Monday, April 20, 2015

Just a few pictures

I haven't posted pictures for a long time but thought I'd do a "here's what's been going on this winter" post in pictures.

My friend and I have spent a great deal of time in LA doing some family business and we managed to add a bit of fun into the trips. One trip we went to Wheel of Fortune taping. The 3rd of the 3 shows we saw will be on April 23. We a sitting right in front of the family of the winner if you want to see the top 3" of my head.

The view from the deck of the house I stay at has been green and beautiful all winter. A wonderful change from the grey/white of Minnesota winters.

Every flight out there gave us wonderful views of the Rockies. However, until the last couple trips we usually flew over in the dark so couldn't enjoy the view.

There has been frequent meals at the beach because, how can you be a few minutes from the ocean and not take advantage of it!

Somewhere down there is "my" LA house. Not actually my house but while I go out and do the family business it's the house I call mine because we all need to feel like we belong where we are at.

The last trip we headed to the Ahmanson theater. The Broadway production of Cinderella is playing there using the Rogers and Hammerstein music and it was wonderful! It's heading the Chicago and Minneapolis later this year and I would recommend it to everyone with kids or not. There were little girls dressed up in their princess dresses and adults who saw the musical on TV when we were kids. Everyone loved it.

There has also been a good deal of knitting in the evenings but I haven't gotten around to taking pictures of the finished items yet. I'll save that for the next post. In the meantime, I have to clean the house, do some paperwork, get ready for a party, head out to the dentist. All sorts of things to keep me busy at home.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Seven Years Ago

April 2, 2007 I wrote my first blog post. That was seven years ago. I know the last several months I've been silent but with everything going on I just haven't had the desire to write here. But, this being my blogiversary I thought I should post something even if it was just to say, I'm still here.

Seven years ago Mom and Dad were dealing with memory and aging issues. Dad had Alzheimer's and Mom was just your every day old age dementia. I was caring for them with the help of the people at their individual residents. My brother and sister-in-law were living in LA. My aunt was living in her apartment/care center. And my other aunt and uncle were living at home. None of that is the same anymore. Of all those people only my one aunt remains. She lives in a memory care home and is now dealing with Alzheimer's in her own way. You just never know what seven years will bring. Looking at this paragraph you would first think, how sad- everyone is gone. That's true but it's not the only story of the past seven years.

My cousin's children have grown up and are now incredible young adults attending college. My other cousin's daughters have had major life changes. One got married, has her own business and now has a wonderful husband, two beautiful children and a new home. Her other daughter is a manager at a retail store and moving up the ladder at her company while enjoying the company of the love of her life and they have a new home. Friends of mine have all stayed close and provide support and good times. One friend has gotten much closer through the past six months and become my travel buddy with all that is going on in LA. My knitting group meets regularly and has retreats during the year.

I've had the chance the travel to quilt shows and knitting shows. I retired this year and plan on more trips and fun times. So, while life has taken away many of my loved ones it has also given many new opportunities and I've met new wonderful friends in LA that I enjoy spending time with when I'm out there. It all depends on how you look at things.

Hopefully soon I'll be ready to start blogging again and showing off all the fun things I've been doing, things I've been knitting and quilting and exciting things I'm going to be doing. In the meantime, I'm here. Chief is here. Bert is here. And- were all good.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

So - what's been happening?

I went off the blogging radar in September just before heading out to the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service and since then life has been quite interesting.

Friends and family have been kept up to date and people who just come here to see quilting, knitting and cat pictures really don't need the whole story so all I'll say here is a quick up date. The day after the service for my sister-in-law (she was a Fire Captain- see older posts) my brother had a massive heart attack and passed away. We were in Colorado for the memorial so dealing with an out of state death was challenging. Since then, as the only surviving family member, I've been flying back and forth between home and California to handle the estate. Changing time zones and weather and life style so frequently has messed with my routine and things like the blog have been forgotten.

The past couple months I have NOT forgotten knitting and quilting. Knitting in an airplane works well if you bring something small. Luckily I've been flying with a friend and she is also a knitter so she understands my need to use those 3 hours to knit.

Here's some of my knitting the past couple months.

I decided to use up some old lace yarn and make some cowls. I made one and kind of got into a grove and before I knew it I had made 3. Then I changed up the stitch pattern a bit and made another one.

The pattern is Liquid Amber by Stacy Simpson Duke and the yarn is Knit Picks Gossamer. This yarn has been in my stash for several years and I notice its no longer available .

I made one in the Pink for a friend's daughter and one in blue and since there was some leftover yarn I made one using  both colors every other row.

Then surprise - I still had more yarn so I tried making a pink one using a Fan and feathers stitch (which I forgot to get an individual picture of). I'm guessing one of these days there will be another blue one. These are great for quick gifts.

Then I found some Knit Picks Chroma in my stash - 2 balls of Impressionist. Another yarn no longer available (colorway that is).  Because of my running back and forth to California, I wasn't sure I could host Christmas for the family this year. My cousin's daughter volunteered and as a thank you I spent a couple flights making a Molly scarf with the Chroma. It's a simple pattern with a different look.

I also grabbed a skein of Patons Classic Wool from the stash and started making a pair of gloves. The pattern I used is Treads  which is a fingerless glove but its easy to just keep going and making the fingers into a full glove. Being a design that isn't fussy looking and the yarn (gray) I'll be able to use these for a guy or girl gift when needed.

The pattern has a braid that requires a paying attention to that row and has linen stitch section to give a bit of interest. All in all I'm enjoying knitting these. (one done - one to go)

I also finished my Desert Star Rug that I was crocheting when I got around to it. It's a lot bigger than I thought it would be and I still need to block it but, here's a shot of the rug pre-blocking.

Finally, I started knitting a lace doily. For a long time I've wanted to to knit a Herbert Neibling pattern and never got around to it. Frosted Ferns has been translated into English and it's been an interesting knit. It's not your typical lace knit. There's cross stitches, large sections of solid knitting, double yarnovers and more to keep you interested.
So, that's the last couple months, at least knitting and crochet stuff. There's also been quilting and other things going on but this post has gone on long enough and its Christmas Eve and time to get ready to celebrate.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Just checking in

I had a friend contact me today saying she had a problem with my blog. So - this post is just to check things out. My life the past 1 1/2 months has been a bit hectic and I'll write some about it and about giving the quilt to my brother but right now is just not the right time for that post.

There were some adventures and some life changes but - that's for another time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jan Remembered

This coming weekend is the National Firefighter Memorial ceremony in Colorado Springs. Jan, my sister-in-law will be added to the wall. To add to the special weekend, I worked hard to finish the memory quilt to bring and give my brother. Last Christmas when he came I asked him to bring me some of her fire fighter t-shirts and I would make a memory quilt. Something of hers he could wrap himself in and remember.

Being one of the world's best procrastinators I rarely finish anything early but, the quilt is done and ready to bring to Jim.

Working with t-shirts for quilts creates special problems. You need to stabilze the knit t-shirt material so it doesn't stretch out of shape and cause problems for the quilt.


All the t-shirts were different sized pictures so making standard blocks didn't work. I ended up making 16 - 18" blocked and pieced it 4x4. So it wouldn't be too busy, I decided on one background material and because Jim loves baseball and he and Jan would go to many games together - the background material is little baseballs. The border is bigger baseballs on a navy background to frame the main quilt.


All in all I think it turned out pretty good and hope Jim likes it when he sees it.

One of my "oh my" moments making this was a few days ago on Sept 11 while I was quilting it all together. I realized I was quilting the 9-11 t-shirts from when Jan went out to NY after 9-11 to help out and go to funerals. They had lost so many fire fighters that day and had so many funerals that fire departments around the country sent representatives out there to help honor the fallen at their funerals. And now Jan's name will be added to the wall that contains the names of these fallen heroes.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Catch Up Time

Summer finally came and it made me forget how to type on the laptop keyboard. At least that's my story....

Father's Day was my last post and so much has happened since then. A quick run down:

The godson's wedding took place. It was beautiful,  exciting, wonderful, all the things you want a wedding to be. New goddaughter-in-law is such a sweet person and I can't imagine anyone better for godson. They went on a cruise around Italy, Greece and other places in that part of the world. They went to the All-star game and events here. Godson was the Target mascot, Bulldog, in the mascot race and won! He also caught a ball in the homerun tourney. They are enjoying their summer and life together to the max!

I had my 15th anniversary at work. Holy cow! 15 years!! It seems like I've been there forever but it also feels like I just got there. So many people have come and gone over the years but also many people are still there from when I started. I got a jacket with company logo and an extra day off. Better than nothing and I'm glad to accept the "gifts".

Between the non-stop rain and the lawn needing to dry out after the rains it took forever to get around to mowing the back yard. Front looked OK but the back got better bad. It's looking OK now but about time to mow again.

I made a wall hanging because I needed to do something fairly small between working on the godson quilt. I've also been working on a few smaller knitting projects - hat, socks, and a crochet project.


Pretend other project pictures are here - I'll get my act together and take some to post later.

Someone at work just had a baby boy so I made a sweater with multiple fronts. Off white cotton with 3 separate front pieces (off white, blue and brown) that button on both the right and the left. I figured cotton would be good for a summer baby and the multiple fronts would be good for the "occasional" spit up and for being able to use the same sweater for multiple outfits.

The boys are enjoying their summer by doing a all of sleeping and eating and running around the house like crazy. Wait - that's what they always do. Guess no changes here.

Life is good, why should we make any changes?!

Go away, I'm busy sleeping!

Finally, I bought a new SUV this week. I loved my Saturn Vue but it was getting a little old and I didn't want to have a car that ended up in the shop all the time. I got a really good deal and talked them into a moonroof for only $300 because it was on the only one available n the color I wanted and I did the whole "love it but don't know if I can justify the extra price" thing and the sales guy was a brand new salesperson and really wanted his first sale of a Rogue. We both came out happy.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Father's Day is such a different day when you no longer have a Dad living. But - no matter - I had the best Dad in the world. Even when he isn't here, he is. I have memories.So, today I will celebrate the person he was and remember all the great times, teaching times, loving times.

In live in the house I grew up in. That means it is filled with Dad. The clock he made, The basement he finished. His tools. The rocking chair he refinished. I can't go anywhere in the house without some physical reminder of Dad. But there's more.
In the kitchen I remember the time Dad was in his brown hoodie looking out at the back yard and our white cat was sitting on the TV next to him. Both were just looking out seeing something I couldn't see. He was often deep in thought.
In the basement I can see him in his workroom making the bench for my loom because I happene to tell him about one I saw and liked. Or when I was younger, practising shots at the pool table.
In the yard, he's there. Mowing the lawn, clearing out weeds, practising his horseshoes. Everywhere I go, he's here.
So, Happy Father's Day Dad. Thank you for choosing to be my Dad. Thank you for all the wonderful memories that will stay with me forever.