family, knitting, living

Archive for November, 2008

Last Day of November

Well, my goal of posting every day in November went up in smoke.  I think I’m at about 50%.  I have to say, that’s better than I had been doing.  Oh well. 

This last post of November is about Thanksgiving.  I spent a wonderful thanksgiving with my two girls, my husband, my sister and two of her children and my friend Wendy.  This was a pretty small get together compared to what I am used to, but it was great.  My sis, Allison, has been very stressed and down of late and I have been very concerned.  She seemed to have a really good time and I really got to talk to her.  We hung out in the kitchen with the littlest (10 month old Elliot) and cooked.  This is the thing though….we cooked on our schedule, with no deadlines, no other place to be and no….anything.  We had decided on a 5pm dinner and came fairly close to the mark, but again, close enough, was close enough.  Allison made a sweet potato souffle that will forever and ever be our go to recipe for sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving.  We found it while flipping through the cookbook looking for a different sweet potato casserole.  I brined my turkey the night before and then buttered him down and cooked him a good portion of the day.  I have to say…that was pretty good turkey! We had the misc side dishes that are the standard must haves and we had pies made by my girls!  Wednesday night I let them make a pumpkin pie each and a fudge pie each.  They had on  aprons at the kitchen island just working their tails off!  It was great.  The girls were sweet, really interested, well behaved….I felt like I was June Cleaver…but of course, way COOLER!  Anyway I’m tried of writing and am suffering with this cold, so I will leave you with a few of my favorite pics from this week.  



PS…Thank for the pictures, Wendy!


You know, most people out there are jumping up and down that today is Friday…especially the Friday before Thanksgiving….but I am not feeling it.  I am tired.  I have really worked out hard this week, cleaned the house from top to bottom and cooked for friends.  Now I have tomorrow and Sunday to look forward to.  Why, you ask, would I be so unhappy about Saturday and Sunday?  (even if you didn’t ask, i’m tellin’)  Henry and I have to try to get the farm cleaned out.  When we moved we brought everything we actually use and a little more.  What we did not bring was the stuff that clutters one’slife.  Henry is a very sentimental guy.  The farm was in his family for almost 100 years.  His grandfather and grandmother raised three daughter there.  His mother lived there and ran the farm.  Then he took it over.  We have three generations of things to go through and Henry has to make agonizing decisions about what to do with it all.  Now, some of it is not precious in the sentimental way, some of it is fodder for sculpture.  That stuff has to get to a storage place so that it can hang out until we find him a studio.  Of course, we will get to move it one more time. 

I also did not know that my niece’s party was going to be tomorrow, until last night.  Now I have the guilt of not going even though I did not know and I have made all these arrangements already.  Ummphhh.

Of course this tale of woe will not result in a complete disaster of a weekend.  David, Lori, Drew and Zoe are coming to stay with us and watch our girls.  So, we get to spend some time with them.  We miss them terribly and jump at any chance w can to have them here or to visit them in GA.  And…on the bight side, we should be nearing completion on finishing up the farm by Monday.  I think the worst will be done and everything else will be downhill.  I will be glad to have a much smaller corner of the world to be concerned with soon!

Kitchen Island and Spinning Wheel

Amy wanted to see a picture of the new kitchen island.  So, here it is.  I am still crazy about it.  I have re-evaluated my hatred of the black and white tile.  It’s not so bad…now.  I think I will paint the kitchen and maybe tile the backsplash and then just live with the floor.  I can do the painting and the tilework, so it should be a pretty cheap fix and I think I will love my kitchen.  (well, i already love it, i would just love it more)



In non-kitchen news, I received my spinning wheel yesterday.  I staked out the front porch by sitting in the dining room playing on the computer while waiting on dinner to finish cooking.  I turned on all of the lights in the front of the house and on the front porch.  he UPS man arrived at 6:08 or so.  I had the door open adn my arms out before he got up the steps!  I told him how happy I was that he delivered my spinning wheel….he just grinned….he had no idea what I was talking about!!  Anyway, after dinner me and the girls put the beast together.  It wasn’t too bad, it took about an hour.  I am pretty sure that it would not have taken so long had I not had so much help.  The girls treadled before I gave them baths and put them to bed.  They are really thrilled with the thing.  After they went to bed I stayed up trying to make yarn.  Notice…there are no yarn pictures.  I think I am going to have to practice a lot.  Spinning is not as intuitive as it looks!  Oh well, here’s a picture of my new baby.  Not sure if she will have a name or not. 



What a good day!

I am proud to say that I met with the trainer at the YMCA today.  I signed up for a program called First Steps.  It is free to new members.  It’s one of those where they discus your goals, get you going and then you check in every other week or so for some tweaking.  It’s not a full blown personal trainer thing, but it is definitely a first step, a good step, for me.  I’ve spent the last four years mad at my body, disgusted with it’s major flaw that has given rise to weight gain, fatigue and various stupid little miseries that I don’t care to name.  I have allowed MS to define me and make me hate my body.  I was once healthy and very strong. I could out work Henry.  We worked sun-up to sun-down remodeling and organizing the farm.  Lately, I feel lucky if I make through the end of the day.  Well, I’m done.  MS…..BITE ME.

Anyway, sorry that little rant.  So, I met with the nicest guy at the Y.  He put me through the paces, but was very sweet and encouraging.  He made me a little card so that I can track stuff and said “good girl”  when I finished things or needed a little boost!  I felt like I really accomplished something.  I worked out for about 45 minutes doing both cardio and weight training.  I committed to doing this three times a week.  I have to do this two more times this week and meet back with him on Monday.  Plus, I am going to continue to swim with Wendy on Tuesdays and Thursdays.    I am very hopeful and excited about this.  I think tomorrow I will get Wendy to take my measurements so I can write them down and have another way to track my progress instead of just using a scale.

Another great thing happened today.  I finally got my butcher block.  I ordered it about a month ago.  When I got home from the Y Henry was putting the legs on.  The thing weighs 168 pounds.  We had quite a time getting it upright!   It is perfect.  I couldn’t be happier.  Mycah went to Target with me to get stools.  We got those saddle style stools because they have a pretty small footprint.  I was hoping that having a palce for the girls to be in the kitchen would encourage them to be in there while I am cooking and/or help with the cooking.  Well, it worked…at least for the first night.  Grey and Mycah pulled the stems off the spinach, helped measure the brown rice for cooking and watched me prep the chicken for baking.  (no, i did not put raw chicken on my new butcher’s block)  They were so thrilled with the stools and the block that they asked to eat dinner at it.  We did and had a great time.

My last little thrill just occurred.  I got an email saying that my wheel should be here Wednesday!!!!!!!!! Yes!  I was hoping it would get her before Lori and her family come up this weekend.  This is going to be fun.

MMMMM, Baby It’s Cold Outside

It’s not that cold, but it is starting to get much cooler here and it seems like it may stay now.  I love the autumn.  I love that it gets dark so early.  I love that it is getting cold enough to wear more than a issue weight tee.  Today I fired up the gas logs, poured some hot decaf coffee and knitted a bit.  Not as much as I would have liked due to the difficulty of getting Henry’s thesis emailed to his committee.  It was so large that it was killing the server.  It is really picture heavy (of course, it’s art).  Anyway, not as much knitting as I wanted.  So, I have now set down again (with a bit of port this time) and plan to knit a bit more.  I love to cuddle up and nest.  This cold, grey day is just right. 

By the way, I can’t wait to play Christmas music, singing and dancing with the girls in the kitchen….the one in the title is my all time favorite holiday song. 

Sorry for a post about nothing…I’ll post pictures of my fireside knitting tomorrow (maybe).  Go cuddle with someone you love and appreciate the chilly weather.

My First Handpsun

I am posting pictures for posterity…not because this damn yarn is any good!  Well, it is not terrible and does seem like it will work as yarn…just not what I envisioned. The reason it is two colors is that I was trying two different types of wool.  The brown is Shetland and the white is Blue Faced Leicester.  The BIG wound ball of brown is not my hand-spun, it is Eco-wool by Cascade.  Is that not the coolest thing ever!  It is not dyed, the sheep was that color and there is almost 500 yards there.  It retails for 16.50.  This is a great value and it feels pretty good due to the minimal processing.  The yarn is for Henry’s sweater.  I have been through three yarns and probably the same number of needles, but I finally have gauge and a fabric that we both like. 

I’m a little scattered right now.  The rough draft for Henry’s thesis is due the 15th and I am chief editor.  Ughhhh.  I am having he hardest time focusing on it because I don’t want to do it.  I just want to knit and bury my head in the sand!  Oh well, I’ll get it done. 

By the way….I have now been to the Y to swim 8 times in 2.5 weeks.  I am trying desperately to turn over a healthy new leaf.  I feel like I need to be in the best physical shape I can be in.  I don’t want the next relapse to send me into a tailspin again.  Dr. M says that the healthierI am, the better able my body can cope with the MonSter.  I’m taking him at his word….time for me to get my head out of my butt and take care of myself. 


Girl’s hat for Connor’s Caps

Here is the completed hat for a girl at Connor’s school.  Mycah was kind enough to model it…sort of.  She is just doing it with her own flair!  I used a pattern for the little flower from here.

It is so simple, it’s genius.  It literally took five minutes to make.  I added the flower so that the school colors were all there and I thought the little bit of mesh made it kind of flapperish…now it does look like something a flapper might have worn (save the shocking blue). 

Mama started her hat today, so it looks like the TN/France contigent will be able to cough up 5, if not 6 hats.  Off to post pics to Ravelry. 


One of Connor’s Caps

here is a picture of one of the completed hats that I knitted for Connor’s Caps.  See prior blog post.  It still has to be blocked.  But, it is close enough to show a picture.  It is a little small for Henry and a little big for Mycah….so it should fit the head of a freezing cold 4th grade boy.  I hope. 

I pray that Connor make a full recovery from this cancer.  I pray that his friends are forever touhed by his struggle and that he knows those near and far are pulling for him.  Fight…fight ….fight.



No hat picture…

OK.  I still don’t have a hat photo for you.  I had a busy day.  I took Grey o Sylvan for tutoring.  While she was there I ran down the street to the Spinning Guild meeting.  Everyone was very nice.  I may go back.  I want to spin on a wheel so badly that I can taste it, but I am so very frustrated with the drop spindle that I am afraid I won’t be capable of using a wheel.  Anyway, after the tutoring/spinning excursion, I came back home wit Grey so that I could get lunch for everyone and gather our bathing suits.  We all went to the YMCA indoor pool.  I am trying to offset the Saturday work at tutoring with a fun time at the pool for Grey.  So far it seems to be working.  Henry went with me and the girls and we had a great family time.  We went to Game Sop to pick up a Wii for someone who wants to give it to someone else for Christmas and has not been able to find one.  (I know…cryptic…don’t want to give anything away) Then, we hit Target for a couple of book/toy shelves for Mycah with bins in a quest to help her get organized and be able to clean her room up easily and on her own.  After all of this we were exhausted and hungry, so we had sushi.  Last, but not least, me and the girls popped popcorn and hen we all lazed around on the couch watching Howl’s Moving Castle.  That movie rocks every single time we see it.  We have seen it at least 20-30 times and never tire of it.  It was a great family filled day.  I love my little family!

Here’s a picture of the Mycah.  She’s standing in he fort part of the play-set that we finally managed to bring down from the farm.  This is so Mycah…………


Didn’t get the picture taken

no  pics.  busy day.  at least i bothered to write something…..even if it was nothing.

Short post about a hat

Throughout my life I have found that most things happen for a reason.  Sometimes, we have to search really hard for a reason.  Sometimes, we don’t.  Here’s a no-brainer.  WordPress a feature that I quite enjoy called “tag surfer.”  You can type in tag words and WordPress will go out to cyberspace to fetch any blog entry on WordPress that features a tag that you have shown an interest in.  Three days ago I happened upon ChocolateSheep.  Here’s her blog link  .  This happens to be one I do not remember ever coming across before.  I read her post (amazing as it was one without pics and I usually skip those) about her effort to get knitted hats for her son’s class as one fo the boys in the class has a brain tumor and will be undergoing chemo soon.  All of the classmates have decided to shave their heads in a  show of solidarity with this young man.  She put a call out for hats.  How could I NOT knit these boys a hat???? I had to.  My accidental stumble of her blog lead me to knit a hat for a child I will never know who is standing by his friend.  Things do happen for a reason.

The hat is finished.  I will photograph it in the morning after I steam the raglan decreases (Turn A Square Hat Pattern by Jared Flood) and weave in eleven million ends since I had to get cute and jazz it up a bit.

Tuscany Photo Shoot

Ok, here are the photos of my latest and one of my favorite finished objects. 

Details: Tuscany found in No Sheep For You by Amy Singer (

Yarn: 2.4 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Royal, about 650-700 yards

Needles: Addi Turbo, size 6

Satart Date: Sept 22

Finish Date: October 3

I have to give a shout out to my photographer….Wendy Perry.  She just won a submission contest to JPG Magazine.  If you live in Nashville or the surrounding area, she is an amazing photographer.  If you need a photographer, leave me a comment and I will get her in ouch with you or you can go to her blog:    Here is her winning submission:

Anyway, here a few of my favorite shots.


Did you? We did.


PS. If you look cloely you can see that I am wearing my completed Tuscany Shawl.  More pics tomorrow after the polls close and a winner is in place. Here’s to the democratic process!

The Tuscany, She Is Done!

I just finished binding off the Tuscany Shawl.  I doubled checked Ravelry only to find that the shawl took me a little longer than I thought.  I cast on September 22 and finished November 3.  I will say that during this time I have made a puppet for Ms. Silva’s class, separated countless books for her by chapter, had Grey tested and now signed up for Sylvan, went to Georgia to visit David, Lori, Drew and Zoe, cooked and cleaned as normal and worked on another 3 or 4 knitted items.  So, I guess I am saying, I didn’t sit still every day for 4 hours a day and knit on this thing.  Had I done that, I would have been finished in 10 days.  I don’t have a picture yet.  It’s dark outside, light is bad in the house and I look a little worse for the wear today.  I’m going to where it tomorrow to go vote.  I’ll make sure to get a picture then.  I think mine turned out a little bigger than the shawl in the book, which is what I wanted.  I used a fingering weight….made sport weight, Alpaca.  It is so warm and soft and unbelievable.  Pictures tomorrow.

Oh…..if anyone has not told you in a direct…..I’m-pointing-at-you-MR/Ms way…….tomorrow is a very important day for our country. If you did not early vote, please exercise your right tomorrow.  Henry and I will ake the girls with us.  This will be their second time to come to vote with us.  It won’t be their last.  No matter who ou are voting for, go do it.  Have your voice heard and take your kids no matter the age so that they can see you performing your civic duty and exercising your rights.  GET OUT THE VOTE!

All Saints Day

Today was All Saints Day at church.  The purpose is to remember/honor those who has passed away during the previous year.  Most of you who read my blog are aware that my grand daddy died this year.  I did not really post about it because I really wasn’t ready to talk about it over the internet.  But, today was a good day, a hard one, but a good one.  The ceremony was very touching and I was very emotional.  Henry was hugging me and I leaned my head on his shoulder.  This was a big mistake…I poked him in the eye with my crazy (growing out, curly) hair.  I got tickled and almost lost it.  Good grief, I’m such a klutz!

My grand-daddy, Sneed Ladd, was a truly remarkable man.  He was a regular, working guy.  He delivered milk and ice cream his entire work life.  He helped Nanny raise 4 children and was the proud grandfather to 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren(gosh, i hope i counted right).  Grand daddy was a man of few words.  he sat back an took everything in before voicing his opinion…if he gave it.  Should you ask for advise, he was always willing to give you whatever he had with a quite strength and heart full of love that made you certain that he was right and that even if you chose the path he would not have had you choose, he would always be there to hug you and tell you everything would be ok.  Grand daddy saw his children, grand-children and great grandchildren make plenty of mistakes.  He never judged and never turned his back on any of us.  All of the love he showed his family he also showed not only to the members of his church but to anyone he met. 

After church we went out to eat with the clan…..about 30 of us.  Yeah, they never saw us coming!  It was fun.  The girls love hanging out with their cousins.  We got home around 2:30 or so.  I cleaned the house a bit and then helped Henry work on the girls’ fort/swingset thing.  It is still not done, but very close.  Maybe I can work on it some more tomorrow since the rest is lightweight, mundane work. 

Afterwards, the girls had peanut butter sandwiches as Henry helped me install the under-counter CD player int he kitchen.  He brought it back from the farm.  I had specifically asked him for it because I really like listening to a CD or the radio while I’m in the kitchen.  I also like turning up a fun CD or the girls and them dancing like maniacs while I cook.  It is a great stress reliever and I also wind up laughing like crazy.  Anyway, I have missed my kitchen CD player.  There was a CD in it when I plugged it up.  It was Nora Jones.  I listened to it a lot and associate it with the farm, with warmth, with love.  Apparently Henry does as well.  We danced in the kitchen, crying over missing the farm, but loving our new life and knowing that as long as our family is together…everything is beautiful and the way it should be. 

It was a good day.  It was a hard day.  It was a good day.

Sundry things

Just to clear things up before I go any further………

sun·dry (sundrē)

adjective various; miscellaneous; divers sundry items of clothing

Etymology: ME sundri < OE syndrig, separate < sundor, apart

Anyway, did you know:

1)Today is the first of November

2) Being that it is November, we are skidding downhill at an alarming rate toward Thanksgiving and then CHRISTMAS.

3) That tonight is the end of daylight savings (thank God).  I adore dark early in the evenings. 

4)This is National Blog Month something-er-other month.  Whatever…it is an exercise in which you sharpen your blog writing skills and prove how dedicated you are to cyberspace. 

5) I am hurtling down the inevitable path that many knitters find themselves on…..spinning my own yarn.

6) Tomorrow is All Saints Day.     I love you Grandaddy and miss you terribly.

7) The new Tinkerbell movie is very good.

8) I am 12 rows and a bind off away from being done with the Tuscany Shawl.