Friday, November 30, 2007

Let it snow!!

Yes! Fluffy, white, inches of snow. I had to sweep the porch 3 times this morning before I left for work at 6:30. Granted by 10AM it had quit, but a great start to the end of the week. They are promising more by Monday, so SNOW ON!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Glorious Sky

What a glorious night!
It has been a good day. Thursdays are typically my day off. I and another co-worker each work 4 ten hour days, getting a day off in the middle of the week. Thursday is my catch up, run around, do errands day.
Today not much like that to do, after taking John to school. Enjoyed to cold blowy snow. Wonderful.
I did go to town early to see if I could find a new remote for the 2nd TV on our Dish. I may have to order one from Dish Network to make sure it will work. It needs to be “UHF-IR compatible.” I couldn't see where any in the store said that. I may need to go to a specialty place to get one.
Anyway, after that was what I like to call “Dinner With the Aunts.” My last two remaining aunts used to meet for lunch with Dad and we’ve kept up the tradition. It also includes a cousin and her granddaughter, a family friend that was my Dads good friend, and sometimes my husband. We meet at an area restaurant every Thursday for lunch and catch up on family gossip. We had a good group today.
Later tonight was Spinning Guild. Just Jane, Janeis and I tonight. We had a good time and I got lots done, working on my light gray Shetland. I probably have at least a couple more bobbins, maybe more of that to finish before I spin the steel color I got last week.
But, oh, when I got home tonight. I took my little poodle Gilbert out for a short run. The stars were just brilliant, the sky clear and cold. I walked out behind the garage and wood pile to get away from the lights. And oh my. I could see Orion the Hunter. And the Big Dipper hanging above the northern horizon. And even the Milky Way. Absolutely wonderful.
Way to go, God!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Could it be winter?

Be still my heart. Can winter finally be approaching? It has been cold and blowy for two days now. And although the temps have been in the upper 30's --even now at 10:00 our thermometer is reading 38.3--during the day time the wind chills have been in the teens and twenties. Snow flakes were flying and--dare I say it? I've heard rumors of accumulations beyond the fractional measurements.

Next week the weather report is even chillier, forecasts of highs in the 20s. I can't wait.

A little late for all the deer hunters. No tracking snow all firearm season. I know you city folks may think it gruesome but I love fried jump steak. I haven't had any really good venison steak in years since Phillip doesn't like. But just to prove that I come by the urge naturally, I'd like to share a picture from before I was born. It is an old clipping from a local newspaper showing 2 of my uncles behind my grandma, the deer laden car and my dad and grandpa on the other side of the car. Back then deer hunting was not politically incorrect and on this particular opening day, only Dad and grandma were unsuccessful.

But in the meantime--Come on snow!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday is Knit Nite

What a busy day. And it turned quite blustery. And, sadly, all the snow fell while I was at work.

Knit Nite was tonight. I was amazed at the crowd we had. Sock wizard Kathy was there and helping a first time sock knitter through her second sock. We even ran out of chairs. I am plugging away at my rose bordered vest and am confident it will be done well before Christmas and I can get on with my next project.

And that evil woman Jane, helped me talk myself into buying the skeiner for my Louet S-17. After plyng and winding 3 large 8 0z bobbins on my niddy-noddy, it sounded like a great idea. And she even offered to stain it to match my wheel.

I am such a push over.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Why is it? A Mystery of Life

Why is it? Everyone at home can be napping on the couch, or outside doing chores, or maybe in the case of sons even out with friends while I am doing dishes or knitting straight plain stockinette or garter stitch--any thing that doesn't take any thought. Why is it, the moment I get to a "count each stitch" part of the pattern, OR sit down to work on my blog, everyone has to talk to me?

Why can I be all alone in a quiet house, reading a mystery BUT as soon as I get to a crucial plot point, or the summation of the detective's theory--Why does hubby come in and start talking? And frequently start talking by picking up a long forgotten (I thought) conversation from a couple hours or even a couple days ago?

Why at the best part of a great old movie or musical, does Younger Son sit down to tell me some long (VERY long) car story involving a friend I don't know with references to car parts I don't recognize, and going off on every tangent that presents itself?

Are all male type people like this?

While I mull these thoughts over--maybe it will help my concentration if I look at fiber animals.
Nice alpacas, pay no attention to the woman with the scissors.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jesus--the real thing

At church today, an interesting sermon. Of course due to Younger Son once again had to work the morning shift mentioned in a previous posting. I barely made it to church and was EXHAUSTED!
The complete sermon will be found at here--if it isn't here yet it soon will be. Duncan likened the conception that many people have of Jesus to Coca Cola. There is Coke Zero, the no guilt, no calories, non-nutritious Jesus. There is Cherry Coke (Or vanilla, lime, whatever) that is like Jesus Plus. Extra flavors added to Jesus to make a viewpoint and support extra ideas over and above the real thing.
Then of course, there is the Real Thing--Jesus as Coke Classic. The pure, unadulterated, take him as he is and follow him Jesus.
I was enthralled but my frustration with my denomination has me thinking that there is also another analogy--New Coke. New Coke was the improved version. Whoever thought it was a good idea to muck around with a winner? Popular opinion and much public demand forced the powers-that-be to come back to "Old Coke" that they named Coke Classic. The Episcopal Church in America is promoting what seems to be a new politically correct morality and straying from the supposed three legged stool that the church is supposed to stand on: Scriptures, Tradition and Reason. Right now, that last leg is growing awfully long. A lot of people are falling (or being pushed) off the stool.
And on another note, while I am ranting---Just how much time is actually saved when the last 2 or 3 verses of a hymn are chopped off? It is jarring when you take a breath to start the next verse and the music stops. This has always been my pet peeve, but when most of the songs are cut short each week, it is disruptive to the worship experience. At least it is very disruptive to mine.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

(Yawn) the Morning shift.

Youngest son had to be at work (milking cows) at 3am this morning. Since he doesn't have a vehicle to drive right now--it is kind of cold to run the moped--his father has to get up and give him a ride. AND since neither of them can get up with an alarm--guess who has to be the family alarm at 2am. You guessed it. Normally he just works the 3pm shift about 4 days a week, but his co-worker often has to pass off shifts to John. I don't mind the work day shifts, but these middle of the night milkings (that his boss calls the morning shift) are another thing. And he also is working it tonight. Ugh1
I did manage to meet my aunt and cousin and friends for breakfast at 8am, but 2 nights of getting up twice in the middle of the night make it awfully hard to get up for church. And yes, I did say getting up twice. Shortly before he gets done milking, around 4:30 to 5:30, he calls home and I have to get Hubby up again to go pick him up.
But I did manage to hit the library today, as well as take the Younger Son to Montague to get a Carhartt for his good coat. Gotta love farm boys who think a good coat is a brown canvas coat that doesn't have manure on it, at least yet. But at least it is a coat that will wear like iron.
And I finished plying the rest of the alpaca. I have 3 good skeins of the white. Maybe I will spin up the brown next.
Oh, remember the squeak I mentioned on my Louet wheel. I oiled to leather brake band and it seems to be squeak-free today. Yea.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Spinning up a storm

Spinning Nite also at my LYS--Spinning Wheel Yarn Shop in Fremont MI, usually is on Thursday night. Since there most of us had other plans yesterday, we bumped spinning to tonight.
Not that I hadn't been spinning yesterday. I did get all of my orange "October Skies" plied and about half of my white alpaca. Yummy. I have a squeak on my Louet S17. It seems to be in the brake or something. I may half to oil the leather brake unless someone gives me a better idea.
Tonight I took my light gray shetland with me to spinning guild. I also bought some steel colored from Angie.
Black Friday was a bit calmer than usual for me. I refrained from any notions of hitting the stores at 5am. Instead I slept till 6, hit town at 7 and was home by 10. I did a little more shopping this afternoon, and made my main purchases on line, so I am mostly done I think.
Also delivered the sweater and blanket for my nephew's baby for my brother and sister in law to deliver when they visit them this weekend.
Now the weekend and then back to the grind.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving thoughts

For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies,
For the Love which from our birth over and around us lies,
Christ our God to thee we raise this our hymn or grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light,
Christ our God to thee we raise this our hymn or grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye, for the hear and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmonylinking sense to sound and sight,
Christ our God to thee we raise this our hymn or grateful praise.

For the joy of human love, brother sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild,
Christ our God to thee we raise this our hymn or grateful praise.

For the Church which evermore lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore they pure sacrifice of love,
Christ our God to thee we raise this our hymn or grateful praise.

For each perfect gift of thine to the world so freely given,
Faith and hope and love divine, peace on earth and joy in heaven,
Christ our God to thee we raise this our hymn or grateful praise.

The words by Folliot Sandford Pierpoint (1835-1917) as printed in Hymnbook 1982.
The words may not be mine, but the thought is.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Love these needles

I have decided I really love my new knitting needles. I recently invested in Knit Picks new needles. The Options needles with swappable tips and cables recently became available in a wooden variety. These Harmony wooden needles are laminated from layers of colored wood and are wonderful. They are slick, but not as slick and slippery as the metal needles. The cables are thin and flexible, like Addi’s and come in many sizes. I started my bordered vest on them and they are working really well. Warm to the touch, quiet, and no kinks or stiffness in the cables. I think they are great.
As far as the sweater, I am half way up the side to the arm pit. It is knit in the round and then divides. No steeks (they scare me to death—haven’t gotten that brave yet), and no sewing either—all-in-one is the way to go if you can.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Knit Nite tonight

My LYS (Local Yarn Shop for those not up on the fiber related lingo) hosts Knit Nite every Tuesday night. We knit, shop and chit-chat, not necessarily in that order.
I have learned a lot from that group, and not just gossip. My knitting related skills have improved and I have gained the courage to turn a heel without a pattern in front of me. I know how to swatch and why I should I can “wing it” and change the size on a pattern with out too much fear. I have made friends with Elizabeth Zimmerman, and Barbara Walker—or least their books. I have grown from being a knitter to being a Knitter. I can go forth without fear that only the pattern designer knows best. I may not laugh in the face of the knitting muses (after all, Murphy’s Law has not been repealed that I know of). But I know I have the skills to adapt and make patterns my own.
More work on the bordered vest tonight. I want to make good progress on it so I can start the baby sweater for my first great niechew (don’t know if baby is a niece or nephew yet!). I am going to make it in dark red hand-dyed sock yarn. A colorway called Cherry Festival. Then I have a crib blanket to know out of worsted in the same colors. Luckily my niechew isn’t due till March.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Belated Veterans Day thoughts.

I figured I'm allowed some belated comments because I didn't start my blog until a week after Veterans Day. I have found that once I started researching my family, I have been more in awe of the sacrefices made by those who enter the military.
My father (pictured between two of his brothers, after the war) had enough credits to graduate. So he left school the middle of his senior year to enlist in the army. His family never knew how he managed to pass the physical with his bad hearing, but he did. He became a member of Darby's Rangers and was wounded in Sicily and remained at home the rest of the war. He died last winter and in going through his papers, we found that hed had been a member of the militia through the state of Michigan until the end of the war.
My great-great grandfather (The Old Gent), fought in the Civil War with his younger brother. From his records, it appeared he spent a great deal of the war in the hospital with dysentary, but he survived. Not so lucky was one of his grandsons, my grandpa's cousin who fought in the Spanish American War and later in World War I, dying in France, just a month or 2 before the Armistice. He was the first solder from his home town of Reed City to die in the war and the American Legion was named in his honor. In World War II, another of grandpa's cousin, was was raised by my great-granddad. Paul took his last name as his own when enlisting. He fought and also lost his life in France, during the Battle of the Bulge.
Currently my nephew carries the torch. I cannot begin to say how much I admire the courage and love of country I see in him and his friend who enlisted with him. With so many in this world who think we need to stop meddling in the world, I am proud that he felt the call to serve our country. I feel we cannot just abandon those around the world who depend on our support and I honor all who serve our country by serving the world.
Thanks soldiers.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

End of the season

Why am I picking the end of the Nascar season for my first post? Heaven knows. I have been rooting for various drivers at different times of the year, although Mark Martin remains my man. I was pulling for Jeff Gordon to get the championhip this year recently. I guess I shall have to soon pick a new favorite for the next year if Mark persists in driving only part time. I have a couple months to think on it.

My current knitting project in chief is a bordered vest. I have a charcoal grey border and am hoping I have enough of hand-dyed pink/gray-purple wool to finish it up. When I made my wallaby sweater, I had extra yarn, so I am hoping that this works the same. May the knitting muse remain with me.

This week my spinning guild will not be meeting. Thanksgiving kinda takes precedence over spinning. But while my turkey is roasting, I plan on plying my "October Sky" from Zeilingers spun on my Ashford Joy, and also my two big bobbins of white alpaca. The alpace was spun on my new Louet and I will use it for plying up everything I think. I should end up with several hundred yards so far of that.