Monday, December 11, 2017

Just a bit to big for my britches

While visiting the family, California Dreamin' Son-in-law asked if there was a way to mend his socks, the balls of both were just about worn through. After a quick disclaimer I  picked up the stitches above the worn areas, cut the worn bits off, and even through they had been toe up socks, I knit down to the toes and Kitchnered the ends together. An easy fix on the socks and a happy son-in-law.
Later in the week I was folding clean laundry and saw more almost worn out socks.  This time on the heels but I thought it would be just an easy fix and I could repair the socks before the son-in-law came home from work. I started ripping the heel, and then ripped some more, and a little more...these socks were just to far gone - and I hadn't asked for permission to operate on them.
"No worries," I thought. "I have some more of the exact yarn at home and I'll just knit another pair and pop them in the mail."

When I got home I did indeed have a skein of the exact color but this particular brand requires two skeins for a pair of socks. Again, "No worries," I thought. "I'll just pop into one of the big box stores for another skein."
So I cast on and merrily began knitting the first sock. However, when I did go into town to purchase the yarn there wasn't a single skein of the color. "No worries," I thought."I'll go online and order the yarn from them online." No one had the color online until I checked Amazon. Score! I ordered a skein and because we have Prime - no postage, GREAT.

The next day I was just finishing the first sock when I began to have second thoughts. - Had I really ordered the correct color? With some careful checking I wanted Brown Striped Ragg and sadly I had ordered Blue Brown Marl. "No worries," I thought I'll put out an SOS to the knitting ladies and ask if I can buy or trade for a skein of their Brown Striped."

The gals slowly texted back....."Worry," I thought... No one had a skein!

So when the different color arrived I knit it up and although it's different I'm hoping my son-in-law will forgive me and wear these "Conservative Berkley Socks." Next time I'll ask permission before applying scissors to a pair of his socks.
Pattern: Pin Striped Socks by Julia Swart, Fish Lips Kiss Heels
Yarn: Patons North American Kroy Socks Ragg
Colorway: Brown Striped Ragg, Blue Brown Marl
Needle Size: US Size 1

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Mysterious lady socks

The last pair of sock I knit while on my travels weren't completed until after I arrived home but they did facilitate a lovely conversation with the lady across the aisle on the plane. I seldom talk to anyone while flying but this was such a easy and enjoyable conversation. Her name was Katie and was the same age as The Chick. She showed me photos of her boyfriend visiting in California while making notes of different places to visit in Montana. She shared that her mother's name was Judy and we laughed at the coincidence. Katie met her boyfriend at Salt Lake City for some mountain climbing and hiking and I continued my jaunt home. I think we both thought under different circumstances we would have become friends.
Pattern: Vanilla, Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Carlton Sock Yarn
Colorway: Birthday Cake
Needle Size: US Size 1

Friday, December 1, 2017

Stranger Things

While in California the kiddos introduced me to Stranger Things. The show had caused quite a stir Halloween week when Session 2 was released but I didn't know if it was just in my world or universal. The kiddos assured me it was universal and we started watching one night, "just to see what the big deal was." We couldn't get enough of Will, Eleven, and the rest of the cast and tried to squeeze an extra episode in every night. The last night I was there the California Dreamin' Gal cooked dinner AND did the dishes so the three of us could finish Session 2. 
 I also knit The Tiger a pair of socks during my visit, finishing them just in time.
Pattern: Broken Ribbed Socks
Yarn: Carlton Sock Yarn
Colorway: The Blues
Needles: US Size 1

Sunday, November 26, 2017

California here I come

Although I missed ChloeALittleBit's birthday by a few days we still celebrated! She chose stuffed pasta for dinner and brownies and ice cream for dessert. Then we were off to the ballet. The Joffrey Ballet was performing in Zellerbach Hall at Berkeley and gave a wonderful performance. Although trained classically they perform contemporary dance as well. My exposure to ballet is limited and so I was a bit surprised at the contemporary aspect of the performance. My favorite was "Joy" where everyone was on their toes including the men in high heels shoes!
The kiddos had the week of Thanksgiving off from public school and so we had time to enjoy each other between working hard to complete homework, Chloe's ballet classes and both of their on line classes.  The Tiger taught me to play the board game, Dominion and I even won a game or two!

For the last five  years the California family have traveled to Southern Oregon to meet with The Oregon Family for a few days over Thanksgiving. They have found the nicest place to stay, Witt-Willow Ranch, totally off the grid and the owners meet you with a dozen eggs and a half gallon of goat's milk (just the best in your coffee or mueslix).

But before we left California there was some food prep for Thanksgiving Dinner. I volunteered to make my mom's infamous Cranberry Salad. Mom insisted on making this salad every year and over time I really have made fun of this concoction. First presentation -Thanksgiving. Second presentation - Christmas. Third presentation - New Years Day. Fourth presentation - in the garbage.
Mom's Cranberry Salad Recipe:
With NO "how to"'s! 

Mom used to grind the cranberries with a meat grinder.
I don't think they were cooked in any way. She just stirred the four ingredients together...
    ( I bought a can of cranberry relish instead and eliminated the sugar.)

My finished product wasn't as fluffy as I remember, so here is how I think Mom's salad preparation went down:

Mom: "11/2 cups of marshmallows - what will I do with the rest of the package?" - she then dumps the entire package of marshmallows into the bowl.

Mom: "Forget whipping the cream, just use Dream Whip."
           "How much is a 1/2 pint of whipping cream, whipped?"...
           "An entire tub of Dream Whip!"

When the ingredients were all mixed together Mom would put it into a Tupperware cake sized container and freeze it, pull it out and refreeze it, pull it out and refreeze it, pull it out and throw it away. But this last instruction proved totally unnecessary because the joke was on me..... THE FAMILY ATE ALL THE SALAD!

Hubby flew into Medford on Thanksgiving and the flew home on Sunday. Those kitties are well loved and get lonely so quickly!
We played a few games, read, knit and relaxed. It was fun to see how my family have spent their last few Thanksgivings together and how comfortable they are with one another.

Friday it was necessary to work a little of Thanksgiving Dinner off the waistline, especially knowing what was for dinner that night. The families share food and cooking responsibilities and did we aate well! Chloe and Joe make fabulous pies!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Finishing on a jet plane

I was leaving to visit/help the California Dreamin' Daughter who was recovering from a knee surgery and knew the current pair of socks I was knitting wouldn't last the fight out to California. Packing for a two week adventure always includes yarn and so I not only had yarn in my suitcase but in my purse as well.

Happy to have finished this pair for the Birthday Granddaughter, I cast on another pair for The Pirate while waiting for my connection in Salt Lake City.
Pattern: Vanilla Socks with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Carlton Yarns Sock Weight, Cascade Heritage Sock (black)
Colorway: Wild Flowers, with a Black heel
Needle Size: US Size 1

Friday, November 10, 2017

Giving a little Christmas Knubbelchen

This is the second little Knubbelchen I've made. I think a baby will either love them to pieces as a favorite toy or the Knubbelchen will end up at the bottom of the toybox, nothing in between. Hoping Annamarie will love this little guy...
Pattern: Knubbenchen by pezi888
Yarn: Patons  Kroy Stripes
Colorway: Mexicala Striipes
Needle Size: US Size 1,5

I plan on getting Knubbelchen and the sweater wrapped and popped into the mail next down and ??? to go!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Back on the Wallaby train!

It has been a few years since I've knit a Wallaby. It was a sad day when The Pirate outgrew the need for a continual Wallaby on his back. (I'd been hoping he'd go to a college with a Pirate mascot so I could knit them for him forever!)

BUT, I'm happy to have a Grand Niece to knit for. AnnaMarie was born this year so she is just a little mite and will be sweater worthy for a long time.
Pattern: Wonderful Wallaby
Yarn: Knit Picks Brava Stroll
Colorway: MC: Celestial
                  Stripes: Orange, Rouge, Freesia
Needle Size: US Size 6

Friday, November 3, 2017

Bunco gals Christmas 2017

The last two years I've knit ornaments for the Bunco Gals. The first year I knit cute little Christmas sweaters and last year I knit hats and mittens. This year I knit Christmas stockings for them. All are darling!
Christmas Stockings by Jude
Yarn: Bits and Bobs
Needle Size: US Size 1, circular needle

Using Turkish Cast On, cast on 4 stitches on each needle
Increase every other round to 14 stitches on each needle
Knit for about 1 inch
Knit a Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Knit to about the same length as the foot
Rib 4 rows
Cast off in “old Fashioned” cast off (not stretchy)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween 2017

Halloween and black cats a scary combination but not when you have lucky socks!
Pattern: Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Carlton Sock Yarn
Colorway: Emerald City
Needle Size: US Size 1

(No Trick or Treaters again this year! Resulting in a happy Hubby because he'd bought full size candy bars, "Just in case!")

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A quick visit to the mainland

Niece Molly's bridal shower was this afternoon. We had a great time catching up and discussing plans for the upcoming festivities. 
Where do couples go for a destination wedding when they live in Hawaii? Montana of course!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Introducing a new member of the family...

The NorDak Family haven't posted about their new kitten yet. They've had this beautiful little, now 13 week girl, for two weeks and I just can't wait any longer! She is one of the most unusual kittens I have ever seen, she's polka-dotted and I already love her from afar....
Look at that mustache...
And the dots....
I even love the reverse widow's peek, Telling everyone to check out the spots!
Her name is Lucy and even Charlotte thinks she's a keeper.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


I’ve been working on my families genealogy for many years. It has always been an interest of mine, however, I found I didn't sleep at night when working on my investigations. I either got to caught up with the research and worked most of the night or couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about past ancestors, their lives, and how I could glean more information about their lives.

Now retirement allows for many things, one of them is to pursue my passion for genealogy. I’d been interested in for years but felt the cost, currently $200 a year, was to much when I had a job which should and did occupy most of my time. Last January I bought a membership thinking I would recover as much information as I could from the site and then pull out. This idea has now been revised however.

Back in the day when I send off a request and three dollars via snail mail I’d wait weeks for get a response. I might get a response if the Clerk of Court took pity on me or I had a relative with the knowledge and time to share. It was a long and laborious process. Now I get information from Ancestry every time I log on. I can even go back to ancestors I have researched previously and still discover new information. I’ve found relatives (yes, I did the DNA) who are third and fourth cousins and are happy to share photos and information I don’t have.
Alfred and Catherine Jamison Homestead in Lyons, Colorado. Thank you, Cousin Clark
The only “down” side I see with Ancestry is as I understand the process, if I don’t renew the membership my family line will remain in Ancestry but the information/research/data will disappear from the site, which is key to family research.

One of the reasons I wanted to get on Ancestry is to share what I have. Currently none of the members of my immediate family have an interest in the family genealogy, their eyes glaze over whenever I bring it up. Genealogy is like a Crime Scene Investigation, you work and work but some of it is theory and it is the theory which needs to be discussed and all sides of the family dynamics must be looked at. Ancestry allows like minded relatives to put their heads together and solve those allusive questions which have been keeping me up at night!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Elk Reserve, Take II

When we got home from the Griz game, Hubby wanted to load the trailer up and take off for the Missouri Breaks. So I spent Sunday gathering meals. I made barley soup with garlic bread, chicken enchiladas, and packed things for Rueben and pulled pork sandwiches. Breakfasts were bacon, eggs and hash browns. I cooked up the bacon at home... place in cold oven then turn it on to 400 degrees, when its done preheating you have cooked bacon, easy!

We took both cats with us this adventure. It was Polly’s first trip and she did well in her carrier until about five minutes before our destination. Rats!  Once in the trailer she was fine. When I was in the trailer she was sitting next to me purring. At night she cuddled up next to me in bed to stay warm. I loved it. Denali didn’t growl but spend most of her time in her little hidie-hole Hubby fixed for her under the couch. Life was good.
The wind blew Monday and Tuesday. It appears the elk would rather stay in the willows than be out in the wind. There wasn't near as much activity as our last visit. By Wednesday the hunters were beginning to arrive and the feel of the reserve changed dramatically. The elk were even more spooked by all the activity. Even so it was good to be out in the wild in our little home away from home.

Sunrises are getting later but beautiful!
Traveling Socks:
Pattern: Vanilla Socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Carlton Sock Yarn
Color way: 15 or 2
Needle Size: US Size 1

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Let the games begin!

The Chick and I wanted to see the ND Kiddos play in their sports this fall so we left the cats,  (GOOD LUCK Hubby) and drove East. 

SadieLouWho did a wonderful job serving during her volleyball  game. The Tiger did a great job during his frigid football game. It’s so fun seeing the kiddos grow.
We also visited a fun store in Jamestown, Junk in the Trunk. I bought some hand embroidered, hand crocheted doilies. I have a creative idea on how to use them and if it works you can bet I’ll post the project here!  PurlGurl had a chest she was interested in but wanted to make sure it fit at home before purchasing. When we returned less than and hour later, the chest had been sold, Karmic shopping at its best!

The time went all to quickly and after an eight hour drove home, there was just enough time to run some wash before setting out for the Griz Game.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The mysterious disappearance of Zoey

The Chick is coming home from her conference a few days early because of yet another hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast. She was able to get her ticket changed and will be home later tonight.

Polly and Zoey have been having a great time. They chase each other and roll around on the floor wrestling, each trying to better the other in attack strategies. Denali and Zoey not so much. Denali’s favorite noise is a low growl that cannot be mistaken, “Get the Hell out of my house!” She has started chasing poor Zoey into any corner handy and repeating this mantra over and over.  I’ve found that if I can get them outside on the deck, the chant subsides just a bit and everyone calms down.

At 7:15 this morning we were going through this little ritual, so I opened the door and let the duo out. Not ten minutes later I heard a commotion on the deck, enough to make me jump up for further inspection. There was Denali yet again cornering the orange cat but this time fur was flying everywhere, and the yowling at a new level of fierceness. I know enough to NEVER get between two fighting cats even if one is your own, so I just started talking to Denali but fur continued to fly. At some point my voice sunk into some level of  consciousness, she heard me and looked my way giving the other cat just enough time to get out of the corner and jump into the railing. The orange fur was standing on end and I thought, “Man Zoey’s under coat is almost brown it’s so dark!” but it wasn’t until the cat turned its head my direction, I realized it didn’t have the lighting bolt Zoey wears on her nose. It wasn’t Zoey but a cat I’ve seen around several times before. The poor cat was so desperate to get away, it jumped from the tallest point of the deck, over a story off the ground, and beat it down the hill.

I looked around the deck, no Zoey, I quickly looked through the house calling her, no Zoey. I went through the house two more time, no Zoey. Then began the search around the property, no Zoey. I got into the car and asked the owner below our property if I could search their land, no Zoey. Frantic, I called Hubby and he volunteered to come home early from his gold panning adventure to help in the search. I quickly agreed but it would take three hours for him to get home. So I called My Friend Jo for help. She searched the house yet again before aiding in the search outside. We looked everywhere - hundreds of trees to look, acres and acres of land to search. No Zoey.

My Friend Jo tried to console me but I was inconsolable. I’d failed as a cat gramma and would have to face The Chick this evening to tell her the sad, sad story. I had no faith in Zoey. She was a house cat, didn’t know the ways of cars, was only being “cat sat” at my house and her real home was hundreds of miles away, and hadn’t felt that welcomed to start with!

I wanted to check the properties in front of our house before giving up totally and My Friend Jo suggested I shut the basement door on the main floor and open the sunlight basement door for Zoey to go into should she still be around. She waited in the driveway, getting ready to post an SOS on Facebook, while I ran into the house to follow My Friend Jo’s suggestion. There ON the kitchen counter WAS Zoey!!
A scary hour and a half of hunting……

PS. As I was telling The Chick this story she told me, “She started out a barn cat, she’ll be fine.”

PSS. The Chick said I should have called her in New Orleans to tell her and she would have told me what a good hider Zoey is and to look inside the house more carefully.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A two tale of two birds

The California Family have recently moved into their new abode. Chloe A Little Bit has her very own cottage out back and loves it. She is experiencing some new adventures though, one evening she came into the main house and asked her mom to google a picture of a opossum and said sure enough that was what she’d seen at her doorway. Another day she came in and asked for help getting a hummingbird out of her cottage, it had flown in through a open window. CaliforniaDreamin’ Dad went out but after several attempts without success, and realizing there was no magic answer to this dilemma, Chloe said she would take over. She carefully went over and just picked up the tiny bird in the palm of her hand, carried it outside, and before flying away, it perched on her finger. Chloe’s mom, who had been watching the whole scene play out, said it was reminiscent of a scene in Snow White.

The second bird story takes place in Montana with Denali as the villain. I believe this is only the second time Denali has caught a bird.

I was sitting and knitting when I noticed Denali come in from the deck laying a little bundle at my feet. She was very proud of her catch and wanted to share. Upon close inspection I realized it was a chickadee and the little bird immediately flipped over and began flying around the house. While in the dining room it flew into a window and landed on the floor once again.

Hubby was gold panning and I was left alone to handle the situation myself. I put my big girl panties on, channeled Chloe A Little Bit, and scooped up the dear little chickadee. Its spindly legs were tucked up to its chest and it was as still as could be. I wasn’t sure the bird was still alive but upon closer inspection I noticed one eye blinking up at me. Good, I hoped it was just a little stunned. Quickly I opened the door and placed the little bird on the  arm of a chair out front.  When I checked back later it had disappeared. Everyone is grateful except Denali who promptly went outside on the deck and began catching bugs!

Thank you Chloe for giving me the courage to pick up the little bird.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Traveling with a cat

The Chick is on a business trip to New Orleans and we are taking care of her cat Zoey. Zoey and Polly get along very well but Zoey and Denali not so much.  Sadly, with the addition of Polly, Denali has become a very unhappy cat and is really mad at the world.

We took Denali on our outing to the Breaks and had a delightful time. She doesn’t like to go from the house to the truck but once in the car she’s a pretty good little traveler. She settled into the trailer nicely and it was almost like have our old Denali again.
What won't a Crazy Cat Woman do for her cat?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Another bucket list item fulfilled

It’s been dream for many years that once I retired I’d go with Hubby to the Missouri Breaks to enjoy the fall. He hunted there for many years and always came with stories of the elk reserve and the bugling elk down the road.

This is the second year I’ve been able to enjoy the fall colors and elk along the Missouri River. The weather was perfect so we sat outside for hours looking at the bright golden color of the leaves while listening to the bull elk bugling and thrashing in the willows.
About two each afternoon the elk began to wander out into the meadow and the show would begin. Bulls bugling and locking horns each trying to steal the others cows and increase their harem.
We were there two nights and as we left I said to Hubby I could spend a week enjoying life along the river.

Missouri Breaks Socks:
Pattern: Blueberry Waffle by Sandy Turner, Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Yarn: Carlton Sock Weight
Colorway: Americana
Needle Size: US Size 1

Friday, September 29, 2017

Purple Rain Socks

Another pair of Vanilla Berkley socks made from leftover yarn. Using up the bits and bobs of yarn is so satisfying. I started these socks during the cold, dark, rainy week we had this month. Love how they turned out and I'm going to keep them for myself!
Pattern: Fish Lips Kiss Heel Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Carlton Yarns Sock Weight, Patons North America Kroy Socks Stripes, Knit Picks Stroll
Colorway: Lavender Dusk, Dream in Purple,Eclipse stripes, Blue and Purple
Needle Size: US Size 1

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Polly update

Polly is growing up but still loves to know exactly where I am at all times. If the door shuts and I'm not in her eyesight she immediately begins a frantic meow. As soon as I let her know my where abouts she comes running for a quick cuddle. Love this kitty!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Denali and Polly, sibling rilvary

Denali has had a particularly difficult time adjusting to the kitten.  Hubby spent most of the summer fighting wildland fires and so Denali has been missing "her person" while having to put up with Polly. She is by nature a very shy cat and so spent most of the summer hiding in the basement under the covers of a spare bed only coming out in the evening to sit in her coveted spot in the bathroom window. She has always loved sitting there watching the critters go by - outdoor cats, bunnies, turkeys, coyotes, and the bear we had in the yard this summer.

With the change in weather Hubby is home and Denali is happily spending up to three hours a day sitting on his lap. She is spending more time upstairs and I think I've even caught the two kitties entering into a bit of chase around the house. But, sadly, yesterday Polly found and took over Denali's last best place.....

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Do you know my favorite color?

 I've always loved all shades of purple. When I was in the fifth grade I moved into the tiny back bedroom on the second floor of our Seattle house. It is a favorite bedroom growing up. There was just enough space for a twin bed and a dresser. I think Mom felt bad it was so small and perhaps I was getting the short end of the stick so she decided to really give it a makeover. Everything was redone and when she asked the color I wanted the walls I instantly said purple! Mom and Dad looked at eachother and it was painted a beautiful shade of lavender. The chenille bedspread, priscilla curtains, chest of drawers and little furry rug were all a bright white. It was a wonderfully beautiful ten year old's bedroom. However it didn't last long, a little over a year later we moved away and when the house was sold I heard the new owners discuss MY bedroom, the husband told his wife everything was nice BUT the purple bedroom would have to go!

I've enjoyed knitting this second pair of purple socks and have plans to use all the bits and bobs in a third pair, you guessed it - Berkeley Socks!
Pattern: Fish Lips Kiss Heel, Vanilla socks
Yarn:Carlton Yarn Sock Weight
Colorway: Dream In Purple
Needle Size: US Size 1

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Griz football begins!

When we left Montana a little over a week ago it was summer. The temperature was in the 80-90 degree range but smoky, like most of the summer. I didn't spend much time outside this summer - a first - but with over a million acres burning many days it was hazardous for even healthy people to be outside.

I was looking forward to some nice fall days and hoping to see our big blue skies.We landed at the airport, the plane had no difficulty, it was a perfect landing.  Then out of nowhere a cold front hit. We walked out the airport doors to wind and cold temperatures. It's continued for the last few days with the added addition of rain. Happily it has brought the fire season to an end.

But today we are on our way to the Griz game and this is what we are driving in:
WHAT??? I'm not ready for winter!

Friday, September 15, 2017

It's always a marathon when it comes to knitting socks

I finished the socks I was knitting while at Tahoe. Lucky I had another skein of yarn with me!

Crewing for the Tahoe 200 was tough!
Pattern: Fish Lips Kiss Heel Vanilla Socks
Yarn: Carlton Yarn Sock Weight (Thanks, Little Knits once again you're great!)
Colorway: Lavender Dusk
Needle Size: US Size 1

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A vicarious run of The Tahoe 200 Ultra Marathon...

Hubby and I recently came back from another adventure. This one involved crewing for our Son-in-law who was running the Tahoe 200 Ultra Marathon. This marathon is not for the faint of heart. Two hundred and five miles around Lake Tahoe, climbing and descending over 34,000 feet of mountainous terrain.

We were there to give our racer encouragement and support to the finishline. Yes, call us crazy, but we were up for the challenge, waiting at the designated rest stops every 15-20 miles which were fully equipped with food, water and medical help. A "tough" job but someone had to do it!
Ready for the challenge
Mica was a level head and tremendous help as pacer
Heading into the rest station and all the care we can hand out
Something only a wife could do, getting socks on after 2 hours of medical attention to the feet
Coming in for what this crew thought might be the last leg of the race for our racer but...
 compression socks and wool socks at the next rest stop did the trick
Mark was the second  pacer, keeping things moving toward the  finishline!
Breakfast burritos proved food of choice
Tahoe 200 belt buckles for the finishers
79.25 hours later, 30th place and a son-in-law who thinks he's "aged 10 years"!