Thursday, April 12, 2018

Missing in action

Cloudy, cold, sleet, snow and rain have been the norm for April.  We've had two- maybe three days of spring weather, all during the work weeks.  The cold fronts and storms have been hitting on the weekends.  The last two Sundays we've had snow, (Easter included) and there's a chance for it again this Sunday!  Sadly, the buds on my magnolia took a hard hit and my lettuce has spent more time inside by the door than outside on the deck.  We're all looking forward to warmer weather and summertime, even the deer.

What the weather has provided is lots of time for books and projects.  Paul and I finished one audiobook and started another. I have a small pop-up book collection which includes The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, among others.  But neither of us had read the full book.  So we started listening to it this week.  While we were listening I was staring out the window at the tree line and saw a little splash of color fluttering against the very grey skies.  When I went to check it out I found a paratrooper in his chute hanging from a treetop.  I remembered we had lost one when the grandsons fired some off on July 4th.  Paul rescued him yesterday.

I've made a start on two dolls.  One for my daughter's birthday, and one from Sally Mavor's book.  I've long been a fan of her work.   I'm also currently knitting the second sleeve for a navy crew neck.  I think I will have enough yarn left over to knit a cable vest for one of my grandson's birthday in May.

While spring has mostly been missing in action, yesterday late afternoon the sun broke through, (although storms are forecast for tomorrow).  And though I doubt my tulips will make much of a show after the  brutality they've suffered, the Muscari field has soldiered on! 

(April's Yarn Along: "A Maze Me Poems for Girls" by Naomi Shihab Nye and "The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs" by Tristan Gooley.)

Saturday, March 24, 2018

March For Our Lives

Our day at the March For Our Lives in KC.  My grandson asked, "Grandma, you don't like guns?"  He has two, a water gun and a fart gun.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

SPRING!!....sort of

Spring is here, although the weather hasn't felt like it. Yesterday's welcome was a cold and drippy day, (perfect for the pot of chili I made). Today is cold but the sun is breaking through.  In honor of  the first day of spring yesterday I bought a flat of lettuce.  The color alone was hard to resist.  I intend to pot it up and keep it on the deck just outside the door, easy to pull inside in case of future hard freezes.   Today's sunshine will make potting it up a nice project for this afternoon. 

On Saturday, in honor of St. Patrick's day I baked a Guinness Chocolate cake to take to dinner at our daughter's house.  Everyone loved it, except for me.  It turned out perfectly but it is a very heavy cake.  Regardless, it was a nice way to celebrate the holiday.  I've always loved St. Patrick's day but growing up in a Mexican/German household we didn't really celebrate it.  Marrying an Irishman and now my kid's being half Irish has made the holiday a lot more fun!

Also over the weekend I finally finished my poncho, an on and off again project I've been working on since fall.  I finished it, blocked it, and wore it to a birthday party on Sunday.  It did not turn out as I intended it to in the beginning.  I had to make adjustments to make it work.  Several times I considered ripping it out and starting  again.  And still I wonder if I shouldn't just start it over again.  Tough call.

The birthday party was for our oldest grandchild Olivia,  who just turned ten!  I think I was as excited as she was for this birthday.  I wanted her to have something in the mail so I painted her a little postcard.  I drove to the town where she lives to ensure it would arrive on her actual birthday.

Years ago I altered a Barbie doll into a Mexican sugar skull doll.  Olivia has always loved it and throughout the years has asked me to make her one.  This year when she asked again I thought at ten she was probably old enough to have one so I made one for her.  It's not a doll that would stand up to play so we'll see how she does with it.

Since this was a momentous birthday, I also wanted to give her a gift to commemorate it.  If you've read my blog or are a Facebook friend, you've seen me share the soft books I make for the grandkids on their first and second birthdays.  Since Olivia was turning ten, I made her a photo book from Shutterfly filled with pictures of her over the past ten years.  I spent an emotional two days putting it together and submitted it.  I was so excited for it to arrive.  But when I did get it and was thumbing through it I was horrified to find out that I had mistakenly left three pages blank at the back of the book!  

Days before when she was visiting she saw some of my poetry books I had left out on the coffee table that I had been reading.  Together we read some of my favorites.  So after much consideration, I decided to write her a letter in the back of the book.  I included some of the poems we read, along with my recipe for granola that she's been asking for.  It really turned out to be a lovely keepsake.  I'm so glad she liked it.

Finally, my photo for the small things yarn along.  The poetry books along with the three pair of evil eye gloves I'm knitting for the March For Our Lives on Saturday.  Have you seen them?   They are to be worn at the march like the pink hats were at the Women's March.  #evileyegloves.  

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Bear Project

Once again I bit off more than I could chew.  When I first saw these bears I thought it would be a cute and easy project for Valentine's day.  But I always fail to calculate the time it will take to make eight.  It took me three weeks of non-stop hand sewing to finish them. Some grandchildren got theirs well before Valentine's Day, some just after the holiday, and then some not until yesterday, (ten days out from the holiday).  I finished them in the order we were seeing each family, which is normally one a weekend.  So I suppose getting four families finished in three weekends was pretty good.

As always after a big production project, it feels good to get back to knitting and reading again.  I've been working on a cabled poncho since the fall.  Christmas and now Valentine's Day took large blocks of knitting time from the project.  This week I have to start on birthday gifts.  Olivia has requested a doll I've made before and her birthday is in two weeks.  So by the time I finish my poncho, it will most likely be too warm to wear it.

I try to stay a part of the Yarn Along on Ginny Sheller's blog, including a photo of what I'm knitting and reading.  Although I'm not quite sure how to include photos of books on my Kindle. Living in a rural area my closest library is a tiny one located in my small town.  Most of the books I read I check out through the Kansas City Library on my Kindle, (never leaving my house).  So a collage was what I came up with.  Unfortunately, my Photoshop edition is about ten years old and the collage feature leaves much to be desired.  I spent quite some time trying to find somewhere on the internet where I could make one for free.  If anyone knows of a good site for this I would love to know it.

The past week has been filled with ice storms and freezing rain so any signs of floral greenery are greatly welcomed. One of my orchids has bloomed again which always makes me feel as if I've accomplished a monumental feat.  My father was a talented, as well as prolific orchid gardener.  I miss having his advice a phone call away.  No matter the effort, I did not inherit his green thumb.

Make Art Not War.  This poster hangs not only in my home but in both of my daughters' homes as well.  We each got them for Christmas gifts, from each other, a funny story but not for now.  What I wish is that "feel good" catchphrases like this were all we needed to change the world. 

Many people have opinions on how to solve this "only in America" gun violence, myself included.   One way we all can make sure our opinion is heard is to vote. In order to vote, you have to be registered.  Text P2P to RTVOTE (788-683) to make sure your registration information is up-to-date.  I want to believe we've arrived at a tipping point and our young people are leading the way.