Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gracie Lynn (May 2000 - Jan 16, 2017)

For over sixteen years Grace, my constant companion, has been at my side. On the deck enjoying the summer sun, sitting on the couch knitting or sleeping on my legs at night. When taking pictures of my finished knitting projects there was Grace. The two of us got along fine.
But from the beginning she didn't like being second fiddle to an older and established kitty in the household. She really didn't care for Nikko and didn't mind letting her know. With a constant chip on her shoulder she would often allow this to carry over to humans, the daughters and grandkiddos often got the brunt of her frustrations.
The last few years brought us closer. Becoming "Top Cat" allowed her to come into herself. To a non-catlover this may sound strange but others will totally understand. Grace had my total and complete attention. She knew she could sit on my lap without invitation for hours and in the last year, if I wasn't looking adoringly into her eyes she would gently reach up with her paw and direct my gaze into her loving eyes. I learned how to give "cat massages" much to my families amusement but Grace loved them and would purr to her hearts content.
It's been a sad week. In hindsight, there may have been some telletale signs she wasn't well. Grace had started yowling at odd times, usually when we just turned out the lights and gone to bed.  She had started to be a bit restless and would jump from hubby and I, staying only 5 minutes or so... But last Tuesday we felt it was rather sudden that she became sick. Even after two trips to the vet's we were unable to turn her health around.

Good bye sweet friend.

Monday, January 16, 2017

"I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties

 and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream."

  -Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Starting the year off on the right foot

The first of many socks for 2017 are finished. I used some of my coveted West Yorkshire Spinners yarn from England sent via Oregon. - Thanks Misako!

When all the family were home at Christmas I needed a pair of vanilla socks to knit throughout their visit. A row here, a row there makes a fast pair of socks! This striped  yarn is perfect on its own but add a slip stitch at the striping line and they become stunning .
Pattern: Slip Stitch Socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heels
Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply
Colorway: Passion Fruit Cooler
Amount: 1 skein
Needle Size: US Size 1

Monday, January 9, 2017

WELCOME 2017, and a new beginning!

Hubby came home New Year's morning after working his last shift at the fire station.
The retirement party was between Christmas and New Year's. It was wonderful to have all the family able to attend and honor Hubby's hardwork at the station and in the community over the years. 

Already just a few days into retirement I see Hubby isn't going to sit in his recliner and allow himself to get out of shape. Every morning down to the workout room we go and complete our morning routine. He even has me lifting weights!

We are both excited to see what the year has in store for us. We have a trip or two planned but mostly we plan on relaxing and resting "on our laurels" - our home that we dearly love.

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Blog Fading Into The Goodnight...But Then There's A Spark of Life!

As the fall settled into winter,  I began thinking it was time to let this blog fade into the dark and distant past.

My dear sister-in-law mentioned a couple of times throughout the fall that she missed catching up with our world in Montana. During Thanksgiving the girls commented on the lack of posts. It wasn't until Christmas I that told the family my plans to stop blogging and the room filled with moans. But it wasn't until I walked down the hall and caught a glimpse of the granddaughters sprawled on the floor enjoying the journals that there was a rekindling of the blog. Sadie Lou told me how much fun they were having going through the books and she was so glad I did them every year.  WHAT?? WAIT A MINUTE!!! This is exactly why I started the blog/journaling journey. I don't want the kiddos to ever forget their Gramma and the good times we've had together.

The crux of the problem is,  I have enjoyed just being home and following my bliss. Anything can now be done "later" and I have totally adopted Scarlett O'Hara's famous quote, "I'll think about that tomorrow."

My knitting output is the same but when I finish a project I think, "I'll photographed this later." But it didn't happen until they were being wrapped for Christmas gifts and even then not everything was photographed. I missed several pair of socks given as birthday gifts and a pair of mitts for my booby prize and the bunco game I hosted this fall.

I still love knitting socks! I wouldn't go into detail on each pair as I usually do but the first pair are mine. The yarn is  from England and I'd been wanting a skein for a year. The yarn was a birthday gift and Misako had no idea that it was the exact color I'd wanted, Holly Berry!
                                              ZickZack Scarves for the Granddaughters:
                                                       Helmet liners for the Grandsons:
                    A hat for me ( I don't wear hats but this winter it's all about warmth, not looks)
                                                   Tree ornaments for the Bunco Gals:
 The Pirate needed a new cape to keep warm at home...but he had it over his shoulders all week here so I really think he just likes to feel royal!

This fall the Griz Games were just not as inspiring as in past years. We are settling into a very nice tailgate routine and hope to continue with our friends Hank and Kim. Nothing other than the tailgate party photo worthy.
Several of the trips to the games included a stop in Helena to visit my new "Grandkitty" Zoey. (Oh yes, and her mom The Chick too).  Zoey (now called Zoey, no no NO!) is a character! She has a hatred for paper towels and tears them up whenever she sees them. She has “gone skating” in the kitchen using a torn open fresh sack of sugar, and the latest is while visiting her “Cat Gramma” this Christmas. She kept stealing potatoes from the pantry and carrying them like a baby kitten to her  mom's bed. She is a talker and keeps her mom hopping and entertained.

In October I went to visit the North Dakota Family for a few days. Sadie, Sarah, and I made some pretty spooky placemats for Halloween. It was my first  try at quilting - a very basic process called "Quilt as You Go" but I fell in love. When I got home I gave a baby quilt a try. This is called "Flip and Turn Quilting."  It's a little smaller than I had hoped but will be nice a gift for a babe.

In November I flew to see the California Dreamin' Family  just in time for Chloe-A-Littlebit's birthday . There was a visit to Bakesale Betty's (where they were filming some sort of documentary) and we made some beautiful wreaths with succulants. They turned out beautiful but it has been raining ever since and so the weigh a ton! I wasn't able to get mine back to Montana and I'm not sure the California Dreamin' Gal has hers on the patio wall yet.
                                                         Chloe on her Golden Birthday:

Thanksgiving was a fast week. We had a great meal, went Black Friday Shopping, to the local coffee and canvas shop, and Sadie and I made more placemats in anticipation of Christmas. After they left I wanted to spread my wings a bit and used bits and pieces of extra placemat material to make coasters. I enjoy the crazy quilt approach to the coasters.
                                                        Sadie created a great picture:

Everyone was home for Christmas. The Califonia Dreamin' Gal had ordered up snow and it was very timely delivered. A few inches the week before, roads were then cleared so everyone could arrive, and then it continued off and on the entire week to keep everything bright and fresh.

                        Grandpa went right to work getting the sledding hill in proper order.
 Christmas Eve the family went into town to do some caroling, minus Gramma and Grandpa.

 Christmas morning brought many great gifts from Santa and a very nice one from the Granddaughters - they made the Christmas breakfast!

Gabriel has brought the English tradition of Christmas Crackers and Christmas pudding into the family. Everyone has wholeheartedly embraced the Christmas crackers but the pudding, well, not so much.
The kiddos helped with a puzzle and a fun new game was discovered but the usual computer games were played too.

There it is, the last few months in a nutshell and so...if you don't mind the routine: knitting, visiting family, Griz games, I don't mind continuing the blog. See you in a few days!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Another Stash Dash is in the books

This year Stash Dash was extended to the end of the Olympics, and although the closing ceremony will be this evening it was time to declare myself. I'd thought with the "Never Ending Blanket of Doom" I was a sure winner of the 10k. However, that pain in the neck only netted me 6,800 meters.

With other items completed this summer I was able to cross the finishline this afternoon with a 9,354 meter or 9.35K and am now a self declared winner of the 7K!

When I finished the Down The Rabbit Hole Blanket I knew it would be a LONG TIME before I made another… but I still had bits and pieces of beautiful yarn on hand.

I loved doing Pure Joy and needed a little joy after the never ending nightmare…..So out came the leftover hand dyed yarn the family have been dying every time they visit and I started this scarf/shawl. LOVE the results!
Pattern: Pure Joy
Yarn: Leftovers, Knit Picks Bare Fingering
Colorway: Indie Dyed Greens and Blues, Off white
Amount: 2 skeins
Needles: Size 6

After finishing the Hand Dyed Pure Joy I wondered if I could produce another beautiful scarf/shawl with leftover yarn. This time I used blues and it's a beauty.
Pattern: Pure Joy
Yarn: Leftovers, Cascade Heritage Sock
Colorway: Indie Blues, Navy
Amount: 2 skeins
Needles: Size 6

This pattern is like potato Chips - you can’t knit just one!
I’m sure there will be another on the needles soon.

The Chick gave me this yarn and it has been languishing in my stash since I made a scarf for The NorDakPurlGurl. They are loosely based on the Stashbuster Spiral Socks. I only use two colors instead of the recommended three colors and so am making an entire round in each color.
 Pattern: Stashbuster Spirals with Fish Lips Kiss Heels
Yarn: Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight Prints (Merino/Bamboo blend), Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity
Colorway: Chili, Violas
Amount: 2 Partial Skiens
Needles: US Size 1
Pattern: Blueberry Waffle Socks by Sandy Turner with Fish Lips Kiss Heels
Yarn:Stroll Hand Painted Sock Yarn
Colorway: Koi Pond
Amount: 1 skein
Needles: US Size 1

I prefer to knit my socks from the toe up and so this popular pattern is upside down to the observant viewer!
Pattern: (Hanging Upside Down) Monkey Socks bu Cookie A
Yarn: Knit Picks Bare Stroll Fingering Sock
Colorway: Easter Egg Dyed
Amount: 1 skein
Needle Size: US Size 1

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Summer visit 2016

As the grandkiddos grow up it seems my visits are beginning to shrink! They have had a very busy summer.  Unbelievably Chloe went to visit her Grannie and Grandfather across the pond - ALL BY HERSELF! She did fine but it's hard for this Grandma to realize she is old enough to travel so far alone. Both grandkiddos also spent time back East with the English side of the family and then it was on to Northern California for just their immediate family to enjoy sometime together!

I convinced myself that when they came for their visit with me they needed a bit of a rest! So off we went to the Public Library and checked out books, had The Chick come with her new kitten Zoey, and mostly just hung around the house.
.Zoey loved her deck experience and The Chick added a deck to her "must have" list for a future home.

We went paddle boarding a couple of days at "Lake" Elmo.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out it really wasn't a bad place to paddle.
 Grandpa is convinced the only reason the kiddos keep coming is to drive the 4-wheeler around but this year I think it was to see the kitten! I was sure I had several photos of the kiddos on the 4-wheeler but this Gramma slipped up - no photos! Trust me they had fun and became quite comfortable driving around the property.

After the new kitten Zoey left, the brave Denali came out of the woodwork and tried to make up to the kiddos. Probably to little to late but neither Cameron or Chloe were going to turn their backs on her.
When they got home their Mom asked about their visit. They responded, "Lots of ice cream, cookies, television, four-wheeling and late bedtimes." Guess the visit was a success!