hoping that I will wake up and find it was all a very bad dream.  Since we learned the news on Tuesday, employees have been coming up to visit me, just to ask how I am doing, or to share their own grief in our common loss.  I feel I have to be strong to offer them whatever words of comfort I can bring myself to say.  After they leave, I break down and cry in solitude in my cubicle.

Tomorrow are the services.  That will make it real and final, I'm sure.  When someone is in poor health, or of an advanced age, you are not so surprised to hear that they have passed on.  But someone in the prime of life - I think that's what has me so upset.  It doesn't seem fair.

My prayers go out for her husband and her children, 4 young girls.  Now is the time of life when they need her most - the girls are in their early and mid-teens.  No mother to help choose a prom gown, or a wedding gown.  No mother to hold their hands as they give birth to their children.  How sad.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Distressing News Tonight - Lost a Friend/CoWorker

She wasn't the kind of friend who I would invite to coffee or share heart-to-heart chats. She was my boss' boss - Human Resources Director. I was intimidated when first informed 3 years ago that I would be moving to the building where I am now, working for this lady. But she was kind and caring, and made me feel good about myself. I enjoyed hearing from others that she said good things about me. I'm writing this with tears tonight. I just learned she passed away suddenly yesterday. She leaves behind a family - a husband and 4 young girls. My heart breaks for their loss. I feel that I've suffered a loss too - certainly not like losing a family member, but losing a friend. Tomorrow will be difficult. I will need to report to work to offer emotional support to our employees, who will be devastated by the news. She was much-loved by all the workers. I hope that, by being there for the others, I will find some comfort myself. I will keep her loved ones in my prayers. God rest her lovely soul.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Sometimes, Life Needs Tivo...

Ever wish you could play back life like you could your favorite TV show? I do. Every once in a while, something happens and I wish I could hit a button that would rewind about 30 seconds or so. Wait - how did that happen? Ziiiiippp - oh, I totally missed that little detail. So wish I had caught that the first time. Or wouldn't it be great to review those moments that made us smile? Wouldn't it be nice if we could just push a button and see/relive those times that made us the happiest? I had a discussion with someone earlier this week about remembering little things that our kids said and did when they were young. My 2 boys are going to be 26 and 29 this year. My mother told me over and over when they were just tots that I should write a book full of the sweet and funny little stories I told her about the boys. I wish I had. Now, just once in a while, something will come to mind and I try to capture it in this blog. Like the time that DS Dan ran to me, just a toddler, and said "Fire! Fire!" I ran to the kitchen, my heart in my mouth. Finding no flames or smoke, I turned to Dan to see him pointing out the kitchen window. There was the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen - the sky did indeed look like it was on fire, bathed in a beautiful orange glow. Amazing.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

2012 Grange Fair Entries

My grange fair entries were only 4 this year. I was not able to finish my backpack I started. I did, however, enter the shawl I crocheted to wear to my niece's wedding in April. Also entered a green crocheted hat and a crocheted Santa bearded beanie as well as my completed baby blanket, the heart/ripple Sweetheart Ripple afghan designed by Kim Guzman. I made it in beautiful rainbow colors with white contrast. I really love the way it turned out. The judges must not have loved it, as it didn't place at all. I was pleasantly SHOCKED to see that my self-designed shawl placed first in the cape/poncho/shawl category. Yippee! And the Santa beanie and green hat took second place in their prospective categories ( Miscellaneous Useful Christmas Items and Caps and Hats). I'm very happy with the results.

I didn't crochet this, but I had to take a photo - it was cute as a button!  A little bunny inside a carrot!

I took a few photos of some decorated cakes and decorated cake forms from the fair too! Very talented people out there!
The ant-covered peanut butter sandwich is actually a cake - clever, isn't it? Yes, a little gross, but still clever! It did take a ribbon.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Okay - Some Promised Photos (They Aren't Much...)

Okay, I promised some photos for the project I decided on for the Crochetville Crochet Games Of Ancient Greece. Unfortunately, it's the end of the competition and I've fallen painfully behind schedule. I've only completed 30 rows of the project, and I'm nowhere near finished with it. It's going to be a backpack made with crochet nylon, and when I do finish it, it will go to my grandson. I hope he's not going to be embarrassed carrying an owl backpack on his first day of college! LOL!
Here is the photo the magazine used for their pattern:
As you can see, I haven't progressed very far. I will finish it. The crochet nylon is a little more difficult to work with. I am used to working at a quick pace, and the hook doesn't move smoothly through the nylon. It's funny - you think it would. I also crochet tightly, so that makes it a little more difficult to work with. But, I hope to post more photos when I actually finish this bag!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Our cat Shadow passed away on Friday. In April she was diagnosed with mammary cancer. The vet operated and removed the tumor but informed us that the cancer had already invaded the lymph nodes. We chose to put her on pain meds and to keep her comfortable for the rest of her time with us. We expected 6-9 months, but we came home from work on Friday to find she had left us earlier than we had thought. We will miss her terribly. She was a sweet and gentle cat, always purring. Even at the vet's office for her checkup - she would purr loudly. Our vet only met her in April, but she fell in love with her. RIP, Shadow. We will meet again. I sincerely believe that there must be a heaven for pets. They love so unconditionally that God must certainly take care of them when we no longer can.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 5 of a 10 Day Liquid Diet

And I'm failing miserably. The doctor has put me on a 10 day liquid diet in order to try to ease some of the problems and discomfort I'm been having due to the GERD. I've cheated on it for the first 4 days, but I'm determined to stick to it today. It's actually been easier today. Liquid protein shakes, Crystal light, soup, water. Gelatin or sugar free water ice if I need a break from the above items. I will get through the day today totally chewables-free. I started both a hooded sweater and a backpack. I want to take photos of the items, even though they aren't nearly finished. Will be posting in the next day or two.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Family Drama

Right now, we've got a lot of family friction happening right now. Maybe it will be sorted out and we can all get back to normal - maybe not. But I'm not sweating it. My immediate family is my concern. Those on the fringe aren't my priority and so their problems aren't at the top of my list of things I care about. Two weeks ago this all would have devastated me, but I'm feeling stronger now. Tonight - starting a backpack crocheted from nylon. Can't wait to get started!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Crocheting Again!

I am currently working on a hooded sweater for my grandson and found a very cute pattern for a backpack made out of crochet nylon. Looking forward to trying that one out. I ordered the crochet nylon online and I'm pleased to learn that it's already on its way here. I should have it Friday.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Beautiful Saturday!

The doors and windows are open today, after a heat wave, fourth of the summer. It's a very relaxing day. Dear grandson spent the night here last night. His mom had a sleep study scheduled at the local hospital, and his dad had to get up early for work this morning. I love having him spend the night here. His smiling face is just the way to start off the day. I'm about to retrieve my yarn and my hook and get down to business. I don't know why it's so hard to start a project right now. Crochet has always been so easy for me, and the excitement of paging through magazines and surfing the internet for patterns would make me anxious to get started. I just haven't been able to get going lately. But I'm putting away the computer - as soon as I post - and hopefully, I will start something...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In a Tropical State of Mind

All these hot humid days...something's missing. Ah, yes! The pool, the sunscreen and an umbrella drink in my hand! DH and I are going on a cruise next year. Looking forward to the open seas, the peace and tranquility and - oh, yes - the umbrella drinks! Heading for Grand Cayman and Cozumel on a 5 night cruise. We've visited both locations before but they were wonderful! I'd love to see them again. I'll be dreaming of sinking my toes into the sand -

Thursday, July 5, 2012

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream...

Of slipping into a turquoise lagoon, water so refreshing, feeling at ease and rested – stretching out on my back, gazing at the azure sky with the warming sun caressing me –

“’ ♪ Cause what ya don’t understand is I’d catch a grenade for ya” ♪ !!!!

Yikes! I awaken with a start to find that I’m not floating serenely in the waters of Grenada but asleep sitting up in the recliner with my phone alarm going off to prepare me for another day at work. Oh, joy! Not only is it punishment enough to spend the night combating GERD, but now I have to go to work. Yuck!

 Thankfully, we're nearing the end of the work week.

I've decided on a new crochet project - just need to get myself together and get my mind back to the yarn and hook.  Photos to follow once I get started.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Prayers For Those Threatened by the Wildfires

My sister and her children live in Colorado Springs. They've been watching the progress of the Waldo fire and it's taken a turn for the worse. My sister lives in the southwest portion of Colorado Springs, and the fire has begun to enter the northwestern part of the city. She said that people are being evacuated faster than the highways can handle the traffic. Please send prayers for the safety of everyone impacted by the fire: residents, firefighters and their families. I also pray sincerely for rain for the area.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Morning Coffee and Crochet

I have my coffee, my canine friend at my feet and my yarn at my side. The sun is shining and a breeze is coming in through the open windows. Declined to watch TV in favor of listening to the Music Choice channel for some tunes. Not much better than this. Happy Father's Day to the dads out there. My DH has to work today. We will have hamburgers and portabello mushrooms on the grill when he returns. Too bad such calm relaxing Sundays have to be followed by Mondays, isn't it?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Might Be Crazy...

At my age (ahem!), I am bidding on a new job through my present employer. It is a management position, the hours might be longer and there will be some travel involved, especially through the training period. I had my first interview and I'm hoping for a second. To be honest, I'm not that far from retirement (early) and I currently have an "OK" job. But I've been doing the same thing for 12 years now. And when I read the job description, it spoke to me. This job really intrigues me and I am feeling sure that I can do it. I've got a lot of confidence and self-esteem issues - always have. And recently, I've been trying to turn this around. With a little coaching from a friend, I was able to get through my interview. It's been 20+ years since I've interviewed for a job. This opening just seems right to me. There were a lot of other candidates though. My friends, please keep me in your thoughts and send good wishes my way. On a crochet note - well, I just have been slacking. It's time to pick up yarn and hook and get going. My sweetheart ripple afghan isn't going to finish itself.

Friday, May 25, 2012

"You Make Me Very Happy"

Something my grandson said to me the other day... We were sitting out back blowing soap bubbles when I noticed he was running low on soap solution. So we went inside and I mixed up a batch of soap solution and added it to his bottle. We returned to bubble-blowing, and the new bubbles climbed higher and higher into the sky. Dear grandson turned to me and said "You make me very happy". I can't tell you how that simple phrase tugged at my heart. I wish we could all be 3 and enjoy the simple things in life. You make me very happy too, little man! I am visiting my sister this weekend, and I'm delivering the wedding afghan. Finally finished it and it's been sitting in the "stash" room until I could bring it down. I hope she likes it. Didn't bring any yarn down with me, but I'll be surfing the internet looking for some interesting patterns. I've decided to try bidding on a new job at my current place of employment. They posted a good job and it sounds like something I can do and I hope to hear that I can get an interview. I did hear there are a lot of other applicants. Keeping my fingers crossed. Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

My own mother has passed away - she's gone nearly 20 years now. I think about her and hope that, as a mom myself, I am making her proud. I received some flowers from my husband, an Amazon gift certificate from my younger son and I'm anxiously awaiting my older son and his family to arrive for a visit. Anxiously because I am head over heels about my grandson. He is the sun in the sky, the stars at night and the air I breathe. I have at least 3 WIPs on the hook, and I seriously need to sit myself down and get busy turning them into finished pieces. One is a circular baby afghan, one is a block/square afghan, done as a big giant granny square, and one is another Angry Bird hat. That one is closest to the finished stage. It's all there - just need to sew on the eyes, mouth and eyebrows. Breakfast today on my Mother's Day was - TA DA! A hot fudge sundae. It's wasn't 8:00 am when I ate it, but nearly 10:00. Close to lunch time. Tonight I'm going to cook a couple of Perdue Oven Stuffer Roasters in the turkey fryer. They should be delicious. That, some mashed potatoes and gravy and a vegetable will make a great dinner. I will post some photos when I've finished up these pieces I'm working on.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Chilly Morning - And a New Crochet Project

Well, not totally new. I've begun another sweetheart ripple afghan. I finished the one for my niece.
My niece's afghan is beige and green frosted colors. I love the combination myself, but it doesn't highlight the heart pattern as much as it could have. My sister tells me, though, that these colors will be perfect for her daughter's living room. The new SR I started is in taupe and jonquil. It sounds like an odd combination, but I really like it. This one is for me, and won't be quite as large as the one I finished for my niece. I just received the Mother's Day gift I ordered for my daughter-in-law. It's a compact 7" size digital picture frame that she can keep on her desk at work. I love the frame I purchased for myself and I keep it on all the time in my living room. I love to look up and randomly catch sight of one of my favorite photos. For instance, at this very moment in time I'm viewing a photo of a sperm whale breaching the water. I shot this photo in October 2010 on a whale watching trip in Dominica. I'll never forget that trip - the sperm whales we encountered passed within feet of our boat. I could almost reach out and touch them. They passed underneath our boat and I was amazed at the size of these animals. The one closest to us must have been 25-30 feet in length. He (or she) rolled to its side when it came up beside the boat and looked at us as we peered over the side. Thrilling! I would love to be able to take a trip like that again. Well, back to the crocheting. I have, in fact, 3 WIPs in the works, so I really should sit down and decide which to do. Photos will be posted later.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

From Happy to Sad in 10 Minutes

Our cat had surgery on Tuesday to remove a lump on her chest. She's had a rough time recovering from the surgery and we've been worried about her. Until this morning - she started eating again and we expect it won't be long before we won't have to give her water through a syringe. She should start drinking on her own as well. Now the sad - the vet called to say the biopsy came back as malignant. She has mammary cancer that has invaded the lymph nodes. With radical treatment - mastectomy and radiation or chemo - she might have 9 months to a year. We are choosing to forgo treatment and make her comfortable in her last months. Without treatment, we can expect 6-9 months. I am crying - she is such a sweet and lovable cat.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hats Galore!

The two photos with green hats are actually one and the same hat. The button and turned-up brim go in the front and the ribbon hangs down the back.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Taking a Spin on the Dance Floor

Tripping the light fantastic at the wedding with two of my favorite guys!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Home From Myrtle Beach

What a wonderful week away! We spent plenty of quality time as a family and had lots of fun. My grandson loved the pool - the water in the ocean was a bit too cold yet, but even I officially dipped my toes in the ocean.

My niece's wedding at Brookegreen Gardens was lovely! Such a beautiful place. I wish her and her new husband many many happy years together.

The bad news is that we are back to work tomorrow.

Below is a photo of the shawl I made - it came in handy as a quick rainstorm came through and it was good to have something to throw over my shoulders.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


No, I haven't finished the afghan I was working on. No, I haven't won the Pulitzer prize, the lottery or a free trip to Cancun. I am in Myrtle Beach, and I visited a Kroger store and scored 15 bottles of their store brand Creamy Italian dressing!

Ever since Kraft discontinued their Seven Seas Creamy Italian dressing, I've been missing it so much. I haven't made pasta salad - my favorite dressing to use was the Seven Seas brand. I read on that wondrous thing called "the internet" that fellow SSCI lovers have found that the closest thing to that nectar of the gods is the Kroger brand. I had to try it myself, but on the off chance that it truly is nearly as good as SSCI, I purchased 15 bottles. Am I crazy? Maybe, but I'm not alone. Check e-Bay. This liquid gold is currently listed for $9.95 a bottle, with $7.95 priority mail shipping.

My stash is targeted for my own personal use and not for sale or trade!

Update: I am eating my pasta salad and savoring every bite. If it isn't the same dressing, it's as close as possible to the taste I remember.

Buon Appetito! Mangia!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting Ready For Vacation

We'll be leaving Sunday for South Carolina and my niece's wedding next Thursday. I plan on working on the afghan while I'm away and I hope to be able to finish it.

I sure hope I'm over this bug I have by then too. My immune system must be extremely run down - I seem to pick up every illness that comes down the pike.

I've been going through my finished crocheted pieces, and I have a couple of blankets to send to the NICU. I'll pack them up when I get back.

Tomorrow - a few last minute errands.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bridal Shower Afghan

The bridal shower afghan won't be finished until the wedding. I have been under the weather (again) and haven't worked on it at all in the last week. I will be taking it with me when we travel to South Carolina next week for the wedding on Thursday and I hope to be able to finish it then.

I hope that this cold (or whatever it is) is gone by Sunday. I have been looking forward to the time in SC.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Finished Shawl!

I finished my shawl to wear to the wedding next week. In honor of the fact that my niece is getting married in an arboretum, I added crocheted flowers, whose petals mimic the shell border on the filet crochet shawl.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What a Good Day Today!

I'm going to start this off in a round-about way - bear with me. I'm making a short story long - LOL! j
We just installed laminate flooring in the last few weeks. While we were replacing the flooring, I decided to replace the worn out furniture as well. I found the perfect tables - one at Pier 1 to hold the cable box and Dvd player, and one to hold a lamp next to the sofa. But only one to hold a lamp - Home Goods only had one on the floor. If you aren't familiar with Home Goods (as well as TJ Maxx and Marshalls), they bring in truckloads of items, and don't keep stock in the back. Whatever they have is on the floor. I did not know this at the time. I bought the table and have been searching all three of the above-named stores for a twin over the last couple of weeks.

We discovered that the beagle dislikes sleeping on the bare laminate floors - he misses the carpeting. So I bought him a bed. The min pin we have has been trying to sneak naps on his bed and gets chased off. So I went to TJ Maxx this morning and bought him his own little bed. While there, I spotted an oval shaped table in the same shade of reddish wood as the single lamp table I bought. So on the off chance that Home Goods might have gotten a new shipment in, I went next door and found the twin to my table! Success!

My husband also located a long-forgotten gift certificate from Mealeys for $128 and change which was about to expire next week. It was a refund for a protection plan that I never needed to use. Found money - I ran out to Mealeys this morning and found the perfect replacement corner computer table. It only cost me $10 out of pocket. You can't beat that! I love it when things come together.

I've almost finished my shawl. It isn't photo-ready yet. I have flowers to sew on and ends to weave in. I will definitely take photos when it's finished, though.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

First Trip to Hobby Lobby!

I have been dying to visit a Hobby Lobby store! There are none in the area where we live, but a store opened recently in South Jersey where my sister lives. We happened to be visiting this weekend, and got to stop in for a look-see.

Believe it or not - did I head straight for the yarn department? No! My eye caught sight of some small accent tables on sale, and I hoped against hope that they might have a twin to the maroon colored table I purchased recently for my living room. I bought it at Home Goods, not realizing that Home Goods just gets truckloads of items in, and there is no guarantee that the same items will be delivered any time soon! So I wandered up and down the aisles of tables, chairs, glassware, vases, decorative lamps, etc. Skunked again! No maroon table. Ah, well. Off to find the yarn.

Was I a little disappointed to see that there were 1 and a half racks of yarn? You betcha! There was one rack (5 shelves deep, of course) holding Red Heart Super Saver and I Love This Yarn. There was another half-rack (again, 5 shelves deep) with various other kinds of yarn, including cotton. The other half of the rack was dedicated to thread. What the heck? I searched the area and couldn't even find pattern books. When I asked, a helpful employee directed me to the back part of the fabric area, where I found crochet, knit, and plastic canvas pattern books. Really, I expected much more of a selection of yarn than I saw there.

Are all Hobby Lobbys like that? I thought there was too much decorator stuff and not enough craft - okay - not enough yarn.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Crocheting Away!

I am busy working on an afghan for my niece - I want to have it finished for her bridal shower. I'm afraid I won't though. It's another sweetheart ripple, but very understated in light sage green and beige. Its actually perfect for my living room!

I recently purchased a glider chair for my living room. I had one when my boys were little. It brings back such memories. I sat in it today, rocking back and forth with my little grandson on my lap. He fell asleep in my arms. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Video of My Aquarium

While I was filming this, my husband decided to move a floor lamp around. Brought to mind the movie Poltergeist - "Stay out of the light, Carol Ann!"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ripple Poncho for a Toddler

This is a ripple (only) poncho made in the pink and purple colors used in the afghan I finished recently. It fits a 3-4 year old girl. I like the colors! The pattern is mine, published in 2010 in the Crochet Pattern a Day calendar. The poncho is currently with my brother, who is showing it to a co-worker who wanted to know if I could make a round ripple poncho. When it comes back, I'm going to list it in my Etsy store.

My living room, hallway and bedroom laminate floors are in. My husband really worked hard to get everything finished. I love the floors but I'm not loving the furniture I picked out. I think that I've seen my lovely floor with no furniture cluttering up the room, and now my place seems so small with the furniture in place. I hope I grow to love it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I love home improvements - when they are finished. It's torture while you are going through them. We are in the process of laying laminate floors through the living room, hallway and into two of the bedrooms. It will look lovely when it's finished - but, oh - the process is a trial. Most of my house is down to the concrete slab.
I'm taking some time to work on a child's poncho tonight. It's in the same pink and purple ripple pattern I used to make a little girl's sweetheart ripple afghan. Photos to follow of the poncho.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Clown - 1968 Short Film

I saw this little short film when I was a kid. It's stayed with me forever, and I'm glad I found it on the web. A must-see. Have tissues ready. If you can't view the video, you'll find the movie here:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another Sweetheart Ripple Afghan

I've got another SRA (Sweetheart Ripple Afghan)on the hook! I truly love working this pattern. The current afghan is intended for a NICU unit. I am thinking of trying to adapt this pattern into a child's sweater.

I baked a loaf of bread today for my DIL's birthday (which was Thursday). I offered to bake her a cake, but she loves my homemade bread. It's homemade in as much as I have a bread machine in my home. What a great invention that machine is.

I didn't get out to buy the paint for the living room yet. I've been meaning to do that for 3 weeks now. Well, we aren't going anywhere soon.

Got to spend fun time with Justin today. He is a cutie-pie! And so smart! He knows as much about using my Kindle Fire as I do.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Afghans I Love

Finished 2 sweetheart ripple afghans in the last 30 days. This is the latest - I absolutely love this pattern. I will be making more in the future!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom - We Miss You

Today would have been my mom's birthday. We lost her almost 20 years ago to complications from diabetes. She loved her grandchildren. I remember watching her face light up when my boys would visit. It was the same with all of her grandchildren - they brought her joy.

I am sad today that she never got to meet her great-grandchildren. There are 4 now. One of them is my own dear grandson. I hope she is watching over them from heaven. And I hope they all bring her the same joy.

Miss you, Mom.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sweetheart Ripple Afghan Finally Finished

It's done, it's done! It's a really beautiful pattern and I'm glad I finished it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Little Journaling Today

It seems the massive fish kill I had in my aquarium is finally at an end. I haven't had this many fish die since the Great Aquarium Explosion of 2008. Something happened to the water quality driving the ammonia levels up and ph down. Apparently I cleaned it too well, removing the beneficial bacteria. I've been building the levels back up and now hopefully I can restock. I will miss my little finny friends, as most of them were born and raised in that aquarium.

On a crochet note, I've retrieved an old friend from my UFO stash - the Sweetheart Ripple afghan. With Valentine's day so close, I am determined to finish it this weekend. I'm surprised to see how quickly I was able to fall back into the rhythm of the stitches, as it took some time to master. I intend to post some pictures of the finished afghan - tomorrow!

Happy crocheting!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Feeling Human Again...

Oh, how I hate cold and flu season. I haven't suffered from a cold or flu for at least 5 years, and so far I've been hit by a virus in August and cold/viral symptoms again during the last 2 weeks. The illness in August last year really knocked me on my butt, keeping me out of work for just short of 3 months. I didn't believe it when my doctor told me it might take that long to recover, but it did. I'm happy to say that this wasn't nearly so severe, even though it started out with the same symptoms. Chills, extremely sore throat, and cough.

Justin is back today. I've really missed him, but I asked the kids not to bring him by while I was sick. I hate to see children not feeling well, and I was so afraid I'd give him something, since it ran totally through the house. Husband and son are feeling a little better as well. We are watching the Polar Express. Justin loves this movie. He looks like he really needs a nap though.

I did find a project for my yarn. I love the look of the Red Heart Fleck yarns and had some Aran Fleck and a solid cocoa brown. I made a ripple scarf and ended up adding a fringe to it. I wasn't sure if I wanted to, but decided to do it for a little extra length. I have it finished, with the exception of trimming the fringe. I'm going to wash it first.

My next project may be to pick up the Sweetheart Ripple Afghan again, since it's been in limbo for over a year now. I sure would like to get it finished. It's just so beautiful, but all those single crochets {{groan}}.
I took hamburger out for dinner and now I don't know what to make with it. We had split pea with ham soup yesterday and it hit the spot. I'm glad I found that bag of dried peas in the pantry.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Confession...

Okay – I’ll admit it. I am a pen fanatic. I’ve always been pleased to receive a Staples or Office Max gift card for Christmas or for Mother’s Day. That ranks right up there with an AC Moore or Joann’s gift card. I have 27,456 pens. Alright, I'm exaggerating. But it does seem that way. Right now, on my desk at work, I have 3 mugs full of pens. One mug is filled with pens that I let other people use. Stick pens from Bic, and other nondescript pens that I won’t mind losing if they "sprout legs" and walk off. Then I keep a mug full of novelty pens. I have a shark, Buzz Lightyear and Woody, a deer carved out of wood with a pen insert, and a snowman topper on a pen. I have a lipstick pen that I received from a kind Crochetville member (thanks!) and a floating pen and an ergonomic pen and a pen disguised as an airplane. That one is a memento of my introductory flying lesson a couple of years ago. What fun that was! The third mug is filled with the pens that only I use. I keep them pushed waaaaaaay back out of the way where a visitor to my cubicle can't reach them. They are my favorites and I love the way they write.

I’ve recently rediscovered fountain pens. I last used them in elementary school. They were a requirement for penmanship classes. I recently purchased some Varsity Pilot disposable fountain pens. Surprisingly, they write quite smoothly for a disposable. I then ventured out into some fancier pens (priced at about $8 each – I haven’t gone totally crazy yet). Believe it or not – there are pens out there that, if someone were to walk away with it, you would have cause to charge them with grand larceny.

The pen pictured above? Over $3,000. I'm not kidding. The pen is offered for sale on a website that has pens that cost over 5 grand! The website asks you to e-mail for the prices on those pens, but I have their catalog and have seen it with my own eyes.

Writing with a fountain pen brings back the memories of my childhood, and trying my best to write as neatly as possible. People have always said “You must have gone to Catholic school". And it's true. The sisters were sticklers for neat homework. It's a shame that good penmanship isn't important these days. Trust me - I've seen job applications and handwritten resumes that are nearly illegible.

It seems that writing with a fountain pen now has brought back the aspiration to make my written words just as lovely as the pen I’m writing with.

On a crochet note – I’ve finished up the Blue Skies and Sunshine afghan. I put my signature border on it and it turned out great! I’m searching feverishly for my next project. I already have the yarn I want to work with – just need a project to match it. Isn’t that weird? Most people pick a project and then find the yarn.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January Blahs...

Another birthday has come and gone. UGH! We got some wet snow last night and DH is outside shoveling. Double UGH! I'm sitting here with a stuffed up head that is making me wish the winter was already over. UGH!

Enough carping. At least we all woke up this morning. Something to smile about.

I'm working on a trusty round ripple afghan. I do love making these. I'm going to call it Blue Skies and Sunshine. It's white, blue and yellow. A nice cheery combination.

It was sweet Justin's third birthday last weekend. His parents had a fun party for him at a place called "Bouncing Off the Walls". His little friends from the baby sitter's all attended. A GREAT time was had by all. Oh, to be a kid again! No worries, no cares, no responsibilities. Aren't we all jealous? Or is it just me? LOL!