Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Alpaca Fingerless Gloves

I've had these gloves done for more than a week but have not taken a picture until today. These are the second pair I've knit (and I'm working on a third) from the Judy Wise pattern my SP7 pal gave me. You can't tell from the photo but these are the most luscious gloves knit in baby alpaca. The yarn feels almost as soft as cashmere. Alpaca is supposed to be warmer than wool, so I thought it would be a good choice...I made this pair for me to wear when I am out photographing so that my hands can keep warm but I can still use my fingers. What I did not figure on is that the knitting around the fingers is bulky so it still feels a little clumsy. I am now rethinking this and might try knitting another pair in a pattern that does not have fingers (basically like a mitten with the end of the thumb and fingers cut off). Initially I dismissed all of these patterns becasue I didn't think they would keep a person as warm as the ones with fingers. I still think that, but I also think the fingers might get in the way and defeat the purpose. I still like these though and will try them out next time I have opportunity. Oh, the yarn is Misti Alpaca, worsted weight. It was on the thin side of worsted in my opinion.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Letter of The Day

(can you tell I have preschoolers?!) Amy tagged me with this meme for the letter L a couple weeks ago and I keep forgetting to post! If you want to do it too, let me know and I will assign a letter.


1. Lace...if you have been to my blog much you will know that I love knitting lace.

2. Literature...I LOVE to read!

3. Libraries...Not only do I love to read but I really enjoy research.

4. Languages...I have always been intrigued by the etymology of words and while in school I took 7 years of German, a year of French and a year of Latin. I can read a little bit of Swedish because it is so much like German (but couldn't understand the poem). If I was a trust fund baby, maybe I could have spent my life researching languages in libraries! LOL

5. Learning...I have always had fun learning, just about anything.

6. Laughter...does a heart good like medicine. I especially love to hear my children laugh when they are tickled about something.

7. Light...which is essential for life, vision, color, photography...

8. Lavender...and other shades of purple are my favorite colors.

9. Mr. L.....My hubby whom I adore!

10. Love...For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life! (John 3:16) His is the ultimate love!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Spinning Carydale

Okay, if you are not a spinner, you probably didn't catch the title! Remember I wrote before that spinning Cary's wool is comfort wool? Well her wool is Corriedale and I've decided to call mine Carydale! Her link is at the right, Serenity Farms. I don't think she has anything at the moment and anyone praying out there, please pray for her family as her husband is going through a very serious medical crisis. His life is out of danger, but his way of life will probably change forever. Sorry to be cryptic but since I don't have permission to talk about it publicly, I don't want to write anything hurtful.

I just felt the need to spin today. I took the bobbin that I had spun previously and wound it off into a ball. That's the second picture. Then I made a 2-ply from the outer and inner end (or beginning and end). It was a little tricky and I think it would go better from a ball made on the thumb or nostepinne w hich would not have so much tension. I had a few breaks in here from under spinning and it is not very tightly spun. It has maybe an 1/8 of a turn twist to it. Overally it is much more consistent than my previous and is about 190 yards of fingering weight 2-ply. I think I am going to continue spinning this at this weight, but in the future I will fill two bobbins and then ply.

I have several skeins to wash and dry to set the twist but it has been so cold here at night (we have no insulation, literally) that I have been kind of holding off until it gets a little warmer. I will be interested to see how it is after washing. Now if I could only find more time!

This afternoon my neighbor M came over. She is deaf and mute. Very nice gal. She asked me to come over and see her new "toy". I do not know what the name of it is but it is through the phone and onto the tv, a video phone/camera. We talked to her friend with sign language. I am learning some sign language but I have a hard time because of my condition which causes my makes it hard for me sometimes to focus/concentrate my brain on quickly moving there is a disconnect from the eye to the brain in sorting it out. But I learned a few new signs and it was fun!

New Earrings

A couple months ago I was able to put earrings in again. After having the kids my holes had closed. Okay, so you can see by my taste of earrings, I am still stuck in the 80s! LOL Oh well, that's me! These photos were the ones used on eBay so I will credit them. The spinning wheels were from Corgi Cottage Creations, ebay user name dinwoody. The sheep came from CJ Dezines, ebay user name cdj228. It's costume jewelry but they are both well made and I am going to have fun wearing them, even if the rest of the world thinks I'm a nerd! :o)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Lazy Days...Musings From The Infirmary!

We have had a couple lazy days. All five of us have been sick in varying degrees. Earlier in the week J had severe croup and that always scares us. Having had a dear brother die in his sleep it is always a fear of mine that I will walk in and she won't be breathing. Immediately when it started I brought her to the recliner and held her upright while she breathed in the humidifier steam. I wanted to take her outside as it was the perfect kind of night air to help croup. But outside search helicopters were circling. Not a good idea. Three times this week. One night you could hear the cops speaking over a mic system telling the fleeing person what to do. On nights like those I snuggle under the covers, hold on to hubby and pray. God has always protected us but it is hard not to be scared when you know someone desperate and likely on drugs/irrational is running around crazy in your neighborhood. Anyway, after the first night she is breathing much better. This morning she vomited after two bites of pancake though.

We all stayed home from church so that we wouldn't share this fun bug. I hate missing the fellowship and the music and the teaching, but I do enjoy our times together. Hubby read from The One Year Book of Devotions for Toddlers which Grandma and Grandpa got us for Christmas last year. I highly recommend it. They are short, have one scripture and a one or two sentence prayer. They teach about God and about manners and learning to deal with all of life's little things. There are questions written in the devotion itself which stimulate conversation. We start out our schooling mornings using this and we are going through it again. Afterall we only get about half of it most of the time because that is the nature of toddlers. D is 5 and really not a toddler anymore and really enjoys it. After the devotional D wanted to know if he could get his Bible "because I want to learn more about God and Sundays are for learning more about God!" LOL He talks like a little old man some times and it always cracks me up. I don't know where he gets it. He is so matter of fact. He brought back his Bible and actually read the first half of John chapter one fairly well. We asked him questions and he did actually understand what he was reading except for words like "testimony" and "witness" which children don't usually know. So D read to us and we sang some worship songs from one of their kids CDs and then we all prayed together. All three children pray. The girls usually keep it short and sweet but they are understanding and do pray for other people at times. D prays this almost every time, "Father God, please be with Laura (in Heaven), Mommy and Daddy and Me and Sisters and Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Dick (also in Heaven), amen!" When someone is sick or he knows something is happening he will pray for that too. He has prayed faithfully for Laura every day for almost a year now and maybe he has the perspective the rest of us have...that Heaven is not death, it's a continuation of life and he prays for her there. Is it just me or is it not so precious to hear your children praying in faith, with tender hearts? He could have just beaned his sister over the head minutes before, but then melt your heart with his precious, caring and thoughtful prayers! :o)

I hope we all get better because we want to go to our Bible studies this week. Wednesday I am beginning a study on a book called Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado at our church. It promises to be good. I am continuing on my Precept study on Romans at Sun River Church on Thursdays. We can't go if the kids are sick/contagious and I don't bend the rule on that as I hate when others do it to me!

The blurry photo above is my kitty Abbie. I didn't want to use the flash, so it is blurry. Hopefully in a couple weeks I will have my new camera and no more blurry photos! :o) Hubby put the clothes, warm from the dryer on our bed and Abbie staked claim! LOL

The last couple days I have been too exhausted to even knit and have been fighting a migraine for almost three weeks. This morning before I even opened my eyes I was seeing migraine auras that were better than any fireworks show! So I have been sitting in the chair or hiding out in the bedroom (since hubby is home). While sitting in the chair I have been watching the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. This year it has been really cool. They are in Spokane, the city we want to move to, and the arena is packed. They set a record in attendance (even beating out L.A.) and I hope this means that more skating will go to Spokane. The skaters all talked about how neat it was to have so many cheering them on.

This year it was so fun to watch! It seemed like a real competition, not just a "last man standing wins" contest! There was some awesome skating and I always love watching the nationals because you get to see everyone. In big events they only televise the people who do best. But there are a lot of really good skaters out there who never get the air play. One variant this year was that some of the big names like Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, Michael Weiss etc were not competing. This gave opportunity for a lot of good skaters coming up through the ranks to show their stuff. I was sorry to see that Matt Savoie didn't skate this year and I didn't hear why. It's difficult to find something to criticize about bouncy Kimmie Meissner who the added ladies nation championship, to her world gold medal, but I most enjoyed Alissa Czisny, who went home with silver in spite of having won the long skate (because Kimmie had higher points in the short). Alissa kind of slipped under the radar for awhile, seemingly confidence issues (??) but was back and is an incredible spinner and just gorgeous to watch on the ice. I sure hope to be seeing more of her. And I love Emily Hughes. She is a hardworking, beautiful skater, not exactly delicate but graceful and classy. Unfortunately she seems to be plagued by the same symptoms as Michael Weiss...being an excellent skater, but always having something happen (a fall in the long program!) that keeps her from moving up the podium. I sure hope she can break that.

The men's skating is my favorite to watch. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was growing up with Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko and others of that era. I have always liked Evan Lysacek and I cheered like any football fan at the Super Bowl during his mesmerizing and incredible long skate! (Anyone who does not thing ice skating is a sport, has not skated or checked out how buff the skaters are. I be the women skaters are in better condition than most football players or basketball players!) Johnny Weir is an excellent skater and has some beautiful programs but for me his immature personality gets in the way of his own good. He stood and watched Evan's program and lost his nerve. The crowd was WILD with crazy excitement for Evan Lysacek and it was a deafening roar...who wouldn't have lost some nerve? It also opened the door for Ryan Bradley to join the men on the podium. I'm really glad because he has been a hardworking skater for some time. Overall I thought it was a good and fair competition.

In ice dancing I have always loved Belbin and Agosto and was so thankful they changed their free skate. The program they had for the rest of the season was just kind of odd and wasn't bad in itself but really didn't fit them. The new program was skated well even though it was the first time skating it in competition (sometimes this weakens a performance) and I think it will help put them in serious competition at worlds. It is only in this new judging/scoring system that there has been some fairness and opportunity for ALL ice dancers to medal and I think they stand a good chance with this new free dance and certainly deserved the gold they received at nationals. Ooh! I was surprised to hear last night that Tanith Belbin is dating Evan Lysacek...sounds like skating soap opera. I imagine the skaters date and marry other skaters because they spend so much time at the rink but also because only another skater could truly understand everything they go through and sacrifice.

I enjoyed the other ice dancers and also the pairs. And it was fun to see the top two junior ladies, Mirai Nagasu and Caroline Zhang. Watch out ladies...these thirteen year olds, inspired by Michelle Kwan, are moving on up!

I'm sure I am mostly posting all this for my own benefit...if you made it this far, congratulations! :o) I had to accomplish something this weekend, so I created a post! Actually I did get the taxes done and e-filed...of course I'm highly motivated for that tax return! LOL

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I'll Be Back...

One of the jobs my hubby does, but does not get paid for, is take photos and video for the yearbook and is the yearbook teacher. He has some student help, but does a lot himself. I am really proud of all that he has accomplished. Today, our Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, came to the school for a press conference which was related to the presidential fitness program winners and also a political push regarding health care in our state. In this photo, he is teasing one of the kids. Hubby said that his fitness advisor is Jake, as in Body By Jake and that Jake was an interesting speaker. He also thought it looked like the Governator was in quite a bit of pain from his healing broken leg. I'm not a star watcher, I just thought it was cool that my hubby got to photograph a press conference and I am proud of how hard my hubby works at his school!

A Life Overflowing...

On our Christian Artisans list (link at right), we have been having a fun exchange based on hot drinks such as cocoa, coffee and tea. It's a round robin exchange and is not secret. So I am gifting to Judy, Judy is gifting to someone else and Linda (who is blogless) gifted to me.

The first photo shows one of those cool tea cups that has an infuser to hold loose tea and a lid so it can properly steep (my English friend Lily would be pleased, "real tea must be covered" she always told us!) and also keep warm in the cup later. The tea is wild berries and blossoms and I am interested in trying it, I have not used loose tea since I was a girl at my Grandma's house.

The second photo shows the soaps that Linda sent me and I think she made them herself. There are a few vegan ones and some glycerines. I love the glycerin one that looks like pink and purple stained glass. It is peppermint scented! That one is mine, all mine! LOL

The third photo shows everything...a bag of wool (I don't know what kind, I need to find out), a bag of what appears to be's white and I can dye it, which I have never done before, but silk usually dyes beautifully! Funny thing is that I have a silk hanky (a form of fiber, not a handkerchief) that is in beautiful jewel tones. I've had it twelve years. I want to spin it and I was thinking I would get more yarn if I plied it with something else...Maybe I will dye this silk and use it as the ply! That would be fun. First I have to learn how to dye and spin silk! LOL

We filled out a form with our likes and interests and I wrote that I like Scottish shortbread as a treat with tea. Well, I didn't tell her but Walker's is my favorite. It reminds me of when I spent a week at Atholl Palace for my birthday in June 1994 (a gift from the aforementioned Lily in England). It was an awesome trip. Every morning when they made the beds they placed a packet of Walker's on your pillow! If you click on the different tabs for info at that site, you will see different photos of this area which was AWESOME! I would love to go back now with a digital SLR and photograph it. I would LOVE to live in Scotland! This was in Pitlochry, Scotland and we took day trips from there to Glamis Castle (pronounced Glarms) where the Queen Mum grew up. I have a Glamis Castle rose, which is white, in my yard. We also went to Lochgoilhead where I saw sheep, drove around Loch Lomond and nearly died from a passionate desire to photograph all the beauty I saw as my friend drove us past in her car, afraid to park on the side of the road so I could take pictures! LOL I spent a half day in Edinburgh which is a fascinating city. One day I hope to take my hubby to Scotland so we can photograph and he can fly fish in the home of fly fishing!

Okay, back to California...I also received some Ghiradelli chocolates, some devotional books and some beautiful hand made stitch markers in sizes S, M, L...those can be seen in the next photo! I love all the markers! They look like they were made just for me...Linda, did you make these?! I think I got everything. There was so much, I hope I didn't leave it out.

Thank you Linda!!! This really made my day and I truly appreciate all the effort you took to find things for me and to share from yourself! :o)

Joyous Crafters

This fall a group began at my church called Joyous Crafters. It is mainly a group of crocheters who are working on items to donate mostly through Project Linus but also through Downtown Ministries who helps abused and homeless women find jobs and homes and care for themselves and their families. This fall there was an amazing number of afghans crocheted, knitted and donated from our crafters and people in the church. I forget the number but it was 35 or more (our group is about ten people total). We meet every other Monday night and I am not crocheting any afghans because I am already involved in my prayer shawl ministry, however I have donated some yarn and a couple afghans given to us for the girls which were never used. I also will be donating a couple baby quilts later this year too...part of my push to finish the UFOs! :o)
This year we are focusing on Project Linus and we are specifically making some for the teens at a nursing home for mentally ill patients. Our leader works there. I probably don't have the politically correct name there, sorry! That's her holding up afghans in the photo above. We had show and tell this week so I brought in photos of my lace to share.
I met a really nice young woman who is an identical twin and we just started talking and I hope to get to know her better at the next time. We also had our wonderful head of women's ministries also came and that was fun to have her!

Comfort Wool

I told the gals on my Christian Artisans list that spinning Cary's Corriedale wool is like having comfort homemade mac and cheese or hot tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich! :o) Only instead of comfort food it is "comfort wool". It is just so nice to spin. The roving was processed at Zeilinger's in Frankenmuth, Michigan which isn't too far from my cousin Beryl. The sheep's name is Valerie. I hesitate to mention Cary's wool...because there is high demand for it and not much to go around! LOL It is very springy, soft and clean because Cary coats her sheep.

I am not certain how well I spun this. I was doing pretty well at keeping consistency of size as you can see on the bobbin, but I am afraid I over spun it. So instead of spinning another bobbin to ply, I have decided to try winding it into a ball and plying from the inside and outside. I am a little apprehensive since I have not tried this before, so I need to wait until this migraine goes's been hanging around for two weeks now!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Blog Fodder While I Save the Computer From the Brink of Destruction!

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

You Might Be From the Pacific Northwest, if:

I couldn't resist this as I am definitely a PNW girl! I think this originally came from Jeff Foxworthy. If you don't see any other posts from me for awhile it is because my computer is trying to crash and I am working on getting things saved to wipe and reformat my hard drive.

You might be from the Pacific Northwest if:

1. You know the state flower (Mildew)

2. You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.

3. Use the statement "sun break" and know what it means.

4. You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.

5. You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.

6 You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.

7. You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" Signal.

8. You consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain.

9. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Veneto's.

10. You know the difference between Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye salmon.

11. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon, Yakima and Willamette.

12. You consider swimming an indoor sport.

13. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.

14. In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark - while only working eight-hour days.

15. You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.

16. You are not fazed by "Today's forecast: showers followed by rain," and "Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers."

17. You cannot wait for a day with "showers and sun breaks."

18. You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.

19. You know that Boring is a town in Oregon and not just a state of mind.

20. You can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.

21. You notice, "The Mountain is out" when it is a pretty day and you can actually see it.

22. You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.

24. You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.

23. You switch to your sandals when it gets about 60, but keep the socks on.

25. You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.

26. You knew immediately that the view out of Frasier's window was fake.

27. You buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time.

28. You measure distance in hours.

29. You often switch from "heat" to "a/c" in the same day.

30. You use a down comforter in the summer.

31. You carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them.

32. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.

33. You know all the important seasons:
Almost Winter,
Still Raining (Spring),
Road Construction (Summer),
Deer & Elk season (Fall).

34. You actually understood these jokes and will probably forward them!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Favorite Color

I couldn't pass this one up since my favorite color is purple!

You Are Grape

You are bold and a true individual. You are very different and very okay with that.
People know you as a straight shooter. You're very honest, even when the truth hurts.
You are also very grounded and practical. No one is going to sneak anything by you.
People enjoy your fresh approach to life. And it's this honesty that makes you a very innovative person.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Navajo Plying

Well, I just couldn't wait to ply the yarn tonight,
so I went ahead. I wanted to Navajo ply so that I could get a three ply, but still maintain some of the color integrity, to have the rainbow effect. The first section I plyed went quite well, this was from the last yarn I spun, when I was gaining more confidence and consistency. Other parts were difficult to ply and some areas were soft and broke and I had to tie. So it's not perfect yarn, but I am overall pleased with the experience because I learned a lot. It's like the old
addage that says that you learn more from your
mistakes than anything else. I think that holds
true in my spinning. Some of the yarn was
underspun and I think when I plyed I put too
much spin to compensate. You can see that it does have a quarter turn to it. I have not washed and hung it to set the twist yet. I'm hoping that will not be enough imbalance to effect knitting for a hat or scarf. I have just over 200 yards and I did not measure the wraps per inch, but I think it's a sport weight, with some areas bordering on DK. Now I'm excited to spin the next project! Do I really have to teach school and clean house and cook tomorrow?! :o) Yes, I guess I do, and certainly I need to get to sleep tonight!


I love this Blue Faced Leicester, rainbow dyed roving that I purchased from Winderwood Farms (in my fiber links on the right) on eBay. He does an incredible job on his fibers and has different fibers. I just chose the Blue Faced Leicester because I had never spun it before and I heard many on the Aran list talking about its great properties. It is a good wool for a beginning spinner because it has some grab to it and does not fly out of your hand like Merino does for the inexperienced spinner. But it is still moderately soft. The one picture shows the end of the roving, which I had spread out to prepare for spinning.

This is what I was spinning at the Rock Day event and I finished it today. By the time I got to the end I was still having some breaks but not nearly as many. Also I think I will have less breaks when I am spinning continously from the roving. This I spun with each color separately, so I would pull off the red by handfuls, then the orange, then the yellow etc, so it was a lot of starts and stops. The reason I did this was I wanted to keep some kind of continuity for when I Navajo ply this. I will probably do that tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm enjoying my rainbow! :o)

My Cup Is Full...

...and I'm drinking from my saucer! My Mom gave me that quote and it fit right along with my Life Overflowing exchange (see sidebar button) that we are doing in our Christian Artisans group (also in side bar). For those who have not read this on my blog previously, we are having a hot beverage exchange and praying for our exchange partners. It's Coffee, Tea and/or Hot Chocolate.
This week Cary challenged us to post pictures of our favorite drinking vessels which we use for our hot drinks. I narrowed it down to three! :o) Why have one when you can have three?! LOL
The rose plate and saucer are Roy Kirkham China from England. It's the Jumbo Breakfast cup and saucer in the pattern Redoute' Roses. I just googled him to see what else is in that pattern...let's just say nothing I can afford! :o) I bought this in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada when we went to our Hopkins family reunion in 2004 on Vancouver Island. Hubby and I had a date day and I took him to Victoria to show him around some of my favorite places there as I used to go there with my Mom almost every year and have many happy memories there! it's a fantastic city. The touristy stuff is fun...and when you are done seeing all that and go back another time...there are many layers to the city and what you can do is nearly limitless. So I highly recommend it as a vacation spot. (And I would rarely recommend a city for a vacation!) Sadly I have never used this. It sits on my window sill above the sink and I look at it every day. It is so pretty! I am inspired by this exchange to start using it though. And as I have been eating healthier I have been drinking more herbal tea.
The brown/blue pottery is my soup cup and plate which I received Christmas 1974. It has been with me through thick and thin and I can't imagine not having it to drink tomato soup from!
The yellow mug with the poetry came from my friend Heidi. We started out as diet penpals through Teen magazine in 1974. I don't think either of us lost weight through our penpalship, but we sure grew close. She gave me this mug somewhere between 1984-1986 and I usually grab it first for tea or cocoa. Sadly over the last couple years our correspondence has been reduced to Christmas cards and this year I didn't hear from her. I did send to her and told her I would like to renew our friendship, so I hope 2007 will reconnect us!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tribute to Richard Stephen Johnson, Sr

Today at 4:15, Uncle Dick went Home. He went peacefully and pain free. He was surrounded by his dear daughter, pictured here, her husband and children and an elder from their church and he went hopeful and expectant and without fear, to meet the Savior he so loved. This was not unexpected, but nonetheless difficult for those of us left behind. Please pray for Jack (my stepdad) and Kris, his sister as they help my cousin Fawnda deal with all that needs to be done. Please remember my Mom and Grandma Doris as they are at home on the other side of the state. I'd like to share a few things of my memories of Uncle Dick.

Uncle Dick is my Uncle by marriage, but I have known him half my life. He is Uncle Dick. When I first met him, he just accepted me, no questions asked. There was always a hug for me whenever we met!

Uncle Dick is generous and giving. As a matter of fact, right up until his hospitalization, I understand he was helping a lady get back on her feet after some tough times. When we visited him this summer he wanted to give something to the kids from what he had and he asked his son-in-law to help us get a discounted hotel room at the upscale hotel he works at.

I remember his gravelly voice and hearing him say to Jack "Hey bro!" They had a bond that has lasted 60+ years and through many crises and joys of life.

He was a direct descendant of Stephen Brewster, the elder of the Mayflower pilgrims. (Grandma, his Mom, is a Brewster) and his middle name is from his Grandpa, Stephen Brewster, who is named after the original. He looked more like Colonel Sanders than a Pilgrim and I have heard more than one relative tease him about his 'fu manchu' beard! LOL

He survived Polio as a child and had many surgeries on his legs. He was left with life long pain. I never heard him complain about his condition.

He slept in his chair with the TV on at night, but would wake up and listen to Gospel singers and Bible teaching on his favorite channel.

He made some poor choices in his life, but he made good ones too and the most important one he made was to give it all to Jesus. He valued his salvation and loved his Savior!

He loved animals and had the biggest green thumb you have ever seen! The plants he grew are amazing.

He loved children. He has some awesome grandkids who will be left with an empty spot that noone else will ever be able to fill. He delighted in their smiles, their accomplishments and their very existence.

He never gave up. He didn't give up on people. He didn't give up on God. And he didn't give up on life...he just lost the earthly battle, but as far as eternity goes...Uncle Dick is a winner!

Thank you everyone who prayed and continues to pray. We appreciate you so much.

Six Weird Things Meme

My friend Paula whose Bassett Knitting button is on the right hand side of my blog, tagged me for this meme. She is such a good sport, I just can't refuse! I won't tag anyone else because I think I'm just about the last person in blogdom to do this! :o) So Six Weird Things About Me:

1. I actually know more about my ancestors that I do about my living relatives. I love to do genealogy uses a lot of brain power and it is like being a detective!

2. I would rather have really good fried potatoes (my favorite are leftover mashed potatoes) with fried egg yolks (yes you read correctly, no whites) than ice cream or cake!

3. I could probably be a professional organizer as I am able to see things spatially and sort out items and tasks in the order they should go. Having lived in many different places in my life, I have learned how to use items for other purposes and get creative in how I store things. But, if you walked into my house now, you would never see that on the surface. I am a bit obsessive with my own organizing. I like to start in one spot and totally organize that before moving on. In the process of doing that, I will live with the rest being cluttered until I get to it's time to be organized. That being said, the clutter does drive me nuts. It's just hard at the kids ages to have time to do anything about it. By the time we finish school and lunch and it's their quiet time...I'm too pooped to do anything! LOL

4. I love music, but ever since my pseudotumor cerebrei 11 years ago, I have not been able to listen to music in the house very much. But, if I am in the car it doesn't bother me! In the car it feels like the music is part of me. In the house the music feels like it is coming from outside of me to assail my poor head! This makes me sad. I LOVE music! It has improved a little in the last year, but still isn't normal.

5. I met the love of my life on the Internet in a snowstorm...two years later I married him! :o)

6. My life has always been impacted by twins. First I was born under the Gemini sign (though I do NOT believe in astrology), my first baby sitters were twins, my best friend in jr/sr high school was the daughter of a twin (her Mom/Aunt were Ruth and Naomi...I always wanted the same if I ever had twins...but hubby thought it was too old fashioned!), our group in jr/sr high school included twin sisters, our group in college had twin brothers, whenever I had opportunity I always read stories about twins and when I was in advanced biology in high school I was really fascinated with genetics and especially research on twins. And then, quite unexpected, I became the mother of identical twin daughters.

Okay, there you have it! I'm definitely weird! LOL

The Art of Mel Silva

The man in the photos of my Rock Day post, whom I mentioned is a teacher, is Mel Silva. I looked him up through Google and I think it is noteworthy to share a link to his beautiful art. My hubby grew up in Tucson and he had friends who did this Navajo weaving, but I haven't seen too much of it except in books. This link shows photos of his incredible work! Certainly if I was going to learn Navajo weaving, he would be a great choice. He will be at the Sacramento guild's open house day in February and will have Navajo weaving set up for us to try and I am looking forward to that.

Four Finished Fun Fur Hats

It has been a mostly quiet day. While my family was at church, I watched a video from my favorite Bible teacher Kay Arthur to catch up to speed with my Thursday Bible study. We are started our 4th and final book on Romans. It is an inductive Bible study and is quite challenging as we dig into the Truth. I like the challenge and I have been doing these studies for about six years. We are a small group now, especially without Laura, there are just three of us left. This is the last year we can do it because the child care is set up for Moms who have kids in public school and D will be too old. Anyway, in the quiet of the house I was able to listen to a really good teaching that is the introduction to our new study. After everyone came home, the migraine is worse, but that is to be expected with all the little noisies around here! :o) I did get to watch a Kristi Yamaguchi sking special and that was good. They had Amy Grant singing and the skaters had their children involved in the program and that was really cute.

So, I finished up the 4th chemo hat for the Boston Children's Hospital, pediatric oncology ward. While my heart loved making the hats for the kids, I am definitely glad to be done with the fun fur! They should be on their way to Kate soon. I challenge any of you other knitters out there who like to do charity knitting, to contact her and send hats too. There are some people who are doing regular hats too. It's a good way to use up some of your stash.

Uncle Dick...I'm sending these off in your honor! I know you would approve. That's my son D, the tomato soup boy, modeling in the pictures. There is one turquoise hat, two rainbow pastel with turquoise trim and one bright multi-colored hat. The multi-colored hat was Cello, a Jo-Ann's brand yarn and the other hats were done with Fun Fur. They also had a running fringe yarn with them that I got in the dollar bin at Target.

Rock Day

Yesterday was Rock Day and I was invited to attend a spinning event/potluck at Jean Franklin's who owns Spin Web. For my non fibery friends Rock Day or St. Distaff Day is historically the day after 12th Day (Epiphany, end of Christmas holiday celebrations) when women returned back to their work, which at one time was spinning for their weaving. Apparently "Rocken" meant distaff in German and a lady at the event yesterday told us "Rock" is the Danish word for spinning wheel. Since English is a Germanic language with many similarities between old English and old German, that must be how it started. Also a distaff is the vertical piece of some spinning wheels upon which the flax was tied and spun from. Apparently the men went back to work the following week, so many pranks were played against the women on that day. (No pranks yesterday...that I know of!) In the pictures above you can see two of the spinners and one man who teaches Navajo weaving. Most of the people know each other from guild. I have not joined any of the guilds because they all meet in the daytime and I cannot afford babysitting for something like that. But I did find out there is Hangtown Fibers which is in Placerville. They meet in the day as well, however they have a spinning day on every third Saturday. I am going to find out about doing that.

The event was held at Jean's house in El Dorado Hills, CA which is just up the hwy from us. One of the things I will miss when we leave CA is the beautiful oak trees. This is a young oak, but I have seen some that are said to be up to 500 years old. They are gnarled and twist and look incredible. In my teen years when I was drawing and painting some, I used to draw trees like that. They came from my imagination...I didn't know they actually existed. This tree was next to the sheep pasture.

After the majority of people
left (there had been 30+), I was able to get up and stretch my legs and visit around the room. I was surprised to meet 4 other Lendrum owners. It was neat to see all the different wheels. There was a Schacht, several Lendrums, a few Ashford Traditionals, an Ashford Elizabeth 2, a couple Ashford Travelers, a Grace and an old parlor wheel of unknown maker. It was also neat to see what people were making. There were a couple beginners like me but several very experienced spinners and several sheep owners, mostly Shetland and also Cotswold and Merino and crosses. One lady had the most beautiful champagne colored silk, another and a soft light denim/white colored cotton, wool blends with Angelina and I got several compliments on my dyed BFL roving from Winderwood Farm on eBay.

At first I was very frustrated because I had a lot of fits and starts. I love the Lendrum, but I am still getting used to the feel. It seems like I have to work harder to get the twist in it than I did with my Traditional. So I have adjusted to a smaller whorl and treadle faster and still end up with soft spots that pull apart and leave whispy "caterpillars" (what my girls call them). Some of it I think was nervousness and also since I got there late, the only place to sit was in the walkway to the kitchen. When people settled and were done eating and going back and forth, I was able to get into a rhythm and do better. People took a look at what I had spun and said it looked fine. One lady was spinning 2 ply lace weight on her Lendrum and said that since I was going to be able to do fine with laceweight once I get more confident because I was able to do fairly fine on the regular flyer. She had ordered the very fast flyer which is about $140 and is meant for spinning lace weight, but she didn't feel it was necessary and said she probably will only use the fast flyer. That was a relief to hear. I have the fast flyer which was considerably lower at about $40. I am very excited about this because I hope to spin wool and silk in the future to use in my shawl ministry.

One of the nice people I met there shares my name and is a knit blogger too. She is an awesome knitter and was wearing some beautiful autumn colored socks in Trekking XXL. We found out we are both on the Six Socks KAL, which I have not been actively doing for some time...but I loved her pattern and will have to look it up. She also likes lace and was working on a feather and fan shawl (Shoalwater from Fiber Trends) and had the most gorgeous Noro Silk Garden entrelac scarf I have ever seen! Did I take a picture? NO! What was I thinking! I missed the boat on that one. She and I may be taking lessons together from Jean. She lives north of town and I live on the way to Jean's so she may drive to my house and I will drive to Jean's. Hopefully that will work out. We seem to be in about the same place...a bit of knowledge on spinning, but needing help to put it all together!

At the end of the day, a family came to pick up some Shetland sheep that they purchased from Jean. Here she is sitting in the feeding pen and also talking to the sheep and blowing into its face to communicate. There were two lucky girls there getting Shetland sheep for their 4-H project! One thing I forgot to ask Jean was how these sheep survive in the heat that we get in California!
This was my first time seeing Shetland sheep in
person. I fell in love! Now I know what my friends Beth and Cary love about them. First of all I have only seen pictures and as in these pictures it is difficult to see their size, but they are about knee height. And they seem very friendly. I had to laugh as they jumped and bounced...they were like Tiggers on springs...boing! boing! boing! How could you not smile watching them?!

It's funny too...I had
just heard on tv that the sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than any of our other senses. I know I used to drive my Mom crazy saying, "What smells?" or "What stinks?" when I was a kid. I don't know if she even remembers that. Well, it must be genetic as my son does the same thing! :o) Anyway, there was fresh hay in the holding pen where the sheep had been herded so that they could pick out the girls' sheep. The moment I smelled it, I was taken back in time more than 30 years to being in the horse stalls as a young girl and was flooded with memories! I'm surprised it didn't make me wheeze since I'm allergic to most grasses, but it was also about 32* and the mercury was starting to drop, so that probably helped! Anyway, suffice it to say I enjoyed the sheep!
For a few brief moments we had some sunlight shining on them which was good for pictures. I can't wait to go back when I have my new camera! She will be having a shearing the second Saturday of March and I am hoping to go to that as well. I have never seen that in person and would love to take photos.

When the selection and identification process was finished, the sheep were happy to charge back into the pasture. They went so fast that I hardly got this photo! You can see it is in a bit of a blur! LOL They were so funny in their mad dash it made me laugh.

We ended the day at Jean's with the beginnings of a sunset and another old oak tree. I am so thankful for her hospitality and I am so glad I found her in an ad in a magazine and emailed her, almost a year ago!

Unfortunately I came home with a migraine and I am staying home from church this morning, which makes me sad. I want the fellowship, but my head can't stand to be around people, all my nerves feel like they are on active duty on the surface of my skin. And it is super cold and we are having a plumbing problem. I left the sheepy/fibery day and came back to reality! LOL

Uncle Dick is holding his own. He is being cared for in a "comfort room" at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane. Jack says Dick is getting the best of care and that everyone has been really good. This is a blessing! So many times we hear negative hospital stories and during such difficult times as this, we all need all the kindness we can get. Grandma is holding up well. Mom has been able to be there with her. And Fawnda is doing as well as you can when you are losing your Daddy. Please pray for those who wait!

As I wait and pray I am finishing up chemo hats. Not thrilled about the Fun Fur, but it's such a wonderful cause. Having worked in peds for ten years and having a couple very special cancer patients, especially, my little Elisha, who went to the arms of Jesus, I really have a heart for these kids. And it felt good to knit from my stash too! :o)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Comic Relief

Well, there is nothing like small children to keep you grounded in the midst of crisis. Today I was getting my spinning wheel ready to take with me to Rock Day tomorrow and naturally all three children were interested. The girls lined chairs up next to mine and sat, as still as 3.5 year olds sit still and watched.

D watched on the other side and said, "I wish I could do that Mommy."

I said, "You will when you get older, Mommy will teach you."

He said, "When I get to be a hundred?"

I said, "Not that old!"

Then he says, "You mean 19, like you Mommy?" "

Yes!" and then I couldn't hold it in any longer. I laughed, guffawed, as I treadled away on my 40th birthday present.

"What's the matter Mommy?"

"Nothing, Mommy isn't 19, she's 40."

His response startled me and took away any of the warm and loving glow that might have momentarily lasted while my son thought I was 19! "HOW did THAT happen!?!" he asked me quite emphatically.

Snort! Gasp! "It just happens honey. One day you'll be 40 too."

His response, "You're kidding me right?"

A little while later he says, "Daddy read us the Bible last night and it said there were so many stars that we couldn't even count them."

Me: Yes honey, that's right

D: And you can't count the children too. Except for these children. There are only three.

I take it that Daddy ready something about God's promise to Abraham that his descendants/children would be as numerous as the stars and could not even be counted. But you can in our house...there's only 3!

Children are a good reminder, that in the middle of grief and pain and suffering, LIFE continues on!

Update on Uncle Dick

Well, after making it so far, with so many miracles...we have some very disappointing news today. Uncle Dick is holding his own and we were beginning to have hope, however the doctors have found some type of fungus growing in his body that is *untreatable*! I know life isn't fair, but man that is just not fair to make it through so much and then have that happen!!! I had my little fit of tears and then I prayed. I know God is big enough to heal an untreatable fungus if that is what is best. The doctors will be having a care conference with the family and an elder from Dick's church where they will present what they feel is best, taking him off life support (ventilator and dialysis). I will not give up hope, as the battle is not over, but it's not looking so good.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Let It Snow!

The first picture, my Mom just sent me, is obviously a gravestone. This is for my dear cousin Nancy, the one I made my first prayer shawl for (see August 2005 archives). The head stone says it all! The Psalm, 94:22 reads: "But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge." Yes! She did take refuge in Him in her long cancer battle. I thought that was a neat head stone.
My Mom took the snow pictures. I love when the snow is on the trees like this. It reminds me of when we were driving to West Yellowstone, Montana for Christmas, I think in 1982, maybe 1981. We were driving around Lake Couer d'Alene in northern Idaho and the trees were like that and all you could see was trees and snow. It was so dream like. It made me think of Lucy Pevensie in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia on my lifelong favorite list of books) when she goes through the wardrobe and soon she is no longer pushing through fir coats, but through branches of snow covered trees when she lands in the Land of Narnia. This was in the day before there were movies to influence your imagination. This is the way I saw it when I read the book!
The third picture is of their cars and house and the fourth, one of their birdhouses. I love looking from their front yard out over the fields, it's beautiful in any kind of weather! I would love to be sitting on their couch, knitting, looking out over this. But the reality of life is...I would be freezing my buns off outside with my kids playing, then I would be rubbing down wet, cold and whining kids who were hungry and then it would be time for them to go to bed and then I would be too exhausted to sleep! LOL That's the reality of life right now, but I can dream and live vicariously through the pictures. And actually I am looking forward to some day when the kids can play in the snow for the first time!