Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A reason to crochet

As a personal preference, I've always liked the look of knitted stitches better.
I never had a desire to learn to crochet.  Until I saw the work of Magaret Ooman's crocheted stones.  She writes a beautiful blog, resurrection fernBut it was Purl Bee's tutorial that really motivated me.  I spent the last week's spare moments teaching myself and here's the result.....

I found that the tutorial is really just a suggestion.  It works best if you just let yourself,
(and your stone) see what works best.  The hardest part is getting the crochet to fit snug around your stone.  I found it very addictive.  But really, how many crocheted stones does one person need?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Break

After three months of knitting and sewing for birthdays I finally get a break.  There's not another birthday or holiday I need to make presents for until September!
Quinn and Braxton, siblings, both had their parties on the same day; one in the morning and one in the evening.  Quinn turned one and Braxton turned three.  That meant Quinn got her first book.

This was my eighth book to make for our grandchildren and I have to admit I was struggling with the verse until my husband came up with the brilliant idea of doing a cover of Bob Dylan's Quinn The Eskimo.

It was a hit!
I also made her a little top, shorts, headband and matching doll...
 and knitted crowns for both.
And for Braxton, who loves bugs.... a stuffed ant.  After looking at many google pictures of ants  I "winged" the pattern. 
 (Yes I know ants don't have wings.)
Maybe all those years as an entomology mom in 4H will pay off in a second generation.
And now that I have until September I feel like a teacher on summer break.  I'll have time to make some things that I've had on my wish list. 
During all of that sewing and knitting the week before the parties the cherries were ripening.  As it turned out it was obvious that the cherries could wait no longer and the very next day after the parties we started picking.  The entire week was consumed with picking and pitting.

We eventually lost count but we believe we have about 30 quarts put up!  And the tops of the trees are still full!  But we just can't take it anymore.  We are declaring cherry season closed.
Still, with all the cherries I was able to squeak out a small project; a knitted bracelet. 

I must have had blossoms on my mind.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Grief, a way of life.

There’s that momentary feeling of terror when you are face to face with someone who has just suffered a great loss.  What do I say to this person?

I know that when I was that person lost in the immediacy of my own grief I hated hearing the circumstances of another person’s loss.  I didn’t want to hear the stories of how the people they loved died.  I had just lived through the circumstances of my own loved one’s death. 

I know those people were trying to tell me look, I lived through it and came out on the other side.  I survived.  You will too.

But what I wanted to hear was how they survived it.  How did they get out of bed every day, eat, sleep, breath?  But no one seemed to have that kind of advice.

I don’t know how I survived the loss of my brothers.  I read memoirs of how people grieving felt.  Their words often described exactly what I was feeling.  I wrote my own feelings down, a way of trying to release them from occupying so much of me.  Eventually I got out of bed, ate, slept, and started breathing again.  I learned how to live with grief.

What I do say now about my grief is that it occupies a closet somewhere deep inside me.  I can open the door and let it wash over me and I can feel the fresh pain of it all over again.

Since the loss of my brothers I’ve lost my dad and my aunt.  I know there will be more too.  All these years later I do understand why people tell the circumstances of their loss. They don’t know what to say.

When I come face to face with someone grieving I have to make a conscious effort to not tell my brothers’ stories, or my father’s and aunt’s cancer stories.  I tell them how sorry I am and try to let them know that if they need someone, I will be there.

But still I feel inadequate and I don’t know that I’ve said enough.  I want them to know that it is possible to adapt to living with grief.  I hope you find your way.