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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Midweek madness

I leave tomorrow for Texas to help out with my son after his surgery on Friday.  I am excited to be with him and  the grands again,  but am sad his wife can not be there too.  She is TDY with the navy right now.

Today, as I look around at what needs to be done before I leave, I am over whelmed with everything.  My husband is a big help and has helped with laundry and getting suitcases down for  me. He has offered to run errands for me so I can focus on the home front items.  I need to start packing my clothes, knitting, carry on items and books.  The fridge needs cleaning and the left over turkey frozen in individual servings.  I need to pack up items my mom needs so hubby can take them out to her tomorrow.  And yet, here I sit, blogging away.  I did get my boarding pass, though, and have TSA precheck, so don't have to remove shoes or computers to go thru security.

We did manage to put up our tree and decorate it.  The city was out and inspected our backroom construction and  we passed!!!!! I found comfy boots to wear during these colder days.  I finished my last knitted item for Christmas.  These are all pluses for me and  will make me less stressed while gone.

The last knitted item still needs soaking and blocking but will not get done before I leave.  Our heater is  not working well, so it is 66 degrees in our house and  it will take too long for the shawl to dry.   I will do that when I return in 2 weeks.  By then, we should  have the heater issue resolved.

I have the cuffs done on my Hermione socks.  Those will be traveling with me as well as another sock pattern in case I finish these up.  I am not sure which sock pattern will go yet.  Need to take a look at the project bags to see which one appeals to me.  It will need to be fairly easy so it can be picked up and sat down as needed.

I stopped into my LYS, yesterday.  Picked up a couple of skeins of sock yarn while there.  Nope, I didn't NEED more sock yarn.  I WANTED more sock yarn.  The new yarn will probably turn into bed socks for my mom.  I haven't made any  new ones  for her in over a year.  I seem to always gravitate to sock knitting.  I have other items to work on, but love socks best.

I guess I should close this for today and get myself motivated.

Until next time...,.....happy crafting


Sunday, November 27, 2016

YOP 22




Hello everyone.  Another week has past and each day gets us closer to the end of year 2016.  So much left to do and yet so little time to complete it all.  So, I just take it one day at a time and do what I can with the time I have.

Let's take a look and see what happened at Casa De Noce this week.


Last Sunday was "make Chex Party Mix" day at my house.  This is an annual event that Hubby and I do.  My mom used to do this and I promised her I would take over the holiday baking when she could no longer do it.  We made 12 gallons of the mix this year.  We have already handed out 4 gallons of it.  This is a favorite of many of our friends and family.

Tuesday, I picked up our 11 yr old grand daughter from school and she and I baked some goodies too.


Rolo pretzel bites.  These are a HUGE hit with all the family and last year I ran out quickly. This year I bought 4 pounds of the Rolos and the GD unwrapped them for me.  These are quick and easy to make.  The issue is.........It is so warm still here, we have to put them in the fridge to get them to set up.  My fridge will be full from now until after New Years with candy.  

I still have fudge to make along with scotch treats, pfeffernus and springalee cookies.  Here is the catch..................I leave this Thursday for Texas to help out after my son has his surgery.  So for the next 4 days, I will be scrambling to get all the baking I can done as well as decorating for Christmas, doing laundry and packing for the trip.  I will be gone for 2 weeks, so I need to really kick it into high gear.

On the crafting front:



Green Azel is completed and buttons sewn on.  May I just say....................sewing on buttons on a super bulky yarn is NOT any fun.  What a pain that was.


Also sewed on the buttons on the purple Azel too.  They are now both completed and in the 'To be wrapped/bagged" area. (lousy photo, the flash didn't go off and I was too lazy to take another shot)

Since I got Azel off my needles, I just had to cast on something else.


Of course it would be a pair of socks for ME!  These are Hermiones everyday socks that I see pop up on just about everyone's blogs.  I have never made a pair and they were on my list for this YOP.  As you can see, I am doing two at a time on DPN.  I really love DPN's and have seen many of you doing them this way, so ordered another set of my favorite needles and cast them on as soon as Azel was in the D.O.N.E. pile.  From what I have heard, this is a very easy pattern to memorize and that is something I need right now.

The socks and the Stockinette Hug Shawl will be going with me to Texas.  I might take something else but doubt it.  I have to get the Shawl done before Christmas so that will have most of my attention.  The socks will be a nice change of pace as the shawl pattern is pretty boring to knit.  

I am still working on my Fodhla shawl too.  I am making it bigger than the original pattern.  I am loving working with the beads.  Yes, putting them on slows progress down a bit, but it is worth every minute of it.  The beads make the project pop.  The other nice thing about the beads being on the bottom edge of this project is.........It will keep the bottom from floating around.  Love that!  I won't be taking it with me, as they have 3 LARGE dogs and I have visions of beads flying every where when the door bell rings.  It will stay nice and safe here at home.  I was hoping to have it done for Christmas too, as I wanted to wear it to Christmas Mass.  Don't think that is going to happen now.  Hopefully by New Years it will be completed.

Yes, I have 3 projects on my needles and one project on my hook.  I am still working on the C2C prayer shawl.  The C2C part is done and I am just doing a border on it to finish if off.  I doubt it will be done before I leave, but I am going to try to complete it in the next couple of days too.

In a little while, I will go to do my final day of cat/fish duty at my Son's house.  His family went to Texas for Thanksgiving to be with his brother and family.  I am so glad they made the trip.  It sounds like they had a wonderful time.  I have been taking care of their house while they are away and they will be back tonight.  So will go and feed the kitties and fish and make sure everything is all nice for their return.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to a lovely lady.  It was so hard on me.  We had really grown close over the past couple of years and she was such an inspiration to me in the way she lived her faith.  I posted about her here.  She was only 47, which for me (I'm 63) seems way too young for someone to leave this world.  For the past week, I have been mourning her loss and trying to understand what happened.  As you can imagine, I am a BIG stress eater, so the past week was anything but Weight Watcher friendly.  But today is a new day, and I know, Diana would not want me to grieve like this for her, but be happy and rejoice in her new life. 

I doubt I will be posting the next couple of weeks.  Unless, I can find a computer to use.  I think all they have are laptops and I just am not comfortable with them.  I would rather post from my tablet in that case.  So I might be a couple of weeks before I put another YOP on here.  I am sure I will be busy with the grand kids and my son for the next couple of weeks.

Until next time....................Happy Crafting 

Monday, November 21, 2016

My Heart is hurting

My heart is hurting and has been since yesterday evening.  The Lord received a beautiful soul yesterday, while we lost a friend, sister, daughter, and faith filled member of our RCIA team. She was funny, quirky, serious, loving, non-judgmental, filled with the love of Christ, but most of all, she was a friend to me and so many others.

We don't know why she was called home to be with her beloved Saviour.  The question will never be answered.  We do know she was always ready to do the will of the Lord.  

My husband and I were doing Christmas baking yesterday when the news came of her passing.  Neither of us could believe it was true.  We both were stunned into silence. Prayers went up immediately for her, her family and all of us who knew and loved her.

Just last weekend, we had spent an entire day with her at our retreat.  She was fine.  How had the pneumonia happened so fast?  Why couldn't the Doctors find the right drug to treat it?  How did the clots form in her lungs when she was being monitored so closely?  Why couldn't we have had more time with her and with her radiating personality that always made you smile?


I looked though the pictures of the retreat, just so I could see her again.


The lovely lady in the pink shirt.  


Leading the way to our Cancer shrine for prayer and adoration.


Practicing for the skit in which she plays the shopper.


Her and I in the skit together.  Acting came as naturally to her as anything else she did.

The last photo of her from the retreat.  Kneeling at the cross of Jesus.

My tears are for my loss.  I know she is super happy about where she is.

You leave a huge hole in my heart and in the heart of many, Diana Copeland.  I thank God for the time I had with you and the knowledge and love of the Lord you showed everyday.  I won't say "rest in peace" as I know in my heart, you are where all of us strive to be someday.

So until we meet again, I love you and will miss you Miss D.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

YoP week 21






Good day to you, my blogging buddies.  Another week has passed by in a whirl of productivity.  Fall has finally arrived here in the deserts of Arizona.  We stayed below 90 degrees all week and it was glorious.  I have actually shut off our A/C and the windows are opened.  I call it "blowing the stink" out of the house.  I felt the same way when we lived in areas that required us to turn our heat on for 6 months out of the year.  Of course, living in the desert with the windows opened means you have to dust every other day.  

Anyway............................I have had a pretty productive week.  I do not have any FO's but I did make progress on all 3 of the items I am working on with deadlines of next month.

First up:  Azel


Only 20 rows left before I do the bottom ribbing.  Then the neck needs completing.  I can not work on this too long.  The large needles and super bulky yarn hurts my hands.  I have switch over to 100% Portuguese knitting on this project.  It is the only way I can make any progress on it at all.

Second in line:  Stockinette Hug


This is the shawl I had just started last week.  I am using Cascade 220 for this project.  I obtained the wool (100% wool) from a friend moving out of state.  It is worked from the bottom up, so it is a bit difficult to take a really great picture of it.  Once the taupe yarn is depleted, I will be adding the gray taupe to the shawl.  It seems very scratchy to me and I am hoping it will soften up a bit after I give it a nice soak and block it.  But then, ALL wool seems scratchy to me.

Last on my list of 'have to get done' is the Fodhla shawl:


I have completed the increases as written but........I want this a bit deeper than this, so will continue increasing until I am satisfied with the depth of the back.  I am really enjoying this pattern and love adding the beads to it as I go.  Adding beads does slow it down a bit, but it well worth the time and efforts as it makes the shawl very luxurious.

I am still working on a C2C shawl for the prayer shawl group I am in.  I was going to make it a lapghan, but I do not have enough yarn to do that.  Therefore, it is going to be a triangular shawl.  One of the ladies there gave me some eyelash yarn to add to it for the edging.  It is really working up so nice and I will take a photo once it is completed and post it on my YoP.

I took a look at my YOP year 6 list the other day.  I had not looked at it since July and thought it would be a great idea to see how I am doing.

YOP 6


Baby Items:

Seamless Cable Booties - decided against theseCorner to Corner blanket - completed and gifted

Socks:

Celtic Denim Sock
Hermiones Everyday Socks
Snoqualmie Socks
Car Socks
Pedicure Socks - completed and will gift for Christmas
Spring Tulips Socks
Scatterby Socks


Shawls:

Stockinette Hug - in progress


WIPS:

Boxy Top
Hubby Socks
Dive In Shawl
Log Cabin Afghan
Corner 2 Corner baby blanket - see above

Sweater/Jacket:

4  Azel  (Matching sets for 2 mother/daughter teams) 1 done, 1 in progress and not sure about the other two.  Maybe for next year.  Time is running out


Dishcloths:

6-12 of them, varying patterns - 1 made

Other Items for the Year:

Test knits/crochet - test knit done
Try something new for me in knitting - putting beads on knitted item while knitting it
Photos of completed projects - been pretty good about this one, maybe missed 1 item
Give myself the right to change (add/delete) this list as needed - yuppers, this is happening

I still have lots project bags sitting in my craftroom.  Most of them are socks, as you can see.  As for my WIP's sitting in there.....................I think I should probably complete Hubby's socks first and then think about doing that log cabin afghan.  The dive in shawl will be worked on in Prayer shawl group once the C2C is completed.  We are not hurting for shawls right now and that one is going to take a bit of time to complete.  The boxy top..............Ya, I will get around to it.  It is for me so I am not in a panic about it.

So that wraps up my crafting week.  Today, I am going to start in on my Christmas baking.  Hubby bought me a wonderful Kitchen Aid mixer yesterday.  With that and my Kitchen Aid food processor, I am all set to get my baking/cooking on for the next few weeks.  

I will be taking one week off and going to Texas, as my son has to have bicep surgery.  His bicep is completely detached from his shoulder and it is causing him some issues.  His wife is stationed in another state and does not have enough leave to get back to him for this surgery.  He only has to be off work for 1 week, so I will go down and help out with some cooking, laundry, getting the kids where they need to go etc.  Not sure exactly when it will happen, but it will be in the next 2 weeks.  

Hubby and I have completed our Christmas shopping too.  Well, we have 2 more gifts to get, but know what and where they are.  Just have to make the trip there to get them.  I am so glad we did this early this year.  Especially since I will be gone for a week during the Christmas rush.  I did a lot of shopping on line this year and am glad for that.  Not to mention, the items I made for Christmas too.  

So that wraps up another YOP week.  I am off to make chex party mix and some scotch treats today.  Will work on my knitting during the down times.  I love multi-tasking.

Until next time..........................Happy Crafting!


Sunday, November 13, 2016

YoP update week 20..............no way!



Happy Sunday everyone.  It is beautiful here in Arizona.  We are in the high 70's today and the sun is out and we have a lovely breeze blowing through our home.

It has been a busy week for this household.  One of the busiest in a long long time.

First off I will talk about my crafting projects and then I will regale you with all the interesting things life has handed us.

But.................before I go much further I have to say............I had over 200 hits on my blog last week.  Amazing.  I got 8 comments out of those 200.  Really?  I am not asking you to write a book in the comments, but please say "hi" and let me know if you like what you are reading or not............Thanks.........Rant over.

Ok, on to hand made yumminess:


I started a new prayer shawl.  Although, this is actually going to be a lapghan.  It is the corner 2 corner version.  I am loving the strip interest in it.  Hopefully, it's recipient will feel the same way.  It is an easy crochet to do and is kind of my 'on the go" item right now.  Once it gets bigger, it will grounded to the house.


I started my Fodhla, designed by Ruth of Knitterarium.  A lovely group on Ravelry.  She designs such lovely shawls and other garments.  This is the first time I have knit with beads. In my list of YoP projects, for this year, it stated I wanted to do something new for me this year.  This is it. The yarn being used is Knit Picks Comfy Fingering yarn.  So soft and nice. Best of all......no wool to irritate me.

Take a look at the beads I am using:


They are #5 Miyuki triangular beads.  I got them from Fire Mountain Gems.  A great company with some of the fastest shipping I have ever had.

This is the best shot I could get of the lace with the beads:

It will get bigger if you click on it.  I am really enjoying this knit and it is not so hard that I can not do it while watching TV.

I started another shawl made with Cascade 220 (100% wool) but it is not big enough to even show you.  I will have enough done by next week to get a good shot of it.  I can only do about 4 rows a day before I start itching everywhere.

The Azel is 36 rows away from doing the bottom edging and then the turtle neck.  Looks the same, so no photo of that this week either.

Now I am going to let you know all about my week.\

Monday was quite other than my visit to my mom........WOOHOO

Tuesday, Hubby had a Dr appointment to find out what is up with his back .  He had been in an airplane crash about 38 years ago and had injury to his back.  It is now to the point where he is in constant pain.  The Dr sent him for xrays.

Wednesday, I went with my BFF to her Neurologist appointment.  We were relieved to hear she DOES NOT have MS!  She has a spinal cord compression in C5-C7.  This causes all the same symptoms as MS.  The real rub here is...........................she has had 16 MRI's in the past 5.5 years.  Every one of the MRI's talks about the spinal cord compression and yet, not ! of her previous 3 Neurologists every thought to consider this could be the issue.  Nope, they just kept throwing drugs down her throat, admitting her to the hospital and doing lumbar punctures, telling her she didn't have MS but they didn't know what she had.  SO frustrating for her and her entire family.  So, now she is getting scheduled to see a surgeon.

Also on Wednesday, we got the results of hubby's xrays........................he has degenerative disc disease and is being scheduled for and MRI on Tuesday this week.  We have no clue what can be done for it.  He has had steroid injections in the past and they didn't touch the pain.  He has been through PT and given exercises to help but it doesn't stop the pain either or the degeneration.  We will wait until the MRI is completed and find out what they advise us to do next.

Thursday, Prayer shawl ministry.....YEA!  Arthur came to visit me with a vengeance.  I could not understand why he showed up so quickly.  I went home a tried to figure it out when it hit me..............................my NSAID they sent looked different than the one I had been taking for the past 10 years.  I grabbed the bottle and sure enough..................a different manufacturer.  Called my insurance company and after over 6 hours on the phone for over 2 days time, I was issued my NSAID in the manufacturer of my choice.  I had this happen once before and found out, each company uses the correct amount of the working drug.  What is different is the binders and fillers that are used.  Some peoples bodies can not digest certain fillers and binders and therefore the working drug is never released into your system.  Oh Joy, huh.  Now mind you...................I had only taken the new drug ONE time. That is how sensitive my system is.

Friday, Getting ready for a BIG retreat on Saturday.  We set up that evening and then had a nice dinner with friends.

Saturday............................I have pictures.  We got to the church at 6 in the morning and did not get home until after 10:30 that evening.  But it was so much fun and we really feel so spiritually filled after one of these.  Although my body is not in agreement with my spirit.....It will get over it.

The lady on the left is the leader of the retreat.  The one on the right is my BFF.  The one that DOES NOT have MS.  See how much happier she is?

We don't stay inside all day.  We send the retreatants out for conversations with their sponsors.  (Sponsors walk the journey with the person that is wanting to become Catholic)

We feed everyone..................there is food all day long in the form of snacks and they have 3 meals on top of that.  Pretty sweet, since they do not have to pay for the retreat.

Our Priest Fr Rolyn loved the dinner so much, he was able to take a couple of plates home for him and Fr Scott.  Yes, he is always smiling and is one of the happiest priests I have ever met.  Love this man


Our son was asked to give a witness talk this year and he agreed.  He did a dynamite job too.  I am so proud of all my children.  This was kind of a shock for me.  This is the son that I could NEVER get to open up to me as a child.  Now we can not shut him up.  Love this man too.  (This is Josie's daddy)

We even had skits that we did.  That is me in the red top.  I was the assistant to the store owner.  It is a really cute skit but leads into a very serious and moving ending of the evening.

Today, we went to Mass, had a nice brunch, Other than me spilling my entire glass of water all over my food and me.  (Arthur is still hanging around a bit) and now we are home and I am getting ready to make our menus for the week and grocery list. Might even do some laundry.

Until next time..........................Happy Crafting!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

YoP Week 19




 Happy Sunday everyone.  I have had a fantastic week and I have been busting at the seams waiting to tell everyone what has happened since I posted on Wednesday.

Thursday morning I was up bright and early to take my best friend to work.  She had had anesthesia the day before and was not allowed to drive for 24 hours.  It was conscious sedation anesthesia for an MRI (extremely claustrophobic) so it wasn't for surgery or anything like that.

After I dropped her off, I came home and baked a loaf of Artisan bread.  It is the easiest recipe ever.  Only 4 ingredients and let it rise for 8 hours, bake it for 30 minutes and ta-da, a gorgeous loaf of lovely homemade bread.

As soon as the bread was done, I was out the door for my new adventure I have been hinting at for the past week.  I joined the prayer shawl ministry at my church.  I was so excited.  I have been invited several times to join and always seemed to find a reason not to.  Well, that stopped this past week.  There is no reason I can not rearrange my schedule to make a 90 minute window for a little craft time. It was wonderful.  The ladies there are so sweet and kind.  They are from all walks of life. The lady I sat next to lives 2 blocks from me. How cool is that?

So, when I showed up at the session, I had a lapgan done to donate to the cause.




 I started this. I think about 3 years ago.  I hated the fiber I was using and decided it was long enough for a lapgan and just bound it off.  It will be just fine for someone that needs a little comfort.

Before I went to the meeting, I decided to  deconstruct this:




 It was a blanket I had started looming about 6 years ago. It is made with Lions Brand Homespun.  By the time I remembered to take this photo, I had already taken out 2 of the stripes.  I have not been able to work on it in years.  My father in law had watched me working the loom and asked if he could give it a try.  He picked it up and did several rows on it.  I was amazed.  After he died, I could never work on it again and decided the yarn could be used for prayer shawls for someone.  It was all ripped out and the yarn was caked up and given to the prayer shawl ministry.  The ladies were besides themselves with joy for homespun yarn.

Yesterday, I decided to attack another prayer shawl I had started in 2010.   I don't know what happened and why I didn't continue on with this one.




 I made the pattern up myself and it was a mindless knit.  I am glad I got it done.  That is another WIP out of my storage shelves.  

After each shawl is completed, we sew on the following tag and medal.


I already started another lapgan yesterday. It is a C2C blanket and it will be very masculine. I remembered how quickly the C2C baby blanket worked up so decided this would be perfect for someone to use while they are going through Chemo or just sitting somewhere and want a little warmth on their lap and legs.

It will take me a couple three weeks to complete that one, and that is fine.  Seems our pray shawl cupboard is full at the present time so no big hurry to complete at the moment.

Also this week, our Grand daughter that lives here in town, was in a play at her school.  The play was "Alice in Wonderland Jr."  What an adorable play and so well done.  She played Cheshire Cat #3.


She is the one on the far left.

And in this one, she is the one to the right of the three 'cats'.

Here is a better shot of her.  Love my new camera.  

It was not a huge production.  Some people played dual roles and they were all very good for being 5th through 8th graders.


Here is a shot of the entire cast.  Yup, that is it.  There were 21 kids in the play and I think there were over 30 roles.  Hubby and I totally enjoyed it.

This next week sees hubby going to the Dentist for some dental work (yuck) and also to the Doctor (primary care) to get some help with some aches and pains he has had for a few years and he is tired of trying to live with them anymore.  I will also be accompanying my friend to her neurologist appointment this week to find out the results of her MRI.  We are 98% sure she has MS but has been trying to find out if it is true or not for over 5 years and this is her 4th neuro!  Hopefully she will get a definite answer this time.  Either it is or it isn't. I feel for her.  It took 11 years for my RA to get diagnosed. (long story)  You get to the point where you think you are making it all up and it is just in your mind.  Not a good feeling at all.

That is about all for me this week.  I am teaching RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) today.  It is another one of my ministries I am involved in at Church.  This one is very dear to me, as this is the program I went through when I decided to become Catholic.  

Until next time........................Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November?

There is no  way the month of October is gone.  I guess this means I need to get cracking on those gifts that are due next month.  

Our weather here has finally cooled off.  We are now in the 80's for the highs and the mornings arein the mid 50's.  I will take it.  We will be turning off the A/C as soon as hubbys allergies settle down.  That will take a good rain which should happen this week yet.

My dog sitting ended Monday and now the house seems so quiet. My 2 dogs have been doing a lot of sleeping since their guests. Things went pretty smooth until Monday morning when a fight broke out between 3 of them. I broke that up quickly and sent them all into time out.  No bullies allowed in my house!

Yesterday, hubby and I became groupon people.  We heard you could get a Sam's Club membership for $25 dollars for a year.  we decided to go for it.  We have a Costco membership but each store has different items.  Once the membership was purchased, we took off for Sam's Club to see if there was anything we Had to have.  It had been over a year  since I  had been there so I went down EVERY aisle.  After 3.5 hours we were ready to check out.  It was a fun time and we did pick up a few things we needed and a few things we didn't need, but wanted.

After we got home, we spent the next hour vacuum sealing meat, and cranberries.  I love fresh cranberries and they had huge bags of them. We put them into 1 pound bags and now I have cranberries for quite a while.  We picked up a boneless pork loin and cut it into roasts and chops.  My hubby is great when it comes to that kind of thing.  We also got lean ground beef there and vacuum sealed that into 1 pound packages.  It does take time but well worth it for the prices they charge.

By this time it was time for dinner and since we missedlunch, we were pretty hungy.  I made a weight watcher baked zitiwith ground turkey.  I had made some homemade Artisan bread a couple days ago and it was perfect with it.  Super yummy meal.

Then I was off to a meeting for our Sunday teaching session at church.  I didnt get home until  10:30.  Hubby was a bit concerned as normally the meeting is over in about  2 hours max.  We got to chit chatting and time just flew by.

Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters came by and collected all the "stuff" I had cleaned out of my craft room.  There were 2 large boxes as well as 4, 33 gallon garbage bags full.  I can not tell you how freeing it is to get rid of so many material items from my life.  I truly want to get to a more simplistic lifestyle.  It is amazing how many things we hold on to thinking it will make us happy.  Letting all those things go hasmade me happier than I have been in ages.  Next stop is the kitchen.  Now that it has been remodled for a year, I will re-clean it out and give away all the things I haven't  used in a years time.  

Tonight is my  WW meeting.  Not expecting great things this week.  I have been good for the most part, but my water comsumption is down due to being out and about so much .   That's ok, I realize where my issue is and am making goals to correct it.

Tomorrow is a big day for me.  Something new, craft wise, is happening.  Stay tuned for an update.

Until next time...........Happy Crafting !