Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas is for family

This year Christmas was for family is a big way. We had family come from all over - LA, Arizona, Chicago and here in the Twin Cities. This is the first time all 6 cousins have been together for Christmas since the 70s!! But, it almost didn't happen. My brother missed his place yesterday and had to wait another 3 hours to get a flight out of LA and head to Minnesota. Finally he made it here and we all spent the evening together catching up on things. The Chicago part of the family was not going to be here but one cousin insisted on them staying at her house so the group was complete.

There was playing with new toys and learning to be a princess........

There was a little bit of Mom cuddle time.....
There were several family pictures taken with different generations including the 2nd cousins.....
But not all the pictures turned out the way we expected them to. Sometimes sisters have jokes about the silliest things that other people don't understand! (unless you're their Mom)

The day ended with a little Grandma story time before bed. 

All in all Christmas was a great day for being together with family!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

This is just a test

I just downloaded the Blogger apps on my iPad so I decided to try posting to see how it goes.  In the meantime, Bert has been helping with quilting.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You whoever you are

Every Veteran's Day I like to post about the family's Navy history. Grandpa was a Chief Petty Officer and had originally joined the Navy in time to be part of the shore patrol just after the great San Francisco earthquake in 1906. He was in China, Panama, Japan, his ship brought supplies to Hawaii just after Pearl Harbor. His tour of duty was long and amazing with time at home to own a gorcery store, run for councilman and spend tie with his family.

His son, my Uncle, joined at the beginning of WWII and served throughout the war and then again for Korea. This year my dear, sweet Uncle left us after living over 90 years. It was sad to think of the last of this amazing group leaving us but what a great legacy they left.

My "part" of this legacy was Dad. He also joined at the beginning of WWII and again for Korea. He served on the same ship as my Uncle and ended up being brought home with my uncle where he met Mom and, well, you can figure out the rest.

There were other veteran's in the family - Dad's brother in law on the other side was also on the ship; my cousins served in Viet Nam; a cousin's husband was in the Navy reserve; Dad's father was in the Army. So many family members heard their nation's call and answered.

I'm proud of every one of them and I'm thrilled to know they helped us have a free country where we can rejoice on our freedoms or complain about anything and everything without fear of the government. We can decide what we want to become and try to attain it. We DO have the freedom to pursue happiness which isn't there for many people around the world.  So, all the members of my family and everyone else's family - THANK YOU!!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Confessions of a Wrong-handed Crocheter

Once upon a time there was a knitter. She was what was called a thrower, using the right hand to hold the yarn and throw it over the needles to knit. One day she went to college and met another crafty student. They both decided to learn to crochet and went to Ben Franklin to buy yarn, crochet hooks and a book on how-to. The book they bought only showed pictures of the hook and yarn so the knitter did what she knew best. She held the yarn in her right hand and threw it over the crochet hook.

As time passed the knitter found out she was supposed to hold the yarn in her left hand. She didn't want other crocheters to think she was doing it wrong so she tried to learn the "right way". It just didn't work. So, the knitter only crocheted in private, away from other people so they wouldn't see her and her wrong way. She made beautiful things. She even taught crocheting which worked well because she had to crochet so slow the right way her students could see exactly what they needed to do.

More time passed. One day the knitter met another right handed knitter who complained about not being able to learn how to crochet. The knitter got brave and told her about the way she crocheted. Intrigued, the other knitter asked for a lesson. There was joy in the other knitters heart because suddenly she could crochet. This made our knitter happy and a bit brave. She started to crochet in public occasionally and ended up teaching throwing knitters to crochet with their right hand - just like they knit. Many were happy and many finally learned how to crochet.

And they all lived happily ever after. But this isn't the end.

I've decided its time to admit I don't crochet the way the books tell you to crochet. I'm happy with my own method, others I've taught are happy to be finally crocheting and maybe by telling this silly little story I can let other throwers who can't crochet know that there is hope. Hold the yarn in your right hand just like you knit. Hold the project in your left hand. Give it a try.

Watch here and I'll try to get some pictures up to show you how I crochet.

Just a few samples of what crocheting the wrong way can make.

Rust Goes Green - my design that's been downloaded almost 10,000 times so far

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall Colors

Sometimes I'm so busy looking for fall colors and sights by going out driving that I forget to look in my own back yard and enjoy the sights right here. Every year my maple tree gives off the best colors.

Top that off with some final bright greens and some late fall flowers and I have a pretty nice view from my windows.


This weekend was the Quilt show of my guild (Women of the West). It's a medium sized guild that does a show every other year. There were many quilts including some challenges. This year's special theme was Stars. For some reason I didn't take any pictures except for 1 of the special speaker. Gudrun Erla of GE Quilt Designs. She spoke for over an hour about her quilt designs and books. She is best known for quick, quilt as you go designs. Several of her designs have a very Scandinavian feel which makes sense because she is originally from Iceland.

Going to quilt shows or knitting shows is always such a treat. Getting to see the creativity of fellow crafters always recharges my creative battery. If I knit, crochet, quilt or whatever craft I'm currently into but spend no time with other people sharing this love, I tend to lose my creativity. Or as many say - lose my mojo. But- get my backside off the chair and into a room with other people of my interests and its like going to a revival meeting. After spending a few hours at the guild show I came home and worked some more on my Shoo Fly quilt. It WILL be done for my guest bedroom by Christmas when my brother comes home for a visit.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Catching up

It's been a little while since I posted anything but life goes on at the house and the boys have been busy trying to keep me in their control.

They seem to think by guarding my purse I can't leave because they've both figured out I pick up the purse before I head out the door and disappear. So, they came up with a plan during my last week off - one of them guarded the purse at all times.

When I did manage to get out of the house I picked up the package waiting for me and Chief was thrilled. There's nothing more fun than getting a big hunk of plastic bag to chew on!

Of course life lately has not been all guarding the purse and chewing on plastic. It's been having important discussions....

and quilting and some knitting (no pictures of knitting).

Christmas placemat. Just a bunch of leftover material and this is what I came up with.

Wallhanging. I made this about 10 years ago. I made the top. I did buttonhole stitching around the flowers. I sandwiched the top, batting and back. I stitched around the houses and I put it away for 10  YEARS! Why do we do this?

 Today is sandwich the churn dash quilt I made almost a year ago. It just isn't magically getting quilting together my itself and I really want it on the guest bed for my brother when he comes to spend his first Christmas since 1971. Yep, he hasn't been home since then and so far it looks like he'll make it home this year. Cross your fingers!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Searching the Web

I can always tell when fall has come by looking at the number of views of my blog. Come fall, the numbers really rise because knitters are visiting the Reversible Cable Scarf page (Which Way is Up Scarf). The scarf has been #1 or 2 frequently on some of the free pattern search sites so a lot of traffic comes from those websites. Last week I had a major change in the numbers so - it's official - fall is here.

Since I don't have any pictures to share with you I thought I'd spent a little time talking about one of my favorite topics - researching on the web.

I love to go hunting through other people's blogs and websites to find pictures, inspiration and how to's for my current interest. Right now I'm back into quilting; so, many of the websites I've been hanging around are about quilting.

My favorite research tool is One of the things I like to do is type in something into Bing and click on the Image button. Try going over there and typing something like "Blue quilts". Suddenly you have many, many pictures of just blue quilts. If you find one you like, click on it to get a bigger image. At the bottom right of the bigger image window should be the link to the source and you can go over there to see the full blog post or shop website where the picture came from.

My latest search was Native American Quilts. Whenever I do a search on this I notice the Star of Bethlehem/Lone Star is a very popular quilt design. From what I understand when the missionaries first came to the different groups, they women taught quilting to the Native women and the star was popular because of its symbolism. I live in an area with Lakota and Ojibwe and I've noticed may of the quilts are the Star.

Through this searching I found an artist named Gwen Westerman. Her quilts often include the Star with a contemporary look. Search Gwen Westerman Quilts and take a look. I think you'll enjoy her work. Check out her quilt - Night Wind. I'm not going to link to it so you'll have to have a little fun and do some searching.

If you want to have a little fun - search "Tristan Quilt" and click on Images. This quilt was made in the 14th century and is quite an amaing quilt.

Maybe next post will have some pictures of what I've been working on lately. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Controlling Obsessions

In the past I would "discover" a new craft of pattern and suddenly become all involved in it. When I took a stained glass window glass with my friend, I had to buy all the equipment and lots of glass to use. (I still have plenty if I get back into it!).

When I started machine knitting, I threw myself into it and within a few months I had the best machine on the market and was asked by one of the national instructors to take over a class for him out of town because he knew I had everything figured out and he needed to back out of teaching that weekend.

When I started crocheting, I bought all the hooks and ended up teaching at a friends shop after a year. Same happened with all my obsessions. But this time something happened.

I've been reading a lot about hexagons lately. Quilters become obsessed with them and take years to make them and ultimately a huge quilt. In the past (like maybe last year) I would have gone head first into buying a ton of fabric and hexagon templates and a fancy box to keep them in while sewing hexies and maybe even a new Ott lite with a magnifying glass to see the hexies better.

Last week I went on line and found a 1" hexagon template. I print out a limited amount. The I got some fabric scraps from a quilt I made for my cousin's little girl. The current game plan is to make SOME hexagons. Not a whole quilt. I'm going to make a small wall hanging with some hexagon flowers and maybe a hexagon sun. It will be bright and cheery and most important, small.I plan on using the hexagons like applique rather than a whole quilt of hexagons, we'll see... Maybe this will get the hexagon bug out of me without taking over my life. I'm hoping I've learned to control some of my obsessions cause my house can't take too many more!

A Fearless Young Woman

My other cousin's daughter (model for Jan's Shawl pattern) is in Africa for a few months for college. She is writing a blog about her experience. I haven't asked permission to post the blog so I won't but, I have to tell you about her. She is an amazing young woman who will change the world. She is absolutely fearless in her devotion to our God and living the life He wants her to live. Her blog is well written and lets me feel as though I am there experiencing the country with her. I hope she won't mind my putting just a small piece of her blog here. She wrote all about the small buses called trotros that she uses to get around. She wrote about the people she is meeting on the trotro in a way that gives me hope for the future. With people like my cousin's daughter coming into their own, the world be will a good place in the future.
" I find immense peace on the trotros, sharing in the journey with my Ghanaian brothers and sisters. I feel the presence of the Lord within those vans. My pulse calms, my eyes open, and my heart dances. Jesus provides me with His peace, which is so much greater than what the world can give. In those hours on the trotro everyday, my prejudices begin to melt. My frustration from the day dissolves. And I enjoy the journey with people whose lives have coincided with mine, if only for a few minutes.
Isn’t that what it’s about? Sharing the journey together, dwelling in peace together, learning together. The trotros with their confined spaces showed me this. The trotros keep showing me this with every day that comes. And Ghana just keeps blessing me.
…welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. -Romans 15:8"

Sunday, August 25, 2013

This One's for the Family

Yesterday was my uncle's memorial service. As always the family gathered and shared stories. It's a little sad that some of the great stories you don't get to hear until the person is gone but - it's always great to hear family stories whenever you can.

One topic we got on was past family homes. Our grandparent's house is for sale again and one cousin stopped by the pick up the sales information. We all studied it trying to figure out all the angles of the pictures. We had 2 basic problems.
1. The wide angle camera lens was used to causing the front door to be twice as wide as normal and other distortions. The dining room wasn't all that big but the picture made the table of 6 chairs look like you could seat 12 people.
2. The previous homeowner did a great deal of remodeling so things didn't look like we remembered.

We also tried to remember the other house addresses we would hear about as children. Internet to the rescue! I grabbed the US Census records for 1898 thru 1849 and wrote down the family addresses. Today I took a little trip and grabbed a few pictures. Some of the houses are gone and Grandpa's grocery store is gone but here's a couple pictures I found. I left the pictures bigger files so the family members can download if they want to.

Here's the history I found:

1898 - when our Grandpa Bill was a child he lived on Dupont. I've sent all the addresses to some of the cousins and if you're a family member and want the exact address for the places without pictures, let me know. This house is very obviously a newer home so I didn't take a picture.

1900 - he had moved but the address on the US Census is not legible. Note to anyone who ever does a Census - please write carefully so people can read it in the future!!

1905 - yet another house address (and another newer house). Seems Grandpa moved around a lot as a child!

1910 - Yep - new address for Grandpa. Meanwhile, Grandma's family lived in the house on Fremont that would stay in the family for many years. My parents rented from the Aunts during the first few years of their marriage before buying the house I now live in. The house looks like a new window was added to the front but otherwise it looks mostly original.

1920 - Grandma's parents moved to a new house in Robbinsdale but the Aunts still had the Fremont house. Meanwhile, Grandma and grandpa were married and lived in their first house. I forgot to head over to this address so - no picture.

1930 and 1940 Census show Grandma and Grandpa at the house we knew and spent so much time at as kids.


Meanwhile - my Dad's family was living in south Minneapolis where Dad had friends who would sneak over the fence to steal apples from their tree. The apple tree isn't there anymore but the house look much like it would have in the 1920s - 40s. During the middle part of Dad's alzheimers I would ask him about where he lived. He could remember this house and give me details about everything (including the apple tree) but couldn't remember the house he and Mom lived in for over 50 years until he moved to memory care. I guess this house made quite an impression on a little kid growing up!
Jan's Shawl
I'd like to thank everyone who purchased Jan's Shawl so far. If you didn't read about this shawl the post about it is HERE.  I had a few questions about how much will be donated to the fire fighter support group. Right now $4.55 of the $5.00 will be donated. Paypal takes $.45 to process things and a small amount will end up going to Ravelry (unknown amount at the moment) but everything else will go to the support group. I'll be keeping nothing.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back Together Again

Uncle Bud rejoined his sisters this past week after living a very full and happy 93 years.
As kids they grew up in the north Minneapolis area. Being the children of a grocer, they lived over the store and had to spend spare hours sweeping the floors and helping out. I'm told Mom got out of the work because she was "the baby" of the family.
As time passed they moved out of the store and into a house on Victory Memorial Drive. During this time WWII started. Uncle Bud and Grandpa fulfilled their service in the Navy. To his last day Uncle Bud could tell you very ship he was on and when he served on each of them. His memory for details was incredible.

All three grew up, had families of their own and instilled a sense of family in the next generation. We grew up close and cousins were more like brothers and sisters. We knew 2nd and 3rd cousins, meeting up every year at the family picnic or seeing many of them weekly at church.
Their generation was strong, faithful and loyal. Uncle Bud was a leader at the same church he was born in and held his friends close. My cousin told me recently some of the people from his work days came up to spend the morning with him. I don't know too many people who are still in touch with people from work over 25 years later!

Uncle Bud loved his grandchildren and loved going to their soccer games, swim meets, church programs and being involved in their lives.
And now, after living independently right up until the last day, Uncle Bud has gone Home. His generation has passed the torch to the next generation and I can only hope we live up to their fine example. My uncle and godfather will be missed.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Jan's Shawl

Last month I posted about my sister-in-law, Jan. I also said I wanted to create a shawl in her honor with profits going to the LA County fire department. The shawl is now ready and I hope you like it. Please consider purchasing this pattern so we can show some love to the people who risk (and some lose) their lives daily for our protection and safety.
Jan's Shawl is knit with 1 skein each of 2 colors of fingering weight yarn. The sample was made in Arucania Ranco (376 yd/ skein). The main color used virtually all of the skein while the second color had about 20% left. Jan was a strong person, physically and mentally so I didn't want the shawl to be fussy. She also had her soft side so I added a simple lace edging. The shawl, like Jan, has some unexpected details - the center is a slight wedge which creates a softer edge to the tip.

Below is the description from the pattern's front page:

by Jill Chatelain

My sister-in-law, Jan, choose a life that involved helping people. She became a fire fighter knowing the risks. Jan worked her way up the ranks and became the first female Fire Captain for LA County. One of the risks I never thought about was cancer. Fire fighters have a far greater chance of getting cancer from all the toxins they encounter on the job than the average person. Jan had another first when she became the first female Fire Captain to pass away on active duty when she lost her battle with job-related cancer this year.

In honor of Jan I've designed this shawl. It's not a fussy shawl but is strong with some unexpected details including a small wedge in the center to soften the tip.  Like Jan, it commands respect but has a softer side with the lace. I think she would have liked this shawl.
All profits will be donated to a Fire Fighter support group.
Chaplin Matt of the LA County Dept. will be helping choose which specific support groups will best benefit from these funds. I'd like to thank you all in advance for buying the pattern and supporting the fire fighters that became Jan's second family.
To purchase - click on this link  Jan's Shawl
The link will take you to Ravelry's Store where you can purchase the pattern for $5.00 via Paypal.
As stated above - all profits will be donated to a fire fighter support group that Chaplin Matt will help choose.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SO What Next?

Sometimes things just keep happening and you barely recover from one thing before a new event takes place. That is what this summer has been about.

First, there was the big storm that knocked out by power for 4 days. Next, there was Jan's funeral and all the events that went along with that. The weekend after I got home found me with a massive tooth infection and basically out for the count.

Lucky for me, I had some leftover Vicodin from my foot surgery. And before you say anything, I know I shouldn't be taking it without doctor approval but, it was Friday night and I had a whole weekend of a boatload of pain to look forward to and I decided to carefully self medicate and get to a dentist first thing Monday morning. So, that weekend was take a pill - eat a little - sleep a lot - repeat.

That Monday morning my dentist got me in first thing and by the end of the day I had emergency root canal and more Vicodin and Antibiotics to make things better. It took 10 days to get my cheek/tooth under control and next up is a new crown for that tooth.

In between all this I've dealt with the hottest summer we've had in a long time and  well, I'm ready for a little bit of nothing for a while.

This weekend will be a family gathering that is a celebration. No trauma, no diseased teeth, no anything bad - just family good times together. Maybe the last month of the summer will be better than the first part!

I'm hoping to get some pictures of the Jan Shawl this weekend and finish up the pattern to put it up for sale. When it's all ready, I'll write a post about it and let everyone know where it get it.

Just so you have a picture and something to look at - here's a project bag I made for a friend during a swap this summer. It's a small 8x8x8 lined cube with 3 loops and a handle. The handle fits thru the loops to close the top and make it a nice little bag to carry. The embroidery design on the front is from Embroidery Library but I didn't stitch the "Love to Knit" that was below the design.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Stars, Yarnbombing and a surprise

This past week I've been in LA for my SIL's memorial service. You can't go to LA without having a little drive around to see the houses of the stars.The typical view is of gates and a lot of bushes. This is 9481 Readcrest Dr in Beverly Hills. Isn't is a pretty house? Oh, you can't see the house?
Let's try Bing maps. I love checking things out on the computer to get those lovely shots you would never see in real life. This is, according to the info I got, Bette Midler's house. Or, at least it was her house at some point, I don't know if it still is. If you look toward the middle right of the picture you can see the gate where I took my picture.
Moving on down the road a bit and over near Rodeo Drive is Roxbury Dr. It is/was the home of many, many stars. The exciting thing about Roxbury is you actually see the houses. They are on the street just like our houses. Here's one of them. It belonged to Lucille Ball. Her next door neighbor was Jack Benny, next to him - Peter Falk.
The one thing that surprised me about the house was how small it was. Yea, its big compared to my house when you think of a star's house, not so big. Until you do the Bing map thing. Here's how the house looks from above. Much bigger, much more what I expected.
Another thing you need to do is have dinner at the beach. My last night my brother and I headed over to Redondo Beach pier and ate at Kincaid's. Wonderful food and the view was the sun setting over the ocean. That doesn't happen in Minnesota!
My trip to LA included a couple fiber related things. While driving along the beach on a small side road I had to stop suddenly and take a quick picture. Yarn bombing big time - on the beach! This is the yard of a house about 2 houses away from Santa Monica Beach. Knitters are everywhere!
The other fiber thing that happened this week was a surprise. I've made my brother afghans and quilts over the years but never expected to see this.....
This is the first quilt I made him. It used to be more vibrant colors but then that was in the mid 1970s. Can you believe it! I made this quilt almost 40 years ago. It was made block by block. Each block was sewn as a complete piece - velour backing, batting and top sewn as a sew and flip. Then the blocks were sewn together top and batting together and the backing was hand sewn. There are a few holes in the top, its very faded but here it is - proof I can make things that can be used and survive the years.
So, now I'm back home. Back to Minnesota with no ocean beaches but I do have a yard. Grass that is bigger than 5 feet by 5 feet. A yard I can move around in and breathe in without bumping into 20 other people. A yard I can celebrate July 4th in. We live in a great country where everyone can find a place that works for them. My brother loves LA - I love Minnesota - we both love this country!

Fire Captain Jan Chatelain - you will be missed

I don't like to announce when I go out of town until I've returned because of the whole " someone's going to see I'm gone and break into the house" theory of things. Now that I'm back I can talk about my trip to LA. Unfortunately, it wasn't a vacation - it was for my sister-in-law's memorial service.

Jan passed away a couple weeks ago from a job related cancer. That's a term you don't see too often unless you know someone in the fire department. You see, fire fighters work with smoke and asbestos and other toxins that increase their chances of getting cancer to way more than the regular people. They know this going in and take on the job anyway. If you look at the reasons firefighter pass they are almost always heart attacks or job related cancer. This is a fact I didn't know until recently.

My SIL was a Fire Captain for LA County. She was the 13th woman to become a fire fighter in LA County. She is the first female captain to pass while on active duty. She was in line to become a Battalion Chief. Jan was a force to be reckoned with. A strong woman who knew what her passion was and she went for it.

Last Saturday we all gathered to remember this remarkable person. The we being friends and family and what felt like the entire LA County fire department. It was a hot day and about 200 firefighters showed up with their trucks, rigs, cars, paramedic vehicles and more. There was a giant flag hanging from two ladder trucks over the street we drove in on. The department provided my brother and me with an official escort for the day so we didn't have to drive or worry about anything but showing up and being amazed at how much organization and care went into the memorial.

Chief Daryl Osby, fire chief of LA County, gave a talk about Jan and her service. He also had some personal words about her that showed he really knew her. There was an honor guard with bag pipes and it all ended with a flyby of 2 helicopters. Later we learned they held off heading out to a brush fire for one minutes so they could complete the flyby.

The LA Fire Department is amazing. The 2 chaplains (Matt and Rick) who spent time with us were great guys. The union rep from Local 1014, Andy, had everything so in control and did so with such care. The term family really does description the fire dept. By the day before the service Andy had already made sure Jan would be included in this year's service at the fire fighter memorial in Sacramento and was working on getting her included in the National memorial in Colorado for next year's service. Thanks everyone, you made a tough time easier to endure for my brother!

Through all this I was knitting. On the plane, at my brother's house and now at home. I've designed a shawl that is basic, strong and has some feminine accents to it. It reminds me of Jan. When I've completed the shawl it will be for sale as a PDF download. The proceeds will be going to a group to support firefighter families. I'm talking to Chaplain Matt about which specific group and will let everyone know when we decide the best one. He's checking around to see if there was a group Jan spoke of or worked with and that's what we will send the proceeds to. It seems so little but its what I can do to honor Jan and all the members of her department that give their lives to protect others.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Boys Big Week

It's been a big week around here so The Boys decided to show you what they've been up to.
We had some knitting and watching quilting videos time. Notice we're into June and there was still a sweater on my body for this pic. At least we're finally into summer like weather now. It's about time! Back to knitting and watching videos - I've been very happy watching "The Quilt Show". It's a web show and you have to buy each season but I lucked into getting Season 8 for free. They offer several episodes from past seasons for free so you can give them a test drive. Bert seems to like them very much! If you want to see all the free episodes you'll need to "join" but it's free.

We also had some time to hang out in the kitty cottage. Bert loves to find the smallest window in the cottage possible and hang his head out till he makes choking noise. Very strange! It had Chief confused too.

We had normal versions of napping with each of them taking their place on the kitty jungle gym.

After a nice restful nap there has to be bath time. Chief usually gives Bert a bath but every once in a while Bert will return the favor. I think it's Chief thinking he's the older brother and having to take care of the baby.
This week has also started a new and rather disturbing thing. Check out the picture. I'm standing in the den/cave. The room with the tile across the hall is the bathroom. Notice anything that might cause problems when I don't bother to turn on the lights to go "across the hall"? Multiple times this week Chief has decided to stretch out right in my pathway. I don't know if its because the floor is cooler there or what. It can't be because he wants more attention because he spends a huge amount of time on my chair or my chest with me watching TV and he's never been denied cuddles so I just don't get this.
But - it's spreading. Tonight right in front of the bathroom door was both Boys. With swishing tails. Very proud of themselves because this seems to be a new game of "Let's see if we can trip up Mom". I can hardly wait to see what they come up with next.

I have a couple things that I can't show quite yet. I'm part of a secret swap with one of my Ravelry groups and I can't post thing thing I made until my swapee gets it. I hope it makes her very happy. I had fun designing it.

I'm also designing a shawl in honor of my sister-in-law. She's a Fire Captain (recently retired) with LA County. I was not aware of how many fire fighters end up suffering from various forms of cancer because of the work they do. It makes sense. You can't work around smoke and toxins and all the things fire break free from buildings without having some nasty effects. There is a group that supports the firefighters and their families and have been a great source of support with my sister-in-law because, she too ended up having to fight the cancer battle. When the shawl is done I will be writing it up and putting it on Ravelry for sale. It will be a small cost and all profits will be donated to the fire fighter support group. I'll give more details and pictures when everything is ready to go.