Saturday, November 7, 2009

Movement in the Nest

Snowbird has been in the nest comfortably resting for a few weeks (since September 28th) and finally I can begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Lower back is healing nicely and doctor is happy with my progress. So much so he is letting me return to work part-time on my birthday for half days (only for two weeks). Then we will see what happens after my next doctor visit.

I am able to walk and stand for longer periods of time now. I still get tired and definitely know when I've done too much. Some movements are still restricted and I need help around the nest from family to make it all work. Sitting for longer periods of time in a chair with the help of a pillow for comfort. It is such a great relief.

This morning I actually picked up my new Patterworks catalog and was eyeing some cashmere and silk yarns for Christmas presents. That's always a good sign. Definitely know I'm feeling much better and my tail feathers are on the mend.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blogging Sabbatical

I have decided to take a sabbatical from blogging for a couple of months due to my lower back surgery on September 28th. It is quite uncomfortable trying to sit in the chair at the computer even after almost two weeks since the surgery. I will be back at it in a few months or at least prior to Christmas.

See you later....


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fixing Tail Feathers

Monday morning Snowbird will have an operation to fix what has been ailing her for a few years -- her tail feathers. Finally! It has been a long time coming, but doctor determined that L5 needed to be replaced. After many injections and final testing, doctor felt this was the best recourse. Hospital stay will be about four days, two weeks with constant assistance at home and another four weeks to finish recovery. It will take a year for the replacement to totally heal. Snowbirds goal is to be able to walk a couple miles a day again. God willing, I'll reach that goal. Everything with time.

So I'll be out of the nest for a few days, but will be back in again by next weekend and, hopefully, will post again within a few weeks. Who knows, recovery might lend itself to some healthy knitting time. That is if I can knit without sitting for long periods of time. I'll have to think about that and what I can use in my nest to help me knit.

Until the next post.....


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn Has Arrived - Happy Fall !

Okay, I'm a day late, but I'm thrilled that one of my favorite times of the year is here -- AUTUMN. It is a time when God lets the trees rest. That has always been my thought. When they begin their rest, the greatest colors and smells abound. I don't sense it so much in the Deep South, but in Michigan the senses are on overload. I miss this time of year in the North. I use to go and sit in piles of leaves just to take in the smells. Check out and the nice little salute to Fall in Michigan.

My other favorites are pumpkins, apples and all those good Fall bounties. Apple and pumpkin pies. YUMMY! Big sister made a homemade apple pie from Michigan apples last weekend. Too good for words!

I have brought out my little scarecrow to put on my hearth. He has a little chalkboard that he holds that says "Happy Fall" and is fiber-optic. Going to hang my lit Fall wreath in the dining room and take in all that is good for this time of year.

Can't wait for Thanksgiving! A wonderful time to end the colorful season and be thankful for all that God has given me and my family throughout the year.

I hope you enjoy this time of year as much as I do because it also gives me license to go full swing with knitting. I have a few projects on the needles and all will be completed soon for another post.

Happy Fall!

Monday, September 21, 2009

World Alzheimer's Day - September 21

I would be remiss if I did not post about this very special day -- World Alzheimer's Day. I lost my Father to Alzheimer's in 2005. Nothing can describe losing your parent twice -- once to Alzheimer's and then to death. This disease is not only devastating to the Alzheimer's patient, but also to loved ones, family and friends.

Alzheimer's can rob a person of memories present and past. Minutes on a clock can become hours and vice versa. Colors will become faded and unrecognizable. People who are family and friends are now strangers. Simple things to me and you are tasking to an Alzheimer's patient such as buttoning a shirt, tieing shoelaces or zipping a zipper. Places that were familiar are now strange.

Strides are being made in research to help with this dreaded disease, but it seems like more and more people are being diagnosed every day. Can research keep up with the numbers? Is medication enough? Is the protein that may be at the root of this dreaded disease really the cause?

For now we have to depend on our contributions and funding to assist research scientists and doctors in finding a cure and to provide the best medicines available for our loved ones, family and friends.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Road Trip to the Gulf

Today after attending a memorial service for a dear friend that passed earlier in the week, I took a road trip to Dauphin Island, Alabama. A good trip to say the least. Actually took the car ferry from Dauphin Island across to Fort Morgan, Alabama and drove back home.

The ferry ride which was about 45 minutes gave me time to reflect on the day and the future. It also gave me some much needed perspective. Being at the water usually does that for me. I spent some time at Gulf Shores State Park watching the water and the waves. I don't know what there is about the sound. It seems to fixate me. I could of stayed all weekend, but other plans would not allow. Just the short time on the ferry and being on or near the water helped me to wrap my arms around things that have been bothering me for a few weeks. In particular, my upcoming back surgery. I can honestly say I'm ready to have the doctors proceed. Recovery of six to eight weeks seems like a long time, but the older you get, time flies by faster.

Sometimes I wish I could be nearer the water, but not a good thing on the Gulf Coast from June to November. But I will plan more trips to the water in the winter.

By the way, I saw a wedding on the beach at Gulf Shores. How happy that couple must be. I actually clapped from the pier when I saw them kiss. Starting a new life together. I wonder if they knew that others were watching with the serenity of the water and waves as the background music? I hope they have a happy life together. This event kind of made my day better especially with the early morning memorial service.

Snowbird needed the road trip and the water/waves to soothe her soul....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What Is a True Friend?

What is a true friend? I've found different definitions over the years, but for me, personally, I've divided the people I know into two categories: (1) acquaintances; and, (2) friends. Acquaintances are those who may know you, but do not know your intimate thoughts or feelings as does a friend. I've been told through the years that a "true friend" can taste the salt in your tears.

This past weekend, I experienced the knowledge of categorizing a person as either an acquaintance or true friend. It all revolved around a telephone call with a question and the receipt of three text messages as I was leaving MI to return to AL. The text messages were revealing to say the least even though cryptic or coy. The messages helped me throw the stone over my shoulder so to speak (see previous post). So for now, I have added another to my list of acquaintances. How long are our list of friends versus acquaintances? I guess that's something to think about. Does it all really matter? I like having both.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Folk Lore and Change

Snowbird made a quick trip to her home state of Michigan this past Friday and returned on Monday. It was a whirlwind trip driving up, making a u-turn and coming back home. Trip was dual purposed and all was accomplished.

The trip actually made me stop and think about where I've been, where I'm at now and where I'm going. It's interesting how things really change in 32 years or even 7 years ago when I was there last. It reiterated to me that you can never go home and expect everything to be as you remembered. The home place, schools, streets, stores, roads, to name a few, have all changed. For me it was a realization that time waits for no man and certain things sometimes can not be had again. You only have your memories.

When I was leaving Michigan, it reminded me of a lore I read once: You stand at the seashore with your back to the sea and facing the shore. You throw a stone over your shoulder into the sea to leave everything behind so you can move forward. I essentially did that when I left Michigan, not literally, but figuratively.

Everything that kept me in knots, with the exception of my family, has been left behind. I will visit, but my thoughts and expectations will be different.

I left the red roses to now change to white....

Monday, August 24, 2009

In Memory of G

I lost a wonderful person in my life on Saturday. For this post, I will call her "G". She was a part of my Sunday mornings for a long while. I would listen to her play the church organ with so much fervor. Music was her joy. You could feel her joy when she played either on the organ or piano. When she had to quit playing because of her sickness, I had to change the way I listened to the music during Sunday services. I was so use to listening to "G' play, it took me forever to get use to the new organist. "G' always had a smile and wonderful greeting for everyone whether at church or when you saw her at the grocery or anywhere.

You will be missed "G". I know you are hearing God's music now. Music that I can't even begin to imagine. We will meet again someday "G". Until then, you are in God's care and surrounded with love and music beyond all thought.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tropical Storm Claudette?

Where did she come from? I've been watching ANA and BILL in the Atlantic, but this one seemed to sneak up on the Gulf Coast and was named overnight. Oh well! Hopefully, this will be a little breeze and nothing serious. But then, that's HOPEFULLY. We'll see come tomorrow. Hurricane season is upon us.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Save the Children

Not sure why all of a sudden I felt this strong need to support a cause outside of the realm of knitting, but today was the day to jump into something new. I looked at the Save the Children web-site and decided to become a sponsor of a child in the United States. Why the United States? I am particularly concerned about the needs and poverty in our own backyard.

Children have always been of paramount concern to me. I worked for a period of time for a school district in Michigan and I witnessed firsthand the needs of children. For years I have thought about the programs the schools had back then that took care of children and wondered what would have happened to these children without the programs. My thoughts were always about the needs of the innocents--the children. Would the lunch those children received, on any given day, be the only meal for the day? Would the after-school programs be enough to change that child for life? Would the programs give the child the impetus or push to succeed in life? I will never know how some of the children so long ago have faired in this life, but I can now monitor the successes of a program that puts back 91% of their donations to help children in one way or another. Will I quit knitting because of my involvement in this program? NO. I will quietly watch and read all of the updates that will be sent to me by Save the Children and will keep knitting, donating and supporting other causes as well.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tomato Tango at Cathedral Square

On Saturday, my sisters and I decided to get up early and head to the downtown area to visit the farmers market. In addition, the local botanical gardens had a booth set up to promote their herb gardens -- Tomato Tango in Cathedral Square. They were serving tomato sandwiches and flavored teas for a small donation. I have to say that I am a sucker for a good tomato sandwich. My sandwich had a basil infused mayonnaise and also avocado dressing. Since it has been so HOT in the Deep South, I had to follow it with a peach basil iced tea. Overall it was quite tasty. Finally, our sweet tooth set in and we decided to try miniature pies--sweet potato and buttermilk. Yummy! Little sister came home with a gigantic cantaloupe. It was a wonderful outing with my sisters and we need to do it again sometime -- just the three of us. Thanks to Bunny for letting me borrow her picture of tomatoes for this post. We forgot the camera on Saturday. Tomatoes are compliments of Bunny's little sister Baby. Fresh from her plants.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Life and Legacy

The last couple of weeks have given me a lot to think about especially with the loss of my Mother. It has made me review the time I spent with her and my earliest memories. I know as the days and weeks go forward my recollections will increase. Sometimes it is the surviving family who will try to piece together the life and legacy of that dear departed one. Discussions over the past couple of weeks have been an attempt to put her life and legacy together. It will take time for all of us to gather our thoughts and memories. The next thing is to put them on paper. I know it will be a time when we can laugh and cry, but it is something that I feel we need to do for the generations that will come after us. We have family photos and pictures that will help us piece together the 88 years of my Mother. Sitting down together on Friday evening, the process began. We reviewed pictures, wrote down names, years of events and made a trip to the country on Saturday to visit with my aunt and uncle for more information.

Sometimes people fail to realize how much is lost when a loved one passes. It is good to write down who people are in pictures, why/when the picture was taken, memories of the family and even recipes.

My sisters and I (my brother too) are going to make an attempt to put the life and legacy of our family down in writing. Geneologies are a good place to start because the detail is a tremendous asset to future generations. Our pictures are going to be duplicated for the four of us and also the grandchildren with as much description for each picture as possible. We discussed purchasing a good Kodak printer/scanner with photo quality ink, photo paper, digital scrapbooking software and other photo software programs to aid us in this endeavor.

In the long run, this will bring us all together in a common effort -- life and legacy of our family. What will we leave our children and future generations? Only the printed page we work on now will tell them.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baby Sweaters

I have finally taken some time to sit down and post about the baby sweaters that I knit for my local church. These were bundled with other items that will go to a central location for distribution around the world. The church was able to gather enough items to make 25 separate bundles that contained: diapers, diaper pins, receiving blankets, gowns, soap and sweaters. I was so thrilled to be a part of this endeavor and have started another sweater of many for next year. The following pictures are the little sweaters made with yarn leftover in my stash:

All six sweaters bundled and ready to go.....

The bundle shows the colors almost exactly and better than the individual pictures below.

Sweater #1

Sweater #2

Sweater #3

Sweater #4

Sweater #5

Sweater #6

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Loss of a Mother

This is a particularly hard post as I lost my Mother on Tuesday, May 5th, and she was laid to rest on Friday, May 8th. Her illness was sudden and her death just as fast (within 3 hours). The pain is great, but I know she is in God's arms and for that I am appreciative. I miss you Mom. I miss you so very much!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Prayer Shawls

Seems like forever since I posted anything to my blog. So what have I been up to lately? I've been knitting prayer shawls for my local church. Two shawls are finished and are shown folded below on my ironing board:

The shawls are rectangular using k3, p3 stitches to make a patternweave design. I chose k3, p3 and three rows before switching to p3, k3 as it reminds me of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The top shawl is true raspberry color and the shawl on the bottom has a mixture of green, red, purple, turqoise, brown and gold colors. I had the raspberry shawl completely knit using a different design and did not like how it turned out. There was nothing else to do, but "frog" it and start over. The yarn is from my stash. The next picture is a better look at the design. The raspberry shawl shows up red here, but it is really the color of the first picture.

I delivered these to the church and am now working on baby sweaters for charity that will be put together with other baby needs to be delivered throughout the US and around the world.

There is such a good feeling when I knit knowing that the finished product will either comfort someone or keep a little one warm and that all of my love for God is included in each stitch.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. It is always a great day for me! Easter reinforces everything that I believe about Gods love in a really big way.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Baby Goes Victory Gardening?

Just a quick post about Bunny's little sister Baby and her new gardening venture. I would like to say that she is working with her Mom on making a Victory Garden, but it is a raised bed garden instead. Baby has planted tomatoes and onions in temporary containers. She has flowers growing in other containers. Baby and her Mom are taking a couple vacation days this week and are going to put together their raised bed garden. The beds will contain a number of 4' x 4' containers. She has some ideas about other vegetables and flowers that will be in the garden and I am excited to see Baby's handiwork. Pictures will be posted soon of Baby's garden.

Baby is the cook in our family and has given us some great meals with her creativity. She inherited her love of cooking, especially baking, from her grandmothers. Her great great grandmother worked in a bakery. Baby works in a bakery at a local high-end grocery here. Wouldn't Pops (my Dad) and GGGrandma be proud of her culinary skills? I know we are. Her GGrandma would be happy to see her gardening skills too. GGrandma used to love planting a little garden and flowers. I guess you never know what will sneak through the gene pool to our children.

So you will know, Baby and Bunny are my nieces that live next door to me. What a joy it has been to watch these two grow up into fine young ladies! Proud aunt that I am......

Monday, March 16, 2009

Proud Aunt That I Am

This aunt has to do a little bragging on young niece--Bunny. She has finished stitching a large sampler named "Elements". Needless to say, I am very impressed with the finished project both front and back. She asked me to teach her how to cross stitch when she returned from England (after a year getting her masters degree) and that was all it took. She bought books, checked books out of the library, searched the internet and then went to stitching. The "Elements" sampler pattern was a gift to Bunny for Christmas. She has been working on it steadily over the last few months. So now I would like to share the finished object:

I am just immeasurably proud of Bunny. When she frames and hangs her handiwork, I will post again so you can see the finished piece. Bunny, I hope you don't mind that I snatched your picture from your blog to show it off to the knitting community.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Just a Little Knitting

I've ventured off into some more charity knitting and then some knitting for a friend who wanted a scarf or two or three or four. This has been what I call mindless knitting, but it was fun. Here is the charity knitting I have been doing for Save The Children:

It was an easy way to use leftover yarn pieces and not let the yarn go to waste. I modified the intermediate pattern on the Save the Children web-site from knitting a flat piece that has to be seamed to knitting the cap in the round. I believe knitting in the round is much more effective, faster and less needlework at the end. I changed the ribbing on some of the hats so the knitting would not get monotonous. The hats are premie and regular size depending on the size of your yarn.

These are the scarves I knitted for a friend at work. She wanted a narrower scarf that could be worn inside the office and that weren't bulky to wear in the Deep South. So here are the results:

The picture doesn't show the yarn definition that well, but then you get the idea. Friend was happy with all four. I am making another black scarf for her to give as a gift. This friend also wants to learn how to knit and you can guess what she wants to learn how to knit. So we will go shopping after work one day and get all the appropriate items to teach my friend how to knit a SCARF.

I've taught our receptionist how to knit a sock. I really did think she was taking on too big a project since she hasn't knitted anything in quite a while. We'll have a 101 on kichener stitch for the toe of the sock. Other than that, she did just fine. She is working on the match to her sock and should be done soon.

Need to get back to the recliner and pick up the crochet hook and finish a baby blanket.

Thanks Bunny for helping with the pictures for the baby caps and scarves!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One Year Blog Anniversary - January 26, 2009

Yesterday was my one year blog anniversary! I was going to post yesterday, but by the time I came home the lower back was hurting too bad. So I got ready for bed and crawled in and never got back out. So I am posting a day late.

I have thoroughly enjoyed posting my thoughts and knitting projects for the past year. Above all, it is a means of sharing and making friends in the blogging world that I would never have known otherwise.

My 2009 has an agenda for knitting along with crocheting, embroidery, sewing, cross stitch and walking one mile every day. Before I really get 'rockin and rollin' with some of these projects and ideas, I have to schedule surgery on my lower back. The third epidural has worn off and it hasn't been a month yet. I've made it up in my mind that I can't spend all my evenings laying down. So by the end of the week, I will have called my doctor. For me, it's choosing a better way of life other than constant pain.

I look forward to another year in the blogging world and all the posts and reading the posts of others!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day!

History will be made today with the first African-American to be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. The real transition of power will start today.

After all the hoopla, it will be time to get down to business. Our nation is struggling. We need our folks in Washington to sharpen their pencils and WORK. I'm really quite tired of hearing speeches. I'm looking for results. Main Street is struggling. People are hurting. I know changes won't happen overnight, but let's get the ball rolling Washington!

A thought crossed my mind one day regarding unemployment and businesses closing: If our Congressmen had to go without a paycheck or benefits or housing, I bet they would make changes a bit faster. What do you think? Sometimes, I think the lawmakers in Washington are in a bubble and are isolated regarding the state of our nation and what actually makes this country tick. Maybe they need to live for a month with people who are struggling to understand their economic plight. Don't let them access big money. Live on menial means.

I'm looking at the Northern states and how bad the unemployment is right now and the harsh winter to boot! Food banks and church pantries are probably depleted in these economically impoverished states. It is sad when my local church stated that their food pantry was low because it wasn't just individuals that needed food, but whole families. And we are in a state that right now seems to be a little stable, but maybe looks are deceiving.

Well, I'm jumping off my soapbox and will get ready for work.

Congratulations to our new President and Vice-President!

Monday, January 5, 2009

KnitForKids Sweaters #6 - #12

Finally, I finished my KnitForKids sweater projects for 2008 and now have time to post the pictures. Here are sweaters #6 - #12:

Sweater #6

Sweater # 7

Sweater #8

Sweater #9

Sweater #10

Sweater #11

Sweater #12

And the last picture above is sweaters #1 - #12 all folded and ready to be shipped to the Knit For Kids organization. I was bound and determined that I would meet this goal with bad back or not. This past Friday, I had epidural #3. My back has kept me from sitting for long periods of time. I have figured out how to lay half-way down in bed and yet sitting at good angle so that I could finish my childrens sweaters. I have different goals for 2009, but it does include a couple Knit For Kids sweaters.

On to other projects that include: two baby blankets and one baby sweater. Then back to my adult knitting for Bunny and Baby (their sweaters).

Happy knitting everyone!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! Throw Me a Moonpie Mister!

Happy New Year from the Deep South!

Our local city raised a gigantic moonpie at midnight. Why a moonpie some may ask? It is because Mardi Gras parade riders throw moonpies each year along with beads to people along the parade routes. Yep, Mobile is the "home of Mardi Gras". A lot of people think this fun in the streets for a few weeks before Easter started in New Orleans, but it didn't. Mobile, Alabama has Mardi Gras as its "claim to fame". I guess now, nationally, we have another claim to fame each New Years that will light up downtown -- A HUGE MOONPIE.