Sunday, May 9, 2021

WEEK 45


 
Good Grief......week 45 already.  Why does the second half of YOP seem to go so fast?  I do have some things to show you this week.  No finishes but I worked on quite a bit.  I will warn you, my entire post this week is a little longer than normal.  So, I will divide it into sections.  That way, you can read what you want and skip what does not interest you.  

CRAFTING

I finally got hubby to try on his new socks to make sure they fit the way he likes them.  (Not that I would have done anything to them if they didn't LOL)


He loves them just the way they are.  Do you see Enrique's leg in there.  He is such a photo bomber.

I worked many more rows on my shawl.  In fact, I can no longer get a photo of the entire shawl since it is scrunched up on the needles.  But I do have photos of each section.


The lace section is so much fun to work.  It is pretty much memorized now which makes it go a bit faster.  This part will be on my back.  I like the idea of it being an open weave.  It makes it the perfect weight for cool evenings or buildings with super cold A/C.


The sides are solid which makes for nice warm arms.  You can really see the gradient colors now.  Last week I said I was half way done.  Well, I don't know who taught me math, but I was only 1/4 of the way done.  I am now officially half way done with this part of the pattern.  Then there is the edging to do.  Each row increases 4 stitches and by the time I bind off there will be 481 stitches on my needles.  

I also worked on one of my cross stitch pieces this past week.


It is starting to take shape now.  I did need to un-stitch some of it as I counted wrong.  It is all fixed now and I work on it in the mornings when the house is quiet and I can concentrate.  Evenings are for knitting with the TV.

There was a cast on this week too.



Toe up Two at a Time Socks.  Again, I am doing contrasting toes, heels as well as cuffs.  The solid blue yarn has been in my stash for several years.  The variegated yarn was purchased last year from my non-fiber festival.  It is from Blackcat Fibers and the colorway is Conchology in nomad sock.  Blue is my husband's favorite color so he is already excited to see these being made.

TREASURES

It has been quite a while since I have attempted TAAT socks from the toe up.  Mostly because the needles I have do not make me happy to work with.  That changed this week.  I ordered myself a circular needle in 2.50mm (US 1.5) from Signature Needles Art.  I love their needles and have all of their circulars......well, now I do.  They just came out with this size of needle and it is my preferred size for sock knitting.  It fits my gauge perfectly.  Amazing how just .25mm can change gauge.


These are the needles.  I chose the stiletto 5 inch tip and 40 inch overall length.  This was my Mother's Day gift to myself.  These needles are not cheap.  I have tried so many brands of needles in the past.........These are the only ones I do not have to fight with to knit lacey patterns as well as lace weight yarns.  

I ordered My Birthday present yesterday.  I know, my Birthday is still a few weeks away, but I wanted it delivered in time for my birthday.


I wish I could post a photo for you of what I ordered.  Unfortunately, I can't.  What it is, is a monthly journal that is sent to you.  In it you can keep track of all sorts of things as well as to do lists, and journaling about your day.  The one I got at the first of the year is not doing it for me.  It is great for me to write a to do list in but as for journaling or keeping track of other areas of my life, it is not working at all.  I was also lucky enough to have a coupon to apply which brought the price down quite a bit.  I went ahead and ordered the years subscription which will start on June 1.  (that is my birthday!)

Today is Mother's Day in the US.  Last night, our daughter and her husband took us out to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant.   What a lovely evening we had.  The food was wonderful, the company exceptional and it made my heart happy.  They also got me a personalized cup.



If you are having a hard time reading it let me tell you what it says.  "This is what a bad ass bonus mom looks like".  Yes, I am our daughter's stepmom.  But since Cinderella made all stepmother's look like horrible people, I have been blessed with the term, Bonus Mom.  

And the last of my treasures is from my husband.  He surprised me this morning with gifts.



Two books by Matthew Kelly.  I love Matthew Kelly.  I have almost all of his books as well as a CD set of his.  If you have never heard of him you can look him up on Google.  He is from Australia and I could listen to him all day just to hear his accent.  LOL  He has a great sense of humor and is a fantastic motivational speaker.  

LIFE IN GENERAL

This past week has been great.  We are finally going to be adding solar panels to our home to help with our energy consumption and bill.  We have wanted to do this for many years but our electric company was making more expensive for us to go solar than to just use their energy.  After several town hall meetings and lots of consumer complaints, the electric company decided to make it so solar usage would be a smart move on the consumer's part.  Fingers crossed, our panels will be installed and ready to power us by the first of July.  That is when we really use a lot of electricity to keep our house cool.  With our town having about 325 days of sunshine, it only makes sense to go solar.

I had 2 days of dog sitting this past week too.  Thor is really developing some bad separation anxiety.  His owners are now looking into getting him a playmate.  They are hoping it will help him be a bit calmer when they leave. As well as giving him another dog to rough house with.  I think it is a great idea.  I know it has been so much better having 2 dogs at our house than just having 1 dog.

I got up early this morning and am in the process of making sourdough bread.  I am hoping it will be all done and ready to eat by dinner time tonight.  It has been quite a while since I have made sourdough.  I thought my starter had died this week.  I forgot to feed it one day and when I looked at it the next day, it was all brown and gross on top with a nasty scum.  I pulled the scum off, discarded quite a bit of the started and started feeding it again.  It came back quickly and is super active now.  

If it had died, I was not too worried as I have discard in the fridge I could have pulled out and started making active again.  It is always good to have a plan B.

I hope all of you have a wonderful day.  

Until Next Time...................................Happy Crafting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(PRAY FOR INDIA!)































Sunday, May 2, 2021

WEEK 44

 


Hello again.  I am back home and it feels great to be sleeping in my own bed again.  The only item I have worked on all week is my Mehujaa Shawl.



Can you see the gray starting to creep in?  By the time the shawl is completed, it will be black.  I love the soft color changing gradient of this yarn.  There are 19 pattern rounds completed.  A total of 36 rounds need to be done before moving on to the edging.  Each pattern round increases12 stitches and is compromised of 6 rows.  I am just past the halfway point and am still in love with this.

Let me rephrase that last sentence.  Today, I am in love with this.  Friday night, I was a bit miffed with the whole thing when I noticed I had dropped 4 stitches in the middle of the lace section.  I ended up tinking back 8 rows to be able to get the stitch count correct again.  I spent the rest of Friday evening and most of Saturday morning reknitting those rows.  Saturday evening, I was on a roll.  No more mistakes and I was able to complete 4 pattern rounds while watching movies with the husband.

That is all the crafting news.  In other news.................................

I returned home on Tuesday afternoon and spent the rest of the week dog sitting and teen chauffeuring.  I will get the honor of doing that again for the first 3 days of this coming week.


 Thor loves to go for rides in the car.  He especially likes going to pick up 'his girl' from High School.  He watches each kid as they come by.  It amazes me how quickly he can spot his girl in the crowd.  He gets so excited the minute he sees her.  He jumps into the back seat so she can get in the car and then loves all over her.

When I went over on Tuesday afternoon to check on Thor, I was very surprised by what I saw.


These used to be incense sticks.  They were laying all over the house.  He has never damaged anything before.


I found this box of incense outside.  It was not damaged but I have a feeling it would have been if I had not shown up when I did.


He also pulled out the box with his harness and leash in it.  My husband had taken the teen to school that morning and I think Thor was a bit put out that he did not get to go with them.  This was a whole new thing for him to do.  Poor buddy.  He is just used to his master working from home all day and going for a ride twice a day.  When the master is out of town on business, it messes him up.

Today, I will be doing a couple loads of laundry.  I was able to make menus and grocery shop on Friday so that is out of the way.  There are audio books to listen to while crafting and exercising today.  I see two dogs getting their baths and pedicure today too.  Yup, another fun filled Sunday at mi casa.

Until Next Time........................................Happy Crafting & Stay Well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS:  I have been notified by blogger, that after July 2021, the email notification will no longer be available.  So if you have signed up for emails notifying you of my blog postings, it will no longer happen after July.  Check out Bloglovin.com.  It is where you can add all the URL's of blogs you read on a regular basis.  I have been using it for years and love it.  

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Home Sweet Home

 


It is so nice to be back home.  While I do miss my Texas family, I am glad to be back home with my husband and dogs.  I have some photos to show to you of my trip.  Don't worry, I did not take any photos of my DIL's incision so there are no squeamish photos.



This the view across the street in Texas.  It is a huge green belt and so nice to look at.  There were lots of bunnies running out of it and going in and out of yards in the neighborhood.

My DIL's family use to own a restaurant.  Her job was to make the guacamole for the restaurant each week.  While I was there, she was kind enough to teach me her recipe for this wonderful treat.  I must say, I did pretty darn good making it.  It was almost gone 3 days after I made it.  Yup, I think I did ok on it.



The next thing she taught me to make was her bloody mary recipe.  Oh my!  They were so good.  It was fun to learn all of these things.  She also taught me her spaghetti recipe.

Now, you may ask, didn't I know how to make any of these items before I went there?  Yes I did, but it is always fun to try new ways to make items.  The guacamole will probably be the one recipe I will repeat here at home.  We seldom drink hard liquor at our home so bloody marys will probably not be made here.  The spaghetti sauce may be used but with a few twists on my end to just step it up a notch.  We like our sauce a bit spicier.

If you have not flown since the pandemic hit, be aware that face masks are required, by federal law, once you step foot into the airport and must remain on through your flight and are not to be removed until you exit the arrival airport.


I took this photo while waiting for my flight in Dallas.  Everyone was compliant.  



When I saw all these planes waiting to take off, all I could think of was how much longer I would be behind the face mask.  We took off 30 minutes late but managed to land 10 minutes early.  Go figure.

This week, I am dog watching and picking up the teen from school each day.  Next week, I am hoping life will return to a more normal schedule.

Tonight was trivia night.  Hubby, our daughter and myself were the team members.  Surprise!  We took first place!  It has been a while since we took first place.  There were a total of 10 or 11 teams so we felt pretty good about the win.  Now to go back next week and try and defend our title.

Time to go to bed.  I am still trying to get back onto our time zone.  

Until next time.........................................

Sunday, April 25, 2021

WEEK 43

 


Once again I am saying 'hello' from the state of Texas.  I am only here a couple of more days and then I head back home.  It is so hard to leave to leave my family here.  Yet, I miss my family back in Arizona a whole bunch.  I will say, being away from home I seemed to have had more time to pick up my knitting needles and work on my projects.

Case in point:


Hubby's socks are completed.  This is a horrible photo but it was late last night and all I had was my phone to take the photo.  Trust me, these are even brighter in 'real life'.  I really enjoyed doing the contrasting toes and heels and am looking forward to doing that again.  The yarn is called Margaritaville from Brazen Stitchery on Etsy.  When I ordered this last year, it came paired with the contrasting yarn so that was super easy for me.

Now that those are finished, I can spend the next couple of days working on my shawl I brought with me.  Hopefully, I will get quite a few rows put on it between my down time here and on my 2.5 hour flight back home.

I have also been working in the kitchen while here.  I had a request to make my fudge while here.  I have never made fudge outside of the Christmas season.  It turned out excellent and is being enjoyed by the grand kids.

Then I decided to treat the whole family to one of their favorite desserts.


I made cheesecake in the Ninja Foodi pressure cooker.  It is so easy to do.  The recipe says it is New York Cheesecake and it does not lie.  I made two of these as I know they will not last long.

Other than that, the daughter in law is healing nicely.  She and I take a nice little walk around the neighborhood each morning.  By lunch time she is pretty well spent.  After she rests for a few hours, she is back up and around in the evening until bedtime.  I see improvement each day with her.  I am taking her to her post op appointment tomorrow morning.  That will tell us what restrictions will be lifted.

My hope is to take a few photos today and tomorrow of the lush green area they live in.  The neighbors are all so friendly and warm.  I even got to pet a labradoodle yesterday, who just happened to be walking by the house with her owner.  Last night I pet the neighbor's chicken.  And I don't even like feathered creatures.

That about covers it.  Time for me to go and wake up the DIL so she can take her meds and start functioning for the day.

Until Next Time........................Happy Crafting & Stay Well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Texas Week 2

 


Today starts my second week in Texas.  That also mean it is my last week here.  I have been asked to stay longer but unfortunately, I have obligations back at home I need to go and take care of.  I would have love to stay longer to help out, but, it just can't be.

DIL is having good days and bad days.  It is to be expected.  I am praying the good days happen more often than the bad soon.  Right now we are doing 1 good, 1 bad, repeat.  Although, I will say she is a very good patient and doesn't give me grief about anything I do for her to make her more comfortable.

The one thing I am trying to get used to is the weather here.  Look at the comparison of here to where I come from.


There is a frost advisory for here tonight!  Back home (on the left) they are in the 80s and 90s.  We finally hit the 80s here just before I go back home.  I have been in long pants, and layered tops and still am cold.  And wind.................lots of wind here.  Yes, I lived in Texas for a year.  And where I lived is only about 60 miles northeast of here.  But I do not remember it being this chilly in April.  

That being said......yesterday was beautiful and in the mid 70's.  DIL and I took a couple of walks around her neighborhood and it was glorious.  Not thinking that will happen today.

In other news....................I got a lovely surprise last night.


My Grandson and his Girlfriend came over as a little surprise for me.  It was so happy to see them.  It has been 2 years and that is WAY to long not to see grandchildren.  They will be back over this weekend for a family dinner and I will have the joy of having 3 grands all together at one time.  If I am lucky, I may have 4 but not sure if one of them will be back from his trip he is on at the moment.

Knitting on the socks continues at a snails pace. Every 30 minutes I am checking on my patient and helping her with daily living activities.  It has been my pleasure to do it too.  It has given me so much time to really get to know her.  She and my son have only been married 5 years and 1 of those years she was deployed to the middle east and 2 of those years we were separated thanks to covid and other responsibilities.  She is a lovely person and I am blessed to be able to have this time with her.

Until next time.........................................................

Sunday, April 18, 2021

WEEK 42

 



Hello from Texas.  I arrived here on Tuesday and will be here for a another 10 days.  DIL's surgery went well and we are now working on the hardest part............healing.  Each day I can see an improvement in her.  It is very encouraging.  Hopefully, by the time I leave, she will be feeling more like herself.  She will still be in her C-collar so neck/head movement will be limited but, I think she will feel like being up and about more.

Anyway, you didn't come here to hear about all of that.  How about we talk knitting?


  Both heels are now completed.  I am loving the contrasting heels and look forward to doing toes too.  These are pretty much all I have worked on since leaving home.  I do have my shawl knitting with me but it is so hard to drop in a middle of a lace row when needed for nursing duties.  

That's it for knitting this week.  Otherwise, it has been 'nursing' duties, doing dishes, being the teen's chauffer and helping with dogs.  I am enjoying every minute of it too.

When you look out your rear view mirror and see this:


You know you are in Texas.  Yes, I saw this yesterday while driving home from WalMart.  Made me laugh so hard, I almost missed my turn.

Until Next Time.........................................Happy Crafting & Stay Well!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I Made It

 


Howdy from Texas.  Yesterday saw me leaving Arizona, boarding an airplane and flying to Texas.  I will be here for the next 2 weeks, helping out around the house while my Daughter in Law recovers from Cervical Spine surgery.

After I arrived yesterday, I got the privilege of taking my Grand Teen to shop for school uniforms.  How fun it is to drive to a place you have no idea where it is, using a navigational system that does not speak to you and getting lost.  It only took an hour to travel the 10 miles to the uniform shop.  Once that was done, it was another adventure getting back to their house.  We did find a Burger King on the way home and got some food since neither of us had eaten all day.


This is what most of Arizona looks like from the air.  Yes, those are mountains.............not hills, MOUNTAINS!  over 65% of our state is mountain ranges.


Here is what Texas looks like from the air.  Mostly flat but very green.  Amazing how different the 2 states are.

The flight was very smooth and I had a very nice person sitting in the same row as me.  I had purchased two seats so we did have the middle seat vacant which was really nice.  Otherwise, the plan was packed full.  No beverages are being served on the flight so people had to leave their masks on.  By the time I got outside in Texas, I was so done with the mask.  It had been on my face for almost 6 hours without a break.  It was pretty wet, just from me breathing.  At least, that tells me it is pretty dense so that is a good thing.

Daughter in Law spent last night in the hospital and we are hoping she will be coming home today.  Her surgery went quite well and now we just start the road to recovery.  

Last night I had a buddy come in for a sleep over.


This is Bandit.  He thought I might be missing my dogs so he stayed with me all night.  He is about 10 times bigger than the dog that sleeps with me at home.  But, at least, he doesn't snore LOL.  My little dog snores like a grumpy old man.

Today, I will be working around the house trying to get stuff picked up and put away.  I was told not to worry about cleaning the house as they are still in the middle of bathroom remodeling and the dust is flying all over.  That leaves laundry and cooking for me to attend to while here as well as making sure DIL has everything she needs.  Oh, and I also am responsible for getting the Grand to appointments.

OK, that is all for now.  I think I have time to pick up my knitting and work on that a bit before anything else needs to be done.

Until next time..........................................................