Happy Thanksgiving

While many recent events in the USA cause me great concern, I still have plenty of things for which I am thankful. I have wonderful a family, I have friends, my husband has a good job, I can afford to have three kitties and a doggie who help to pass the time, I have life and much more. I hope you have taken time some time this year to reflect on the people in your life for whom you are thankful.

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Knitting and other yarn conversations

I’ve been working on the recreation of slipper socks for a friend of the family for a while now. Last February, Granny mentioned a friend who knew how to crochet, but not knit. He needed a new pair of slippers as the current ones were full of holes. The yarn was quite fine and the stitches quite small. In order to match those, I had to knit the first one on US size 1 (2.25mm thick). Between the first and second slipper sock, I must have relaxed a bit to the point of needing to use US size 000 (1.5mm thick). I have to say, I probably would not make another pair exactly like this. I used yarn a bit to thick for the size needles, hoping to add warmth to the finished product. I certainly accomplished that goal, at the expense to ease. It proved to be a bit difficult to join it all together. Usually, socks are knitting by turning a heel and decreasing the toe. The slippers I duplicated called for square toes and heels. I couldn’t in good conscience knit square toes, they aren’t comfortable. The square heel wasn’t much of a factor in the original pair because they were too short and the heel was pulled under the foot. To do again, I would turn the heel so that it was nice and round. In an effort to finish these up I have been knitting ’round the clock for the past week or so. If I were less tired, I would do some math and figure out how many stitches in the socks, I would conservatively say that there are tens of thousands of stitches in these slippers. I hold firmly to my assumption that the original pair was made on a sock knitting machine.

This weekend we went to a family friend’s farm for a potluck and apple cider pressing. Bring apples, go home with cider. I sat on the porch and happily knit away, plopping the yarn into my high tech knitting bag (my purse) and walking around when circumstances dictated. I had many, many conversations with people about knitting and crocheting. I chatted with an older woman who had a very thick German accent about yarn crafts. She thought she would never be able to do it after losing the tips of her left hand to frostbite. I told her about knitting belts, though I don’t think she will knit. I talked with another woman who crochets a lot, she taught herself to crochet when she was 13, she’s in her mid-twenties. I even talked with several men, a few of whom used the words patience and can’t/couldn’t. I stopped them mid-word and let them know that with the correct project, knitting teaches patience and that knitting does not require patience. I don’t know if there will be any new knitters but I had fun talking with and listening to others about knitting.

Just to round out the knitting stories, I’ll share one more. Yesterday, I went to down to pick up a few things and browse yarn for my Christmas Elf project. One of the stores in our area is discontinuing the sales of some of the yarns. I had a lovely conversation with a woman purchasing yarn for her daughter to crochet about yarn thickness, how to read the label to discover the weight (thickness) and fiber content. The yarn she chose was wool and I wanted to be sure that her daughter expected to knit with wool. I later found the yarn she chose set down in another are, so into my basket it went. Clearance wool is difficult for me to resist. I didn’t find yarn for my Christmas Elf project, but I found some in my stash when I returned home. I don’t have enough to complete the project, but I have enough to practice a few things.

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In which I purchase too many books

for cheap. Yes, yes, the correct word is inexpensive, but it doesn’t make sense in context. One of my favorite new/used bookstores was having a great sale today. At first Patty and I thought maybe we would share a bag, the sale was fill a bag for $5. After about 30 minutes, we realized we were each going to need a bag. I found many interesting treasures. In the daylight tomorrow, I am going to try to remember to artfully arrange my books and grab a photo. In another area I found and turned down The Scarlet Letter, Wuthering Heights (I think I may already have this one), a very cool NIV Study Bible (but if it’s still there next time) and a really old and worn Bible that would have made some great scanned textures-the end pages showed interesting wear, as did several pages but $60 seriously? for a water-damaged, mold infested, well worn book. A few finds that I have been looking for and managed to make it into my bag: a book of Henrik Ibsen plays, some silly little books with pithy sayings that may be useful in scrapbooks, and a few catechism books. I also found a book that apparently will guide me in using Harry Potter to teach young adult fiction. I will most likely never need to do that, but the book screamed to be placed in the bag, as one of the last books before the bag was impossibly full.

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Merry Monday

Our family Memorial Day celebration involves heading south to Burley Park for a largish flea market. While I did not come back with any fleas, thank goodness, I found a few things. I wasn’t on a huge mission for anything I had to have, just small things if I happened upon them. I think this year was one of the smallest vendor turnouts I’ve seen in a while. I managed to purchase four books I didn’t need, one of them was an accidental purchase. It was in my hands when I was finished, so home it came. I’m sure it will be a lovely read either way, I have read that author before and non-fiction is good for me. One vendor had an assortment of knitting needles, yes, I had a sizer in my backpack so I could have checked the sizes for the needles, but it was unnecessary. I wasn’t looking for size, just type. I was looking for dpns (double pointed needles) or circulars. I managed 3 dpns for a dollar, which seems like a good deal, but one really needs four or five needles to make circles/tubes. I will keep an eye out for more in future trips.

My most interesting purchase was a Monopoly/Sorry wood box game set plus six other games-chess, checkers, cribbage, dominoes, playing cards, and poker dice. It is not a complete game by any stretch: several chess pieces missing, most of the cribbage pegs are gone, no playing cards, missing Sorry and Monopoly pieces. I may spend some time hunting extra replacement pieces, but I am afraid it will cease to be a good deal if I invest money to purchase more. The Monopoly game appears to be missing its dice, chance cards and hotels at the least. The board is a miniature size, but still playable if I find enough pieces. Anything can be a hotel 🙂

Jason and I also purchased some spoons. I’m not sure if I could have gotten a better deal at a box store, but we needed more spoons. I was also looking for random serving spoons. I only found them at one booth, but the woman was too busy to tell me how much she wanted for them, so I went on hoping to find others. When I tried to find her again, I couldn’t remember what row she was in and I was too tired to hunt too long. I will draw a map next time or exhibit patience and purchase them when I find them. I also found a tea pot for Mom P, she seemed to need another and this one called my name when I saw it. The last thing I came home with was a small sunburn, hopefully it will tan.

My friend Ruth met up with us at the park after a while, just about the time I purchased the game, so off to the Jeep we went to put the game away and retrieve a water bottle. Jeff and Jeanne were off on vacation, so it was Mom P, Dad P, Jason and I. Ruth arrived about the same time that Josh, Julie and Julie’s mom arrived.

We all headed home, minus Julie and her mom. Jason and I had the bright idea of putting on crockpot food before we left. At the end of flea market days, we are always tired and try to figure out what to make. We tried to plan ahead this year. We made venison stew/soup with fresh baked bread, salad and strawberries. I didn’t realize we were having strawberries, nor did I realize Ruth was coming home, neither of which is horrible, just inconvenient. Ruth is rather allergic, so I spent time washing up a lot. We played a game of hearts and the family departed. Ruth, Jason and I had a game of Quiddler then Ruth headed home 🙂

All in all, a fun day.

Fatigable Friday

While trying to come up with a catchy title for my post, I was attempting to browse an online dictionary. I have finally discovered a flaw in online the dictionary, thesaurus, reference type site; you can’t open to a letter and browse the section. I desired an alliterated title, so I wanted to flip through the F section. I will keep looking for an online tool that will let me do this.

I spent some time last night mourning the loss of my father. I am sad that we are unable to reach a place where we can have a relationship of some kind. It’s not for lack of other wonderful male influences, I have many older father-figures in my life, but there is a part of a girl that desperately needs a daddy. I acknowledged a long time ago that while God designed me for that, I would not have that this side of eternity. I still have the desire, the wish, hope, dream. This topic came up because a friend of Jason & Jeanne lost her father in a motorcycle accident earlier this week. I had never met her father, but I had met her and my heart went out to her. I can’t imaging the pain of losing a loving father, but the emotion of losing my grandmother was raw enough to bring tears.

Today we attended the funeral. Her father was a retired firefighter, I have never attended a funeral for someone in that career. Beyond the countless men and women in many public service roles, the service ended with one last call and Amazing Grace a-al bagpipe. I’m one of the ones that appreciates the bagpipe and the talent behind it. The last call brought many tears to many eyes across the church. Central dispatch beeps the men, then they all turn the volume up and we hear the dispatcher call the deceased’s name several times. After the dispatcher is unable to reach the individual, she announced that he had gone home and sent him off with well wishes or thanks. I’m afraid I was crying by the end and don’t remember her exact words. The service leading up to that was beautiful, very Christ-centered. His wife read her testimony, which was really her husband’s and her testimony. Jason’s Dad went with us, we decided to attend the graveside service and return to the church for lunch with the family.

Upon returning home, Jason and I set to work on the raised beds in the garden. If I had to guess, I would say it was around 5 or so. I’ll post pictures later on Saturday or Sunday. I have onions and garlic pushing up through the earth. All of my beds are down with black dirt sitting in them and I nearly knelt on a snake. We put down some screen in the hopes of keeping out the moles and I didn’t trim it. I was kneeling down to work in a bed and Jason said in a serious tone, don’t move snake. The snake had gotten tangled in the mesh, so Jason carefully cut it out and set it free. It had lost some color, it may have been in the sun too long. When we finished work today, I made sure to tear off the extra mesh, I would hate for that to happen again, we came in the house around 8.

I need to spend a few more minutes on the last box. By the time I stopped, I was saying good enough with the amount of rocks still in it. I know I encountered more stones than I would have liked to when I planted the onions and garlic. I have determined that I am going to have too many tomatoes and not enough broccolis. My broccolis are refusing to stand up straight, too spindly. My sweet peppers are just starting to come up after weeks and weeks and weeks, I planted the sweet peppers and broccoli on April 21. My tomatoes are growing fast, planted those April 30th, along with the hot peppers and bell peppers, I think.

To wrap up the online reference discussion, I did discover that thefreecitionary.com site has a way to search for words that begin with or end with. I also found a rhyming dictionary and a few other tools that I book marked. I also subsribed to a word-a-day rss fee, maybe I will learn some new words.