Monday, December 31, 2012

The Gift Revisited

Home again, after our Christmas visit with a little gift from the boys.  My head is clogged, throat scratchy and I can't stop sneezing.  Grandchildren have the best germs!

Guitar Guy has a gig tonight for New Year's Eve and I'm staying home to drink tea and knit.  I started laying out my project list for 2013 and think I already have too many!  I ordered the Downton Abbey yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool to do the Mystery KAL.  I've never done of those before and am looking forward to it.

Yarn is on its way for a Water and Stone sweater for Nicole and another sweater for Rowan.  I think I might try a Baby Surprise Jacket for Ash and have several sock patterns planned.  A baby blanket for March and a Spiderman cap also made the cut.

I've got to finish Ash's birth record cross stitch and think about starting a stocking for him.  Don't know whether I'll get that done before next Christmas or not but I'll give it a try.

Hoping 2013 brings love, laughter, good health and prosperity to your house. Happy New Year one and all.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Gift that Keeps Giving

It started Monday night when my d-i-l announced she didn't feel well.  Norovirus had struck the house!  Over the last few days, one by one, we have fallen victim.  Instead of feasting we are gingerly nibbling crackers and taking lots of naps (in between loads of laundry).

My poor Rowan has never had a stomach virus and was horrified.  We struggled through opening presents on Christmas day before falling back in to bed.  My son became chief cook and nursemaid, while his wife went back to work at the hospital.  Last night he succumbed too, so the grandsons are at daycare today.  Guitar Guy and I are feeling much better today and looking forward to our daughter's arrival tonight.  Hopefully she will avoid the bug and we can enjoy the rest of the week.

It hasn't been all bad, as we've had some time to play with our grandsons (and do some snuggling)

 Sir Rowan prepares to defend us (with his fierce face)
 Pop and Rowan play pirate vs. knight
 Pop overacts the death scene before falling on the floor
Baby Ash sits in his Bumbo chair for the first time.  Very proud to be sitting up like the big people.

Hope your family has a wonderful holiday and is staying healthier than ours!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Knitting and counted cross stitch for Christmas

 Fingerless mitts for my son from Malabrigo Rios.  Loved the feel of the yarn but hated the knots and thin spots.
 Mr. Pitts socks for Dominic from Hazel Knits Chocolatier.  Easy pattern and comfy.

 Toddler keyhole scarf and fingerless mitts to match his daddy's for Rowan. 
 Rowan's Christmas stocking.  Only a couple of hundred hours of counted cross-stitch :-)

Cowl for Alex.  This is the one that was too small but I purchased a pin for it and didn't seam the ends.  Will try again with bigger needles.

Having a relaxing day watching Miracle on 34th St. and Pocket Full of Miracles with a very excited 3 year old running around.  He keeps reminding us that there are lots of presents for him.

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dead sewing machine now?

You know appliances sense when you are in a hurry and choose that moment to break?  My sewing machine (which admittedly has been sitting for about 10 years) refused to work this week.  The motor is revving but the needle won't go up and down.  Oil, I thinks, would do the trick so I got some.and oiled where all the little arrows told me to.  Still no go.

This would not be a problem except that Rowan's Christmas stocking has to be completed and hand sewing is really not my strength.  I don't know anyone that still sews that I can call on short notice.  Was wishing Roxie was closer, as I know she could whip this right out.

I probably will need to replace my 30 year old machine, as fixing it would probably be more expensive than buying a new one.  I didn't want to rush in to choosing a machine, so punted.  I picked out a very basic, inexpensive machine and had it sent to my son's house.  With stocking pieces carefully packed away in my luggage, it will be a completed masterpiece before Christmas.

My son and daughter-in-law will have a simple machine for fixing the seam rips and tears two young boys are likely to create.  Crisis averted (at least I hope so)

Pictures will have to wait until I unpack everything.  Mega wrapping awaits me in Iowa.  I'm sure I will be cursing how easy it was to send all those boxes on their way as the countdown to Christmas begins.

Monday, December 17, 2012

One step closer

Hopefully I'll have pictures of my projects later this week before heading out for the holidays.  I finished a pair of gift socks last night and washed Rowan's stocking.  I still need to sew it to the backing (if I can remember how to use the sewing machine)  It's sad that someone who used to sew all the time hasn't touched the machine in 10 years.  Hope the bobbin doesn't need refilling!

I had a nice lunch with my business partners last week and we've decided to keep the business going for a while longer.  Our insurance is good until September of 2013, so we'll just play it by ear for the next few months.  We've had a few phone calls from families looking for services in the last week, so we'll see.

Now back to my WIP's.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm getting in the holiday spirit even if it is 80 degrees!

It has been an extremely mild fall and winter thus far in our corner of Arizona.  The weather is beautiful, but it doesn't even feel like an AZ Christmas.  The cats and I continue to forge ahead on the holiday spirit as best we can.  They spend most of the day sleeping under the tree, supervising online shopping and writing of the Christmas letter.  Thursday I'm off to see my daughter and spend a day baking cooking and watching Christmas movies.  Boxes are now winging their way to Iowa in preparation for a wrapping marathon once I get there. 

I'm not having a great success with my Christmas knitting projects.  I finished them some time ago, but just finished washing and blocking.  The lace cowl is too small to go over the wearers head so I'm not going to seam it. Instead I bought a pin to close it.  Ash's sweater is just weird.  I don't like the collar and I think it is already too small for him. Not sure whether it is worth salvaging. That pattern won't be used again.  Rowan's scarf isn't as soft as I hoped and I'm not thrilled with the way the sections look, but he won't care.  I'm almost done with my son's socks but had to rip the second one back and order some additional yarn to finish the toe.    Think that will be the end of my knitting projects for this year LOL

Last weekend we celebrated all of the donors in our community who helped raise over 2 million dollars to renovate a campus for Arizona State University to use here.  Hard to believe that the first class is almost done with their first semester!  I'm the president of the foundation that raised the money, coordinated the construction and provided over $100,000 in scholarships for the inaugural class.  That's me giving a speech at the dedication of the donor wall, which was followed by a brunch at a local restaurant.  I'm very proud to have been a part of this project, but am also really glad it is drawing to a close!

It has been a full day and I'm tired, so it's off to bed. Goodnight.

Friday, November 9, 2012

What will I be when I grow up?

Life is changing again.  I know it tends to do that, but somehow I'm never prepared.  Last month one of my business partners decided to take a full time job.  Our small business just never has grown beyond a part time/hobby level, despite our best efforts.  Although no decision has yet been made, by January I expect we will close our business entirely.  I'm also thinking about closing my nonprofit consulting business, as it is truly nonprofit.  With the downturn in the economy, many organizations stopped using consultants.  I have requests to donate my skills, but paying gigs are rare. 

The journey I started 5 years ago hasn't ended up where I thought it would, but I certainly have learned a lot.  My many community board responsibilities are coming to an end, with the exception of school board. Life overall is looking like less meetings and more knitting.  January may find me back in the job hunt,which would be weird after so much flexibility. 

I feel unsettled and uncertain again.  Sports teams have rebuilding years-  I think my life is having one!  Maybe some knitting and Dr. Who will put things in perspective :-) 

Have a restful and happy weekend!

Friday, October 19, 2012

I will finish this Christmas stocking!

Taking break before heading back to work on Rowan's Christmas stocking.  I'm getting down to all those tiny sections I've been avoiding.  Two stitches in dark green.  Three stitches in light pink.  One stitch I missed in white.  It is tedious but essential in getting the project done.  My goal is to start the outlining by November 1st.  It takes a long time but makes all the difference in the look of the finished item.  If you've never done counted cross stitch, think weaving in knitted ends on steroids!

In between hours squinting at charts for the stocking, I'm finishing up some knitting projects.  One pair of socks to finish, another pair of socks to start, blocking and finishing a cowl, and doing finish work on a baby sweater and toddler scarf.  It all seems doable today (but then it always does in October)

Keep a good thought.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A little more unbearable cuteness

Alex's little sleeping burrito of love
Pop would have held that baby all day
Ash's next sweater almost done.  Should have pictures soon.  Back to that darn cross stitch stocking I didn't finish last year.  Did you know we need to be ready for Christmas in 2 1/2 months?  (She says as she runs screaming in to the night!)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

As if I needed another reason to knit....

So excited and happy to welcome Ash Jerome to our family!  Rowan is now a big brother.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Loose ends

The last two weeks have been about finishing up loose ends.  These last couple of weeks before labor day are a period of calm before fall activities kick in to high gear.  I'm taking the time to finish all those knitting projects.  Carefully woven ends, buttons attached and a nice soak are preparing all those lovely hand knits for their new homes.

I am slowly cleaning my way through the house, tossing as I go.  Lest that sound like progress, it is barely making a dent in our "collections".  At least I'm moving forward.  After 27 years in this house, it got a shiny new front door and a matching garage door.  Exterior painting should be completed today with a new mailbox to follow.  Once I get the landscaping cleaned up and some missing plants replaced, it should look much better.  Carpets are being cleaned tomorrow, which usually means some cat needs to barf up a hairball (kind of the same principle as car washing and rain).

I've also made some progress on business tasks like renewing liability insurance, updating records, and getting the accounts caught up.  I finished collecting my school board signatures and was duly reappointed. There were only 3 candidates for 3 positions, so they just appoint us and skip paying for an election. ASU is opening its first remote site in our community with classes starting tomorrow.  As someone who has been involved in bringing them here, I got to be a part of the welcome to students Sunday night.  Pretty exciting stuff for our rural town. 

This is also a time of waiting.  Our second grandson is due sometime between now and September 9th.  His mommy is more than ready for him to make his appearance.  She's already had a false alarm with contractions that slowed back down. Guitar Guy and I are ready to fly out and help in whatever way we can.  I'm hoping Baby As Yet Unnamed will hold off until after the weekend, when Nicole and Patrick are coming to celebrate my birthday.  I think his parents have decided to wait and meet him before deciding which name fits.

Time for another cup of coffee.  Nice chatting with you :-)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer knitting

Several friends had grandchildren this summer, so I did some pink knitting in preparation for the next one. This was really cheap acrylic yarn I bought when I first started knitting but it came out pretty cute (and machine washable)
Please ignore the ends I haven't woven in yet :-)  Sunshine yarns Ginny Weasley

 Sweater for the grandson due in September (no name yet)  Gift yarn from Nicole
 Rowan sweater for the fall in Plymouth Encore

 Father/son fingerless mitts for this winter.  Malabrigo Rios gift yarn from my daughter-in-law.  Love how the yarn feels, but not so crazy about all the thin places.
Mitten I started for Rowan from Mini Mochi, then realized they will be way too big for him.  Will probably still finish them after I do my Christmas knitting.

Many hours of Dr. Who went in to the knitting of these items.  I'm sure it makes them better :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Whiz goes another month!

How does this keep happening?  I blinked and it's almost July.  I looked at my priority list for the last 3 months and hardly got any of it done!

Tomorrow I take off to spend a week with my son, daughter-in-law and grandson.  Keep a good thought for grandma to have enough energy to keep up with an active 3 year old.  Last year at least he was still napping in the afternoon.  Caffeine is my friend!

Tonight I was out circulating petitions for another run at school board.  Where did that 4 years go?  Someone asked me today what I accomplished in my first term and I wanted to say, "I finally figured out how things work"  The learning curve is steep with all the regulations, complex financing and changing education landscape.  It is often a thankless job and can take a lot of time but when I see what our students are doing/creating/accomplishing it is pretty exciting.

But now it's time to go watch another Dr. Who episode and knit a few rows on the baby blanket I'm working on.  Night all

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I think I lost a month

May seems to have whizzed by in record time!  The fact that I've been working an additional job this month might have something to do with it.  It has been a good experience and the extra money doesn't hurt.  I've always wondered if I could move back to being staff after having been an organizational leader.  In this situation the answer was "yes"!  I felt positively gleeful being able to finish my work and walk out the door with no worries about the staffing issues or late Friday afternoon admissions to be processed.

My daughter appears to be well settled in her new rental home and will be starting her job soon.  I'm sure they are relieved to be through that move and unpacked for another year.  My son and his wife will be moving in June to the home they just bought.  I remember those years of starting a family and purchasing a first home.  It was a mix of exhilaration and exhaustion!  I'll get to check it all out when I go to visit them the last week of June and play with Rowan for a week.  I can hardly wait.

I've been doing quite a bit of knitting, trying to finish up some projects.  Hopefully I'll have pictures soon.  I have about 10 projects bagged up with the yarn and patterns for after I finish these. I also bought some yarn on sale from Knitpicks and WEBS for grandchild sweaters and scarves.  I do need to finish the Christmas stocking I set aside in December.  I have to get it down before the next Christmas.  I downloaded quite a few MP3 books to listen to while I knit.  They work great while Guitar Guy is watching baseball.

We aren't doing anything this weekend other than maybe going to see Avengers.  Hope you are having an enjoyable weekend.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Another Friday night doing nothing

We really are so boring.  Guitar Guy is watching Diamondbacks baseball and playing on his IPad while I wander around the web and think about loading the dishwasher.  Pretty typical start to the weekend for us.

Tomorrow night we are taking Nicole and Patrick out for dinner to celebrate their 1 year wedding anniversary.  Hard to believe it has been a year already!  That will be our last chance to see them before they move back to the land of ethnic restaurants and shopping (Phoenix).  It was fun having them in town and we'll really miss having pet sitters at the ready but look forward to visiting them in their new place.

Today I finished my second week of temporary work and am not loving 6 AM wake up calls.  I didn't realize how flexible my schedule has been( or how much time I was wasting) until I added 20-25 hours of work time to it.  I am enjoying doing social work for home health and using some of the medical social work skills I've acquired over the years.  It was really nice to open my bank account and see a paycheck in it :-)  Our geriatric care business is still really small and VERY part time money.

I'd be good with picking up a day or two a week when they are busy once this temporary stint is done.  We'll see what happens.

Have a great weekend!  Go do something fun and tell me all about it so I can live vicariously through you.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bubbles for Rowan


I just couldn't resist posting this picture of Rowan playing in the bath.  He does love his bubbles!

It is now official, my new grandchild will be a boy so I've pulled out the blue/green yarns and a bunch of new patterns to try.  If I start now maybe he'll get to wear them longer than Rowan did.

Thankfully, several friends recently had girls born in their family so I can satisfy my pink knitting urge.  Booties and socks to go around.

To keep things interesting in my work life, I've picked up a temporary job for the month of May. The money was too good to resist when our coffers were a little low.  If experience holds true, the 15-20 hours per week will probably wind up being 30-40.  The cats are not happy after having me home so much for the last 4 years. 

Time to go knit and watch some more X-Files.  Love that streaming Netflix :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Steggie was a hit!

 I think these spines might come off if I pull hard enough
The Rowanosaurus plays Fruit Ninja with Guitar Guy

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Knitting

 Starting to knit for the grandchild coming in the fall :-)
 Completed Embossed Leaves socks for my DIL (Skinny Bugga)
 Steggie sweater for Rowan.  I'll try to get a picture of him in it.
One Nemesis sock for me.  Second on the needles!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Zipper anyone?

I'm going to putting in the zipper for Rowan's Steggie sweater over the weekend.  I've sewn zippers in clothing plenty of times but not in a knitted garment.  Any words of wisdom?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Flying in to March

Windy is the word in Lake Havasu this month.  Dust is flying and allergies are driving everyone crazy but we have no tornadoes, for which we are grateful.  I grew up in Iowa and remember the fear of greenish clouds and sirens.  My heart goes out to the people whose homes have been devastated.

It has been a busy month so far.  I spent the last 2 days in Tucson being part of facilitation on community engagement for librarians and hanging with some good friends.  It was a nice break from the routine but the sounds I make after a 6 hour drive home are not pleasant.  I am still highly caffeinated but feeling the need for sleep soon.

Hopefully I'll be back with some knitting next week. Have a great rest of the weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I wish I could say this was the most romantic Valentine's Day ever but that would be an untruth since I had a school board meeting tonight.  All in all though, it was a very nice day.  Guitar Guy started several days ago by sending me a photo of flowers he would have gotten me if our cats didn't eat them.  Then he got me some instant Starbucks for the days he decides to drink my last cup of coffee before work.  Today he had a card and gift bag waiting with new headphones for listening to my audio books! 

Our local Italian deli has homemade Chicken Parmisan in the freezer section so we enjoyed a lovely dinner together and now are watching the Phoenix Suns and playing on our respective computers.  Nothing exciting but comfortable and relaxing.  It's all good.

Hope your day was full of love and good times (or at least some chocolate).

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Go Giants!

Today is a serious football day at our house since Guitar Guy's Giants are in the Superbowl. The machaca is in the crockpot for later today.  I'll starting making the pico for chips in a little bit and tv is already showing us a chronicle of the season.

Game on!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Lake Havasu Balloon Festival January 19-22, 2012
Today is the last day of Balloon Festival for another year.  60 Balloons were in town to grace us with their beauty.  Although it was too windy yesterday for them to go up, the other days have been a joy.

This picture is from a friend who walks down by the London Bridge most days and happened to catch this view!

That's the big news for this week.  In updates from last week, I survived the dinner on Wednesday and most people felt it went very well.  It is pretty exciting stuff having a college campus open in our community.  I got involved with the efforts because I wanted to see more educational opportunities in our area.  Now I also recognize the important economic impact this could have on our town. 

Not much new on the knitting front.  I've been pretty lazy in the evenings and am ok with that.

Have a great rest of your weekend. I know I plan to.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Knitting progress

Sleeve for Steggie Sweater - Vanna's Choice

Fingerless mitts toddler size - Sunshine Yarns Forest
I thought it was time for a knitting update since I actually have been getting a lot done.  Much of this was over Christmas vacation when I had time to knit for hours but I'm making slow steady progress on my projects.

I'm not crazy about the Intarsia on the Steggie sweater.  I was cruising along until I hit the sleeves but it will get there.  I've only made top down sweaters before so am not looking forward to all the seaming on this one.  I also have to put in a zipper.  Not crazy about the Vanna's choice but I was too cheap to buy wool for a toddler sweater.

Over Christmas I made the first fingerless mitt for DIL and left it in Iowa.  Rowan immediately thought it should be his and wore it to bed LOL. I took that as a hint he needed his own to match his mommy's. 

I promised my business partners I would make them socks for Christmas and didn't get it done so the first two pairs are for them.  I've always heard the people like Socks that Rock but it was a terrible skein full of knots.  I really like the Hermione pattern - easy, quick and nice and stretchy.

Fingerless mitt mommy size
 The embossed leaves socks started out being for me but once I got this first one done, I decided the top wasn't stretchy enough for me and that I really don't like that cast on.  Fortunately they will fit my DIL perfectly so I'm finishing the second one now.

Today I need to wash and block everything and next week disperse all the various presents. Once I get the sweater done I can start drooling over new projects :-)

 Socks that Rock, Harlot plain sock

 Indie Dyer  - Pattern Hermione

 Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga, Pattern - Embossed Leaves

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's a new year!

I admit it, I hated 2011.  WITH A PASSION.  Guitar Guy keeps reminding me that there were some very good times but over all as years go - that one needed to be gone.

Realistically I know that turning a calendar page doesn't make bad things less likely to happen but at least it gives me hope for a fresh start.  My goal for the year is health and healing.  A little money would be nice as well.

I'm not one to make big new year's resolutions I know I will not keep but the cooler weather does give me more energy to get things done.  I'm trying to balance Netflix and knitting with cleaning out closets and sorting through old paperwork for shredding or filing. 

Work is starting to pick up a little and I have a big nonprofit dinner with the President of Arizona State coming up on the 18th so life is humming along.  I thought I got out of planning the annual dinner when I handed it off last year but no such luck.  Thankfully I have a very capable co-chair to work with, as planning these kinds of events is not my favorite thing. 

I have promised the cats that I won't do any traveling for a while (at least March) so they are speaking to me again.  That may not be a good thing at 3 AM when 16 pounds of fluffy is sitting on my chest meowing in my face.  He's also taken to "helping" me with my knitting.  Ah it is good to be home.

Hope your year is off to a good start.  Anything good going on in your world?